I hope you and your family are doing well this week. With 2013 closing and 2014 coming in, I wanted to reflect on some of the most popular and useful posts on Couple Money and say thank you for all your support and feedback. Many times I’ve written based on what you’ve shared in the comments or with me in email.
It’s made writing here a true joy. I hope 2014 will be even better, so please let me know what you want to know about family and finances.
Building Your Net Worth Together
Two heads or better than one, but in some cases having two very different opinions about money can make things harder. We had some great discussions on the site about how couples tackle family and finances.
Even though most of us have an idea of what we should be doing, human nature has a funny way of getting in the way. Some of my favorite posts in 2013 dealt with getting over the barriers and just getting things done.
What’s a personal finance blog without some personal stuff? 2013 had its ups and downs – we some unexpected expenses (one of them rather large), but by working together we managed to finish this year with a slight increase with our finances.
Shopping for a Car: Did having my husband’s car break down bum us and out set us back on our money goals for the year? Yes it most certainly did, but we had enough in our financial cushion to buy a replacement. Score one for emergency funds that work in an emergencies!
How Much is Our Toddler Costing Us?: Happy to say that our little had a fantastic year. As part of our baby expenses series, we’ve updated what we’ve been spending to keep our little one happy.
Thank you for taking the time to not only read and use these money tips, but also sharing what you love with your friends. It’s my hope that 2014 will help more couples build their net worth by living on one income and having fun with the send.
Your Couple Money Favorites in 2013
Thank you again for a fantastic year! Reviewing some of the posts from this year was so much fun. I’d love to hear from you. Which are your favorite Couple Money posts from 2013 and why? Any topics you’d like to see tackled here in 2014?
Here is our short list of how we plan on building wealth in 2014:
Pay off the student loan. I was happy that we chopped about 30% off the balance this past year, even with the hiccup of having to replace a car, but it’s time to get rid of this debt.
Optimize our savings and investing by simplifying. We’re not just looking at consolidating our accounts, but we are focusing on making our money work for us even when we’re busy with other things (I’ll explain more below).
That’s it. Those are goals for the upcoming year. If we accomplish anything else, it will be icing on the cake.
Paying Off the Student Loan
As of today the balance stands $13,839.79 and we want to get rid of it by December 31, 2014. Looking at the numbers, we’re looking at a little more than $1,100/month that has to be directed towards it if we want to get rid of it next year. While we have wiggle room in our budget we do not have a grand laying around so we’re going to have make some changes which will include both cutting expenses while earning some more. The two of us will sit down some time this weekend to figure that
First order of business – setting up extra payments scheduled and automated. I’m starting off with payments every other week. At end of every month, we’ll review to see if we can increase the amount.
You may wonder why I didn’t make digging through our budget the first step. We certainly will do some searching through the numbers this weekend when we go over the details of our 2014 budget, but for now, I want to get the system into place. It’s much easier to adjust the amount after you have already started than agonize on getting the perfect amount and then setting up a system. We don’t want to waste time, we want to build momentum.
Basically the goal is to make it so that whatever kind of day we’re having, we’ll have money automatically allocated towards our goals. That means setting up and updating our automated deposits, payments, and transfers. With some of our monthly expenses decreasing or being eliminated, we can allocate the small difference for paying down the student loan.
Besides consolidating how many accounts we have, I’m also making some switches with how we bank, invest, and save. Earlier this month I closed down my Wells Fargo personal checking and made the leap over to Simple. Living up to their name, they’ve created a checking account that can help you easily save for some short term goals. I’m really happy with their service so far and I look forward seeing the numbers grow in my checking account.
Thoughts on Financial Goals for 2014
We’ve shared some of our goals for next year; I’d love to hear of some of your financial goals. What is the biggest goal you’d like to achieve?