Get $$ Organized

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Another Saturday at the clinic.  I brought a homemade lunch.  πŸ™‚

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In the mix:

 

  • Spinach
  • Roasted broccoli
  • Roasted sweet potato
  • Sprouts
  • Two hard boiled eggs
  • Balsamic dressing

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Get $$ Organized

 

One of my 2011 resolutions is to figure out our finances.  My goals include:

 

  • Pay taxes on a quarterly basis (started to do this last year)
  • Open a LLC for my businesses (done)
  • Begin running all business finances separately from my personal finances
  • Get a ROTH IRA  (yes… we don’t have any money saved for retirement yet!)
  • Reduce unnecessary spending (eating out)
  • Save for a sweet-ass vacation
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage
  • Get more affordable health insurance
  • Get cheaper car insurance
  • Get disability insurance for both the Husband and I (if the Husband broke his hand, we’d be screwed – he’s an acupuncturist.  And if – God forbid – I was in an accident and couldn’t work, we’d be seriously in financial trouble.)

 

Taxes are really not fun when you own five businesses and have 15 W-9s between two people.  Luckily, I hire a professional to do most of the heavy lifting.

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I’ve been re-reading The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke by Suze Ormon to help me figure everything out.  I love this book because she explains everything VERY CLEARLY (as in, she doesn’t even assume you know what interest is), which is definitely what I need!  I’m a dummy when it comes to money.

The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke

My former boss gave me this book a few years ago, but I wasn’t really responsible or ready for a lot of it.  But man – some of the information is really coming in handy now.   If you are young, fabulous, and broke (or broke-ish), you should definitely grab this book.

 

Are you money savvy?  Or a money dummy like me?

{ 77 comments }

 

  • Katie @ Healthy Heddleston February 26, 2011, 2:00 pm

    I love love Suze Ormanand have one of her books but not this one!

  • Freya February 26, 2011, 2:02 pm

    Uuh I’m half savvy/half dummy – I tend to overspend, but when it’s crunch time, I know how to save and cut back. A good balance, methinks πŸ˜€

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin February 26, 2011, 2:03 pm

    My sister bought me that book a few years ago and I LOVE it.

    I was very financially irresponsbile when I first got out of college, so I racked up a LOT of credit card debt (I didn’t know about your trick for freezing credit cards back then!). This year though I’ve really made huge strides in taking care of the debt. I also have an IRA with a good amount of money in it from two separate jobs, and I have a savings account i automatically transfer funds into every paycheck. I give myself a B.

  • Lori Lynn February 26, 2011, 2:07 pm

    I’m terrible with my finances. I usually stay on top of things as far as debt, but I have a hard time sticking to a budget!

  • Carolyn February 26, 2011, 2:08 pm

    I read that book a few years back and enjoyed the style: provided valuable information for someone financially unsavvy but had great tips for those that understand the basics. I was always a saver growing up but lately I feel my major expenses are more than I would like-it’s tough to balance a safe home & cost when you are single.

  • Amanda (Eating Up) February 26, 2011, 2:14 pm

    I may need to check that book out!

  • Jenn February 26, 2011, 2:14 pm

    Hey! Enough with the negative talk!
    Sure there are more things to know about finances but you are NOT a dummy!

  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith February 26, 2011, 2:18 pm

    I’m glad you liked Suze Orman’s book. I’ve seen her on the Today Show, but she always seems so smart and intimidating! I’m kind of a money dummy – not necessarily with checks and balances, but with taxes, IRAs and retirement? And clergy taxes are even more complicated because we’re technically “self-employed” but not really. Ugh.

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair February 26, 2011, 2:19 pm

    I’ve heard really good things about that book! I would say we are pretty financially responsible, we are 22 and 24 and just bought our first townhouse. We have no debt other than car payments on one car and now our mortgage (no credit card or student loan debt though. Yay!) we both have decent sized savings accounts as “nest eggs” and I just bought my first RRSP last week so I guess I’m officially saving for retirement.

    I’m too much of a stress case about money to NOT be financially responsible. I stress about spending too much money all the time!

  • Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} February 26, 2011, 2:19 pm

    I took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace course my first year out of college and I learned so much. I think it’s helped me be responsible with my $$.

  • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks February 26, 2011, 2:22 pm

    Money dummy! πŸ˜›

  • Paige @Running Around Normal February 26, 2011, 2:24 pm

    I try…but I’m pretty clueless!!

