Thanks for reading Money Beagle.
I’m a personal finance blogger who got started in 2008 because I liked a lot of what I was reading, and thought I could make a contribution or two of my own to the blogging community. One of the things that I try is to be a true ‘personal’ ‘finance’ blogger, and I highlight those words individually because I focus on both elements. I love to write about money, but also how it affects me personally. My favorite blogs are those that share personal experiences as well as lessons, and that’s what I strive for Money Beagle to be.
I measure the success of my blog not on how many page views I get or how high I rank, but simply on the feedback I get from my readers. I love comments on my posts or e-mails, so please feel free to let me know what you think about a particular idea, or share an experience of yours.
Anyways, a bit more about me.
I’m in my early 40’s. I’m from Michigan, in the Midwest of the good old USA. I’ve been blessed with an amazing family. My wife and I have been married since 2007, and we have two little ones (that are getting less and less little by the day), a boy who was born in 2009, and a girl who was born in 2011. Watching them grow and learn is awesome, and my favorite moments in life are when I can catch a glimpse of the world as they see it. There is nothing like the wonder of a child, and I LOVE when I can catch a little piece of that.
I work as an IT project manager in the health care industry. I’ve been with my current employer since 2007, which is a very long stretch. I’ve gotten to work on some great projects where I’ve felt like I’ve made a difference. That’s what it’s all about!
My wife is a stay-at-home mom to our children. She previously worked in child care, and was able to take a lot of her experience and knowledge into raising our babies. She runs a small graphical design service on Etsy, where she makes custom invitations, thank you notes, or party items. This has supplemented our household income in many different ways. It was through her hard work that our family got to take a very action packed vacation to Disney World in 2015!
My personal finance journey has been thankfully low-key, compared to many bloggers out there. I never got immersed in credit card debt, never got caught up in a real estate scheme. I gained and lost quite a bit of money in the tech bubble, and since then have been more conservative. We definitely felt the pinch of the Great Recession. While I never lost my job, there was definitely a slowdown in household income, as raises and bonuses have been very few and far between. Still, I realize how lucky we are in the grand scheme of things, and try not to complain too much.
As far as debt, we’re in a comfortable place. We drive older cars (2007 and 2006 models) and have not had a car payment since 2010. I wish I could say that we’ve saved enough so that we won’t have to take on additional loans when the time comes to replace them, but that may not be the case (a by-product of that whole ‘few raises and bonuses’ item mentioned above). We have one small student loan payment with an interest rate around 2%, and our mortgage. We refinanced the mortgage a few years ago to a 15-year term, and if nothing changes, we would be mortgage free when I’m 52 and my wife is 44, and we would be so right before our kids went to college. By then retirement might be on the horizon, and it’s always a goal of mine to be completely debt free many years before retiring!
I believe that getting out and staying out of debt is the foundation of personal finance success!
We save 10% towards retirement. We also put money aside for expected expenses (being a homeowner, there are a lot of those). We save for our children’s future college education. The amount we contribute won’t likely fund their full education, but we feel it’s satisfactory that it will give them a good head start so that they won’t start off with the crushing burden of debt that so many graduates face today.
We have an emergency fund in the event that something bad happens.
I had a teacher in college who always reminded us that “It’s a great day to be alive!” and I try to remind myself of that often and to remember that every day is a blessing.
Thanks for reading.