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Thank you for visiting our site. This site is a personal journey of Charlie & Grace and how we're trying to break the shackles of debt by budgeting, being frugal and using the debt snowball method without compromise. We're both in our early 30's, working professionals, and parents to a 14 month toddler, 5 year old lab mix and another baby on the way!

If you have any questions or concerns, or just want to contact me for any opportunities, click here to send me an email.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Automatically invest your spare change? Yes, please!

So I came across this new app which is still in beta and you need to sign up to get on their waiting list.  Acorns, Invest spare change automatically from everyday purchases into a diversified portfolio.  I think it's a genius idea and can't wait to try it.

The idea behind it is very simple.  I'm going to assume that you need to connect the service with your checking account and credit card.  Every time you make a purchase, it'll round up to the next dollar, and the amount rounded up will automatically be invested in a diversified fund.  I'm also going to assume that it makes money by charging a fee to manage your portfolio like any other investment out there.

The good thing about this is you'll be constantly investing without even knowing it or even feeling the pinch of having to come up with upfront capital.

I'm a huge fan of the set it and forget it method of building wealth and this is exactly what it does.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It's been a while...

It's been a while since I wrote a post.  I've been doing a lot of thinking regarding our personal finances.  Our current plan is using the debt snowball method to pay off  my wife's student loan first and then our car.  If we were to stick to this plan religiously, we would be debt-free (minus the mortgage) in about two years.  Now that my son is approaching the age to send him to daycare, that's a cost that I need to factor into our plan.  Another cost to factor in is daycare for baby #2 sometime in February/March.  With daycare costs for both children, that's significantly going to reduce the money we can throw at our debt snowball.  The good thing about personal finance is exactly that, personal.  So with that, there are two options we can pursue.
Option #1 is to continue with our current debt snowball method and pay off as much as we can until baby #2 starts daycare.  Once baby #2 is in daycare, we need to go back to the drawing board and readjust our budget.
Option #2 is to stop our debt snowball immediately, and instead, pay our monthly bills and sock away all additional income into savings while increasing our miscellaneous and grocery budget.  The reason for the increase is because since starting this blog, we have managed to go over it each month.  It's funny that once you're on a plan, these extra expenses seem to pop out of nowhere.
I am leaning towards option #1 because how satisfying would it be to be debt-free?  It's all about sacrificing now to enjoy later.  The good thing it, with a toddler and baby #2 on the way, we'll probably be pretty busy for the next two years or so and won't have much of an opportunity to travel.  Once we are finally debt-free, it's been way overdue for a nice vacation with the family.  By then, our children will be old enough to be able to appreciate a nice vacation and they'll actually remember it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Update: 52 Weeks Savings Challenge

As the title suggests, this is just an update on my 52 weeks savings challenge. As I've written many times before that time seems to be going by really slow, looking at this physical piece of paper as I cross of each week suggests the contrary. 2014 is already 17% over! And glad to say that I'm on track with this challenge.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February is almost over bringing us closer to our goal by one more month.

My apologies for the long title.

I remember exactly how I felt two weeks into January.  Time was going by really really slow.  But it's already the end of February and we're about to make our second debt snowball payment.  We still have a long way to go, but there is a sense of achievement as each and every day passes by.  We are one month closer to reaching our goal.  With this achievement, also comes disappointment.  We have gone over our grocery and miscellaneous budget by quite a bit.  Approximately $400 total I'd say.  I'll have to wait until Friday to see the exact amount.  But there is also a sense of achievement in this disappointment because in the past, I would have given up on the budget if we've gone over by this much.  It's time to be honest with myself and take responsibility of our finances in a real way.

What's the point of all this?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I Feel Like Giving Up...

This post is going to be short and simple.  I feel like giving up on our journey to zero debt, pay the minimum required payments on the student loan and car payment, and put the debt snowball amount into savings.  I guess there's nothing really wrong with that as that's what most people do, but the idea of being debt-free (minus the house) in two years is very compelling.  After paying off the loans, we could invest 15% of both our gross incomes AND max out both our ROTH IRA's.  But is that enough of a motivation to stay focused and continue on?

I guess I just have to take it one day at a time...