This quarter's spending and net worth update is brought to you by my two favorite financial tools: HoneyFi and Tiller. No, they didn't sponsor this post. Rather, they've sponsored a monumental transition in money management. Rob is really starting to get involved in the day to day management of our money.
In the past, I was the money manager. When we spent too much one month, I was the one who caught it and told Rob we needed to reign it (I was also usually the culprit). I was the one who waded through individual transactions to prepare our taxes (to be prepared by someone else, but initially prepared by me). And I was held responsible for remembering all the major upcoming purchases, even though I have the worst memory ever.
With Tiller and HoneyFi, Rob has the tools he needs to succeed. First, I want to tell you about HoneyFi. It's basically a couple's money tracking system. You can use it a lot of ways, but I mainly use it to ask Rob to categorize a transaction for me. Meanwhile, Rob uses HoneyFi pretty frequently. He checks our account balances, looks over the spending that I do day in and day out (groceries cost how much?), and he sends me GIFs (and claims we pay too much in taxes). Rob isn't a huge nerd, but he likes to get a ballpark figure of where our spending is for the month. HoneyFi gives him that.
Much love to HoneyFi!
Tiller is a far nerdier technology. It synchronizes your bank and investment accounts with Google Sheets. I LOVE Tiller. I get all the joys of a spreadsheet with none of the headaches of actually having to keep it up to date. Spreadsheets have a special place in my heart.
They also make it really easy to create graphs, which is how Tiller helps Rob. Every once in a while, I send him pictures of our spending, and he gets to think about them. And sometimes he says things like, I expect we'll spend less on home improvement next quarter. Then I remind him that we set aside money to reside the house, and he says, oh, I guess I shouldn't expect that then.
This really gets good conversations going.
Much love to Tiller.
Okay, now that I've bored you with conversations about my favorite financial technologies, onto the exciting stuff. Numbers!
One year ago today, my Grandpa George died. He was awesome, and one of my heroes. I know he's with Jesus now, and I know I'll get to see him again one day, but today seems like a great day to reflect on all the ways he influenced me, and continues to influence me.
I'll focus mostly on the financial lessons he taught me, but he was much more than a financial mentor to me. He was one of my heroes. I admired his faith, the way he cared for my grandma when she got sick, the way he took risks, built the community around him, and saw the best in everyone. I hope someday I can be like Grandpa George.
Okay, without further ado, the financial lessons Grandpa George taught me.
I'm what you would call an eager, but skeptical stock market investor. After a brief foray into individual stock investing seven years ago, I decided that researching companies was boring, and that I had better things to do with my time.
Through a series of comical attempts to try and understand the markets, I determined that a well diversified portfolio of broad-based, low cost funds (of the indexed variety) made the most sense for me.
I stuck with that philosophy whole-heartedly for about six weeks until I saw something shocking on Twitter. USA today recommended index fund investing.
Now, I don't know how to say this without sounding like a complete and utter snob, so I'll just go ahead and say it. Following the advice offered in a tweet by USA today seems like a dumb idea. Even if I started following the advice before it was offered by USA today, and even if I could site several academic articles (which I actually read) that reach a similar conclusion.
So, I had to decide. Would I follow USA today's advice, or would I keep looking? I decided to stick with the status quo, but keep looking to see if I found something better.
I just spent $175 at the grocery store. Okay, that's not entirely accurate. I spent $141.77 at Aldi and $34.65 at Walmart.
So in truth, I spent more than $175, but I bought groceries.
I didn't stock up on much of anything, and my average grocery bill is around $90 per week. So how on God's green earth did I spend so much money on food?
The answer: I made all the grocery shopping mistakes.
I'll dissect each one, with wit and self deprecating humor. Enjoy!
I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, and a personal finance nerd who is devoted to spreadsheeting my way through life.