Our children are sleeping! Kelsey is podcasting at work! Chris sold his side business and made zero dollars! In other news, our full work calendars have us buying lunch and coffee out way too much - shut it down!
We also share some advice for getting a budget started. Budgets can seem stressful but are, in fact, a helpful and powerful tool. A budget puts you in control of your money because you can track where your money goes, and you can identify areas for improvement (such as increasing savings, or cutting down on certain expenses). We use a budget in an Excel spreadsheet (see our budget here) along with Mint to track our money. We've also heard good things about the You Need A Budget software, but haven't tried it yet ourselves.
We are big proponents of making financial goals and working with your partner to achieve them. It might be saving for a down payment on a house, paying off a debt or something smaller like spending less on coffee (not to name names...). As you work toward your goal, celebrate along the way. We've found it to be a powerful tactic to keep us motivated as we work to accomplish a financial goal.
A listener asked a great question about what advice we would give our younger selves. We said:
- Save like CRAZY! You'll never be so flexible as you are when you are young (and pre-kids) so sock away as much cash as you can.
- Don't buy a house with a notion of a "starter home". Buy the best quality house that you can while keeping the mortgage payment as low as possible and plan to stay.
- Get rid of stuff a la The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and don't accumulate crap.