Saturday, February 23, 2013

Frugal Five Meet Lori an overseas military wife

Lori is a frugal military mom currently stationed overseas in Europe.

What is your financial life? 
We're a US military family currently stationed overseas. We've been married for 10 years and have 2 children, 5 and 2. In 2008/09 our life changed drastically; I left my job, plus had our first baby, my husband enlisted in the military, and we began moving around the world. In 2008 our net worth was -$10,000. Since then on one income as lower enlisted military we've been able to increase our net worth to $335,000 - in 5 years bringing in only about $4,000 a month.

I'm currently working on my Accredited Financial Counselor practicum hours. As an AFC I hope to be able to work one on one and with groups to help them find the financial freedom that we've been able to create in our household. The thing I like most that our family does is we have written goals. They are SMART goals which are Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Timebound. Every month I clear out our zero balance budget, my husband and I sit down and talk about what we did well and what we need to do better, then we take the leftover money for that month and we decide which of our goals to plug that money into; paying down a mortgage, college funds, travel fund (we currently live in Europe!), cash for car fund and retirement. This makes the whole rest of the month so much more worth it to see our successes and our goals being completed.

What is your budget buster?
My husband! He has, as Dave Ramsey puts it, a blow fund - but that keeps him out of the family funds and gives him the freedom to keep doing what we're doing.

What is your favorite money saving tip?
Nothing is sacred. Using Mint.com we've been able to track nearly every penny and plug up the budget leaks as best we can. Don't make your budget strangle you to death but find compromises that save your sanity and your budget. 1 starbucks a week instead of 5 - it'll add up! Just make that money do something.

Other best value tips are cooking at home, using cloth diapers (the new products are fabulous!), carrying snacks, swapping babysitting with another couple, buying used cars... - there are just so many great ways to save money.

And track your money - all of it. If you don't tell your money where to go and what to do, you'll never know where it went. Tax refunds are a great way to build your emergency fund and retirement savings. Tell them what to do before they swoosh down the toilet never to be seen again.

If you had an extra $1000 what would you do with it?
It would be invested for retirement. We are just starting to put money into the new Roth TSP in addition to our Roth IRAs.

What is your best resource for frugal living?
I love Mint.com as a tool. It's fantastic and speaks my language.
My website of tips is http://feedingyourpig.blogspot.com - hundreds of simple and not so simple tips 
I'm currently attending  Dave Ramseys Financial Peace  University - great motivation builder
Really never stop learning, never stop dreaming and never stop trying. If you have a budget problem - google it, email a blogger, find a financial counselor - so many options - you just have to search and be willing listen and learn and try.

2 comments:

Lora ONeill said...

Hey that's me! Thanks for the spotlight! :D

Admin said...

Thanks for participating the frugal 5!