The Best of Couple Money – 2012 Edition
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As I'm working on some bigger posts for next week and beyond, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for a wonderful year.
As a way to wind down this year, I wanted to share some popular and my favorite posts of 2012 here on Couple Money:
One of the big highlights of January was getting My Financial Reviews up and running. One of my goals is to maintain the resourcefulness of Couple Money for my readers, while introducing them to sites, products, and services which may be of interest to them. I get so many requests for reviews that if I responded to all of them, this site's focus on helping couples manage money together would be buried in reviews.
I decided to make My financial Reviews kind of a spin-off site where you can go to get more detailed reviews. I'll highlight them with a link here on the site so you can find them, but if you're not interested in it, then you can skip over and get the money tips you need here.
- What’s Taxable Income?-> Is that an inviting title to get you reading? I think for next year writing better post titles will be on my to-do list. Anyways January is the start of the tax season and being a contributing writer at TurboTax means it's on my mind from January to April. Make sure you get your taxes done correctly and take advantage of all the tax credits & deductions that you're eligible for.
- Android Tablet Shopping Guide-> I love my tablet and use it quite a bit for work and fun. Since so many people were asking me how I picked the right one for me, I shared some tips and specs of popular ones in this post. Rigth now I'm recommending Google Nexus 7 for most people.
- Don’t Let Others Manage Your Money-> Honestly one one is going to care or know about your family's finances like you do. While consulting experts makes sense, it doesn't relieve of your responsibility to watch your cash.
Planning was the name of the game in February. I wanted to tackle getting our wills updated and our life insurance increased this month, but it took longer than I expected.
- Choosing Legal Guardians for Our Baby-> We spent a good part of February figuring out who would be best as guardians for our little one. It's a tough choice as we had many factors to consider. We're grateful with who we picked and especially that they said yes.
- Do You Have a Car Emergency Kit?-> Taking care of your family means more than just watching the finances. Safety is important and having a car kit for emergencies can help.
- Betterment Just Got Better -> If you're looking for a low cost, low hassle way to invest, Betterment is a great option. In February they lowered their fees even, making them competitive. Get a $25 Account Bonus when you sign up for Betterment.
As we approached our savings goal, we hunted for a family sized sedan, checking out dealerships and private sellers.
- Searching for a Car on Craigslist -> We started our search for a bigger family car that month and we used Craigslist and Carsabi to find a deal that would work for us.
- Community Support Agriculture (CSAs) in North Carolina – We are really excited that there are more and more options for buying locally sourced foods. We want to eat better, but we still have a budget to keep.
- Paying Off Debt as a Couple-> I love getting reader questions. It's a chance not only to see how others handle their finances, but it's an opportunity for you guys to jump in and give some wonderful tips. I would love to do more of these in 2013.
- Buying a Car from a Private Seller-> We share how we found the right car for us and the process of buying from a private seller.
The year started to pick up and I started to find ways to save money. I ran a Fuel Challenge in May and had a blast.
- I Broke My Own Money Rule (About Loaning to Family)->Yeah, even personal finance bloggers break the own money rules. Sometimes it works and it doesn't.
- Using Cash for Lunch is Paying Off-> I started using only cash for eating out and it cut my spending in half. I got away from that a couple months ago, but I'm getting back with that now. I just spend when I use cash.
- Why Knowing Your Net Worth Matters-> It's about the numbers and it's NOT about the numbers, you know what I mean? We do the reviews to help us imrpove with our finances and keep each other in the loop.
Summer was a lot of fun this year and we had a fantastic time at the family reunion.
- Automating Bill Pay – The Pros and the Cons-> We have automated our bill payments for years and it has been quite helpful. However that doesn't mean yo're off the hook – you still have to check-in once in awhile to keep everything running smoothly.
- Getting a Spouse on Board with Finances -> Another good money question discussed on here on couple Money. How do you motivate your spouse to be on the same page with finances?
With half the year down and the weather good, we started doing more weekend trips as a family.
- How to Get the Most from Reward Credit Cards -> If you use credit cards, making the most of your rewards (without ruining your budget) is quite possible. I share some tips on how you can do just that. If you don't want a credit card, but would like rewards, Perkstreet Financial has a reward debit card that pays 2% cash back.
- Counting Your Pennies Can Add up to Cash -> We use the old school method of coin jar in home and we;ve been able to save some cash by making small deposits through out the year.
We had a trip up to the mountains in August that we LOVED! Not only did we see friends, we got some incredible views and relaxation.
- Do Your Hobbies Make You Rich?-> What we do in our ‘free time' can have a big bearing on our finances. Do believe me? Ask Mr Money Mustache.
- Cruising on a Bicycle for Health and Wealth – Got a bike to get around the neighborhood. I love it, but my baby hates having to wear the helmet 🙁
September was another fun month as we went over to the Financial Blogger Conference and got to check out Denver for a about week. Met some great bloggers in person and just learned a ton of stuff from others, including Liz Weston and Donna Freedman.
- Getting Through Your Money To Do List Without Killing Each Other – LOL, yeah it's possible to handle your finances together and not kill each other.
- Want to Give a Great Gift? Think Better(ment)-> When I heard about Betterment's new offer, I was really excited. For couples creating a wedding registry, please consider adding this to your list.
We got a chance to relax. We had a very low key month pretty much.
- Refinancing Your Mortgage Can Still Be a Great Option-> If you're deciding about going for a refinance or not, run the numbers because you can save quite a bit.
Last month we went to visit family and our little one somehow became the ultimate stair climber.
- Do You Have Job Loss Emergency Plan?-> No one wants this to happen to them, but a little preparation is can go a long way making this an easier transition should this come up.
- Retire Sooner by Growing the Gap-> It's possible to get your finances squared away by tacking both sides of the personal finance mantra “spending less that your earn”.
We ended this year with a family trip to Florida to celebrate our anniversary.
- Mortgage Payoff Progress for 2012 -> Happy to share our numbers with the mortgage and our new debt goal. Next year we're looking at knocking down our student loan.
- Should You Fly or Drive for Your Next Vacation? -> Whenever you go on vacation, looking at the costs is a part of the trip. We share how we decide whether to fly or drive to our destinations.
Thoughts on Favorites in 2012
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 2012 and why? Any topics you'd like to see tackled here in 2013?
Photo Credit: party and Dave Dugdale