What happened since 2012?
If you go back and look at my Financial posts you will see my goals for 2012 and prior. I enjoy looking back and seeing what I did. So I thought I would write up a short description of what we did since then.
Financial Goals 2013
In 2013, we succeeded in maxing out my husband’s retirement accounts. We also continued to save in our emergency fund. We also made a decision to find an hire a financial advisor. At the time it seemed like a great idea and it seemed like a good match. Later, I will explain that wasn’t exactly the case. That was a financial mistake we made. Please be warned!
We decided to update our kitchen and replace the floor, and replace the countertops with granite. We did it all at a reasonable price. We paid it all with the money we had saved. Which was under $10,000.
Financial Goals 2014
Now, that we had an advisor who said we were on the right track we continued to do what we were doing including maxing out my husband’s retirement accounts. It looks great Mr. Redberrydeals can retire at 65. Phew! (Note: That is now a sarcastic tone.) We are on track.
I also started a small business and that was a lot of stress figuring out the details. I needed some sort of accounting software and everything pointed to expensive software apps that just didn’t do the trick for me. I had been using Mint.com for years and was so frustrated with the interface and the budgeting side didn’t work. I had been tracking our budget and expenses with a spreadsheet but that was very time consuming and I was too busy with kids. Who has time for that?!
When searching for budget software I kept stumbling on the website called You Need a Budget or YNAB (Why-NAB) for short. This seemed promising. It wasn’t free but it had a free month trial. So I jumped on board and tried it out and in one month I was hooked! I took all of the FREE classes, read the blog and followed the step by step simple instructions and in no time I realized I could save even more. You Need a Budget is now a web-based subscription website budgeting and accounting tool. The company behind YNAB has the best customer service in the world. If you use, my affiliate link, you get 30 more free days and I get 30 free days free. In the first year of using YNAB we estimate we saved $1000s. We were well aware of what we were spending and in no time we created an additional buffer of a month of money (outside of our emergency fund). YNAB is such a great tool because you can make it custom work for you and your family.
Financial Goals 2015
Our goals in 2015, were about the same. Due to my love for YNAB, I joined the YNAB Facebook fans group. There I met others and learned more about budgeting tricks. In that space, I was introduced to many different terms that I had never been introduced to before including — “Bogleheads”, and “Financial Independence” Community or “FIRE” (Financially Independent Retire Early). I will go in more depth in another post as I move forward.
My fear of actually hiring a financial advisor was that I didn’t want to be taken advantage of and in fact, I was. I thought the cost wasn’t “that much”. This is where I realized that we made a mistake on the financial advisor. We were paying to high fees for the actively managed funds that the advisor picked for us. I had no idea. I was hoping he was saving us money. How I figure this out was thanks to the YNAB Facebook fans group for pointing out the Bogleheads and Vanguard funds being low-cost index funds. Then in the FIRE community, I was introduced to low-cost index funds at Vanguard. Wait, what?! They both said to look at Vanguard funds and these investments called low-cost index funds. This is the record repeating itself. Then thanks to MadFientist he recommended getting access to your accounts and seeing all of the details through Personal Capital FREE tools (they will try and call you to have you sign up for their services which you can talk to them but you don’t have to sign up). This was eye-opening! My fees were in the 1%+ range! So at the end of 2015, we switched all of our accounts to low-cost index funds and are paying well below 0.3% in fees. This makes a huge difference in your investments.
Financial Goals 2016 – 2018
In 2016-2018, we continued doing what we were doing. We continue to save. We also spent some money on vacations because we are a family of 5 and still enjoy having fun but we had to limit the cost. It does get expensive. We had a big goal in mind and that is Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE). Which basically means we hope to reach Financial Independence and then if we want to Retire Early meaning we don’t have to work again a traditional job if we don’t want. That sounds crazy right!? It makes perfect sense.