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Reflections on One Year of Blogging

(I know technically I’m in the middle of a series — on making your money work harder — but it’s my one-year blogging anniversary!! To commemorate the occasion, I penned a few thoughts.)

Last year at this time, I was working a job that I hated. I was bored and underutilized and every day dragged on end. less. ly.

My finances were on their way up — I was earning the most I’d ever earned and saving the most, too. But it wasn’t enough.

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Having “The Talk” About Making Your Money Work Harder: Part 2 – Savings Bonds

Welcome back to our five part series on making your money work harder! If you remember, this series is part of a BIG conversation I had with J where we talked about other ways to invest his money beyond the Bank of Mom.

In part 1, we talked about savings accounts and now here’s a recap of our conversation on savings bonds.

What Are (Savings) Bonds?

In the most simple language possible, I tried to explain that a savings bond is a loan that you make to the government. You buy the bond, and the government uses the money now. After time passes (up to 30 years), you get your money back PLUS interest.

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Having “The Talk” About Making Your Money Work Harder: Part 1

I’m really excited to start this post today! J and I had some great conversations this weekend that I will write about in a five-part series on Making Your Money Work Harder.

First, we reviewed how we’ve already started making our money work harder by saving.

If you’ve been around for awhile, you know the drill, but just in case you’re new, here’s the skinny:

  • I pay J 3% interest on the money he puts into his savings envelope every month. I give him a paper statement and email him the same statement each month (posterity!). As he records the interest in his register, we review how the month went and look at how he earned more interest than in previous months. (Read one of our recent summaries here.)
  • A few times each year, we take a trip to our local bank and deposit the money. Bank visits are a great time for conversation, and J always enjoys going because the tellers are often really nice to him. They love to see kids!
  • After that, I keep the minimum in the account to avoid a fee and transfer the rest to an online bank that pays a higher interest rate. Read all about that here.

Today we logged in to the local and online bank accounts. We reviewed the amount in each account and noted the current interest rate. The local bank account has a rate of 0.01% — yikes! The online bank account’s rate is 1.20% — not too bad (comparatively speaking).

We discussed wanting a high interest rate when you’re saving (so you earn more). And when you’re borrowing, you want the interest rate to be low (so it doesn’t cost you as much).

Just a side note, we haven’t really talked about borrowing or debt yet. I’m hoping to get the savings and growth lessons underway to have more TIME on our side. After we talk about saving and investing, start the accounts we want to start and look/talk about them monthly, we’ll move on to borrowing and debt.

I told J that there were OTHER ways of putting his money to work, ways that may pay even more. He was excited! He pulled up a chair and said, “Okay, I want to know those things.”

I’ll cover each topic in depth in the subsequent posts, but as an overview, we dived into:

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You Are Not “Bad With Money”

Have you ever heard a friend or relative say, “I’m bad with money.” (Or maybe you’ve said it yourself.)

Maybe you think that one can either be “good with money” or “bad with money.”

If you’re “bad with money,” that’s just the way it is. You can’t change it, so you might as well live it up!

Beyond the scope of money, you may also think you’re “not creative” or “bad at math” or that you “always forget people’s names.”

This is crap.

Let me repeat.

This is crap.

You CAN CHANGE.

Yes, even you.

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