Food. I just said food, and you probably feel like I'm making a moral statement. I'm not. Just going to talk a bit about eating healthfully, and the costs associated with it.
Can you keep costs low while eating a healthy diet? My short answer, no. Eating healthfully is quite costly, but you can find ways to spend less money on your food while still eating a nutritious diet.
Here's my quick take on healthy eating and healthy wallets.
The best investment you can make is an investment in yourself. It's taken me nearly three decades and far too many penny-pinching regrets for me to start to believe this statement.
Books, software, website hosting, courses, computers, phones, and certifications cost money. But these expenses also allow you to massively increase your productivity and profitability. Sure, you can make bad choices when you spend money on software, hardware and educational materials, but that's not my overall point. Rather, my point is this: When you invest in yourself, the money you spend will allow you to make your money hundreds or even thousands of times over.
I'm a classic underbuyer. That means that I'm slow to whip out my wallet, even when it's in my best interest to do so. I don't know how to fix myself. But my friend Cary just told me about a brilliant scheme that she's using so her kids don't end up like me.
She calls her scheme a "book and money management allowance" which is an accurate description of the allowance. But isn't life better with a fun name? Instead of explaining her idea, I decided to give it a snazzy name: the independently navigated valuable educational software and texts allowance. INVEST for short.
Here's the nuts and bolts of the INVEST allowance.
This post contains references to one or more advertisers. I may receive compensation from our advertising partners. All opinions in this post are my own and have not been reviewed or changed by advertisers.
One of the most common and least interesting debates in personal finance is whether you should use the debt snowball or the debt avalanche to get out of debt.
Here's a summary of the debate:
Team debt snowball tells you that you should pay off your debts smallest balance to largest balance. The psychological boost that you receive from paying off the small debts will motivate you to stick to the debt payoff plan.
Team debt avalanche says, "You fools." Math indicates that you should payoff the highest interest rate first. That way you'll pay less over time.
Why do we waste so much time on this debate? The reason is that we can see that some plan is better than no plan.
It's much better to focus on debt payoff than to pay a little bit off here, and a little off there.
However, isn't even better to make a tailored plan that will work?
One size fits all debt payoff plans don't work. Instead of assuming that your favorite type of frozen water will work for everyone, let's get a little bit smarter. This is a guide to making your own debt payoff plan that will work for you.
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!
I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, and a personal finance nerd who is devoted to spreadsheeting my way through life.