Last night, I finally got my booty off the couch and went on a walk/jog with my fiance around our apartment complex. Luckily it’s large and there’s a trail weaving all through it. We used our time together to talk and and work on our relationship.
[Sidenote: we also ran into a young cat that started following us, but my fiance is allergic and made me walk away from it. 😦 Since I don’t have a photo of it, I drew one for you instead!]
We talked about our future and how we would deal with children (don’t worry family – it’s not happening for a while) and then our conversation turned to finances. We don’t have salaried jobs, but we make enough money to pay the bills and have some left over now (most of the time). We’re better off now that he’s got another job and the pressure’s off me to make most of the money.
After our talk, I ran into an article from USNews about ’50 Smart Money Moves.” I enjoy reading personal finance blogs/websites, especially from others in my age group. Probably because I never had a great example of using money wisely growing up and I want to be able to teach my future children good money habits. I’ll be talking about five of the “smart money moves” after the jump, and click on the link to check it out for yourself, as well as some other blogs that I check on a nearly-daily basis.
Decide on financial goals./Set joint money goals.
My financial goals for now and for my family in the future are:
- Have enough money in an emergency savings account to cover at least 3 months’ bills. – It’s not fun scrounging for money when someone loses their job. 10% of every paycheck goes directly into my savings account, so it’s like I never really had it. 😉
- Save enough money to cover all our wedding expenses ourselves (or at least most of it) – we’re keeping our budget very small compared to today’s average $20K+ wedding. We already have enough student loan debt and don’t need any more.
- Speaking of those loans, I want to pay off my student loans within the next 5 years. I don’t want to be tied down to so much debt. I want my money to actually be mine.
- We would like to eventually own our own home – after we get settled into more stable jobs, so we’d need to start saving for that as well.
- Finally, for now, I’d like for us to save some to travel. I was born and raised in Dallas and have been out of Texas TWICE! Both times I only went about an hour into Oklahoma. -____- I want to see the world, or at the very least the United States and my parents’ homes in Honduras.
Track your own spending.
I use mint.com to track my expenses. I don’t use it as much as I should, but it definitely helps me realize just how much we spend on fast food. Seriously, it’s insane! (I can’t help how good Whataburger is, haha.) It’s just the reality check I need to stop spending, for a while anyway.
I also use creditkarma.com to keep track of my credit score FOR FREE! It helps me know where I stand at all times. You can check it as often as you like without any negative points on your report, and like I said before it’s completely free.
Both of these sites have blogs you can check out and use to learn more about using your money wisely.
As a victim of theft during my high school years, I’ve learned the value of having home/renter’s insurance. Although the sentimental items can’t truly be replaced, at least with insurance you’re not having to replace all the other things out of your own pocket.
Health insurance is also important. If you’ve ever needed emergency care, you’d know how fast those bills can pile up. You get charged for every little thing. Again, it’s also nice for your peace of mind.
Find cheaper hobbies.
Now that I’m out of school, I’m planning on using my time to bake and be artsy. I’ve always loved baking and when you can make your own fancy cake pops, the money saved and earned (if you sell them to friends *hint, hint*) is well worth the time and effort put into them. Not to mention all the deliciousness!
I also enjoy coloring even though I’m an “adult” and reading. The fiance and I recently got library cards and have been going to the library every few weeks. Why pay for books, when most of the time they’re only read once and then gather dust.
Exercising is also one that I plan on starting. Last night was day 1! Not only will it help me lose weight (here’s to hoping), but it should also help me save money in the long-term. A healthier me means less bills from my doctor!
We’re lucky we have friends who are pretty mature for their ages and are good influences. Not only are they supportive in general, but they’re also frugal and make smart money decisions. It helps us spend less money when all our friends are ok with simply spending time together around board games and chips and salsa, rather than going out and partying every weekend.
What are some of the ways you spend your time and money?
(Disclaimer: I’m not paid in any way by Mint.com or CreditKarma.com. I am simply sharing what works for me and because they’re two FREE resources!)
- 50 Smart Money Moves (usnews.com)
- Financial Tips for Young Adults (savealittlemoney.com)
- 23 Quick Tips Every Saver Needs to Know (studenomics.com)
- Love, relationships and financial harmony (getrichslowly.com)
- Failing to Plan Together Is The Same as Planning to Fail Together (savvyfinanciallatina.com)