My husband, Mal, and I aren’t financial experts by any means, but we’re pretty good with our money. Mal is a successful teacher, and I’ve been fortunate enough to form an amazing career by having Carrots ‘N’ Cake. We definitely consider ourselves lucky.
But, a big part of why we live a good life is because we make decisions to ensure peace of mind in our household. Part of that is making sure we are on the right financial path.
For my regular readers, you know I don’t normally talk about money or similar “intimidating” topics often, but the Haven Life team has a tendency to try and bring me out of my shell with more personal topics. Here’s the thing though – I don’t think talking about money or celebrating your monetary successes or good choices should be such a taboo topic. In fact, I think it’s one that can enrich our lives and help us all do better!
I think many of my readers have embarked on the same life stages as I have. They’ve gotten married, had a child (or many!), and bought homes or taken on large home renovations. So I want you all to know about some of the decisions we’ve made to create financial peace of mind in our house. And I welcome you to share the ones you’ve made to help enrich us all.
Mal and I work together as a team to manage our money. We have similar views on our finances, so we’re both involved in the decision-making process and sharing this responsibility definitely makes us stronger as a couple.
Meetings With Our Financial Adviser
Mal and I aren’t experts when it comes to our finances, but we make informed decisions based on what makes us feel most comfortable. This includes biannual meetings with our financial adviser, who helps guide our choices. Our appointments are very thorough and sometimes last a couple of hours, but they’re worth it for the financial peace of mind and feeling confident in our decisions.
Regularly Contributing to Retirement Accounts
Ensuring our financial security in the future is important to Mal and me. We know that consistent savings makes a positive impact on building wealth for the long-term. Because of this, we have regular, automatic withdrawals from our checking account to our retirement accounts. We also have multiple retirement accounts. Mal has a pension and 403B. I have a SEP as well as an IRA. We have structured our retirement accounts this way in order to diversify our wealth into multiple sources of income.
Purchasing Life Insurance
Even though purchasing life insurance for the both of us may not impact our everyday financial decisions, it’s important to our family’s future if anything were to happen to Mal or me. We want to make sure everyone is taken care of, especially Quinn. Life insurance will help ensure that should Mal or I die, we, individually, and Quinn will be alright financially to pay our bills and to continue on our financial path and current family lifestyle. Both Mal and I have a term life insurance policy with each other named as the beneficiary.
College Savings Account for Quinn
It’s important for us to ensure that our son, Quinn, has as many opportunities open to him as possible, which includes having the financial means available to him when it comes time to decide if he will go to college. I ran into a number of financial problems when I applied for college and had to turn down one of my top options because of it, so I don’t want the same thing to happen to him. For this reason, we’ve opened a couple of savings accounts for him, including a UGMA/UTMA 529 as well as a regular savings account at our bank, and contribute to them on a weekly basis via automatic withdrawal from our checking accounts.
Living Within Our Means
Mal and I are very much do-ers and planners, so we often make plans to tackle big home renovation projects or take vacations. We don’t want to be limited financially when it comes to these goals, so we’re constantly putting away funds for these things. Often times, we set financial goals and regularly work to meet them. For instance, we’re currently in the process of getting quotes to revamp our master closet after putting aside a little money every month.
Financial decisions, especially ones that affect your family, can feel daunting and overwhelming, but even just taking small steps in the right direction can have impactful results and provides invaluable peace of mind. It’s also really empowering since you know exactly where your money is going and how it’s being used. You don’t need to be an expert to learn about and manage your finances. It comes down to making decisions that are best for your family and feeling good about them.
Tina Haupert is the blogger behind Carrots ‘N’ Cake, a lifestyle blog that followers her as she strives to live a healthy and fit life in southern Massachusetts with her husband, toddler and pug.