Category Archives: Planning

Designing your Financial Dossier

So, I know I am 21, and have no intention of leaving earth yet, but no matter how young you are it’s important to keep files of your records. Wall Street Journal published a list of things you need for your financial dossier. I know I have a tub of records with all our paperwork. That baby is in the closet right by the door. If anything happens I can grab the tub and my laptop in a hurry. Ugh..I need to design an exit strategy for my shoes, at least my favorite ones….wait a minute my clothes too. Now that I think about it, when I get rich I am going to have a fire proof closet!!!

  1. Marriage license and/or divorce papers
  2. Life Insurance policies
  3. Personal and family medical history
  4. Durable Health Care Power of Attorney
  5. Authorization to Release Health Care Power of Attorney
  6. Living Will
  7. Do Not Resuscitate Order
  8. Housing, land, and cemetery deeds
  9. Escrow Mortgage Accounts
  10. Proof of Loans made and debts owed
  11. Vehicle Titles
  12. Stock Certificates, savings bonds, and brokerage accounts
  13. Partnership and corporate operating agreements
  14. Tax Returns
  15. Individual Retirement Accounts
  16. 401(k) accounts
  17. Pension documents
  18. Annuity Contracts
  19. List of Bank Accounts
  20. List of all usernames and passwords
  21. List of safety deposit boxes
  22. Will
  23. Letter of Instruction
  24. Trust Documents

I think this gets really important when you have kids, mortgage, cars, etc. I am not at the point at the stage to have everything on this list, but I will definitely keep in mind when tracking all my documents.

Out of this list, I have #1 and #14. What about you???

SavvyFinancialLatina

20 Financial Milestones for your 20′s

I was going through From Shopping to Saving Blog and I found this awesome financial post! Let’s see how I am doing…

#1 – Finance a dream vacation…in cash – In Progress
We want to travel! We want to go to Costa Rica, Mexico, Greece, Italy, South Africa…and that’s just overseas. We have a lot of saving to do! We haven’t been on our honeymoon yet either.
#2 – Pay off your student loans- Check!
I had scholarships and my parents helped me with living expenses, so no student debt. My hubby’s parents also paid for his college tuition, he just had to work to pay for his living expenses; no student debt.
#3 – Automate paying your credit card bill in full
I don’t have a credit card. Need to get one, I am just weary of it. I am not a fan of automating bills either. Unless it’s constant every month like Netflix, Renter’s Insurance, or Gym Membership. Everything else that is variable, I just go and pay it online. Doesn’t really take me a long time.
#4 – Get rid of all bad debt
We have no debt, so far. If we can get my car for under 10K, we shouldn’t need a loan, either!
#5 – Build an adequate emergency fund
No emergency fund
#6 – Make your first, and last, investment mistake
Hmmm…Not sure about this one…
#7 – Develop a statement of cash flows- CHECK
I am a number cruncher. I know where every dollar goes. I really need to post our monthly spending summary.
#8 – Max out a ROTH
Promise this will be done as soon as we start working. That’s a total of 10K since there are two of us in this marriage :)
#9 – Contribute to your 401(k)
Again, as soon as we have our jobs after college this will happen.
#10 – Get a degree or certification that increases your earning power
Currently working on my MS/MBA.
#11 – Take a career risk
Future!
#12 – Negotiate something
Every day baby!
#13 – Earn your first side grand
Need to work on this!
#14 – Star a sub-savings account for an upcoming financial goal
Need to do this!
#15 – Set a target retirement date
Need to this!
#16 – Monitor your credit
I don’t even know what my credit is. Probably have none since I have never had loans, credit cards, missed payments, etc.
#17 – Say no to a financial salesman
???
#18 – Give just enough to make it hurt
Broke college student
#19 – Invest $1 for every $1 you spend
Need to this!
#20 – Start a 529 College Savings Plan
Future goal.

So, I have a lot of goals to work on for 2012!

What are your thoughts? How is your progress?

SavvyFinancialLatina

20 Financial Milestones for your 20′s

I was going through From Shopping to Saving Blog and I found this awesome financial post! Let’s see how I am doing…

#1 – Finance a dream vacation…in cash – In Progress
We want to travel! We want to go to Costa Rica, Mexico, Greece, Italy, South Africa…and that’s just overseas. We have a lot of saving to do! We haven’t been on our honeymoon yet either.
#2 – Pay off your student loans- Check!
I had scholarships and my parents helped me with living expenses, so no student debt. My hubby’s parents also paid for his college tuition, he just had to work to pay for his living expenses; no student debt.
#3 – Automate paying your credit card bill in full
I don’t have a credit card. Need to get one, I am just weary of it. I am not a fan of automating bills either. Unless it’s constant every month like Netflix, Renter’s Insurance, or Gym Membership. Everything else that is variable, I just go and pay it online. Doesn’t really take me a long time.
#4 – Get rid of all bad debt
We have no debt, so far. If we can get my car for under 10K, we shouldn’t need a loan, either!
#5 – Build an adequate emergency fund
No emergency fund
#6 – Make your first, and last, investment mistake
Hmmm…Not sure about this one…
#7 – Develop a statement of cash flows- CHECK
I am a number cruncher. I know where every dollar goes. I really need to post our monthly spending summary.
#8 – Max out a ROTH
Promise this will be done as soon as we start working. That’s a total of 10K since there are two of us in this marriage :)
#9 – Contribute to your 401(k)
Again, as soon as we have our jobs after college this will happen.
#10 – Get a degree or certification that increases your earning power
Currently working on my MS/MBA.
#11 – Take a career risk
Future!
#12 – Negotiate something
Every day baby!
#13 – Earn your first side grand
Need to work on this!
#14 – Star a sub-savings account for an upcoming financial goal
Need to do this!
#15 – Set a target retirement date
Need to this!
#16 – Monitor your credit
I don’t even know what my credit is. Probably have none since I have never had loans, credit cards, missed payments, etc.
#17 – Say no to a financial salesman
???
#18 – Give just enough to make it hurt
Broke college student
#19 – Invest $1 for every $1 you spend
Need to this!
#20 – Start a 529 College Savings Plan
Future goal.

