Eyes on the Prize! Our goals are set and NOW we have the tools to achieve them. Small adjustments have us on the road to decreasing debt & increasing… Continue reading
Eyes on the Prize
Since meeting with Katelyn, our PenAir NOW financial advisor, words like financial freedom, college funds, retirement, savings, 401K, investments, and debt free are all part of our household’s daily conversations. We have set goals and now have the tools to achieve them.
Assignment: Write Down Our Monthly Income, Expenses and Don’t Leave Out All the “Extras”
WOW, what an eye-opening experience that was for Wes & I. Fortunately, we both have good jobs that provide our family with a nice home, vehicles, vacations and all the extracurricular activities we find ourselves doing. After more closely examining our spending habits, we realized we were wasting a lot of money every month. Katelyn helped us to see how applying part of our “waste” to existing debt and our savings would help us accomplish our goals a lot sooner.
1. Credit and Consolidation
Consolidating several small accounts with monthly payments into a single payment allowed us to shift money into savings & start exploring a Roth Ira. Katelyn helped us to see the domino effect that will take place over time. What might appear to be chump change at first, can increase into much larger amounts that earn higher interest over time. The more debt we eliminate will increase the amounts we can shift into savings.
2. Level UP
Opening both of our boy’s a Level UP savings account was another suggestion from Katelyn. The Level UP Youth Account Program is designed to help young members (ages birth to 18) watch their money grow with them. Another small step that provides us the opportunity to teach the boys about savings. Nothing can substitute the real-life rewards for making small sacrifices. A journey we can all take together.
It might not seem big to most, but to young ears, hearing “No” to our normal fast-food Friday or “No” to Pizza night is a HUGE deal. Learning words like “chores“, “allowance” and “that’s not in the budget” can be a bit overwhelming. We are hoping as they watch their balance’s increase & learn the value of a dollar, they will understand and want to save more than they spend.
3. Is that a “Want” or a “Need”?
The biggest change for Wes & I is really going to be examining our wants vs needs …. and sticking with the plan! Do I really need to spend $150-$200 every week on groceries when the deep freezer is full and the pantry is fully stocked?
Truthfully, with a little organization & meal planning, we could probably survive a month with only stopping for milk and bread. Thanks to the NOW program, and these small changes we’re implementing, instead of spending the $150 this week, we’ll be applying it toward the principle on our car payment.
Moving On Up
These small & yet simple adjustments we are making in just this first month have already put us on the road to decreasing debt & increasing savings. Our goals of retirement & college funds are NOW realistic and not just something we are thinking about.
The Wooton family is starting small but have plans of finishing BIG!!!