6 Ways to Fit a Tutor into your Family Budget

This is a guest post from Katie Bugbee, the senior managing editor and resident parenting expert of Care.com. A busy working mother of two, she’s an expert on many parenting dilemmas, from appeasing picky eaters to finding the perfect babysitter.

 

There are many reasons your child could use a tutor: slumping grades, concept struggles, big test-prep, or fighting too much when you try to teach her. These are all excellent reasons to outsource extra help. But tutoring can be expensive, and if you haven’t budgeted the average $40 a session (about $15 for a college student, $20-50 for online, $75 for a certified teacher), into your family budget, we have some suggestions for working around the fees.

6 Ways to FIt a Tutor into your Family Budget | Tips from MoneywiseMoms and Care.com on how to manage when your child needs help

1) Use After-School Help

Teachers are often required to stay at the school after the day has ended to grade assignments or be available for students who need extra help. If this is the case, use this time to help your child catch up. This is a free way for your child to get one-on-one help and form a better relationship with her teacher. If possible, ask if you can join a few study sessions as well. If you learn the content with your child, you’ll become a valuable resource at home.

2) Find a Tutoring Center

Kaplan, Sylvan, and Kumon are some of the largest national companies that offer monthly tutoring packages. Buy a bundle that breaks down to under $30 a session. This option might be your best choice if you see that your child has struggled consistently with a specific subject like reading or math. Just check in on the curriculum to make sure it can be customized to your child’s needs, as much as possible.

3) Find a Combination Caregiver

Many babysitters and nannies would be more than happy to help your child with homework, as long as you emphasize this in the job description. You may have to pay the caregiver more, depending on the level of commitment necessary for the job, but it will still be cheaper than hiring a certified tutor. If your child is having organizational issues or trouble understanding the assignments, this could be the perfect option.

4) Choose Every Other Week

Maybe your child doesn’t need help every single day after school. They may only need help before a test to review their notes and fill in the gaps. If this is the case, you should schedule a tutor on a bi-weekly basis or just call to schedule a session when you need them. Be sure to communicate with your child’s teacher(s) to get all the upcoming tests and projects on your calendar in advance.

5) Name Your Rate

Use a tutor job posting site like Care.com to name your rate. That way, tutors with only the qualifications you specified who are comfortable with the price will apply. Be sure to look at resumes, references and background checks. Look for experience as well as a personality fit. High school students who charge $12/hr and are enthusiastic and relatable might be a better match than the $75/hr PhD certified instructor with 30+ years of experience. Try to gauge your child’s learning style and match them with a tutor who fits.

6) Form a Study Group

For many kids, small-group instruction can be a very beneficial form of learning. They can feel comfortable asking questions and have more of a hands-on learning experience with friends. Gather your child’s group together for a play date and invite the parents to stay and chat. You might be surprised at how many parents are concerned with their child’s success in school and would be open to forming a study group together. Although tutors will charge more for a group, it still may be cheaper to split the total between a few families.

What suggestions do you have for finding the perfect tutoring relationship?

Linked up to Thrifty Thursday at Living Well, Spending Less

2014 Financial Goals (from Debt to Savings)

Every year, I have shared my family’s Financial Goals, then updated them each quarter, both to hold us accountable and also to inspire you to write out and achieve your own goals.

2014 Financial Goals  | MoneywiseMoms

With our big accomplishment last year (paying off all debt except our mortgage), we’re focusing our 2014 Financial Goals on savings–both emergency and retirement. Since we were socking away so much towards debt all last year (over 40% of my husband’s take-home pay), we are optimistic that we can achieve all of this year’s goals. Just keep that in mind the next time Murphy hits my house! Because you know it’s coming…

1) Create an emergency fund with 6 months’ worth of expenses by March 31st.

Between the scrambling over no-cash-flow we did after our debt payoff and the government shutdown last October, this emergency fund is first-and-foremost in our minds. It’s very hard to set aside this much money and not be working towards our other goals yet, but we know how important it is. Since there’s a third paycheck in January, it can go directly to this goal, and our only known obstacle right now is a huge tax bill (we didn’t change our withholdings and with the debt paid off, we don’t have as many deductions–oops).

2) Max out husband’s retirement contribution at work (ASAP) and open an IRA for me (by December).

