A little about my background:
My interest in personal finance started many years ago out of necessity. After I graduated from college in the early 90's, I moved out on my own. My parents lovingly suggested that I live with them to save money, but I knew better...or so I thought. I wanted to be an adult and I wanted to have my own place.
So I moved in with some roommates and WOW, the bills started rolling in. Rent, utilities, car payment, gas, school loan, professional wardrobe, and I guess I should eat. I was stunned at how expensive being an adult was and how my entry level, adult salary didn't go very far. I got myself into a little bit of credit card debt, about $2000 worth.
The credit debt, along with my new car note and student loan weighed on my conscious. Who knew adulthood would be so stressful. It was always on my mind and I had trouble sleeping. I realized quickly that to decrease my debt I needed to do two things: to increase my income and tighten up on the spending.
I spent the next 13 years climbing the corporate latter and working as a buyer for a department store chain. When I started making fairly good money, I was able to pay off that credit card debt, my student loan and my car note. I started investing in my company 401k with its match program and profit sharing. I set aside money and my husband and I were able to pay cash for our wedding.
At the same time I lived a somewhat frugal life compared to some of my counterparts in the retail industry. I drove my first car for nine years. I didn't buy $400 boots. I packed my lunch. I read, devoured and absorbed anything that was written about personal finance. A girl who was once afraid of math in high school, now loved numbers. Number crunching was part of my career and part of my new hobby.
All of that number crunching came in handy with what happened next. After thirteen years in my retail career I was burning out and ready for a change. One Monday morning, my husband called me at work to tell me that his third assistant had quit. At that very moment, I knew what we needed to do.
We spent the next two weeks crunching numbers. Could we afford for me to leave my well-paying job to join him in his business full-time? It was going to be tight, but we were definitely feeling a message from a Higher Power that this was the right time. Although it didn't feel like we were taking a leap of faith. It felt more like we were jumping off the Empire State Building. It was a very scary, yet thrilling time. So we leaped, I turned in my resignation and we started working together full-time. We survived and his business flourished.
It wasn't always easy, but it was the best decision we have ever made as a married couple. After working full time together for two years, we found ourselves pregnant with our first child. And two and half years later, our second child was born. We decided together that it would be best for our family if I stay at home with our kids full-time. My role in the business switched to a behind the scenes business manager position. Currently, I work part-time and mostly from my home computer.
My husband and I work as a team, but it is my responsibility in our home and our business to manage the finances. At the office, my title is Business Manager and at home, my title is Family Office Manager. This includes everything from balancing our checkbook and paying our bills to tracking our spending and managing our retirement accounts. We try to live responsibly and through home-management I am trying to reduce our debts, increase our savings and improve our Family Balance Sheet. I am constantly trying to find new ways to tweak our budget, but at the same time not feel like we are making huge sacrifices.
- Monday's Recipe -Each week, I post a delicious recipe that is not budget-busting. I also try to use fresh ingredients and items that are usually found in any pantry.
- Tuesday through Friday - I will post 2-3 articles about family finances, frugal living and home managment.
I would love for you to follow along on our journey.
If you have any questions, comments, ideas, or opportunities for me, please email me at familybalancesheet at gmail dot com.
Oh and one other thing, I am not a financial professional, just a wife and mom who would rather read personal finance blogs than watch Desperate Housewives, so please consult a professional if you think that you are in need of professional advice.
Read the highlighted article, if you would like to learn about How to Create Your Own Family Balance Sheet.
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