Anticipation. Preparation.

Anticipating , preparing adownloadnd saving for big expenditures.

I hope everyone have a great 4th of July!

On the heels of Independence Day, preparing for hefty expenses just seems so appropriate, doesn’t it? Financial freedom at its best!

The great part of the anticipation, preparing and saving for this week’s task is that it’s completely personalize-able (is that even a word? I’m going to go with it).  For example, what one person may consider a large expense another may not, such as a new appliance or a car.

By now you should have a good idea of how much you would like to have in emergency fund and be contributing to this regularly. Similar to how you had to decide what would be considered an emergency, it is necessary to anticipate what you will be spending lots of your hard earned money on.

Two examples of what Mr. A and I have come up with are:

  • Used pickup truck. This is important to us, as we do a lot of our home reno ourselves and we either have to spend money renting a truck or borrow a friend/family members.
  • Addition to our house, probably the biggest expense we will have in the next 15 years or so
  • Coming up with 30K for grad school

Maybe you want to redo your bathroom, or plan a once in a lifetime vacation. Even planning on splurging on a new wardrobe can be applied here! These expenditures can be as grandiose or basic as you like- the key is to be prepared and only spend what you can truly afford.  By being mindful in your finances, you learn to spend your money carefully in ways that will reward you long after you swipe your card.

I hope this post gave you the kick you needed to start thinking about what large purchases you want to make and come up with an action to make this happen, #debtfree of course!

Xoxo A

Why We Aren’t Traveling This Holiday

  
Happy (almost) Independence Day! 

In previous years, Mr.A and I have packed up and headed north to enjoy this holiday with our families in both New Hampshire and Maine. 

This year we are doing this different. With work and school work at an all time high for Mr A, we decided to stay home. While we certainly miss enjoying partaking in all of our usual festivities (hello, town hall bingo!) we are really embracing being present  this year. 

First off, we are saving tons of money as we don’t have to fill up the gas tank on my SUV as well as other miscellaneous costs we typically incur- such as going out to eat with friends, souvenirs, etc. Plus the overall rush to drive four hours and deal with traffic just isn’t as appealing.

So this weekend, we are taking a deep breath, getting some misc odds and ends done around the house, sitting in our yard enjoying an adult beverage, and even doing some BBQ hopping tomorrow. 

Whatever your plans are- whether you are away for the weekend or taking time to hit reset, enjoy! 

Xoxo A 

Emergency Funds- Yes, you need some

Welcome back, fancies- I’m so excited to share this series of getting your finances together… like the adults we are!

An emergency fund is a type of a savings account. I recommend opening a separate account that you put money in just for any potential emergencies- different from a rainy day savings account.

How much money you put into the account is really up to you- but the larger your balance, the more peace of mind you will have when something goes drastically wrong. I recommend 6 months worth of your incomes- as long as you are currently living within your means, this gives you time to get back on your feet.

Obviously it is unrealistic to start of just putting six months of income away, but start small by contributing a set amount of money each pay check and soon you’ll be only your way. It’ll feel good to reach your goal, even if it takes two years to save up six months worth of incomes.

Wether you are creating this account by yourself or with a significant other, you need to come up with what qualifies for emergency and what does not. This varies from person to person. What will you consider an emergency and what will be taken out of a rainy day savings or put  on a credit card?

For some people, a leaky roof repair or the cost new furnace constitute as reasons for emergency fund withdrawals. Others are more stingy, and vow to only dip into these funds if one loses their job and supplemental income is necessary.  There are  no right or wrong answers, but setting ground rules from the beginning helps avoid unnecessary spending of this money.

Have you set up your emergency fund? What do you consider an emergency? What do you think is the most difficult part of this task?

Bonus:  Sunday Food Prep Inspiration! 

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend! It’s a rainy Sunday here just north of Boston, perfect for binge watching Scandal! 

After a killer morning workout and a run to the market, I spent my morning getting some food prep done to prepare me for the week. 

What are you doing to prepare for the week? 

 
Peanut butter and choc chip oatmeal “muffins”, six cut up kiwis, 2lbs of fresh sliced strawberries, a pint of blueberries rinsed and ready to be inhaled, plus an adorable little butternut squash (I didn’t plan on buying this, but it was just  calling my name!) all roasted and ready to be a side for tonight’s dinner. 