While we know that putting money into husband’s retirement account at work keeps us from accomplishing goal #1 as quickly, we have been losing out on the matching funds that it offers, so we went ahead and signed him up to start with the first paycheck of the year. Since opening an IRA for me is less time-dependent (we can deposit the maximum of $5,500/yr anytime between now and March of 2015 for it to count for 2014), we’ll start that later in the year and just work our way up to that maximum.

We did make the decision NOT to put any money into a 2013 IRA for me (which can be done up until Tax Day this April), because we just don’t have the cash for it.

3) Work with a lawyer to get our will, trust and guardianship done by April 1st.

We did our will and guardianship right after we had the twins, but now we’d like to set up a trust for our children  per the suggestions in this post about writing a will. Now that our kids are older, we have a lot of thoughts about how we’d prefer they use our money, should we not be here during that time of their lives. If you haven’t done a will yet, I strongly recommend you make it a 2014 goal!
4) Stick to our monthly budget to stay debt-free while covering expenses like taxes, a new couch, and trips.

Now that we’re debt-free, it has been challenging getting used to it. We’ve both been fighting the urge to splurge, instead sitting down frequently to talk about our monthly expenses and how we’re using the money that went towards debt this year in a different way. Unfortunately, we’re still not “seeing” it; the money now goes to savings instead of to our wallets, so it’s still no fun. However, having those large debts gone makes a difference to us psychologically, and they let us move ahead with our family goals.

Since I budget our months on two bi-weekly paychecks, the two “extra” checks each year are truly extra–January’s will go towards the emergency fund while August’s will be for a family vacation (barring major house repairs or other disaster, obviously). My husband and I are attending a wedding in California in September, too, so we have some unusual things happening this year to plan for financially. And we never did get a new couch last year; our 12-year-old hunk-o-junk is still bursting springs and smells pretty funky. Not sure what month that will happen, but it does need to happen. It’s goals like the couch that make skipping meals out and entertainment in the short term worth it in the long run.

What are your 2014 Financial Goals?

Original image by Carly Jane1 at Flickr

Financial Goals Update: Quarter 4

Financial Goals Update: Quarter 4 Review | MoneywiseMoms

Here we are at the end of 2013, with probably the best financial goals update in all the years I’ve been doing this! I actually went back and looked at our goals since 2009, and I want you to know that the whole becoming debt-free thing really started back then. It started with the very first time we sat down together to set big-picture goals instead of just looking at our month-to-month spending. Even though we didn’t start paying our debt down until late 2011, it wouldn’t have happened without those years of working together, struggling together, and reviewing our progress. You can do it, too!

Here is the final Financial Goals update for 2013:

  1. Pay off student loan debt by the end of July. DONE!
    This was huge, and it took a long time and a lot of hard work, but it was SO worth it. We paid off the remaining $24,000 by mid-August.
  2. Fully fund our emergency fund with 3 months of salary by the end of December. ONGOING
    The money we were aggresively paying towards debt is now going towards our emergency fund. We won’t fully-fund it by the end of the year, but I’m counting the January 3rd paycheck towards it since January is a 3-check month (remember that I plan our monthly budget around two checks, not monthly salary).
  3. Learn about our retirement options by the end of March. DONE!
    As soon as that emergency fund is done, we’ll start maximizing our retirement savings. Since we’re just started at 40 (sigh), we have a lot of catch-up to do. This will be a big topic for our 2014 goals.
  4. Set and utilize budgets for four quarterly expenses: new tires, a new couch, a beach trip, and Christmas (we are traveling this year). HALF-WAY!
    I was foolish to think we could make these extra expenditures while every extra cent was going towards debt. We did buy 6 tires this year and take the beach trip (very frugally) as our celebration of becoming debt-free. We didn’t end up traveling for the holiday, and we’re still sitting on our 13-year-old, falling-apart couch.
  5. Meet more often to go over monthly expenditures and quarterly/yearly progress. DONE!
    We did a lot better this year to chat briefly each week about little expenses, plan ahead for monthly expenses, and celebrate our big progress. Last night, we sat down and did our 2014 Financial Goals, so you’ll see those soon.

What’s your financial goals update for 2013?

 Original image from Calsidyrose at Flickr

Do You Need a Family Lawyer? 11 Reasons You Just Might

11 Reasons you might need a Family Lawyer | MoneywiseMoms

Usually the term “family lawyer” only comes up in family court, when a couple is divorcing or when custody is at stake. But yes, other people use lawyers, too.

