Just a 42-year-old mom of 2 in Northern California. My kids are Monkey Monkey(MM) and Drama Llama (DL). I am married to Monkey Hubby (MH).
We were a one-income family for 13 years. In late 2015 my spouse returned to work (minimum wage/part-time/seasonal). Something recent on his resume just buys us more options for the long run. The main benefit of this job is that he just works while the kids are in school. As always, we are saving 100% of his income.
We saved a lot while we were very young and also moved to a lower cost-of-living area, to make life much simpler. We still live in California though (in one of the most expensive regions of the U.S.). *Simple* and *inexpensive* is relative.
Likewise, we have never had debt aside from our mortgage.** My blog is a testament to how much simpler life is without debt; how we have that much more money to both save and enjoy!
**Caveat: I have no problem whatsoever with credit cards paid off monthly, or low-risk credit arbitrage (for example, 0%-interest debt while earning 5% on FDIC-insured cash). These are the kinds of debt we have had. Just not interested in high-interest debt, using debt to buy beyond means, and not interested in the hassle that comes with loans and payments. With age and means, the latter (hassle) is our biggest debt avoidance motivation.
**Ting Referral Code** https://z181d126bt4.ting.com
$25 off for you & $25 credit for me
In 2017 we are adding both our kids to our cell plan. This will add a whole $12 to our monthly cell bill, which was only $30/month for the two of us. Thank You TING!
BTW, Ting did also lower their rates, if you haven't checked the numbers recently.
[/]$12,000 to IRAs 2019 (MAX)
...($0 @ 1/1/19)
...Not entirely sure how we will fund this. Because my salary decreased by $12,000 this year, this was the obvious thing to give. It will have to come from gifts, MH's income, my bonus, and/or shifting money from taxable investments. Funding our IRAs is always our first priority, but just will not be funded from my salary. For 2019, ended up funding with second job.
[/]$7,000 to savings
...($6,492 @ 10/31/19)
...$550/month, plus interest.
...Topping off with snowballs
[X]$1,500 to investments
...($1,548 @ 10/31/19)
...Funded with snowflakes
[X]9% of my full-time income to work retirement plan
...This is the minimum for the match; I'd otherwise rather fund IRAs. Note: Maxing out IRAs is additional 15% to retirement. This is very deja vu to lower income years. The last time we saved 20%+ to retirement was during our lowest income years. This is due to substantial tax savings and employer contributions (how I am funding the entire 9%). Plus, if we max out IRAs regardless, it's a bigger percentage of a smaller income.
Goal savings rate = 20% of gross salary, plus funding IRAs from other sources
[ ]$6,000 to mortgage
...($170 @ 07/31/19)
...$3k per year to pay off in 20 years (from last refi); also ensures that we pay more principal than interest
...In years past I had funded with OT, but am no longer working at a job with OT. This is a placeholder because we skipped 2018. If we have a windfall of any sort, I'd like to pay down $3,000 for 2018 and $3,000 for 2019. For now, this is our lowest financial priority (expect to fund some home improvements instead during 2019, and tend to other expensive cash flow items first).
...2020 & Forward, we will be paying more principal than interest, with regular payments. Balance is below $150k. Is falling off our radar, with the exception of MH finding more work. In that case, we'd probably just knock out the mortgage, if our income went up $30k+ per year. Has always been our plan. Never anticipated he'd be so under-employed for two decades. But on the flip side of the coin, a minimum wage full-time job would be a substantial financial windfall to throw at the mortgage. It's most likely that we will just pay off when we sell our house in a few years. Our plan is to downsize into a smaller and more low-maintenance space when our kids are grown. We started out in a smaller condo and that is how we prefer to live if there is just two of us.
In addition, we save 100% of MH's (net) income ~ most goes to 401k/taxes.
--Note to self: Utilize library museum freebies
Current big picture goal:
$500,000 in retirement accounts by age 45.
NOTE: WE HAVE NEVER CONTRIBUTED LESS THAN 10% TO RETIREMENT. NO EXCEPTIONS.
If we can't achieve at least 10%, then something else has to give. I share because it's infinitely easier to save for retirement if you start early. Let the investments do the hard work for you.