Author Topic: advice for next steps  (Read 2049 times)

marble_faun

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advice for next steps
« on: July 22, 2016, 06:27:41 PM »
Hello all!

I recently discovered this site and am browsing around.  I think I have fallen into a vaguely Mustachian way of life by accident and now want to take the next steps.  So I am putting forward my personal situation and requesting advice!


Here's the status quo:

I am married.  Spouse and I are both in our early 30s.  Our annual household income is in the $150,000 to $200,000 range.

We live in a crummy cheap apartment, and we both work from home, so with no car and no expensive rent we are able to save a lot.  We currently have about $125,000 in the bank. 

We are terrified of debt, so we have no loans and no credit cards. Someday we would like to buy our own house, in cash if possible. (We also want to have kids, which of course will cost money.)

We do spend money on dumb stuff (like restaurants all the time!).  But we find our savings growing constantly due to our overall low-cost way of life, so we haven't really worried about it, budgeted, or pinched pennies to maximize the savings.


Questions:

-- What general financial advice would you have for us? 

-- We value financial independence but aren't sure how to ultimately get there.  I keep hearing advice like "make your money work for you!" but to be honest, I don't know what that means.

-- Should we be investing our savings?  We don't know anything about the stock market. It makes us nervous.  We're more "stuff the cash in the mattress" kind of people.  How should we get started with this?  We know nothing & don't want to lose our savings.

-- We need to be able to sleep at night.  I don't want to invest in anything that is actively making peoples' lives worse, even if it generates more income.

-- For various reasons we don't want to be landlords.



Thank you for any help or suggestions!!!

Shane

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Re: advice for next steps
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2016, 06:31:30 PM »
Reading Jim Collins' new book the Simple Path to Wealth would be a good start for you to learn about how to make your money work for you so, some day, you won't have to work anymore.

Lonely Artisan

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Re: advice for next steps
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2016, 06:34:52 PM »
where are you located? a lot of personal finance advise vary per location

marble_faun

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Re: advice for next steps
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2016, 06:42:14 PM »
Shane: Thanks, will look into this!

Lonely Artisan: We live in a small city in the northeastern US.  Cost of living is comparable to a place like Pittsburgh.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2016, 06:48:29 PM by marble_faun »

Choices

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Re: advice for next steps
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2016, 10:01:30 PM »
You're doing great, but more information would help you figure out where to go from here.

Try tracking your expenses with Mint, a spreadsheet, pen and paper, whatever, but find out how much you spend a month/year and on what. Find out where and how much you can cut back. You already mentioned restaurants, but consider cable, cell phone, clothes, etc. too.

Read a lot of books (including the one mentioned above) on investing and check out Bogleheads too. If you won't need the money for a few years, low expense ratio index funds are simple. Start with Vanguard or Fidelity.

Also read Your Money Or Your Life. It's truly life-changing.

You might have to decide if you want to buy a house for cash or invest a bunch of money first, or accumulate twice as much and do both.

Kids don't have to be that expensive. Check out Frugalwoods.com for their recent baby-rearing-on-the-cheap common sense and great ideas.

marble_faun

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Re: advice for next steps
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2016, 11:16:07 AM »
Thanks Julie!  These are good leads. 

I have a feeling Mint or other budget analysis will reveal tons of wasted money.  Because we don't actively worry about money anymore, we let it drift through our hands without really thinking.  But we want to stay scrappy, like we were 10 years ago when we had nothing and were content with very little. Must avoid the trap of spending more just because we have more to spend!