I talk a lot about money. In fact, I’ve written about it 262 times over the past two years. While I’ve learned a lot, I’m no money expert. I’m also not an expert blogger, so you won’t see anything in this anniversary post related to blogging income (spoiler: it’s in the negatives) or vanity metrics (I don’t
check them understand them). Instead, what I wanted to share are ten personal money truths. Think of it as the most boring game of Truth or Dare ever. You’re welcome.
I’ve saved six figures more than once. I’ve been a saver my whole life. In fact, I probably also have six figures worth of arcade tickets squirreled away somewhere in my parents’ house. Mama raised me right. That’s not to say that saving is easy. It isn’t. But it’s the one muscle I exercise consistently. Well, that and my brilliant mind. Ba dum tss.
My Roth IRA will be maxed out again. That’s right. Even with an unpaid maternity leave, this saver engineered a schedule that has my Roth maxed out by April. Again. While I can only boast about having maxed it out for the past four years, I have been contributing to it since I got my first on-the-books job for $5.25 an hour when I was fourteen. Babysitting money went straight into my earn-dust-not-interest savings account or my shopping fund.
Our mortgage is our only debt. Over the past two years, we put over $50,000 towards that monster while still saving and investing. While it won’t make for an incredibly clickbait-ish post compared to some of the other speed demons out there, our mortgage will be gone by the time I’m 40. Put another way, our 30-year loan will be paid off in about 13 years. Unless we get really impatient and ramp up our prepayments. Only time will tell.
I’m going to earn six figures by the time I’m 40. It’s true. Thanks to working on a salary schedule, I know exactly what my income will be each year. The only variable is how quickly I can finish my professional development work, like my National Board certification and my gazillionth graduate school class.
I side hustled my way into labor. No, really. I had somehow convinced myself that I was going to have a full blown B-list rom com baby moment, so I even put a towel in my tutoring bag. Thankfully, my water didn’t break at the library. That scene played out a whopping 20 minutes until after I got home. When I was admitted to the hospital shortly afterward, my contractions were two minutes apart. Those dull pains I had been working through all day and tried to subdue with a Tylenol? “Oh, you sweet thing. That was your labor starting.” I’m pretty sure the intake nurse is still laughing.
Wait…I Did What?
We had an expensive wedding…and we liked it. I already waxed poetic about outrageously expensive shoes (TLDR: they are perfect). But one day I’ll do the full confession on everything from the top-shelf open bar for 125 guests to a $4 per guest upcharge on fancy linens (i.e. the things people spilled on and wiped their mouths with). It’s not that I don’t admire people who have frugal weddings. It’s not that we couldn’t have found other things to do with our money. It’s just that we figured we’re only getting married once, so we wanted to have the wedding of our dreams. And we did.
I still haven’t figured out what to do with my 403(b). Yup. It’s true. Fees are so high and investing is so predatory in teaching that doing nothing seems safer than doing the wrong thing. Truth be told, they’re equally stupid. In fact, not investing is probably dumber. After we return to our two-income household status, we should have a much better idea of how much we can contribute. Then, we just have to pull the trigger.
We aren’t moving anytime soon. Illinois is hella expensive. I know, I know. If you’re not from here, you either envision Chicago’s gorgeous skyline. Or corn. While I do have dreams of growing corn in my backyard one day, I can assure you that we live in a suburb that is more McMansion than Old MacDonald. While our house is reasonable (to us), the property taxes are not. Neither is the state income tax. Or any of the other stupidity that comes from our state government. But this state is also home to the best pizza you’ve ever had, summers like no other, and a support system of family and friends that has to be worth a veritable fortune. So, we’re staying put.
I forgot to cancel my travel hacking credit card. I kicked all sorts of money butt with my first foray into travel hacking. I made the minimum spend. I added Mr. P for the authorized user bonus. I earned enough points to get us both to FinCon for free, including air and hotel. And then I forgot what month it was and ended up having to pay the $95 annual fee. Oops. (Maybe a nice phone call during which I plead pregnancy brain will get it waived. I can dream, right?)
I really, really like my brand new car. We each bought new cars. Not new-to-us. Brand spanking new cars. Yes, I know they depreciated as soon as we drove them off the lot. Yes, I know I am the butt of literally every “new cars are for dummies” blog post. You know what? IDGAF. I like knowing that the only dings on my car were made by me (confession: there is one). I like driving around with the factory-installed plastic protectors that say please remove still adhered to the inside of my doors. I also like being able to say that we own them outright and will drive them until either they die or we do. Got it, Mr. P? No more SUV Google searches, sir.
So Tell Me…Care to share one of your money truths?