Money has always been a very touchy topic for me. I’ve had tremendous dreams and goals for my future and I used to be great at saving and pinching pennies. It wasn’t until I started making more money, that I started to be less careful and therefore spend more money. Over the years, I have sought financial advice from many areas: I’ve taken many courses, I’ve asked a lot of questions, I took accounting in college, but sometimes we need a little more help.
As a young married couple, my husband and I struggle bringing our finances together and creating a budget that works for both of us. We struggle knowing where to invest and how to save for our child’s future. We struggle finding extra money for vacations and the list could go on. The other day, I was talking to my mom about this, how we are struggling and how it feels too hard to manage on my own. She said why don’t you get help and see if you could find an advisor.
My first thought was, I have looked online for hours and asked around for a financial advisor that we could meet with and work with to get back on track. I couldn’t find a Financial Advisor who was consultative, charge hourly our via some contract who didn’t work for a large corporate firm who also pushes life insurance or some other product. I understand that everyone is out to make money and people have to run their business. However, I realized that there is a gap for young individuals, young married couples who need someone to help but in the same manner as the “life coach” business. Think about it, I started working with my life coach after having a few introductory calls. Once we felt like we were a good match (LOL) and that we felt comfortable and trusted each other, we decided to start looking at a contract that offers 3-6-9-12 month contracts with terms on how often we would meet, how much time is included, expectations and so forth. This is what we need to have from a financial perspective. Maybe there are “financial coaches” out there but I haven’t found any so they are not easy to find.
I am just at the beginning stages of my journey to get back on track. I am in a pain staking amount of debt but I refuse to let this define me and confine me for the next 10 years. I am going to do the research, seek help, figure some of this out and share with you along the way! I would love to hear from you, any advice that has worked for you, any templates, spreadsheets, budgeting tools… keep them coming. And as always, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Managing Money on a day to day basis seems easy. It seems like a minuscule, mondane task – that is, until you are using your credit card for groceries, and you’re living paycheck to paycheck. Then reality slaps you in the face and you are no longer managing, you are scraping by with pennies and you are drowning in debt and you don’t know how you got there! If this is you, I feel ya. It can happen FAST.
We must start by being AWARE and conscience of every decision you make and planning ahead. There are many ways to manage your money but it really comes down to personal preference. I like seeing details and analyzing so I currently I like to use Excel spreadsheet and recently have started using MINT. Within, Mint, I can connect all of my bank accounts, credit card accounts, and see my money all in one portal. This has been easier than manually adding everything into Excel. I also just realized that they offer tagging. I was doing this manually is Excel but now I create my own tags within Mint. I haven’t tried exporting the data out yet so that will be my next step.
Paying off Debt:
First, we need to understand our current situation. Once I have a good grasp of my current income, bills, total debt, and where that leaves me at the end of the month, I have to tackle my debt first. My debt is suffocating me, it’s causing way too much stress and anxiety and anger too. I get angry that I let myself get this far, I get angry that my husband was wasting money, I get angry about all the reasons. BUT at the end of the day, that will not solve the problem. I am turning my Faith to God and asking for his guidance, help, patience, and peace. Currently, we haven’t yet figured out the golden plan to pay off my debt fast but it is my number one goal right now. A lot of people have recommended the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class. I am also looking into zero balance transfers, debt consolidation offers, personal loan options and more. I am looking at my options however, none of these will be a long term solution unless our Habits change.
Our habits of spending money, eating out, and just splurging when we want too, can no longer be the case. My husband and I both need to come up with a plan and a budget and stick to it.
Once we get a handle on our debt and have a clear path to being debt free, my next goal is Saving. I have heard for years that we should have an emergency fund. An emergency fund is a stash of money set aside to cover the financial surprises life throws your way. I’ve heard that having at least 3 month’s worth of all bills, living expenses, and extra set aside in case of a job loss, or a medical emergency. What will happen if I lose my job? What would happen if I get hurt and can’t work? In our situation, we would lose everything. Having this emergency fund, provides some level of peace.
Other forms of savings that are important to me are: College Fund for Leighton, 401k Retirement Fund, Vacation Savings Fund, Savings for house improvements, etc.
Last but not least, I am very interested in Investing yet I have no clue where to start. Today, we have the volatile US Stock Market and now cryptocurrency. This is another area where having a financial advisor would be helpful. Getting Financial Advice around which stocks to purchase, when to purchase and when to pull out would be life changing. Looking online stock advice is a whirlwind – there are so many websites and companies you can use for trading, like etrader, Merril Lynch, Charles Schwab, Fidelity, etc. They all charge fee’s, and there is very little guidance and help from what I’ve seen so far. Again, we are being charged yet another fee on top of all the other areas of mentioned above.
I did find a YouTube Video Below and I’m looking into this online website for more information: Stocks to Trade.
- How To Get Started Trading Stocks For Beginners (2018)
- Penny Stocks for Beginners | Powerful Tips to Getting Started in the Stock Market
In Conclusion, I will be doing a lot of research in the coming months and I want to share it with you! Moving forward this will be an area of focus within my lifestyle blog so that you can keep coming back for more more financial advice in the future and I’d love to create an online community for others to seek advice and ask questions…
Thanks for reading along and would love to hear from you!