  • Cindy February 26, 2011, 2:27 pm

    I am terrible with money. In my early 20’s I had to file for bankruptcy b/c I got laid off and had no money whatsoever and no job.

    I just did my taxes and found that I made less than half of what I did in 2009. No wonder I was always broke!

    Now I am in grad school again living on loans, and have no idea what will happen when it is time to move on or go back home.

    I hope I can get a steady job so I can once again have financial stability.

  • April @ Crazy Fabulous Life February 26, 2011, 2:34 pm

    I kind of love the title of that book. πŸ™‚

  • sarah February 26, 2011, 2:34 pm

    great book! It made me feel more hopeful about the money situation. I try to save 1/2 of my after-tax income and invest a total of 15% of my income a year toward retirement (my work matches some, which is a help). It is frustrating when other fees go up and so does the cost of living and healthcare. I can control my spending, but when other uncontrollable costs rise it is discouraging.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) February 26, 2011, 2:38 pm

    I am a money dummy, but I am a work in progress. It gets overwhelming, but I am learning to take baby steps with it.

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) February 26, 2011, 2:39 pm

    I am pretty money savvy … I refuse to ever pay interest on a credit card, and the only debt I will “allow” myself (and the hubby) is a mortgage and 1 car loan.

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) February 26, 2011, 2:40 pm

    I’m good and bad with money. I still rely on my parents a little (still in college), but I really try to be careful with my money. I budget and make sure I do not go over my monthly total.

  • Susan February 26, 2011, 2:46 pm

    I consider myself to money savvy and fortunately the BF is, too. We’re in our 30’s, have good stable jobs, contribute to retirement and the only debt we have is our mortgage. We pay extra on our mortgage each month and hope to have the mortgage paid off in 20 years, before we both retire. I find that what really helps us is having multiple bank and credit card accounts. We each get a monthly allowance put into our personal accounts and the bulk of our funds are in the house account. It allows us the freedom to buy whatever we want without worrying that we won’t have money to pay the bills.

  • Evan Thomas February 26, 2011, 2:51 pm

    I am very money savvy. I pinch every penny as hard as I can. I bought my mom a Suze Orman book for Christmas about women controlling their own money. It was all I could think of because the only other book she’s read in the last 10 years is The Millionaire Next Door.

  • monicanelsonfitness February 26, 2011, 2:54 pm

    I am right there with ya! We can do this. πŸ˜‰

  • Crystal February 26, 2011, 2:58 pm

    Thank you for the book suggestion. I am definitely going to check it out. I would love to get my finances in order and find more ways for my money to work for me πŸ™‚

  • Rachel @Balance and Blueberries February 26, 2011, 3:05 pm

    Working toward savvy. I just had a meeting with a financial planner this morning to get my retirement acct up and running…it wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it was going to be! Check out daveramsey.com/elp if you want to find one to help you set up a Roth IRA.

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) February 26, 2011, 3:15 pm

    I consider myself to be pretty darn financially savvy. I bought homes in my early 20s, bought a piece of offshore real estate at 26, have all my savings plans lined up, handle insurances, and pretty much take charge of my money.

    Necessity was the mother of invention. No one was going to figure it out for me and so I just HAD to figure it out on myself and now am so happy when other women realize the important of handling their business and get savvy too πŸ™‚

  • jen @ taste life February 26, 2011, 3:16 pm

    I’m good at saving money, but I hate money-related paperwork. Like, I’m really bad about receipts and keeping track of documents related to mortgage, insurance, taxes, etc. Trying to get better! Only about 1500 bucks saved for my retirment. I have a feeling that’s not going to be enough!

  • Kate February 26, 2011, 3:19 pm

    I love Suze Orman and that book.

    I’m under 30 and single but I decided to get serious and get life insurance and long-term disability is a small ad on….it’s an investment because the younger you are the cheaper it is. Also cool is that I was only the 3rd person my agent had that got the preferred plus best rate you can have πŸ™‚ (after a bajillion health questions, blood work, weight, urine sample, them collecting stuff from all my dr.’s, etc..)

    Good luck..and get going on it…it’s not instantaneous..because of all the checking they have to do.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey February 26, 2011, 3:27 pm

    Those goals are definitely doable! I’m lucky that my Husband is all over financial security and has had an IRA since he was 22 for our retirement.

