Financial Independence is Simple and Necessary

For 2018 I am spending each month working on improving a different area of my life and discussing it with all of you. January was life planning month and we’ve spent February exploring the basics of personal finance.

In the personal finance space, we tend to treat the concept of financial independence as a more advanced money topic. We view it as something to move on to after you’ve mastered the basics.

I don’t think this is the right approach.

I think we need to teach financial independence as an introductory personal finance topic. It should be a basic of learning about money.

I say this for two reasons.

Financial independence is simple.

Financial independence is necessary. Continue reading “Financial Independence is Simple and Necessary”

Big Money Changes

While making plans for our finances, we need to keep big changes in mind.

Everyone encounters big changes (and big expenses) at different points in their lives.

Sometimes these big changes are planned! I just had a baby. That was very intentional. It will also make my life much more expensive.

Sometimes these big expenses are unplanned. We can’t predict when we will get sick or injured and face large hospital bills. We can’t predict when we’ll get into a car accident and need to buy a replacement. We can’t predict when our home will flood.

Expensive things happen all the time. Whether planned or unplanned, we need to be prepared. Continue reading “Big Money Changes”

Money for Couples

The topic of how couples should handle money is full of land mines.

There are a lot of people with a lot of very strong feelings about the “right” way to handle money as a couple.

Some people say that if you aren’t entirely joined in every aspect, then you aren’t in a true marriage.

Some say that if you aren’t entirely separated in your finances then you aren’t truly protecting yourself from the realities of the modern world.

I don’t have a single method that I want to prescribe to you today. But my wife and I have gone through a bunch of different ways of handling money as a couple, and I’ve got some lessons that may be useful. Continue reading “Money for Couples”

Making a Plan for Your Money

Now that we know where we are with our money and where we want to go, it’s time to make a plan to get there.

That plan is your budget.

Wait! Don’t leave!

It’s really not that bad! While budgets get a bad rap, they don’t have to be something that you dread dealing with. There are all sorts of different ways to budget.

We’ll find something that works for you! Continue reading “Making a Plan for Your Money”

Where Do You Want to Go With Your Money?

Welcome back to Personal Finance Basics month at Optimize Your Life!

We’re spending February learning how best to get our financial house in order and take control of our money situation.

In January, which was life planning month, we learned the basic approach to improving any area of our lives.

First, we figure out where we are. Then we figure out where we want to go. Finally, we plan a path to get from A to B.

Last week we learned how to figure out where we with regards to our personal finances.

Next comes the fun part.

Where do you want to go? Continue reading “Where Do You Want to Go With Your Money?”

Getting Your Financial House in Order

Welcome to February!

I know I’m a little late here, but events have delayed me a bit.

Each month in 2018 we’re going to be diving into a different area of life. I’ll be exploring topics that will help improve my life while explaining everything I learn along the way.

February will be when I dive back into personal finance basics.

I spent a lot of time on personal finance basics a few years ago. However, once I got everything under control I put it all on autopilot.

And that’s great! Autopilot means that I don’t need to spend any time thinking about finances. I can use my time for more important things and know that my money is stable and growing. Hooray!

The problem is that when there is a big shock to the system, everything gets thrown out of whack. And boy is having a baby a shock to the system!

There are all sorts of new expenses involved. We’re now paying for a bigger apartment, day care that costs as much as college tuition, more clothing, bottles, toys, so so much more laundry, and plenty else.

Plus, there are other savings goals and new priorities that arise with the addition of a new family member. There are a lot of new things to consider.

On top of that, my wife and I have changed up our approach to handling money as a couple (which will be explored in a future article).

In short, we need to start a new plan.

And starting any new plan requires understanding the full picture. Continue reading “Getting Your Financial House in Order”

My Better Life

Today we have the final article for life planning month. This will be a look into what I am implementing right now.

Maybe you’ve noticed, however, that it is no longer January. You also may have noticed that there were no posts last week.

That’s because I had a baby. Well, my wife did most of the hard work, but I was there.

I don’t know if anyone’s ever noticed this before, but taking care of a newborn is exhausting. The little guy needs to eat every two hours. I’m not a great sleeper, but I do tend to prefer sleeping for more than two hours at a time.

Planning a better lifeSo here we are. We’ll finish off January today and then start February (personal finance basics) on Thursday. Assuming I can stay awake long enough to write another article by then.

For now, here’s how I am implementing the lessons we’ve learned this month. Continue reading “My Better Life”