There are only a few things I haven't touched on about our financial situation. The most important one is savings.
I have always been a saver. As part of the budget we live on, we put money into savings each month. I have it automatically transfered into ING. This is the best savings account I have found. Although interest rates are low nationally right now, it still has some of the best rates for savings and CD's. Because we dont have a lot of money in savings, this is definitely our best option. (ING also offers a bonus for opening an account. If you are referred by someone and open the account with at least $250, you can get a $25 bonus added to your account! If you are interested, let me know and I can get you a link.)
The other important thing that Jim and I take advantage of is retirement savings. Being young, it isnt something most people think about. But it is one of the most important things you can do! Time is even more important than rate of return when you want your money to grow. Jim and I both put in enough to get the maximum matching contributions from our employers. There is no better rate of return than that!
Each time we get a raise, we raise the amount of money we put into retirement. This year, Jim will be getting a 2% raise. We will up his contribution to retirement by 1%. That way we still see more money in his paychecks, but we are also putting more away for our future. It is a really painless way to save for the future! (I didnt think of that on my own. It is something my Dad taught me. I told you I have great parents!)
One of the best things that I did to help my outlook on my finances was read a book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. It really helped me to understand a lot about money. This book is the reason that I have money that is always transferred into savings and have had for a long time. One thing that he says that really rings true for me is if you dont pay yourself, no one will care. If you dont pay your bills they will remind you. You have to make sure you get paid too.
Our savings and our retirement accounts are there to help us in the future. We will have money for unexpected things. We will have money when a good deal is possible only with cash. We will keep ourselves free from worry.
In addition, we are working on paying down our debt. We have 4 years left on each of the car loans, according to the original paper work. I hope to have them both paid off within 2 years. We will probably pay off our current mortgage when we decide to sell the house and upgrade. But I hope to have a large amount of equity so that the next mortgage doesnt have to be huge.
The reason I started this blog was because I want to find a way to make money from home. Right now, we are doing ok and dont need the extra money. But I want to make sure that we have enough in the future. Any extra money we can make now can help us arrive at our goals even faster! I want to be able to set up some online earnings - or any earnings - that are at least mostly passive. That is how we will ultimately achieve all of our dreams.
In this blog, I will talk about the things I am trying. I will let you know what is working for me. I will let you know about any scams I find. I will share with you all that I can so you can do it too. I want everyone to be able to achieve my dreams of debt free living!