  • Zo February 26, 2011, 3:32 pm

    Ugh. Total money dummy and what’s worse, I used to take pride in that (like “I’m noble, I don’t care about money”). I’m starting to be more proactive about it….but not enough!

  • Em February 26, 2011, 3:35 pm

    I would get even more broke if I went out and bought that book lol! I may have to check the library. We manage money pretty well but my husband is in the military and get’s paid next to nothing!

  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope February 26, 2011, 3:44 pm

    I love Suze Orman! I began saving for retirement through my 401k at work as soon as i was hired. I had my brother in law (accountant, turned federal agent) help me pick where to split up the funds and i contribute to my company match. I’m 26 and in two years, with the match, i’ve saved $15,000. I’m proud, to say the least.

  • Baking 'n' Books February 26, 2011, 3:49 pm

    I have no savings and no insurance.

    It doesn’t make sense for me to even plan/save for retirement until I get all my debt (student loans) paid off…which is about $130,000. So it’s going to be a long, long time….

    Does she tell you how to get rid of those in a year or two (with all other payments??) ?? !! πŸ™‚

  • Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) February 26, 2011, 3:50 pm

    I’m a money dummy probably. Fortunately I’m married to a finance guy. At least there are some smarts in this house!

  • Parita @ myinnershakti February 26, 2011, 3:53 pm

    I’m not as money savvy as I could be. I do have a few CDs, a Roth IRA, and 401k with my company – thanks to my mom. πŸ™‚ Where I think I can improve is with my daily spending. I need to more cognizant of where I use my credit card (it’s too easy to swipe that little baby!).

    • Susan February 26, 2011, 5:50 pm

      When I’m trying to cut back on my spending, I go the cash route. On Monday I’ll take out a certain amount of money and make it last through Sunday. And it’s nice when there’s still money left Sunday evening.

  • Kara February 26, 2011, 3:54 pm

    My husband does all the money stuff and he’s very good at it (plus we have a financial planner). My husband makes sure we have life insurance and a retirement fund and I just have to worry about dinner πŸ™‚

  • Michelle (The Runner's Plate) February 26, 2011, 4:09 pm

    My husband and I are quite savvy with our money. We just finished paying off student loans (after only being out of college for 3 years), I’ve had a Roth IRA open for 5 years that I’ve been adding to each year, and we are now saving for a house!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife February 26, 2011, 4:11 pm

    That looks like a good book….because I am sort of a dummy when it comes to finances-but at least I try!! πŸ™‚

  • K- Anywhere There's An Airport February 26, 2011, 4:18 pm

    Before I quit my job and moved to Spain I worked in the world of Finance. So I like think I know a thing or two. πŸ™‚

    I am meticulous with my money. Every penny must be accounted for! On the verge of OCD!

    Better than the alternative I suppose.

  • Jill February 26, 2011, 4:31 pm

    Pay yourself first. I have always been AR about saving-retirement/investments/emergency funds. I took a few courses on personal finance and read a bunch of books. I love money! πŸ™‚
    And remember, it’s not what you make, it’s what you save–beware of the latte factor.

  • Lauren @ChiGalLauren February 26, 2011, 4:34 pm

    Finances are so freaking complicated! I’m clueless, luckily my boyfriend knows enough for the both of us!

  • Amber K February 26, 2011, 4:45 pm

    We always use TurboTax and other finance computer software to do stuff like that. Although if Ihad as many businesses and W9’s to deal with I would totally have to go to a professional. My financial knowledge is a bit limited.

  • Michele @ Healthy Cultivations February 26, 2011, 4:45 pm

    I have that Suze Orman book too, and I learned many things from it. It’s a nice boost when you find out you’re doing some things right already.

  • Gracie (complicated day) February 26, 2011, 4:53 pm

    Super money savvy. I think the key is delayed gratification. I’m good at that, so it’s never been a problem for me to save for retirement, college, a car, or a vacation. I will happily eat beans today so I can have caviar at the Ritz three years from now!

  • Ashley February 26, 2011, 4:54 pm

    I love that you show the random places you put your food! So funny. Good luck with tax stuff!

  • Kylie @ A Hungry Spoon February 26, 2011, 5:02 pm

    I love Suze! My husband and I have been following her advice and reading her books for almost 5 years πŸ™‚

    PS–Lunch looks fabulous!

  • Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete February 26, 2011, 5:04 pm

    I’m a Dave Ramsey fan and we are becoming more and more money savvy — credit cards are paid off, car loans are slowly being paid off and we are building our savings as well. I can’t wait until we have 0 payments and can start stashing away more money in retirement funds, etc.

    Good luck with your goals — seems like you have the right steps in place. What has helped us the most is having a budget each month and sticking to it.

  • Elizabeth@The Sweet Life February 26, 2011, 5:09 pm

    Smart choices. In my experience, saving for retirement and getting disability insurance are the most important.

  • Clare February 26, 2011, 5:45 pm

    Have you heard of Ramit Sethi? He’s awesome for our generation too.

  • Camille February 26, 2011, 5:50 pm

    Dang! If I had that many taxes to do I would definitely hire someone to do mine!

  • Meredith February 26, 2011, 5:57 pm

    i had actually been thinking about buying that book, so i’m glad to hear you like it! i will definitely add it to my shopping cart on amazon now πŸ™‚
    i’m pretty good with money right now just because i don’t really have any! i never eat out, rarely get starbucks, get all of my books from the library. however my internship is coming to an end in 14 weeks so hopefully i will have a real source of income, and i’ll need to make some big purchases (such as furniture) so that’s a little nervewracking! i’m not sure i will know how to spend money, since i’ve spent so much time trying not to do it!

  • AJ @ Flowing to Fifty February 26, 2011, 6:01 pm

    Did anyone’s parents teach them great money habits? Did yours? My folks didn’t know much themselves, although they were very conservative about spending. I had to learn everything myself…usually the hard way!

    • Sara February 26, 2011, 6:07 pm

      I owe my money smarts to my mom! She bought me that Suze Orman book, started a Roth for me when I was in college (I fund it now that I’m working), and helped me comb over my 401(k) options. Everyone needs to talk about money with their kids (and their parents…make sure your parents are being responsible, so when they retire you won’t go broke supporting them while raising your own kids!).

  • Andrea February 26, 2011, 6:09 pm

    I am starting to be better with my money – saving and attempting to pay down debts!
    It’s hard when you have a shopping problem. Like in organic food stores. *SIGH* Great post!

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) February 26, 2011, 6:14 pm

    I’m really dumb about money, but thankfully my dad is not so he always gives me advice πŸ™‚

  • Tracy February 26, 2011, 6:15 pm

    I love love love Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. Seriously. Read. This. Book. I couldn’t put it down and finished it in a day. It will change your life!!!!! I am still working on it, but I am feeling much better about money!

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) February 26, 2011, 6:30 pm

    I don’t think you are a dummy about money at all – getting educated is a process. Definitely start saving for retirement ASAP; it’s rewarding because after a few years, you’ll look at your account balance and be surprised by how high it is.

    I have been a saver since graduating from college, which has helped with retirement savings, buying property (in an expensive city), and generally getting to a comfortable place financially. It’s a matter of deciding where you want to spend money and where you can cut – for me, I drive a 16 year old car, bring my coffee/lunch to work with me, and don’t get cable television. I suggest reading Michelle Singletary’s articles and columns in The Washington Post. Her approach is very tough-love but straightforward.

  • Shannon February 26, 2011, 6:51 pm

    I’m lucky (I certainly didn’t think so when I was a kid) because my dad is a financial planner. He made sure we understood how to save and why we needed to save. He also taught us that it was important to SPEND the money you have saved – not all of it, but certainly if you’ve saved for a specific purpose, spend it once you’ve saved it!

    I was also lucky because I managed to find a husband who has pretty good money sense.

    It’s not easy though…we have a budget and a financial plan and it takes time and effort to stick to it. But it’s worth it. The budget and financial plan took a while to get to a point where they worked for us, but now that we have it figured out, it’s worth the time it takes!

  • Amy February 26, 2011, 6:52 pm

    I was good about saving money when I worked full-time but now that I’m part-time and in graduate school, I haven’t curbed my spending as much as I should. I need to work out a better system so that I don’t spend money foolishly (goodbye $4 coffees from Sbux!) and start saving whenever I can. I like the cash idea someone above mentioned. That would definitely help me! Also, I have that book too and need to start reading over it more closely.

  • Marta February 26, 2011, 7:02 pm

    5 businessed? what else do you own?

  • Alayna @ Thyme Bombe February 26, 2011, 7:24 pm

    Girl you gotta get on saving for retirement NOW! I’m not wagging my finger at you, but it’s just a fact that in order to maintain your current lifestyle you need to start saving earlier than most people think and putting away a lot more than most people think. It feels terrible to put that much money away every month when you could be using it, even if you really need it, but it’s not going nowhere–you’re paying your future self!

