Girlfriend to Girlfriend Money Chat, Kids and Money, Lifestyle, Marriage and Money, Money Habits, Purchase Decisions

Five Ways I’m Currently Growing My Family’s Daily Worth

June 18, 2017

The Then and Now

In several of the early articles of this blog (such as here, here and here), I mentioned that my husband loves numbers, analytics and investing. And he’s very good at all three. He started educating himself on personal finances, the stock markets and investing while in his mid 20s, and he continues to do so each day. Even though he’s not a day trader, he follows the markets (and major headlines) daily and analyzes our investment portfolio performance against several market indices. We use Personal Capital to track our finances and net worth. You can read my comprehensive review of this free online financial tool here.

From the start of our relationship, he’s always been the one that spends more time taking care of our equities (stocks) and fixed income (bonds) investments. This is still true even after I had my transformative moment (you can read about my story here). Despite my accelerated learning of the stock markets and investing in the past year, he’s still the more knowledgeable one.

building wealth daily worth

One thing that has been different in our relationship since that transformative moment is that nowadays I take a much more active role making investing decisions with my husband. I have a desire to learn from him (and many others) and continue to build my financial knowledge. Whereas before, I was glad to let him take care of all investments-related matters. Even when he tried to get me involved, I quickly dismissed his efforts.

Two People in a Relationship

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Financial Freedom, Financial Journey, Financial Planning, Lifestyle, Retirement Planning

May 2017 Non-W2 Incomes Report

June 9, 2017

Hello readers. Even though it’s not officially summer, it seems like that’s what’s been on everyone’s mind around here. Pool and BBQ parties are in full swing. I briefly looked at upcoming free family events in the city and there are some great ones I plan taking my daughter to this month.

My family and I recently came back from a week-long vacation by the Gulf of Mexico. We spent half of our time in Port Aransas (Mustang Island and North Padre Island) and the other half in South Padre Island (including Port Isabel).

What’s my impression of the Texas coast (several years ago, I also visited Galveston and Rockport)? My view is pretty biased considering that I’ve lived in the California coast for over a decade and have visited some amazing beaches and seen beautiful water in other parts of the world. There’s not much to say about the Texas coast other than it is a good place that tides me over (my craving for beach and sun) until our next vacation to the French Riviera (or other parts of the Mediterranean) or Hawaii.

With that said, I did enjoy my time there. We visited a different beach every day, playing in the sand and putting our feet in the warm gulf water (a very good surprise!). It was a very slow-paced vacation, which was very different than most of the other vacations we’ve had. There wasn’t much else to do other than heading to the beach which was precisely the part that made this vacation very relaxing. We took our time enjoying hour-long breakfasts, meandering along the beach, soaking in the sun and building sandcastles. We also took the time to watch the sunset and go on short cruises.

Of the 8 years that my husband and I have been together, we’ve probably traveled 20 times together. And this most recent trip was the easiest and most relaxing…relaxing in the sense that time didn’t matter as there was no set itinerary.

When we arrived home the following day, we reviewed our finances. And below is a summary of our May 2017 Non-W2 incomes report. The total amount is very similar to that of April 2017. Neither my husband nor I received any dividend/interest payments in our Roths. You’ll also notice that I took out the row tracking “Her 401(k)” and added in a new row now tracking “Her IRA”.

may income report

We started tracking these numbers back in December 2016. You can view our past reports and why we’re doing this here. We use Personal Capital, a free financial tool, to track our net worth, view our investment performance, analyze our asset allocations and project our retirement goals. I wrote a comprehensive review of Personal Capital on another post. I encourage you to check it out.

This is it for now. Thank you for stopping by. I’m looking forward to our June numbers. According to my husband, June should be a great month for us. We’ll see. As stated before, this is the first time we’re tracking our non-w2 incomes systematically over a period of time. 

