I am SO glad I found your book “Smart Couples Finish Rich”. It is exactly what I need, and wish I’d found it 10 years ago!
Our situation is, I am a 33 year old teacher (making around $48,000 a year) and my husband is a stay-at-home dad, teaching a few guitar lessons when I’m home from school. After 5 years of infertility/adoption costs and drama, we became the proud parents of two boys three years ago (one by adoption and one home-made). Our #1 priority is our family. (What was $20,000 three years ago is ZERO credit card debt as of July 4th – our financial independence day, 15 year home loan balance of $103,000, student loan $9,000, adoption loan $15,000). Our current focus is to pay off the loans and start looking toward to investing for our futures.
I started reading your book 3 days ago, and just finished it (with the pages of notes on all of our financial action plan steps). Our financial file has all of its folders and I’m working on locating all important documents), I have an appointment with our insurance agent to review our policies, purchased a certificate at a silent auction for a legal appointment to create a will/trust, and will make our appointment with the financial advisor my mother uses through our credit union (I can’t wait to see his face when I walk in with my file complete with my FinishRich Inventory Planner filled out).
I am committed to following your steps and had to think hard about your step 9. I’m a public school teacher. We get raises one of two ways, one is by the amount of education we have, one is by how many years we’ve taught. I made a step up every year my first years teaching on the education raise, maxing that out as soon as possible. I love my job and am emotionally fulfilled by my work. I also moved to the school where my sons will attend (one son starts kindergarten next year, the other will attend the preschool there for a few hours a week). I will stay teaching in this school until my youngest is through 6th grade. Basically I currently make $28 an hour at my teaching job.
I also have a second job as a grader for an online university (starting at $15 an hour, but I was promoted and now make $17 an hour).
I wondered how I could get a 10% raise for myself. I had to think outside the box on this one, as the pay schedule is fixed for all teachers in the state. What I’ve realized is that I already did it when I became a mom. Teachers are expected to do many things on a volunteer basis, and many teachers put in lots of extra hours because there is always more that could be done. I decided that I would either be away from my children earning money or with my children. My pay is the same no matter how many hours I work, so by going from working 50 hours or more per week to limiting it to the 40 hours I’m getting paid for, I’ve really given myself a raise in my actualized pay per hour. I just tell myself that at 4:00 I go home, no matter what. Otherwise, there is always something I can find to do.
With that extra time I used to spend doing all kinds of extra unnoticed things in my teaching job, I now spend time grading for the online university (after the kids are in bed). Now all my working hours are PAID working hours. (That extra money goes 100% to debt elimination.)
Thank you for writing the BEST financial book I’ve read so far! It is so easy to understand, and your “do something about it within the next 48 hours” advice is marvelous.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!