    • Caitlin February 26, 2011, 8:30 pm

      I know I know! πŸ™‚

  • Lee February 26, 2011, 7:29 pm

    I’m pretty much a money dummy. Although my husband and I both do have a 401K so that’s a start, right?

  • Ashley February 26, 2011, 8:07 pm

    I was definitely money savvy…..right up until I started grad school! I had to start taking out loans & living on credit because I didn’t make enough to cover even my most basic expenses. It sucks, but I think of it as an investment in the future.

  • Katherine: Unemployed February 26, 2011, 8:45 pm

    I just returned this book to the library!

  • Rachel @ Healthy Teacher February 26, 2011, 8:50 pm

    Taxes blow. I worked as an editor free lance for a while and made a lot of money I had to do a 1099 on last year. Twas painful.

  • Lindsay February 26, 2011, 9:38 pm

    I am pretty “dumb” about money, but my Dad knows so much that I basically do what I am told. He set up my IRA and Savings and has the money come out of my bi-weekly pay checks into those accounts. Then I also have a 401k that I pay into with each pay check aswell. Sometimes I get angry because I want the money right then and there, but I know that I am preparing for my future! πŸ˜‰

  • Sara N February 26, 2011, 9:53 pm

    Don’t forget about life insurance if you don’t already have it!

  • Kris February 26, 2011, 10:46 pm

    We’ve always been pretty financially savvy and very thrifty, and DH enjoyed managing our savings so much that when he was approaching Navy retirement (30 yrs.) he went to school at night to get his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification. He’s now been working as a financial advisor for seven years, and really enjoys helping people plan for their financial futures. Even though it’s hard to get started, as the years go by and the savings accumulate, it’s a great feeling to know you have planned for the future. Don’t be overwhelmed, just get started πŸ™‚

  • Christine February 26, 2011, 11:33 pm

    Another Dave Ramsey fan here – we just got out of debt (other than our house) $143,000 paid off in 4 years . . . so exciting to be on the right track!

    • Caitlin February 27, 2011, 10:36 am

      That is awesome. You are so amazing!!!

  • Lyn February 27, 2011, 8:32 am

    I’m going to put in a shameless plug for another great book:
    “You’re So Money” by Farnoosh Torabi. It’s geared toward young people (20s-30s) and it has a bunch of debt reducing tips and money saving tips. The author has been a finance correspondent on the Today show and I actually went to school with her at Penn State – we met on a volunteer trip to Boston when she was a senior and I was a freshman in 2002. I’ve since fallen out of touch with her but she’s an awesome, smart girl and a great writer! I’m looking for more from her coming out soon!

    • Caitlin February 27, 2011, 10:37 am

      I will look into this! Thanks!

  • Jess @JessCantCook February 27, 2011, 10:37 am

    I’m kind of a personal finance nerd, I read all kinds of finance blogs (in addition to all kinds of healthy living/cooking blogs) but I don’t always put all the great tips I read into practice. My favorite finance blogs are Wise Bread and The Simple Dollar – great advice!

    I also in college pushed for my school to add a personal finance class as part of their general education requirements. They haven’t done it yet but I took the personal finance class as part of my Business degree and I REALLY think everyone should take one before they graduate and get into “the real world.”

  • Sarah W. February 28, 2011, 1:00 pm

    I would LOVE to know what company you end up picking for disability insurance. This is something i want to get too.

    I also still need life insurance on the hubby and myself (we own a house) have you gotten life insurance on the other yet?

  • Kandi February 28, 2011, 1:10 pm

    I am NOT money savvy. I am terrible at money. So much so that I have that same Suzie Orman book. Its been sitting on my bookshelf collecting dust. πŸ™

  • Sara @ OurDogBuffy March 2, 2011, 11:28 am

    I don’t understand finances at all (outside of balancing our checkbook and understanding that spending more than you bring in doesn’t work), but my husband is a financial counselor. Score!

  • Kristine March 3, 2011, 3:39 pm

    If you are looking for good car insurance rates, I would suggest checking out AAA. If you are a member, their premiums are ridiculously good (I’m spending about $40 less a month on two cars than I was spending on one car with State Farm!). You can also get a multi-line discount if you get your renter’s insurance through them.

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