So, I have a lot of goals to work on for 2012!

What are your thoughts? How is your progress?

SavvyFinancialLatina

My Money, Your Money, Our Money…What Money?

I never imagined I would be thinking about “our” money at 21. My plan was never to get married this young. But then I met an amazing young man, and here I am :)

On Monday’s post I talked about knowing where we stand financially. Consolidating our finances was the first step in eliminating the “my money, your money” mentality and turning it into “our money” mentality. Honestly, the first couple months we had several arguments concerning the division of money ownership. This really scared me because my parents still fight over money, and was (still is) very unpleasant. Also, of all the common things couples fight about, money disputes were the best harbingers of divorce. For wives, disagreements over finances and sex are good predictors of marriage. And for husbands, financial disagreements predicted whether divorce was an option. Once, we started treating it as our money, we haven’t argued about our finances.

I am not trying to single out the single people, here! :p But if you are considering getting married, or are in a long term committed relationship, make sure you can speak freely to your spouse about finances. You do not want this to be an awkward or uncomfortable subject between you because believe me once you start buying stuff together you will have to talk about money.So, have you spoken to your significant other about your finances?

Something else: I am actually in charge of the budget, and deciding where the money goes. My hubby and I discuss it, but I am the one who ends up doing all the research and the paperwork. I’m also in charge of paying the bills! If only he dedicated as much time on personal finance as he did on fantasy sports. Sigh! I guess it’s a good thing I am a Money Freak!!!

Does speaking freely about money make your relationship better?

SavvyFinancialLatina

My Money, Your Money, Our Money…What Money?

I never imagined I would be thinking about “our” money at 21. My plan was never to get married this young. But then I met an amazing young man, and here I am :)

On Monday’s post I talked about knowing where we stand financially. Consolidating our finances was the first step in eliminating the “my money, your money” mentality and turning it into “our money” mentality. Honestly, the first couple months we had several arguments concerning the division of money ownership. This really scared me because my parents still fight over money, and was (still is) very unpleasant. Also, of all the common things couples fight about, money disputes were the best harbingers of divorce. For wives, disagreements over finances and sex are good predictors of marriage. And for husbands, financial disagreements predicted whether divorce was an option. Once, we started treating it as our money, we haven’t argued about our finances.

I am not trying to single out the single people, here! :p But if you are considering getting married, or are in a long term committed relationship, make sure you can speak freely to your spouse about finances. You do not want this to be an awkward or uncomfortable subject between you because believe me once you start buying stuff together you will have to talk about money.So, have you spoken to your significant other about your finances?

Something else: I am actually in charge of the budget, and deciding where the money goes. My hubby and I discuss it, but I am the one who ends up doing all the research and the paperwork. I’m also in charge of paying the bills! If only he dedicated as much time on personal finance as he did on fantasy sports. Sigh! I guess it’s a good thing I am a Money Freak!!!

Does speaking freely about money make your relationship better?

SavvyFinancialLatina

Failing to Plan Together Is the Same as Planning to Fail Together

My hubby and I got married in August, and it took us a couple of months to figure out our financial situation. Consolidating our finances and learning to trust each other was harder than it looked. I still had my bank accounts open five months into our marriage! The money in the bank accounts comprised of small savings that I was going to transfer, but I started dipping into it without accounting it for in the budget. They were not big dips, only $10-$20 at the time. Except then came Christmas. Splitting gift money on two accounts made it seem like we weren’t spending that much money until I added all the receipts in January. We only had budgeted about $400, but actually spent close to $800-$900. When I saw this in January, I realized that we were better off consolidating our finances. We have transferred most of my savings to our savings. I only have one or two more transactions before it’s complete. It’s nice having it all together, and seeing our net worth.

David Bach in Smart Couples Finish Rich says “letting your financial life just happen to you is like getting on an airplane with no clue where it’s heading.”  He also states that there are three fundamental truths of financial planning. First, you can’t plan your finances if you don’t know where your starting point. Second, you can’t plan your finances if you don’t where you want to end up. Third, in order to stay on track form your starting point to your destination, you have to monitor your progress.

Consolidating our finances was the first step in knowing where we stand. You might be single, but these truths also apply to your financial planning. Don’t let your financial life slip away from you. You don’t want to be 50, and realize you are nowhere close to retirement.

Do you know where you stand financially? If you are married, when did you start consolidating your finances?

SavvyFinancialLatina