Middle Class Money

A mostly stay-at-home mom and her husband battle to defeat the debt monster in the face of daily money-hungry dragons.

Monday, October 16, 2006

So I'm a personal finance blogger now, huh?

A couple of months ago, my husband (DH) told me about all the personal finance blogs (PFBs) he's been reading lately. I gave him a little eye roll, and continued about my day. But, a stay-at-home-mom/self-employed part-time professional can only read so much Perez Hilton while the kiddo is napping, so I gave the PFBs a shot. And I'm hooked. And now, I'm trying to write one. Stranger things have happened.

So, here's the skinny:

Our long-term goals:
  • Pay off all debt (car 1, car 2, student loan, house) in 20 years
  • Buy rental properties
  • Retire by 60, at least (this is probably a pipe dream, but people have better luck accomplishing goals that are written down, so here it is!)
Our short-term goals:
  • Decrease our discretionary spending fund --- we call it "etc" (clothes, gifts, stuff I think we need and he thinks we don't)
  • Find the best way to save for my retirement
  • Have both cars paid off before having another baby
Our debt includes:
  • 2 car payments
  • 1 student loan payment
  • 80% mortgage on the home we just bought
Our investments include:
  • DH's 401k (funded to highest match)
  • My Roth ($100/month)
  • My rollover IRA
  • DH's Roth (just with $500 to open, not funded beyond that)
  • At least 20% equity in our home.
Our challenges include:
  • Discretionary spending
  • A 1 year-old daughter and 4 year-old dog who take but don't make money (but we love them anyway)
Our big successes include:
  • Paying off my DH's student loan ($488/month) 6 years early so I could stay at home with our daughter
  • Putting 20% down on our new home
My DH takes care of calculating our net worth each month, thanks to the advice found on Make Love Not Debt. What is interesting to see is that our Honda Civic Hybrid is actually gaining value.

We're trying our best to get out of debt, but it sometimes seems like more headache than it's worth. I dream in spreadsheets....


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