Why would I need a family lawyer?

If you have kids and a house, a lot of issues may occur where you find you need a lawyer. And while most of us think of lawyers as expensive, in many situations, having a lawyer’s help can save you money. Here are 11 reasons you might need a family lawyer:

Educational Rights

Is your child being refused IEP accommodations in your school district? Have you exhausted your own knowledge of how to advocate for them? It may be time to get a lawyer involved. Especially if you have a child with a disability, it’s important to stay on top of the legal rights of your child.

Adopting a Child

A family lawyer can work with you on your adoption journey, especially as State and Federal laws change over the timeline that you’re waiting.

Legal Protections for your Child

Planning to go on vacation and leave your child with a friend/relative while you are away? Proper legal documents are needed to ensure a relative can obtain medical treatment for a child while you’re on vacation.   Is your 18-year-old heading off to college? Parents of an adult child (like a college student) need legal documents to retain the ability to make medical  and legal decisions for an adult child.

Hiring a Nanny

If you’re not going through a nanny agency, you must create your own contract with a nanny under your employ. Use a family lawyer to help you set up a legal contract and counsel you on your tax obligations.

Home Business

If you have a home business, consider using a lawyer to incorporate or form an LLC (limited liability company) to protect your personal assets, such as your home. Did you know that most counties require a home based business to apply for a zoning permit to conduct a business from your home – even if it is just you in front of a computer? Lawyers can help you navigate these issues.

Protecting Your Blog

Many bloggers monetize their blogs to help supplement the family income.  Have you trademarked and copyrighted your blog to prevent a competitor from stealing your content or your brand? A lawyer can help ensure that your blog material is protected before you have a problem, rather than waiting until a problem arises.

Employment Issues

Have you or your spouse been offered a new job? Are you signing a job contract? Your employer has a team of lawyers drafting your job contract.  Over the course of a career, hundreds of thousands of dollars are at stake, so it’s important to have a lawyer review your employment contract and possibly help negotiate salary, benefits, and rights.

Renting a Home

Whether you are the landlord or the tenant, it is critical to have an attorney review your lease before you sign it to protect your rights. Too many tenants get stuck with slumlords because they agreed to unfortunate terms in a lease. Many landlords experience deadbeat tenants because they downloaded a template lease from the Internet that does not protect the landlord’s rights. A family lawyer should be consulted before signing a lease.

Contractor Dispute

If you end up in a dispute with a contractor over home construction or repairs, it may be worth it to hire a family lawyer to represent you in getting your money back or to keep you from being sued.

Neighbor/HOA Dispute

It’s awful when it happens, but it does happen. Living here in Northern Virginia, the HOAs (homeowners’ associations) in neighborhoods can be quite strict and fight over the smallest issues. Having a family lawyer, even to just write a letter, may take care of the problem before it gets into fines or goes to court.

Writing a Will

As I’ve shared before, you can protect your kids and your money by writing a will (and perhaps a trust). A family lawyer walks you through the legal process of setting up these documents and can also help with a medical directive, where you make decisions about your health now or give that power to someone else you trust.  As your own parents age, have you talked to them about their will? Adult children need to help parents ensure their wishes are reflected in a proper will and medical directive (not downloaded from the Internet).

 

So how do you find a family lawyer? Ask around in your social groups for a referral. If you live here in the MD/DC/VA area, you can contact The Geller Law Group for a free initial phone consult (send an email to Office@thegellerlawgroup.com). And keep an eye out for a giveaway from The Geller Law Group this January, here on MoneywiseMoms.

Our goal with the Family Lawyer Series is to make law services less scary/more accessible to moms.

What questions do you have about working with a lawyer?

Writing a Will | Rebecca Geller | The Geller Law GroupThe Family Lawyer Series is underwritten by The Geller Law Group, which is licensed to practice in Maryland, DC, Virginia and North Carolina. Learn more at Geller Law Group. In exchange for the series, I am receiving discounted services to complete my own estate planning documents.

Holiday Shopping with Chase Ultimate Rewards

Bogged down with your holiday budget? I’m sticking to mine, because we have big travel plans in 2014, so we’ll need every extra penny. We’re excited about attending a wedding in California, but since it wasn’t part of next year’s budget plan…we’re figuring out how to pay for it. We signed up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card since it offers additional rewards points when using the card to pay for travel.

