Wealth

Wealth belongs to the person who enjoys it and not the one who keeps it. -Afghan Proverb


The notion of wealth always feels a bit like a chicken and egg conundrum. I like to think of wealth as a feeling rather than a thing. I would much rather enjoy a massage than see more money in our bank account. Yet, every family needs to save in order to build wealth. 


There’s the question of timing in every personal finance decision: “If we spend now, will we have enough later?” My strategy is to have faith in the abundance of the world, not dwell on the potential scarcity. Yes, you should always question your motivation, the personal and global impacts, short and long term consequences…but in the end spending money comes down to your gut feeling. Act as if you’re wealthy, and chances are you’ll feel wealthy.   


What do you think makes a person or family wealthy?


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Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Second Hand

Before our Big Guy was born I bought almost solely consigned clothes in all the neutral frogs and duckie onesies. But as he grew up I realized how much harder it was to buy matching items in the right season and size. There never seemed to be any boy pants, and now I realize that it’s because they all get holes before they outgrow them!


It simply turned out that setting a budget and buying twice a year was just easiest, and not all that much more expensive with Gymbucks. I always shop sales in advance and buy large, so I seem to save…although I would hate to tally up how much we’ve spent on clothing kids.


Yet, I do worry about the precedent that I’m setting, especially when I let our Big Guy pick out his own clothes online when we was sick a few weeks ago. We call him a fashionista and he cares a lot about what he wears. Not always what I would choose, but he cares!


I grew up with a fair amount of hand-me-downs and everything we had was handed down to family friends. I always expected that this would be how we would operate, but as it turned out we’ve just never managed to develop this type of relationship. In fact, now that we’ve decided to not have a third, I need a strategy for swapping/consigning/handing on a wealth of kids wardrobes. More on that topic to come…



Do you have a hand-me-down connection?
Do you buy consigned clothing? 


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Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Simple Money Honey

Our recent “Money Honey” chat was really a series of chats following up on some financial loose ends for our short term goals. I’m happy to share that Hubby finally closed out his primary bank account! It took so long, because instead of simply transferring all the money over to our single account, he opted to just switch the bills/deposits over and use the leftover cash for his spending money. The amazing part is that it took him almost six months to drain the account! He’s a pretty frugal guy. I also suspect that he was hanging on to his last vestige from his former single life 😉


Hubby also just closed a credit card that he only used for back-up purposes, so the $40 annual fee did not make any sense. Instead, we’ve added him on to a frequent flyer platinum card that offers some real benefits. I also have this account set up to pay some monthly expenses and autopayment.


Lastly, we recently met the threshold for removing Private Mortgage Insurance. This has been like a monkey on our backs for the past two years, and it will be so nice to no longer waste our money on PMI. We are also looking into the option of refinancing and will let you know if we go that route. After that we’ll need to set some new goals…


Have you chatted lately about your finances with your spouse?
What helps you set the mood?


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Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Gymbucks

When our Big Guy was born my extended family was ecstatic to have a handsome little guy to adorn. Since we didn’t know the gender of our kiddos in advance, there was an extra level of excitement to go out and shop when he arrived. So, I was grateful to receive some adorable outfits along with some new Mama currency: Gymbucks.


The way that Gymbucks work is that for every $50 you spend at Gymboree, you get a $25 matching coupon to spend during their sale period over a set period of time a few weeks later. So the basic deal is that for every $75 you spend, you get $100 in merchandise.


Even though I find it to be a pretty good deal, Hubby still thinks that it’s a racket and a way to sucker parents into buying overpriced clothes. I half agree.


I’m pretty strategic about my Gym purchases, and I never buy full priced. When I used to shop in stores, I always asked the sale clerks to ring up the subtotal so that I could see how much I was about to spend. Now I shop almost always online, because it is easily to do when kiddos are sleeping and the shopping basket is easy to reference for budget purposes. You also have a bigger selection than a single store.


Like most kids clothing stores, Gymboree lures families into buying ensembles that only match with one time designs. I’ve learned the hard way never to buy a super-cute sale item that may be hard to match with anything later.


So this gets me to the sustainability aspect. I am well aware that purchasing new non-organic clothing has a high environmental impact, and yet I still can’t seem to help myself. It is truly a weak spot of mine…I do want my family to be as comfortable and adorable as possible. More on this topic next week…


Have you used Gymbucks?
Do you think they are a deal?


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Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.