Hello, we’re the *Smith family– mom, dad, and five kids– living in the Pacific Northwest. Mr. Smith works in aerospace, and his gross pay is around $100K a year. Mrs. Smith is not employed, but spends her days managing the household and the children, who range in age from toddler to teenager.
We started our married life with frugal habits and a respectable savings rate. However, some major life changes– moving across the country, having a baby, buying a house, having another baby. . . and then another. . . all in the space of five years– threw us into survival mode, and those frugal habits largely fell by the wayside.
Now that our family life has settled down, it is time to take stock of where we are, and start building better habits in order to achieve the life we want for ourselves and our children. That, in a nutshell, is why Mrs. Smith started this blog.
*Not our real name- anonymous financial makeover, remember?
Every Sunday morning I dive for the business section of the Seattle Times to see if their monthly financial makeover is there. Many other fine publications– USAA Magazine, the AARP blog, and LearnVest.com are a few that come to mind– feature these stories, and I can’t get enough of them. A big part of it is simply the voyeuristic thrill of peeking into someone else’s finances, and of course, seeing how my own family’s finances measure up.
However, I find these articles unsatisfying for a few reasons. First, they are often short on crucial details– one article might tell how much a couple has in retirement accounts, but not give their income. Another might give their income, but there’s no breakdown of monthly expenses. Second, these articles are usually published before the subject has had time to make meaningful progress toward his or her goals. We don’t find out what’s worked, or how they’ve built on the original recommendations. And, oh yeah, the names and faces of the subjects are published for all the world to see. That’s why you’ll never see this family featured in any of these fine publications.
And so we bring you the Completely Anonymous Financial Makeover. This is a self-guided program in which we start taking better care of our finances. We are not committed to any program in particular, but will pick and choose to create a plan that works best for us and our family situation. We’ll measure our progress toward our goals and share with you what works, and refine or discard what doesn’t.
If you’re looking to trim your own family’s budget but still enjoy the good things in life, keep checking in with us.