If travel isn’t your thing, Chase Ultimate Rewards can also be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, and even cash back (then you can spend it on whatever you want!). Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire, and Ink from Chase come with Ultimate Rewards. Since we’ve never done a frequent flier program before, I’m glad that I can purchase travel through Ultimate Rewards using multiple airlines. If you are a member elsewhere and a Chase Sapphire cardholder, you can transfer other airline points to the program.

Chase Ultimate Rewards

While I was browsing Ultimate Rewards, I saw something else I loved–bonuses for doing your holiday shopping online (extra reward points or cash back!) plus discounts that let you stretch your dollars on items like gift cards (for Freedom cardholders).  Think about buying some gift cards at Ultimate Rewards to use on regular shopping, too, just for the discount! Chase Freedom offers a great cash bonus after you spend $500  in the first three months, and business owners can get Ink from Chase, which includes tools for tracking expenses.

Chase Ultimate Rewards | MoneywiseMoms

 

$100 Gift Card Giveaway

Want to save even more on your holiday shopping? Share your top tip for holiday shopping on a budget in the comments below, and you could win a $100 Gift Card. If you’re reading this in an email, just click over to the blog so you can comment. One entry per person, please. This giveaway ends December 15, 2013, at midnight EST. Good luck!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Chase Ultimate Rewards. I received compensation for this post, however all opinions stated are my own.

5 Myths about Writing a Will

It’s tough to think about writing a will. No one wants to consider their own death, let alone the awful idea that you and your spouse would pass away at the same time. But it does happen. I spoke with Rebecca Geller, president of The Geller Law Group, who helped me understand writing a will from a mom’s point-of-view (she’s a mom of two). We talked about some common myths; here’s what I learned:

5 Myths about Writing a Will | MoneywiseMoms

We don’t need a will since we don’t have any money.

I’ve always felt like “we have no money,” but Rebecca pointed out that when you add up life insurance, retirement accounts, and a house, there are assets to consider in the event of your death. This “estate,” your assets, are what you plan for when writing a will. If you pass away without a will, you will have no say over who receives those assets, which leaves your children and the court system the job of figuring it out. A will is also where you name the guardian of your child(ren). Without your explicit instructions, it is up to a judge to determine who raises your children.

 

We already have a will. We did it on the internet.

Unfortunately, many of the wills done using online legal programs like LegalZoom, Nolo and Rocket Lawyer may not entirely meet your needs (according to Consumer Reports, Sept. 2012). In some cases, these wills are challenged in court because of outdated tax laws or lack of state/county specificity (Consumer Reports, July 2011). Using a family lawyer in your home state means that your will is legally up-to-date on any state or federal laws that apply to your situation. Rebecca urges that you have your will done accurately and correctly so that it will not be refused during probate. Probate is the legal process of settling the estate of a deceased person, and it happens whether or not you have a will. It can be very time-consuming, expensive, and annoying for your loved ones.

 

We’re fine. We made a will ten years ago.

Rebecca suggests you update your will every 3-5 years, or any time there is a change in family status: birth, adoption, divorce, or death. Big changes in state tax laws (such as the big changes that happened in Virginia in 2012) are another time to review and possibly revise your will; a lawyer is necessary to ensure that your documents are up to date with your family’s circumstances as well as the law. You may also want to consider creating a trust for your children in addition to your will.

 

Trusts are for rich people.

At least, that’s what I’ve always thought. It turns out there are other reasons to create a trust for your children when writing your will. According to Rebecca, the trust is a critical legal tool when children under 25 are involved to protect your children’s interests and inheritance. So what is a trust? With a trust, you can put conditions on how your money is distributed upon your death–such as designating funds for college education, wedding, down payment on a home, or special needs. That way, you don’t have an 18-year-old buying a flashy sports car instead of spending the money on college. In addition, a trust keeps your affairs private and allows you to avoid probate altogether. Trusts are very common for families with young children and highly recommended by financial advisors.

Creating a will or trust is hard/too time consuming/too confusing.

We all have things on the “to do” list that get pushed to the bottom, but writing a will is really important. You take the time every day to make decisions about your children and your money. Instead of giving that power over to a judge after you pass away, you have the power to do so now. With a typical estate planning session, expect it to take about 45-60 minutes With some lawyers, such as Rebecca, you can even work over the phone to make it easier for your family to get it done. One of her goals is to make the legal system accessible and affordable to everyday families. It is an investment, but in the long run it will save your family (particularly your children) money and time lost through probate.


