About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

Before coming up with a plan on how to reach our financial goals, it would make sense to take just a minute to write down and list what goals we have as a couple.

What we’ve noticed is that even though we may have individual goals, they are still tied to our team effort. I’ll show you below.

His Goals

Right now my husband just has one money goal for himself.

  • Walk Away Fund: My husband wants to have enough money to walk away from work if something happens. He is a software developer at a company that treats him well so he has no plans to quit his job. He’d just like to have the option to leave and have a cushion to let him search for a job at his pace rather than scramble for the first job open.

For my husband that means emergency fund can cover a job change/loss.

My Goals

For myself, my goal is focused on reducing our debt.

  • Have the student loans paid off in 5 years. While the interest rate is low and the payments are certainly manageable, I just would prefer to have less overall debt.

That means we’d have to find ways to increase our payments going towards the loans.

Our Goals

Basically we have a couple of goals we’d like to complete in 5 years (September 2014).

  • Own a house. We’d like to buy a house in the Raleigh area. Our goal is to get a a place that has a mortgage that is comparable to rent.
  • Have no debt except for our mortgage. We don’t want to have loads of debt whenever we get a mortgage. Currently we don’t have credit card debt or car payments. The only debt left right now is my student loans, which have a low interest rate.
  • Have a steady mobile income of $50,000/year or more. We’d like to have enough income coming in from my work and my husband’s side projects that he could quit his job and we could still pay our bills with enough money to still invest. Having less debt would be incredibly helpful with this goal as it would lower our monthly expenses.

We’ll be documenting our net worth progress regularly.

Just a Note About Us

I think at this point I need to make a confession – we’re not frugal people just to be save money.

We love saving money if possible, but not at the sacrifice of quality and time. Sometimes we will pay a bit more to save us a ton of hassle.

When we share some solutions that worked for us, don’t be surprised if they are not the cheapest or most frugal option.

We’re looking for ways that we can build our net worth and reach our goals without having to micro-manage. We want to do things we love rather than obsess over pennies.

Hello, I’m Elle and welcome to Couple Money!

What’s Couple Money About?

As the name suggests, Couple Money is about working together as a couple on building your family’s finances. We’ve all seen the news pieces about how money is big source of martial stress.

Couple Money is about using finances as a way to draw closer to one another to achieve your dreams.

How?

Money can be used as a tool to build your net worth by getting out of debt, creating some savings for emergencies and freedom funds, investing in your future (including retirement).

You + Me + $$$ = ?

welcome-to-couple-money

There are a ton of personal finance blogs out that cover general finance tips.

My focus with Couple Money is to cover the financial process as well as the communication and teamwork needed to suceed.

I’ll share tips, tools, and services that can help you two work out solutions that address your specific needs.

We’ll tackle some common money situations that most couples have to deal with.

  • Banking– Keeping our money working for us is important. We found that out when our first bank wasn’t giving us the customer service we wanted and the interest rate was depressing so we dumped them and found one that works for us.
  • Budgeting – Creating a financial system that fits our family’s needs is a priority. We love what we do so we don’t want to spend a ton of our time tracking every penny, so automation plays a big role.
  • Charity – We want to set aside a portion of our money to worthy causes. We don’t have a formal system so we’ll be working on creating a giving system that is sustainable.
  • Credit Cards – For many people, it’s a love/hate relationship between them and their credit cards. For us we use credit cards as we need them – for rewards or 0% loans. Paying off credit card debt has made me wary of signing up for a ton of cards.
  • Entrepreneurship – We’d like to become more entrepreneurial with our work and build more income.
  • Investing– Right now our investing focus is for retirement. I’ll show how you two can start investing with $100.
  • Savings – Having some money set aside for emergencies is just one of our savings goals. We also have some short term goals like a vacation fund as well as buying a house someday.

I know we’re not the only couple dealing with this so it’s my hope that these are topics get a conversation going.

About Us

Now that you have an idea about what the site is about, I’d like to share a bit about us.

Rob and I have been married for almost 3 years. Before we got married I had racked up credit card debt and made it my goal to get it paid off before our wedding.

Afterwards my husband and I decided to pay off the car loan off early.

Now the only debt we have is the student loan. We’d like to own a house soon, but we’re going to make sure it’s within our budget so we can continue investing.couple-money-welcome

I’ve been blogging about personal finance for a few years now as I started getting my finances squared away while in college.

After a few years I realized that I needed to start another site so I can focus on couples and money (hence the name).

As you’ve probably guessed, neither one of us is a certified financial expert.

We’re just a regular couple who are building their net worth together.

If you’re looking for professional help with your finances, try using The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) to find a fee based financial planner.  They should be able to work with you and your individual financial situation.

We’ll share our progress (and setbacks – it’s real life) on our journey. Thanks for joining us!