You guys may know that in the last few months I started talking about and sharing my finance books over social media. One day it just dawned on Nick and I that we were not where we wanted to be financially and we only had ourselves to blame for it.
We found ourselves making big goals, like having a second home in Nashville, but years had gone by and we didn’t feel any closer to achieving our goal. We had no control over our money, our money controlled us.
We started with making a spreadsheet and worked backwards trying to see where we were spending all of our money. We made categories: food, clothing, cars, gas, mortgage, insurance, etc. and filled in the amount we had spent every month in these categories. It was a messy start, but a start. Then we turned to using Personal Capital (trust me, you want to start your financial rehab with them and sign up now. Personal capital
Personal Capital has these FREE tools:
1️.BUDGETING TOOL: Keep track of your daily spending. Helps to see what categories you spend the most on and helps make sure you don’t spend more than you have!
2️.INVESTMENT PLANNER: Create an investment strategy that aligns with your financial goals and keep track of your Net Worth. Use the free tools and honest advice to actively invest.
3️.RETIREMENT PLANNER: See how prepared you are TODAY for retirement based on your ideal target retirement date.
4️.WEALTH MANAGEMENT: Insights on cash-flow, spending and budgeting.
5️.SAVINGS PLANNER: Link your investment accounts to see how much you have saved and continue building your portfolio.
Right now we are using ALL of these tools and they are all SO important. Just as a high level example of how we are using this tool.
Nick and I made a wish list. We asked ourselves how many trips we want to take this year. Then we asked ourselves how much we think we spent daily (all in) on a trip. And lastly we asked ourselves how many days we feel is a good yearly amount for trips. And we calculated the total yearly cost. Using the Savings Planner tool, we are able to plan for monthly contributions to our Trip Fund. Using the Budgeting Tool, we are able to keep track of how much we are spending monthly on other things, like groceries (which we also have a weekly and monthly budget for). The Budgeting Tool really helps us be mindful of where our money is going. And it helps us stay on track and have the excess money left over every month to put towards our Trip Fund. We have also used these free tools to save for our next home, our next car, and of course, our retirement.
Also, for a long time we would just buy what we wanted for ourselves without any thought. It actually created lots of animosity in our household when my Neiman Marcus box would arrive in the mail. Or when I felt it was a good time to have a new luxury handbag. Or when Nick went to purchase a new TV and remote control car. We didn’t have a plan to buy some of these things and we didn’t have a budget. Truthfully, a lot of our past purchases came with a lot of guilt. Our purchases didn’t really feel like we earned them, even though we work hard for our money. So, we changed the way we financially operate. Again, using both the free Budgeting and Savings Tools, we gave ourselves weekly spending allowances. The Budgeting Tool helps us keep track of where we are at spending wise for the week or month. And the savings tool helps us allocate our weekly allowance into a savings plan. The Budgeting Tool definitely saves us from making emotional purchases. And the Savings Tool helps us look at the bigger picture of what we really are saving for. I’m saving for a Chanel bag and I don’t feel bad about it!
Thanks so much for Personal Capital for sponsoring this post and allowing me to share my financial stories with you. I hope you find this post inspirational in setting your 2020 Financial Goals.