Are you ready to take action? Let a family lawyer help you get with writing a will so you can protect both your children and your money for the future.

Writing a Will | Rebecca Geller | The Geller Law GroupThe Family Lawyer Series is underwritten by The Geller Law Group, which is licensed to practice in Maryland, DC, Virginia and North Carolina. Learn more at Geller Law Group. In exchange for the series, I am receiving discounted services to complete my own estate planning documents.
To schedule your free initial phone consult to create your family’s legal documents, please contact The Geller Law Group via email at Office@TheGellerLawGroup.com.

Stick to a Budget Without Cash: Use @MasterCard #PrePaid #MC

Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric community.  I have been compensated to share my experience with you by Collective Bias and their client, Mastercard.  My words and opinions are my own.

Stick to a Budget Without Cash | MoneywiseMoms

Have you heard of the cash envelope system? It’s touted by many as the way to stick to a budget, since you can only spend what you have in your hand. But it’s never worked for us. Or I guess I should say me, since I’m the one who does all the shopping:  food, clothing, household, etc. The times I’ve tried to do the envelope system, I can’t make it work. I don’t like carrying all that money, especially since I don’t spend the same amount of money every week (I buy in bulk). What if I lose it or drop it? I’ve lost my coupon organizer many times over the years, which left me in tears, and that wasn’t even “real” money. And what if you’re just not trustworthy? Like yes, you’re an adult, but you can’t trust yourself with cash? That might be me, too. Cash just seems to disappear sometimes. Just saying.

So is there a way to Stick to a Budget Without Cash? Yes!

MasterCard Prepaid | Use a Prepaid MasterCard to Stick to a Budget

Using a Prepaid MasterCard is the answer for people like me who prefer to use plastic but need to stick to a “cash” budget. Here’s an example: our clothing budget (for all five of us) is $200/month, including shoes. It’s really hard to stick to that when there are good sales, or I get emails offering coupon codes and free shipping, or all three kids outgrow their shoes in the same month (!). With a Prepaid Card, I can load $200 to start, and that keeps me on track. I can use the card online (you can’t do that with a cash envelope), and it’s a lot more convenient than carrying an envelope around to stores. This way, I physically can’t spend more than what I have.

A Prepaid MasterCard can be safer than cash. You can register the card, and then if it gets lost or stolen, you can recover the money. It’s also a great option for people trying to repair their credit, since you don’t need a credit check or bank account to get one. Some proponents of the cash envelope system suggest using your debit card rather than cash; the problem with that is you can rack up overdraft charges plus be liable for loss and fraud, moreso than with a credit card or prepaid credit card.

I love the idea of letting my kids, when they’re older, shop on their own budget for clothing. With a teen, you can send them out with one of these Prepaid Cards–there’s no danger of them running it up, but they learn how to shop on a budget.

Types of Prepaid Cards | Use a Prepaid MasterCard to Stick to a Budget

It is easy to get a Prepaid Card for use to stick to a budget without cash. This can work if you’re someone (like me!) who has trouble staying on budget while trying to achieve your financial goals.

Original image from TechnoHippyBiker at Flickr

Avoiding Big Money Mistakes {Let brightpeak financial help}

Disclosure: This blog post was written for The Momiverse, pursuant to their engagement by brightpeak financial. All views expressed are entirely my own, and were not influenced or directed by either the Momiverse or brightpeak financial.

brightpeak financial | Avoiding Big Money Mistakes

My husband and I have been married for over 19 years now, and we’ve been through a lot of ups and downs with money. First jobs, career changes, graduate school times two, caring for an elderly parent, kids (including twins/bedrest)–we’ve had our share. So of course, we’ve made a lot of mistakes. Thankfully, we’ve turned things around, and we recently became debt-free except for our mortgage. We’ve worked so hard the past few years to plan out yearly financial goals and stick to them, and they worked! As we look back, we realized:

