The following is a staff writer post from MikeS. He is a married father of 2. So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house. He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal.
Hi there. I am MikeS, a new contributor here on Married with Debt. I thought a little background on me might help you know where I am coming from.
I'm 38-years old and have been married for 10 years. My wife (35 years old) and I have actually been together for 19 years. We have a daughter, age 5, and a son, age 1, and a cat. We live in the high-cost of living Northeast.
School and Work
I graduated from a public university with a bachelors degree and I double-majored Actuarial Science and Risk Management. I have spent my entire professional career working for insurance companies in different positions, ranging from an actuary to an agent. It has provided me not only with a unique skill set, I feel, but also a unique perspective. My wife’s job is currently taking care of our two kids. Her job is infinitely harder than mine. She eventually plans on re-entering the professional workforce once both kids are in school full-time.
I did not become aware of the importance of managing my finances until my early to mid-30’s. We weren’t doing incredibly bad things with our money, but we were also not efficient with our money. It seemed as if we were never making any forward progress and seemed to be trapped in the same situation over and over again. There always would be some sort of financial surprise that would come up just when it looked like we were getting ahead. I, we, have learned a lot since then and feel we are on a much better path now, than we were even just 3 or 4 years ago.
I am a numbers guy by nature. I love tracking numbers over time, and projecting things out far into the future. This is why my personal budget file has 15 years worth of information in it. I also like helping people. I know that not everyone has a knack for personal finance and that for some people it can be very confusing. My hope is that I can make things easier for people to understand and even help people to learn from the mistakes that I have made in the past.
So, you know I have the married part covered, but what about debt? Yes, I have that covered too. Right now, I have three outstanding debts, our house, a car and student loans. It is possible that the student loans will disappear before this year is out; we have about $10K still remaining on them. For the house and car, I do not intend to pay them off any faster. The house has 29 years left on the mortgage at a 3.75% rate and the car has about 4 years left at a 1.99% rate.
When I started tracking my net worth 5 years ago, it was about -$19K. It now sits at about +$70K.
Personal finance was not something we talked about growing up in my house. All of my knowledge has been acquired since I left home. That is probably why I continue to find ways in which I can improve my situation. I have seen first-hand what your finances can look like it you are not diligent and do not prepare for the future.
The topics that I write about will usually run the gamut. It could be a situation that is directly impacting my family’s finances, such as unexpected medical expenses. Or it could be something I find on the internet that strikes me as interesting. Whatever the case, if you are ever interested in something specific, please let me know. I would be happy to write about it.
I’m excited to be joining the Married with Debt team and look forward to sharing with all of you!