Finances are hard, bro.
I spend a lot of time paying bills, balancing my checking account and making sure that the cash flow is under control. When you become an adult there are a million things that you need to keep control of including taxes, life insurance, college savings plans, retirement plans–the list goes on and on.
There was one Sunday where my Pastor dedicated the whole Sunday sermon to finances. At the time I was in my late 20s but what he said during this service affected me deeply. He had us take a deep look at our financials by writing down what we currently make, what our expenses were, and how we planned on taking care of ourselves once we decided to retire. Once we got that final number of what was needed to survive at the quality of life we have now vs. what actual dispensable income we would have–it was an extreme wake up call. The number was seven figures, easy. In order to live the life I live now, I’d need to have a huge savings, and I needed to start building that savings, yesterday.
I had a super in depth financial analysis done by SUM180. They basically take all of your information, current salaries, mortgage/rent, student loans and anything else that is a part of your financial picture. The survey is extremely lengthy and detailed but the overall analysis is completely worth it.
What I Learned
My mortgage is currently over the recommended 37% of our gross income. This didn’t surprise me at all, owning a home in the most expensive place to live in the United States is not an easy feat! Our home value has jumped an incredible $150k in 3 years and it’s continually growing. My goal is to make more money with my startup business over the next few years and bring the ratio down. I’ve also thought about refinancing to get a lower rate.
Our credit card payments need to be priority. Although we don’t use credit cards anymore we still have some credit card debt from college that we are working on. I admit though that I haven’t been aggressive with the payments. The SUM180 plan recommended that I push harder to resolve this debt to be financially stronger in the future.
Our rental property is helping us a lot. When we purchased our home six years ago we (with the help of my amazing mom) converted the basement into a beautiful studio. The report gave me a high five for this because the income that is generated is good for our bottom line.
Overall thoughts on the plan
I actually really liked the SUM180 plan because I got a lot of insight into my current and future finances. They made clear where I was doing the right thing and where I was absolutely doing the wrong thing. It also helped me figure out exactly how much I needed for life insurance for both myself and my husband. The plan also gave me a ton of step by step useful tips on how to aggressively pay off my credit cards as well as how to save a large amount of money in the next year.
I appreciated getting my finances looked at from all angles and with a fresh eye. It is incredibly important to not only be on top of things in case anything happens, but really to be on top of future plans before it is too late.
As a special introductory offer, readers Brooklyn Active Mama will receive 50% off a SUM180 subscription when they use the exclusive promo code SIMPLE50. This offer is good through December 2016!
This post has been sponsored by SUM180. I was provided with product at no charge to sample in exchange for my review. The options expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with SUM180 and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.