Enjoy! Xoxo A 

#100happydays

7 simple things that gave me happiness and gratitude.   The ability to run (albeit, slowly)  Fresh Air    A little throw back to my dad for Father’s Day  Our very own backyard. No matter what the construction status is.   The quilt from my late Nana   Greek yogurt for all it’s protein to get me through the day. Running into these little pups on my lunchbreak walk.

Confession Post : When Finances Are Scary

Even if you aren’t in your 20’s this is such a good financial check list- no time like the present!

I once read somewhere that people create (the majority) their own anxiety. For many people, the unknown is very scary, especially when it comes to finances.

What IS an IRA? ROTH? 401K? Do I  have one? SHOULD I have one?

Sometimes it just seems its much easier to just not try to understand what all of these term means because it is so overwhelming. I can’t be the only one who didn’t learn these in high school, right? So let’s do this together- no matter where you are financially.

First thing on my list is figuring out how to even log into my 401k situation and see what is going on there.

My posts for the next few weeks will be featuring each item on this list.. Tuesday we will start having an emergency fund.

Comment if you have specific questions or items you want me to address.

PS- Don’t forget about tomorrow’s #100happydays update!

Photo credit: Levo.com

House Projects

Do you dream of owning a home that you can both afford and love?

It sounds cheesy, but I’ve been chasing the American dream since I can remember. I moved a lot growing up, and never really felt attached any particular house, so the idea of sticking with one house and making it our own was overwhelming to me at first. I just always thought that once I got sick of this house and we were making more money we’d buy another house. Repeat every 5-6 years.

With hard work and prayers, I’m now realizing how much smarter it is financially for us to stay in our current home and make it our own. Right now we live in a cape style house and have recently come up some concrete (no pun intended!) plans to convert our house into a colonial.

Construction is set to start circa fall 2016/summer 2017. Check out my pinterest board (Green Street) for the floor plans we have.

In the meantime, we are still plugging away on house projects that won’t be torn apart once construction starts. Mostly we’re ignoring our second level and focusing on the yard, kitchen and living room. If Mr. A and his father were not so handy, there is no way we would be able to afford grad school x 2 and home reno.

The take away message is don’t bite off more than you can chew with a house- but make sure you can envision the end result.  Maybe your house isn’t your dream home, but pick small projects, buy painting for dummies, and watch endless Youtube videos. I’m not the handiest person, but you learn. You make mistakes but it’s about the journey.

I can’t wait for the day that J and I are sitting on our (currently non existent) patio sipping wine and taking in all that we accomplished on our home. There is just something so rewarding to doing it yourself.

Here are few pictures of the home reno we’ve done so far. How do you budget for home projects? Are you a do-er or do you hire contractors? I’d love to see your projects of #homereno!

The one rule we always follow is: Put all costs on the credit card to help rack up points and pay it off every month.
IMG_5599  The never ending fence project. Started Fall 2014- still not done. But progress! J and I disagreed about this fence for weeks- I wanted this fence, he wanted a solid fence. I won. For perspective- he is 6’3. That’s how tall the fence is. Why would we need this to be solid? I was afraid at 5’1 I’d feel like I’m in a prison.

bakcyard Remember me saying we had two (not one) old sewer tanks to remove? Here’s the big hole. We saved tons of money but pumping them out ourselves (with a pump of course) and J broke up all the concrete himself. It still costs us extra for tool rental and to dispose of the concrete, but nothing close to the $3,000 we were quoted by contractors.

kitchen reno The time we had to re paint the kitchen walls and ceiling.My triceps still hurt.

kitchen reno1  We took down the wall between our kitchen and dining room. The picture is standing in the dining room- below is standing in the kitchen. Ignore ugly cabinets- those deserve their own post. Only cost was the sheet rock, dumpster, wood for beam, tool rental and paint.

kitchenreno2

livingroom reno After 600+ days I finally got the TV mounted above the fireplace. Mr. A and his dad did all the work to make it so no wires are showing. Only cost was the PVC piping.