2014 Update

by Julie on January 14, 2014 · 1Leave a comment

I always hate it when bloggers who have gone MIA start their posts with I’m so sorry I’ve been gone so long

But, really, I’m so sorry I’ve been gone so long.

The truth is that I’ve been having so much fun over at Creating This Life that I’ve been a little preoccupied. After years of blogging about money, I’m getting to share what the other half of my brain thinks about and I’m loving that.

And while I never intended to stop blogging at The Family CEO, I will admit to a bit of writer’s block when it comes to money topics.

But I’m still thinking about money and managing money and talking with my husband about money on a regular basis, so I thought I’d sit down and let you know what all that thinking and managing and talking has been about of late:

1. College. Always college. We have one finishing this year and one starting next year. More about that very soon.

2. Work. We’re both self-employed (Tom full-time running a business that makes up the largest part of our income and me part-time doing the bookkeeping for that business and one other and also blogging.) Being self-employed comes with a lot of freedom but also a lot of unique challenges so we talk about it. A lot.

3. Health Insurance. I don’t want to get political here on the blog, but suffice it to say that we had to make a change in health insurance this year and that took a fair amount of research and decision making on our (mostly my) part. The dust has just about settled on it all and, when it has, I’ll share with you what we did.

4. Retirement. We’re 49 and 51, so the conversations about when to retire, what our lives will look like then, and how to save for it are a lot more frequent these days. Like a lot of people, I suspect retirement for us will probably be less a date certain and more like a scaling back over time. See self-employment above.

5. Savings. For retirement, obviously, but also for a bigger emergency fund (necessary) and home improvements (fun!). I have to say that saving money can actually be exciting in the same way that paying off debt can be exciting. No really, it’s true!

6. Spending. We’re blessed with a healthy income but have you noticed that life is really expensive? We’re always trying to be more intentional with our spending, which isn’t necessarily the same thing as being frugal by the way. (One thing I have decided is that, to whatever extent The Family CEO has been a frugality blog in the past, it won’t be one going forward. There are already enough people trying to out-frugal each other on the internet so I’ll let them have at it.)

What intentional looks like for us is me pulling up a year-end report on Quicken to see where we spent our money in 2013, how it compared to 2012, and what changes we want to make for 2014. (Which reminds me that I need to do that.) If there’s anything worth sharing there I will.

So I tell you all that to say that those are they kinds of things you can expect to read about on The Family CEO in 2014. I won’t make any promises about when I’ll post or how often, but I feel safe in telling you that the posts will probably have an increasingly informal and personal feel to them because those are the kinds of blogs I like to read. Hopefully you do too.

So what’s on your financial mind these days?

P.S. If you enjoy talking about home decorating, with a little entertaining and travel thrown in, come find me at Creating This Life. Recently I told our house story and this week I’m sharing some Florida antique mall finds.






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Barb @ A Life in Balance January 15, 2014 at 6:43 am

Glad to see you back!

I was just thinking about you last night while I was at Financial Aid night at my son’s high school. He’s a junior this year. We have some money saved up in a 529 plan, however, since we started late for him unlike the other 4 kids, he’s going to need aid to pay for college. I keep your daughter’s post about continuing to look for grants while in college in the back of my mind to inspire me. In fact, if you have other posts on paying for college, I’d love to read them.

Julie January 15, 2014 at 10:59 am

Thanks for the feedback, Barb. I have a college post planned soon and I’ll continue to look for good resources about paying for college. It’s such a big issue for so many of us. Good luck to you guys!

Sherri Davis January 15, 2014 at 7:10 am

Hi Julie, good update, seems like you touched on all the important areas we all think about. My husband and I are about 7 years “ahead” of you and your husband. Last of 3 boys is now in last year of college. My husband is doing the “happy dance”, but I think this child may be going to grad school in a year or two. Although we have paid for all 3 of our kids undergraduate education, I have told my last child that he needs to have “some skin in the game” if he chooses grad school, but we will help. He agreed; said it would help him make a better decision. I totally agree with an old post of yours about how getting a college degree is no guarantee of getting a good job in today’s world, even in teaching and nursing. Our youngest is at an ivy league school, has a good gpa, ecoomics and business minor, and does have a job waiting, but not a super high paying finance type job that his much older brother has. He had many interviews on campus, and there were always “smarter” maybe more “experienced” students who probably snagged the jobs. Sorry this is so long, but felt it important to discuss! Thanks, Sherri

Julie January 15, 2014 at 11:03 am

Don’t apologize at all, Sherri. Glad you hear you guys are (almost) doing the happy dance. I can relate. :) Sounds like your boys are doing great. Thanks for your comment.

Sharon January 15, 2014 at 8:34 am

We’re talking about the same things…and oh my, I’ve already looked at our 2013 spending and I will say we will be very low key in 2014. Actually, most of our savings will go to college, because it’s that time.
Thankfully my daughter got into a good in-state school, so that will help! Would LOVE for you to make this more informal and personal. I love those blogs too! :)!

Julie January 15, 2014 at 11:04 am

I’m a little nervous at looking at the spending, Sharon. I know we need to reign it in a bit in 2014. We spend on many of the same things as you: travel, home improvements, and KIDS! ;)

kat January 20, 2014 at 8:13 am

we’re still unfortunately paying off debt, but since we’re making some good progress, i’d love to know how y’all prepared for retirement with self-employment.

Julie January 20, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Kat, I’ll see if I can get some thoughts together for that soon.

Marvin January 21, 2014 at 8:53 pm

I took a hiatus as well Julie after our son was born. Don’t feel bad, sometimes a breath of fresh air is what we need to come back even stronger!

Molly January 21, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Glad to see you back,Julie! We’re in the midst of doing a 3-week “financial fast” – no spending other than groceries, fuel, and utilities (we’ve got a few agreed upon exceptions). The purpose is to be more thoughtful about our spending and to be more grateful for what we can afford when the fast is over. It’s been a very interesting experiment!!

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