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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.

Friday, July 11, 2014

52 week savings challenge down to 0 week savings challenge

Well, there goes my 52 week savings challenge.  Had to use the saved up funds for baby #2's nursery.  In any case, I'm excited for the nursery as I have a specific vision for it.  My original vision had to be altered because two dressers would have been too long to fit on either side of the window.  Instead, back to one big dresser right in the middle.  I took before pictures and will post after pictures when I'm all done.

Monday, June 16, 2014

It's been a LONG time!

Wow, it's been almost exactly three months since I wrote my last post. Where have I been? Nowhere really... I was just experiencing a writing slump as it is one of my least favorite activities to do.

With that said, my last post was about investing your spare change automatically using Acorns. So I've been using Acorns a little over a month and I currently have $141.57 invested from my spare change. To be exact, I signed up on May 15, 2014. I like the idea and I think I'll stick with it. They have 5 different portfolios you can choose from: Conservative, Moderately Conservative, Moderate, Moderately Aggressive, Aggressive. I am currently using the Aggressive portfolio. Let me know if you want me to break it down.

Our journey to zero debt is still in effect. Instead of paying the student loan off with the debt snowball amount, I'm actually putting it away in savings. So the basis is, save enough to pay off the student loan at once. This also makes us feel a lot safer if we need cash for an emergency. If there's no emergency until then, we can pay it off.

I've also invested a chunk of our savings (student loan payoff fund) to 6 different stocks/funds that pay out monthly dividends and plan on re-investing the monthly dividends into more shares of which it came from. I've also been using an online bank where a lot of the transactions can only be done via iOS of Android app. It's called Simple. I like the idea behind it but the only reason I'm not fully migrating to this as my checking account is the lack of joint account feature. My wife and I share all our finances so it's imperative that we can have a joint account with a debit card of our own. I've been speaking with the customer service team at Simple and it doesn't seem like they're going to introduce a full joint account feature which is no go for us. I'll keep my eye out to see if they ever do.

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.