Hoping to get my financial act together. So I am open to any suggestions/advice that anyone has- books, websites, magazines etc. Unfortunately I am starting this later in life-40s (so you young whippersnappers may want to pay attention to this thread!).
what type of advice? retirement planning, investment goals? Best bet is set up an appointment with a financial planner, you can usually sit down with one for no fee and go over goals and they will help you shape debt consolidation/repayment, savings, investment options. Usually its to market what is available in their place of business, but you don't necessarily have to use them.
I fyou are just looking to keep track of what you are spending, what money is coming in etc. I recommend mint.com - all of your accounts in one place and you can set up e-mail alerts if you go over budget etc.
Another nod to Dave Ramsey. My ex and I got this book as a wedding present, and we got rid of my paltry debt (less than $2k, including a student loan), and his sizeable debt (oooo, more than $30k IIRC), and had three paid off vehicles and a paid off motorcycle and just a mortgage in the three years it took me to decide I didn't like him .
I am now older and wiser or something like that, so I don't get involved in my fiance's money all that much. We have basically said "ok, we're paying off our individual debt so that we will be close to debt free when we get married." I know I can accomplish this goal, especially by applying Dave Ramsey's "snowball" philosophy. I would have a mortgage and a truck payment left. After we get married we're buying a big LQ trailer, so debt load will go back up, but it'll be manageable.
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I am so happy to hear all the Dave Ramsey success stories...and YES, I suppose I will have to change my siggy line It will be so nice to clear out the debt so I dont have to feel guilty every time I want to horse show! DH and I both brought in some significant debt, so we're looking forward to the debt snowball parts of the lessons. I've been doing okay with the investing and saving portions I think, but it will be nice to apply the rest of the teachings. I'm so glad we were given the class as a gift...I'm optimistic about money for the first time in a looooooong time!
Equus Doth Indeed Makeus Brokeus. Or Brokeus Meus -- when you have a baby warmblood, it could be either one!
Thanks so much everyone. This gives me some good ideas. And thanks in advance for ideas yet to come. I would like to speak to a financial planner but of course want to pick someone who is knowledgeable and has my best interests in mind. I am making some progress but want to make even more.
We use Quicken, but we really USE it. That is, all accounts are set up. Checking, savings, credit cards, real estate, loans, etc... it's a full blown financial statement so we can see our net worth and we track all spending by category. Starting that years ago, and keeping at it took some discipline. It's hard at first, but it gets easier as you go because you will see some benefits.
Setting up monthly payroll deductions into savings and 401K accounts took some discipline too. Set up your deductions and then live off whatever is leftover. Change your lifestyle if necessary. Again, hard to do at first, but you'll be happy with the result.
Dave Ramsey's approach is very good. Just discipline and common sense.