Monday, July 6, 2015

Would You Rather?

This month we will pay off one of DH's loan companies, leaving one to go. That's four loans we've paid off in two years of marriage (today is our anniversary!). The total with the back-interest he owed is about 28k in two years. :)

The plan is to pay off the second loan company (13,500) by our third anniversary. And then discuss relocating for DH to get a job, having another baby, etc.

If we decide to move, that will definitely be a big expense. And if DH works, we'll have to start paying daycare. Also, I am highly paid as a teacher here (though cost of living is high here too). There are a lot of "if's" for us in the next year or so.

But, I know that I want to get pregnant again by next summer. Which also involves saving money for maternity leave and other baby things.

All that to say, I want to get even more gazelle-intense, and pay off the loan even sooner, AND bump up our savings.

So, last night I decided that for any extra purchase, I am going to ask myself, "Would you rather have ____, or have another baby?"

This becomes a no-brainer. McDonald's iced coffee or another baby? New lip gloss or another baby? Turn on the air conditioner or have another baby? DUH! Another baby!

Obviously we will still occasionally spend "extra" money. Our quality of life matters too. But I think I'm going to save those extras for things that cultivate our relationship (date night, etc.) and bring us true joy (small family trip), rather than stupid things that I don't really mind going without. Asking myself this question is already making me think twice about how I spend.

What's your "would you rather"?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Anyone Out There?

Hello! It's been almost a year since I posted here. I'm not sure if anyone still has me on their readers, but just in case...

Last August I had a baby girl! She's awesome. :) I went back to work full time in November while my husband stayed home, went to school part-time, and continues to ref soccer games as a part-time weekend gig.

As soon as I get paid for summer school, we're knocking out student loan 4 out of 5! We will then have one big one (13k) left to go. I'm proud of the progress we've made so far. Our goal is to be 100% debt-free by our 3rd anniversary next July. It will be tough, but I think we can do it.

Anyway, those are the highlights. If anyone's still reading, maybe I'll get back to posting more. :)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Passive Income

Well, I'm in the home stretch of this pregnancy...due on Friday, in fact! While I'm waiting for baby to make his/her appearance, I've been working on getting another income stream coming in. I created a store on the site Teachers Pay Teachers.

Teachers Pay Teachers is a place where educators can post curriculum, worksheets, Power Points, etc. and sell them to other educators. It's a great idea...I create a lot of my own curriculum, so I knew I'd have enough to get a store started. I've spent the last few weeks editing, combining separate documents into packets, writing answer keys (I never make them for my own stuff...I made it up, I know the answer!) and creating cover pages. I also created a Pinterest for my account, and a blog to publicize my store.

My goal is to get this up and running so that I can generate some extra income while I'm on my maternity leave. Of course I'd love it to continue when I go back to work (and I will be able to add new curriculum as I use it throughout the year). I have friends who've had good experiences, so I am hopeful it can be an easy source of income (though getting it all set up has taken more work than I initially thought).

Do you have any forms of passive income? Anyone used Teachers Pay Teachers before?

If you're interested (or know anyone who teachers middle school) I am having a 20% off sale in my store Monday and Tuesday (August 4th and 5th). Check it out!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Need Some Advice

I'm trying to figure out what type of savings account to open for my soon-to-be-born child. I know that a relative is going to give us a check when baby is born, and I keep hemming and hawing about what to do with it. I'd like an account that we can add to here and there (paying off student loans and saving for a house takes precedence over baby's account so no monthly deposits) know, birthday money, eventually allowance, etc.

I know 529 plans are a great college savings option, but I'm not sure I want to commit all of our funds to college. I MIGHT want to use it for that, but what if my kid gets a scholarship? What if he/she wants to use it for a first car or a house down payment? And (the teacher in me cringes at this thought) what if my kid doesn't go to college? I don't like the limits on a 529 plan.

I like the idea of setting up a savings account, so that later on my child can practice/learn good saving habits and put money in the bank for either long-term savings or for an item that he/she wants to save for in the short-term. Capital One 360 has a kids account, where they can create various accounts with names, so they can save towards various goals. This seems like a good option...but the interest is only .75%, so this account wouldn't make much money at all. And if I do end up using it for college, I'll probably regret not putting it in a 529 where the money could actually grow at a decent rate.

So those of you with kids, what do you use to save for them? Even if you don't have kids, based on what I'm thinking, what would you suggest?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Raise the Roof!

I just found out that the Union and the School Board reached an agreement for our contract, and it's a good one!

We are getting a 4% raise retroactive to last school year (meaning we will get a lump sum check sometime before Christmas), and a 4% raise for this coming year. So a total of an 8% salary increase! They are also upping the amount they put into our benefits in January.

This could not come at a better time for us! I'll be adding the baby to my insurance, so that's a new expense. I will also be taking a full 12 weeks of maternity leave, so the retro-active check will be helpful to cover the time that I won't be paid for. And obviously, kids bring up all sorts of expenses so making more money in general is a good thing!

We haven't had a raise since 2007, so I figured it would be a bigger raise than usual. I'm so pleased at how negotiations turned out, and can't wait to see that new total reflected on our check at the end of August. And, I'm super relived negotiations, while tense, worked out and no strike was needed.

Hurray for good news!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

One Down!!

Two weeks ago we hit a big financial milestone that I never shared: we paid off the first of my husband's student loans!!

We hit the jackpot when I got paid for summer school and he got his first paycheck from his internship at the radio station. I was able to beef up our savings account by about $1,300, and put a little more than that towards his loans. We paid off his first loan and put over $1,000 towards the second one. YES!

My goal is to get the second loan paid off by the end of this year, leaving us with three to go. I'm doing the Dave Ramsey method of paying them off smallest to largest, so after the second one, our progress may slow a little. Also, I hear kids cost money. But, I feel really good about adding to our savings and make progress on our debt.

Tomorrow is my husband's payday, and I should have a bit more summer school money coming in any day now, so we should be able to make another loan payment and save a bit more. Holla!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Waiting Around...

So, I had grand plans to pay off my husband's first student loan this month. But, it's looking like it might not happen until the beginning of next month. Sigh.

My husband has refereed soccer the last four weekends (which should bring in around $350, maybe a bit more) and he started his new internship, which is paid. So in theory we should be able to do it. BUT...

The other soccer league he refs with pays him cash on the same day. This league cuts him a check. He asked about when he would get the check and people said either July or August. WHAT?! Of course it will be nice to get a big chunk later, but that's pretty much the exact amount we need to pay off that loan!

As far as the internship goes, he's put in his hours and his HR person has done what she needs to on this end. But the system to actually get him paid has to be updated by someone at Minnesota Public Radio (the umbrella his station here in CA falls under). Payday is next Friday, so unless it gets done first thing Monday, I don't think he'll get his first check until fourth of July weekend (the next pay cycle).

He'll get all the pay he's entitled to eventually, and he's not worried about it, but I was so excited to get that loan taken care of THIS month.

On the bright side, this isn't income we need to pay rent or buy groceries, so I'm thankful for that at least. I don't know what they expect people to do who are depending on their pay to live!

Anyone else ever have to wait to get paid?