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August 2015

episode 3. A peaceful cushion of cash

We're heading back into our school year routine which will hopefully include weekly coffee dates and a clean kitchen. Chris reveals his trick for convincing his students that he's brilliant and our baby has been super cute this week.

In money discussions, we give some details of our budget including our monthly income, biggest expenses and where we've found big savings.

Several listeners have asked how to balance saving versus paying down debt versus retirement contributions.

Our approach has been to first identify life goals and opportunities. Our two main goals are to (1) build a strong savings that will (hopefully) enable early retirement and (2) maximize flexibility in our time.

To support these goals our financial approach has been:

Step 1. Build some emergency savings. Which Kelsey occasionally refers to as a peaceful cushion of cash. We used to maintain an emergency savings of living expenses for 3 - 6 months, but with Chris getting tenure in 2013 we've felt comfortable with just a couple months' worth. 

Step 2. Eliminate expenses. For us this has included a mix of big and small savings. We've found big savings by refinancing our mortgage, being a one-car family and paying off one of our student loans. Smaller savings have come from switching our cell phones to an MVNO (we use a company that isn't taking new residential customers at this time, but check out Republic Wireless), not having cable and not using paper products in the kitchen, among other things.

Step 3. Invest. Debt reduction versus savings can be a tough decision. It depends on goals, but comparing what you’d lose to interest on debt payments vs what you’d gain on returns with investments can help answer that question in a lot of cases. We strategically reduced debt to start and since have gone to town on investing.

Welcome to Matrimoney!

Most people don't like to talk about money. We are not most people. 

On each episode we catch up on married life and check in on our money - from big financial goals to weekly grocery bills. We share real numbers, including our budget, and how we spend and save as we raise our two young boys.

Got a question for us? We love them. Email us! And keep up with us between shows on Instagram! Kelsey is @kelswharton and Chris is @practicallyawesomechris

Thanks so much for listening! You can subscribe to the show through iTunes, Stitcher or your favorite podcasting app. Your iTunes and Stitcher reviews make us feel like the heart-eyed emoji.