Feb 17, 2011

$$ Tips From Us, 2

You may recall the original $$ Tips From Us post from last year. I actually got a positive comment on it. And I started thinking about that today when my first conversation of the day was receiving advice from financial planner and one of my last was giving advice to a friend.

So I'm here to do a sequel. Here's three money tips from us.
  1. Have a misc line item. First, I suggest line items in your budget. They can be as broad or narrow as you like. And I highly suggest a misc line item. For us, "misc" includes gifts, house things (like hoses or dish towels), puppy dog nail trimming, people hair cuts, Christmas lights, etc. It's a big list in our world so it's kinda a big dollar amount. These are things that don't happen every month, but gosh darn it, you know they are going to happen sometime in the year. Just because they aren't regular doesn't mean you can get away with not accounting for it.
  2. Spending money. This was originally a Ross idea that I was not into, but as much as I hate to admit it, he was right. This works swell for us. If we're good friends, I've probably told you about this so I'll be brief. Basically we each get a little money every month for crap. For me "crap" is Starbucks and pedicures. For him "crap" is video games and maybe golfing. Frankly, I don't know a whole lot about what his "crap" is because it comes from his spending money and thus doesn't affect me. And that's the beauty of it. In general we define spending money as something that benefits you alone including happy hour (without the other one), pedicures, golf, Starbucks, alone-vacations and the like. (Note: it does not include gas which I've seen some couples do and I have to admit, I just disagree with. You can't help if your job is 30 miles away and his is 3. Or if you take his car everywhere because it gets better mileage. These things hardly seem fair so I recommended having gas as its own line item.)
  3. Invest. I knew this...kinda but this is actually borrowed from Erik, my new bff at UBS. Today he told me that we have to invest more. Apparently cold hard cash, while awesome, ain't gonna cover it for retirement. I'm taking Erik's advice and as soon as I can figure out the paperwork associated with my 401k will be increasing my contribution from 3% to 5% in hopes of ending my days in a South Texas beach condo. Confession: This is the tip I know the least about. Investments and I are still a relatively new friendship but I hope to become besties soon.
If you and your honey are trying to figure out your money, I hope this helps. We're not experts but every once in a while we stumble upon something that works really well and I say, why reinvent the wheel.

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