Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Finances

So, I don't really do New Year's resolutions.  I've tried a few times, but I can never seem to make it a whole year of doing any ONE thing.  Then when I mess up, I feel guilty and ashamed, which is counterproductive to actually meeting goals and making improvement.  I had hoped to try and run, with no more than two days of break in between, but I messed that up pretty quick.  I'm still in the post-mess-up funk and haven't quite got the gumption to try another running goal yet.

Unintentionally though, I've made this into the year we figure out our finances.  If you're in our immediate family circle you might already be aware of this due to the ridiculous number of personal, pointed questions we've been asking. We've never been in a bad way financially, but we went from being students, to getting me getting a permanent full-time job, to buying a house, to having a kid, to finishing a Master's degree, to having a miscarriage, to building an addition, to having a second kid, and finishing National Boards all in the space of 5 years.  All of which cost a good chunk of money.  So, we've kind of been on financial survival, paying for our bills and planning to just survive the next big task.  Now, however, we can look ahead and say that we are done with kids, don't plan on moving, I have a good stable job, we are done going to school, and my student lobs have been forgiven.  Meaning, it's about time for us to think about what that means for the next (32!) many years until we retire.  It's funny how little financial planning is talked about in our society, at least in an open, blunt way. It's kind of consired a personal topic, but I don't really see why.  I mean how are you supposed to learn if you don't talk to people and figure out what really works and what people wish they had known before it was too late?  I am totally open to advice and suggestions so send them our way!  So far on our list to learn about and figure out:
  • Adjust our tax deductions (haven't done this since having kids!)
  • Make a retirement plan for where and how to invest our money, instead of just contributing to my work sponsored account.
  • Deciding what type and how much life insurance to get.
  • Finishing some projects and refinancing our mortgage, trying to get rid of that private mortgage insurance.
  • Reworking our home owners insurance and looking into adding an umbrella policy.
  • Getting some better savings accounts set up for the girls, we don't have tons to set aside but want to make sure that what we do save for them is getting best interest rate possible.
  • Set up a plan for paying off Andrews student loans.  Now that mine are forgiven, paying off his seems more manageable
  • An organizational system for budgeting, important documents, and computer back-up
  • Anything else we don't even know to worry about yet?

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