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Behavioral Finance, Financial Planning, Girlfriend to Girlfriend Money Chat, Lifestyle, Marriage and Money, Money Habits, Money Psychology, Purchase Decisions

The Funny Thing About Money Psychology (What Would You Do?)

June 8, 2017

Wishlist and Bucket List

Do you recall when you first started having a wishlist or bucket list? I didn’t have one until I was in my mid-20s. Before then, I didn’t desire much. I was simply happy just having the essentials or necessities. I understood my financial situation as a student. My mindset at the time was that my situation was temporary and wanted to focus my attention on doing well in my studies. I looked forward to the day when I finished school, secured a satisfying career and then start living the life of my dream.

What was the first item that made it to my wishlist? It was a Marc by Marc Jacobs crossbody bag. I saw that bag on a fashion magazine that I subscribed to at the time. 

Around my 25th birthday, my husband and I visited Saks Fifth Avenue. When I saw that bag sitting on the shelf, I hesitated and started having second thoughts. The price tag was $249. It was a VERY expensive bag. My most expensive bag prior to that one costed me less than $30. My husband and I walked in circles around the store as I had a very hard time deciding if I wanted us to spend that kind of money. It was just a [beautiful] crossbody bag…After perhaps 45 minutes later, my then boyfriend was paying for the bag at the cashier register. And that was my first designer bag. From there, I went on to purchase couple Michael Kors bags.

money psychology money dilemma

Deciding on the Now or Later

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Financial Empowerment, Financial Freedom, Financial Independence, Financial Journey, Financial Planning, Lifestyle, Marriage and Money, Money Habits, Purchase Decisions

My Husband and I Created a Fun Fund!

May 25, 2017

Our “Fun Fund”

My husband and I recently created a “Fun Fund”. And the size of this fund is about 39.6% of our current projected/planned annual expenses. This Fun Fund includes the following categories: travel (we’d like to do two international trips and two U.S. trips per year as a family), gifts, charity, wardrobe items, entertainment and dining (e.g., treating others to meals; we’re already allocating $1,000 outside of the Fun Fun each month to spend on groceries and family dining).

fun fund

In a previous article, I mentioned that our projected annual expenses for year 2017 (and possibly the near future years, too, at the time of writing) was $50,000. Then, early this month, we’ve decided to move that number back up to $60,000 (our annual expenses in year 2015 and 2016 was $60,000), even though we currently don’t have child care expenses.

With a budget of $50,000, we were allocating about $13,700 toward the categories aforementioned. We’ve (most, I) came to realize such a number was a little over-stretched and won’t bring me much happiness. So, my husband and I looked at our financial numbers again, and we’ve decided that we can spend up to $60,000 a year and still be able to save a lot.

In my husband’s own words: “I feel I’ve lived my 60s while in my 20s, and now I’m living my 30s in my 30s. Maybe I’ll live my 20s while in my 40s!”

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Financial Freedom, Financial Journey, Financial Planning, Retirement Planning

April 2017 Non-W2 Incomes Report

May 21, 2017

This post brings you another snapshot of our non-W2 incomes reports. We started tracking these numbers back in December 2016. You can view our past reports and why we’re doing this by clicking here.

If you’ve been reading our incomes reports, you might’ve noticed some patterns: the total amount vary from month to month and that some accounts do better in certain months than others. As such, it would be very difficult to structure our financial life around these numbers on a month-to-month basis. Once we have a full year of tracking, then we’d have a better idea.

April 2017 non-w2 incomes report

The total amount in April 2017 was $2,098.83. This number is a little misleading. I did a 401(k) rollover in mid April (you can read about my experience here) and decided not to track the dividends/interest payments until May.

My Roth account didn’t receive any payments. I only have a few stock tickers in this account. On the other hand, the financial coaching income resumed. My husband recently started working with a new client. He’s currently accepting new clients. Let’s connect if you’re interested in the financial coaching he provides.

This is it for now. Our goal is to get these reports out during the first week of each month. Now that we’re mostly settled into our new life routines, we’re making this a goal once again!

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