Let’s Talk About Money, Baby!

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I get all excited over a solid life insurance policy and a paid-off mortgage! I’m a money nerd that way.

 

I’ve been the woman to walk into a store and buy a room full of furniture with cash. I’ve also been the money-conscious mama at the grocery checkout, silently debating whether the bag of grapes is worth going over budget for. I’ve had more than enough, and at times I’ve had just enough to get by. I’ve always been frugal-minded but living through COVID, shortages created by supply chain issues, and an ever-changing economy have had an impact on how I handle finances.

 

Point blank: Ladies, we don’t talk about money as much as we should.

 

I’ve walked away from good money for the sake of family and sanity. I have penny-pinched my way through many “rainy days.” I’ve helped keep my family afloat when layoffs and unemployment have dropped us from a one-income family to none. I have been so humbled. I’ve also learned a lot about the bare necessities.

 

I look at money differently now, and I offer advice to anyone who will listen. I’ve learned the hard way that money can be fickle. I also know that preparation for the hard times starts when things are going well. Having reserves never hurt anyone, and some things are worth the wait. Some things just aren’t worth the fuss!

 

a close up of a $100 bill

 

 

As the Chief Operating Officer of my family, there are a few things I live by to keep our finances in check and plan for the unexpected future:

 

Can’t Afford it? Don’t buy it!

Common sense, right? Well, credit makes it so easy to over-extend. In our home, we use credit cards to build credit and pay them off each month. Rule of thumb: Only charge what you can actually afford to pay out of pocket for and then pay the balance off quickly. It’ll help build your credit while keeping you from accumulating debt.

 

Save!

Putting aside even $50-$100 a month can have huge benefits if done consistently. Interest builds, and before you know it, you’ll have a little nest egg for unexpected life events, home repairs, car repairs, family travel, or whatever else comes your way.

 

Sell!

I can make several hundred dollars a month selling items online through places like Facebook Marketplace and eBay. It’s an easy side hustle that keeps my house from becoming a hoarders’ paradise. Everything gets sold from baby items, children’s clothing, furniture, household goods, books, small appliances, electronics, etc. That money is placed into a savings account.

 

Find Out What You Can Afford, Then Buy Less!

We buy pre-owned cars whenever possible and when approved for loans, we spend less than the loan approval amount. The average person buys what their income allows instead of living below their means. Living below what we can afford gives us breathing room for the unexpected.

 

Refinance!

Home loans and auto loans are always good to refinance as soon as you can for lower monthly payments. After we’ve had a car for about six months, we refinance with a local credit union. It helps us pay the loans off faster, and the credit union gives us better interest rates.

 

Get Life Insurance While You Can

I thought I would have plenty of time to invest in life insurance, but I got sick in my late twenties, and my diagnosis makes it very difficult to obtain a policy. Don’t procrastinate! Many agencies allow you to pay for the insurance on auto-debit so you can set it and forget it.

 

Talk About It

Communicating openly and honestly with my spouse about money has been a game-changer. It wasn’t always that way, but once we got into the habit of talking about EVERYTHING financial, we started to see big changes in a positive way. We don’t keep debt from one another. We discuss all big purchases and have set financial goals together based on what is important to us for the future of our family.

Last but not least …

 

Get Help

There are finance, tax, and investment professionals that can help you along the way. Never be too embarrassed to ask the tough questions!

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