Our 3 Big Money Mistakes

  1. We never adjusted our savings/debt payoff when we had increases in income. With each raise or income tax refund, we bought a few more things for our house, ate out more, saw more movies. Before kids, we didn’t cook much at home, and since we both worked long hours, we felt entitled to eat out and “enjoy” ourselves. We never paid more than the minimum on our student loans because the interest rate was so low, even when our income increased significantly. Sigh. Yes, that’s the loan we just paid off in August, 11 years later.
  2. We barely paid into retirement. My husband was 29 before he even had a job that included a retirement account, and we didn’t take advantage of any “matching” funds or pay into any other accounts. Since I’ve been home with my kids (10 years now), I haven’t contributed to any retirement funds at all. So now we’re both 40, and we’re practically starting from scratch. Ugh! Now we’re funding two retirement accounts with the hopes of putting three kids through college.
  3. We didn’t educate ourselves. We had no idea what to do once we actually had money. We spent because we were excited to not be poor. We opened a college fund for our son when he was born, but we didn’t have a plan for emergencies, long-term goals or paying off our debt. We knew we were supposed to “prepare for the future” but weren’t sure how to do that.

So the lesson here is…

We all make mistakes. I spent a lot of our debt-payoff time saying “I wish we’d done this sooner!” but that didn’t get us anywhere. I’ve had to stop focusing on the past and just appreciate where we are now. We’re changing our future and our children’s future, and that is good. Whether you’re in a similar spot or just starting out as a new couple, you can avoid big money mistakes.

So how do you learn what to do with your money?

How do you start out strong, with a focus that lets you live the kind of life you envision?

brightpeak financial is working to reach young families early on–to teach them how to manage their money and protect it–in order to live a purposeful life. brightpeak financial offers education and products to help build stronger families, families who are better prepared to handle uncertain times and enjoy active generosity. Surprises happen to all of us, small ones like car repairs and big ones like sudden job loss or disability. Get connected with brightpeak financial, and learn from their helpful resources, tips and conversations.

For us, one of the best results of becoming debt-free is how it opens us up to give. It opens us up to do lots of things–travel with our children, visit more with family across the country, save for retirement–all without the pressure of paycheck-to-paycheck living. But I am most excited about being able to give more generously than we were before. That makes those early mistakes more easily forgotten!

Willing to share? What is one of your big money mistakes?

 

brightpeak financial | The Momiverse

To learn more about the resources available from brightpeak financial, visit brightpeakfinancial.com or find them on Twitter or Facebook.

Financial Goals Update: Quarter 3

Quarter 3 review
Welcome to the best financial goals update EVER! We have accomplished what we thought we’d never do–we’re now debt-free (except for our mortgage)! Looking back on these yearly goals that we set last December, it was pretty foolish to put #4 on the list, but hey–it’s another lesson learned–and another set of expenses to add to 2014.

I’m still doing my side hustles–babysitting, selling stuff, and mystery shopping–and every bit I earn helps us on these goals and allows for “extras” like a dinner out or a big outing with the family which we’ve been avoiding for so long now!

Here is the official progress we have made on our original 2013 Financial Goals:

  1. Pay off student loan debt by the end of July. DONE!
    It was technically August 16th, but it is DONE!
  2. Fully fund our emergency fund with 3 months of salary by the end of December. HAPPENING NOW
    We’re now using the money we were paying monthly towards debt to aggressively fill our emergency fund. It’s been unnerving over the past three years not having one. We did decide to put a little of this money into #3…
  3. Learn about our retirement options by the end of March. DONE!
    While finally tackling retirement savings will happen in 2014, we did decide to take a little of the debt payoff money each month and max out my husband’s retirement account at work so that we could benefit from the matching funds. That’s four more months of money we’re earning without it having a big impact on #2.
  4. Set and utilize budgets for four quarterly expenses: new tires, a new couch, a beach trip, and Christmas (we are traveling this year). SILLY GINA!
    We did have to buy 6 new tires for two cars this year, and we paid for the beach trip as our celebration for paying off our debt. But I was foolish to think we could buy a new couch. We also decided not to travel for Christmas, so there’s a lot happening in #5 to figure out where we go from here. Right now, we’re still trying to figure out what our monthly budget will look like after #2 is done.
  5. Meet more often to go over monthly expenditures and quarterly/yearly progress. ONGOING
    We haven’t had a lot to talk about for a while; all our money has gone towards debt, and now we know it’s going to the bank and then to retirement. I’m ready to look at 2014 already and see where we’re headed (I’d really like to take a family vacation next year!), but my husband would like to see us (me!) loosen up a bit on the day-to-day and spend more money on entertainment and other categories that we’ve sacrificed for the past three years.

What’s your update? How are your financial goals going?

 

Original image from Calsidyrose at Flickr