Getting Smart with: Finances

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When I was in algebra in high school I asked my math teacher (who is now related to me!) when I was ever going to use this? He went on to explain all the ways I could use math in adulthood. I am pretty sure I ignored him, said it was stupid and that I was never going to use it again. I hated math. I pretty much hated school. Sorry Ryan. It wasn’t you, it was me!

Well…

He proved me wrong, imagine that! I grew up to work in a bank for 7 years and then at a law office, where my favorite thing to do is work on financial statements. I guess I should have listened. Hmmm, if there was only a way to get 16 year olds to listen to you.

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My husband and I have always had an open dialogue when it comes to money. It hasn’t always been easy conversations but we have always had them. Lucky for us, we are usually on the same page when it comes to spending and saving money. Unless of course we are talking new running shoes! I always vote YES, buy them! He sometimes disagrees.

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When we first married we discovered Dave Ramsey through a bible study at church. We have been operating under the envelope system ever since. I wouldn’t say we are 100% committed to the Dave Ramsey way, but we do a pretty good job. It helps us from overspending and it helps us with our monthly budget. Then just last summer my husband discovered the FI (financial independence) movement.

In fact, he also started a blog over at teachfi.com. He has put a lot of time, work and effort in to the blog and I cannot wait to see where he and Jack take it!  What FI did for us was realize how to spend less money and save more. It seems like a really easy concept but it is harder said than done some days.  Essentially it doesn’t matter how much money you make as long as what you are spending is less. We put all of our discipline in to this concept this past year and paid off almost $50,000 in student loans. It meant we didn’t go out to eat as much, it meant we cut practically every single extra expense we could think of. But we did it. We paid something off that would have been projected to take us 20 years.

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We are on our way to paying off one small car loan that we were not expecting due to losing both of our cars in a flood this year. Other than that we will have no debt except our mortgage. We will fully fund our IRA’s and 403b in the years to come. Our goal, to “retire” by the time I am 45. To many, that is shocking. To others it seems impossible, but it is not. We are living proof that it is possible. It also means redefining what “retire” means. To us it means that we no longer will be forced to work because we have to pay bills. It will mean we will have the option to work if we want to. It means we will have the flexibility to travel, to visit family, to do whatever we feel like doing because we will no longer be controlled by the notion of having to work to make our ends meet. Oh, goodness, how I cannot wait for this to be our reality!

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2 Comments on “Getting Smart with: Finances

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