The American Dollar
One industrious American family's focus on a financial goal of freedom. Through worldly personal finance education, here is our story.
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Our Story: Both my wife and I are 27 years old and have gone through financial hell and back. Now we are on track to financial freedom, however we are not financial advisors or professionals, just everyday people. Share our journey from a negative networth and email us if you have questions or comments! :)


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Working so much, my head aches...

My head aches and the rest of my body functions fall right in line at the end of the day. I think with this Friday, I will have worked approximately 60 hours or more. Now many of you think, well youre a young guy, just suck it up, when I was your age I could work about 80 hours or so in the hot fields of Kansas. Well, my friends, that isnt me and 60 really burns me out. What I really need to start doing is getting back into some exercise regime so I dont have to feel so tired. Maybe that will make me more tired? Who knows... So obviously I havent been blogging the past few days because of my job demands and when I get home, I clean up the house, check my email, talk to the baby (wife thinks its funny), and get ready for tomorrow. Hopefully, when the baby comes, I'll be able to take a break from work and get to spend some time at home. I can't believe its only a month or less away. So basically this time next month, we will have had our child! Excited? Yes! Nervous? Yes! Prepared? Maybe. Ready? Sure, why not. Our last baby shower is Feb 3. We have gotten so many great gifts, my wife and I can't wait to start using some of them on our daughter. (my wife especially with the clothes)

Ok FINANCIAL stuff... I know you (or me) didnt come here for cutsie. We're battling the waves of saving currently. $6304.77 amassed in emergency funding. With the '07 utilities & insurance all socked away, we have $10507.37 in seperate money market savings accounts. Needless to say that only $2k of that is expected to be used shortly, so we have that in a savings account earning a whopping 1.21% interest! Holy cow! Since its short term, we wanted something even more liquid than the money market accounts. Our bank has been more than happy (of course) to open a savings account with no minimums. Hopefully we will have $8-9,000 in that savings account before Feb 10. (working those late hours should help out with reaching that goal easily) That's what we have planned on. Im sure with unexpected expenses arising with probably last minute baby items, that will be depleted to about $7,500.

We have overlooked our retirement and it has taken a backseat for now. I upped my 401k at work from 6% to 8%. Only 6% is currently being matched, but the 2% shouldnt hurt too bad. Last time I didnt even notice a jump. ROTHs NEED NEED NEED to be funded. However we just can't funnel money in there at this time. We have planned on catching up our total funding for 2006 ROTH contributions for both of us in mid March. Total retirement savings to date: $30,646.95. I've got to get up at 5am tomorrow, so time to wrap it up.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Being a Stay-at-home mother/father...

I dont think I've ever mentioned this on the blog but about 2 years ago, my wife and I decided that if we were to ever have children that I would stay at home for the first couple years and then she would alternate. And in life, things change and plans change. With my recent job change and over 255% increase in salary, the tables have turned. I would now cast my vote for her being the better candidate for staying at home. Our ultimate goal was to have one of us be there, so really it didnt matter. At least once a day, maybe more, I'll crunch the numbers to make sure that we are on track, if not ahead of the track in dropping to one income. Every time the numbers work out the same. Infant childcare is expensive. We dont really trust anyone to watch the child on a long full-time basis,yet (even parents). We can afford to have one of us stay at home. We have budgeted appropriately. Ultimately my wife would like to return to work. Simple as that.

The reality for both of us is that our main "Priority One" financial goal of paying off the house in 2-3 years is now stretched to 4-5 years. Way before we started blogging or getting on the debt reduction train, I'm sure we envisioned a path much quicker and simpler. One step into "baby zone" and we have fallen back financially almost 2 years. Of course, our child is the most IMPORTANT priority now and we realize this, however again just financially, its difficult to swallow those 2 years of numbers. Hmmm maybe I should get a second job...

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

It's Baby Shower Time!

This weekend we have been so busy with our baby shower! My wife was so excited to get to open gifts, it was like a second christmas for her. :) But we did get ALOT of stuff for the baby including some major items like a new Graco Clarissa stroller, a pack and play, and neat bouncy seat. She told me that Im going to be playing with most of the baby's toys anyway (shes probably right). I could only dream of when I was a kid getting half the cool stuff our daughter has got and shes not even born yet! Back in my day, they didnt even have pampers! LOL Anyway, it was a nice chance to get together with relatives that I havent seen since the wedding. Plus now we know as far as "stuff" how far along we are to completing what my wife calls "the babys list". First thing my wife did this morning was be her great organized self and sort through all the stuff, put it away, and immediately tell me to put together the stroller. :) As a first time put-it-together guy... not so difficult.

We also unfortunately have to return some items back to Babys R Us. We seem to have collected about 3 different diaper bags and an extra infant bath tub thing (i think thats what they are called). The best part... the shower this weekend was only for immediate family. We have our big shower with friends in about 3 weeks... man where do we have room for all this "stuff"!!!

Side note: moved all of Fridays paycheck into savings... its crunch time now.

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

An Educational Savings Plan

With the baby on the way, Ive been looking into Educational savings accounts. We believe that education plays an important role in ones life and a college education should be a great investment. I mean we went through it about 3 years ago (man we are getting really old), so we know about having those THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in borrowed student loans and having to pay them off. A suggestion was brought to my attention that the child should have some role in their financing of college (ie. we pay for half and they pay for half). This is all dependent on each individual child and their work ethic too. Its $50 to open the account and we agreed on a monthly of $50 for this year only. We expect that amount to change once she goes back to work. Of course, the program wont be available til the child is born. :)

Side note: Updating networth today, noticing that there were some positive trends in the emergency fund and savings. We have been lagging all year on the ROTH IRA and I think that will be our main focus after we hit $5000 in the emergency fund. I want to get the 2006 IRAs done before completing it to $10k.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007


I have to give a big shout out to my beautiful wife! She's 26 years old today! Oh how quickly they grow up :) Where does the time go?

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Good News, Bad News

Good news and bad news today... first ill go with the good news, our insurance cards arrived in the mail and that means my wife can remove herself from her work's insurance and be put on mine. This will save us approximately $45 per pay period. Ok heres the bad news... wife informed me that her work is NOT going to be paying for her maternity time off. Granted most employers do not pay full salary but they are giving her NADA and she has worked there for almost 5 years now. She just "found out" this morning from her HR department. So now we are not counting on her income for the next few months. This early news prepares us a little bit more for the baby in February. We were a little stressed about the news however I will just have to move a couple months of emergency fund during that time. We have got to be prepared!! Also on a lighter note, I put up the baby's closet doors yesterday. Her room is complete!

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Emergency Fund
2007 Roth Contributions
$8,000 Total

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