We’ve all heard the financial gurus out there telling us we need 3 – 6 months worth of expenses, 8 months worth of expenses, and even up to 2 full years worth of expenses sitting in a safe, accessible account in the event of an emergency. I’d like to dissect this advice a bit and get to the bottom of where it comes from and why you should or shouldn’t follow it.
Last week I was reading all about how Mr. and Mrs. Our Next Life paid off their mortgage! Kudos to them. When I read that I suddenly felt this sense of urgency. We, too, are focusing on paying off our mortgage. In our household, we really value living debt-free. And yes, we know we have the potential to make much more money if we would keep our mortgage and invest our extra cash instead of throwing it against an already low-rate mortgage. We also know that there is a potential for us to NOT make as much money by investing and NOT paying off our low-rate mortgage. And so, the debate continues. Should you invest extra money or pay off your mortgage? In case you’re wondering, Our Next Life also did a similar post about this very topic. Check it out here!
As the new year starts to take shape and I take inventory of all that I have and all that I have done, I realize that I am oftentimes too hard on myself – I’m guessing many of you are in the same boat. I don’t give myself enough credit for the things I’ve actually done right in my life. Given my Type A personality, I usually just focus on the bad stuff and why I’m not already early retired. Read all about that here. Today I’d like to share with you something Mr. MMM and I did right, before we started on our personal path to financial freedom. We both graduated college with very little debt, on our own, years before we even met.
A new year is upon us and that probably means you’re taking inventory of your life and making some new goals for 2017. Whether you’re deeply in debt or already on the path to financial freedom, there is usually always room for improvement. Mr. MMM and I haven’t always been on the FIRE (financial independence retire early) path. In fact, there were many years that we each spent in debt and blindly floating through life on paths we were not particularly happy to be on. What changed? Lots of stuff. We faced our debts head on, we decided what we truly valued in life and decided to go for it, and then…we met each other! Read more about our frugal 2015 wedding here! So, whether you’re married, single, doing well, or drowning in debt, this post has something for you! Read on for some quick financial wins for the new year. Yes it’s cliché, but I’m going to say it anyway…New year, new financial you!
The other day Mr. MMM and I were sipping our morning coffee at a local, trendy shop (we were given a gift card for Xmas :) and discussing our debts and financial goals for 2017. That conversation turned into us wondering about the debts of an average American household. This was speculative, of course, since we are only guessing what the average American household pays each month. We guesstimated that average in America equals a mortgage, possibly a second mortgage or HELOC, two car payments, a pricey cable/Internet bill, credit card debt, and something called Designer Debt. Designer Debt, in our opinion, includes everything from $300/month cable bills to new cars, fancy clothes, expensive vacations, traveling sports teams, high-priced lunches and dinners, and yes, lattes. Spending foolishly and creating Designer Debt allows people to emulate the wealthy by doing the things they do, wearing the things they wear, and driving the cars they drive. It also puts many people in the fast lane on their way to Brokesville!