My Money and My Wife

Posted by 13 May, 2008

I recently read “Your Money or You Life”. I have to say, it was one of the most enlightening books I’ve read. Among personal finance bloggers listed on pfblog.org, it’s one of a handful of books that is considered a necessity. It appealed to me in quite a few ways and provided a step by step process for a path to a goal that my wife and I would like to achieve, financial independence. You may might ask what is your idea of financial independence? Well, I’m glad you asked. Financial independence to me would include any number of things, but a few things that appeal to me are being a part time substitute teacher and being a part of the Big Brother\Big Sisters program. I’d also like to do some Habitat for Humanity work as well as rehabbing (some people refer to this as flipping) houses.

On this blog, I will detail our journey through the steps until we achieve financial independence, hopefully sooner than later. We’ve got a lot going on (who doesn’t?), but we will be enrolling in an online discussion group to help us along the way. We’ve completed step one step of the Your Money or Your Life program. Step 1A says to calculate our total income over our lifetime. Step 1B involves estimating the value of all of our possessions, however we are in the transition of moving so accumulating the value of our stuff is difficult right now. We have, however, begun step 2B which is the monitoring our spending and income (we will revisit step 2A, calculating our real hourly wages, at a later date).

Not solely because of the book, but for a few different reasons, we are looking at downsizing our house. We have a pretty nice house with a pool in the suburbs. My wife currently drives 70 miles a day round trip to her job on the opposite side of town. That may not sound like a lot to some people (Los Angeles folks), but it’s not necessary in DFW. I drive around 45 miles a day. We are looking to move into a smaller house in a neighborhood closer to work, and we estimate in doing so our bills will dramatically decrease across the board.

Current House Obligations per Month

Mortgage 1: $928.17

Mortgage 2: $159.28

Taxes: $425.00

Insurance: $108.33

Electricity: $206.70

Gas: $75.00 (estimated)

Water: $87.01

HOA: $5

Pool: $30

Total Expenditure per month: $2024.49

Possible Future Obligations per Month

Mortgage: $599.55 (@6.0% interest being conservative)

Taxes: $2400.00 (estimated)

Insurance: $55

Electricity: $100.00 (older neighborhood without really high ceilings and tree coverage and no pool)

Gas: $60.00 (smaller house to heat)

Water: $60.00 (no pool)

Total Expenditure per month: $1074.55

That’s pretty darn close to cutting our bills in half. As I said earlier, financial independence is one of our goals but we are also looking to have kids in the next 2-3 years. Moving into a smaller house would give my wife the option of staying home or not. As of now, that is not an option.


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