Browse Tag: balance

Bar chart for post on Risky Business of CD Rates

The Risky Business of CD Rates

Last November, J opened a CD at Ally Bank. The idea came from a big conversation we had about making his money work harder.

He invested $500 in a 2-year Raise Your Rate CD at 1.5% at Ally. This type of CD allowed him to increase the rate once during the term. (For reference, his online savings account was earning 1.25%.)

What happened

Fast foward to this spring and I saw the rates going up. And up. And up.

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Pay Day – Our New Favorite Board Game

I don’t normally go out on Black Friday, but my sister and her husband came home this past Thanksgiving, so a trip to Target was in order. While shopping, I stumbled on a magical game called Pay Day.

A quick scan of the box showed that it was a money management game, and I knew I had to have it. Plus it was the “retro” edition, which made it even more desirable. (Why is that?)

I bought the game (for a discount because the Cartwheel price was lower than the in-store price) and we played our first game that weekend.

The Game

The rules are easy. Everyone starts out with $325 (in the retro edition). The board is a month, and before the game starts, you decide how many months you want to play.

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Having “The Talk” About Making Your Money Work Harder: Part 5 – Net Worth

Welcome back to our five part series on making your money work harder! 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, in part 2 savings bonds, in part 3 CDs, in part 4 stocks and today in part 5 we’ll wrap up our discussion with keeping track of your net worth.

Paying attention

It sounds a little pretentious, doesn’t it? Keeping track of your “net worth.” Like something only rich people do.

But think about this. If you go on a diet, do you log your meals and calories? What about if you’re training for a marathon? Would you write down your runs and workouts? And if you want to cut back on social media? Would you track your time?

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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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How Much Does Your Vacation Really Cost?

Back in March, we went on a road trip and J calculated how much we spent. I thought it was great for him to be able to see exactly how much a vacation really costs.

So when we went to Virginia Beach a few weeks ago, I wanted to have him calculate the cost again, with a few tweaks.

During the trip, we collected all receipts in a folder. We didn’t attempt to do any worksheets or calculating while we were away! A few days after we got home, we sat down and filled out our new and improved trip log (once all of the EZ Pass transactions posted).

This time, we divided all of our receipts into categories. We ended up with seven groups: gas, tolls, groceries, eating out/snacks, household items and lodging.

He labeled each green box with the category. Then he used a running total approach with the register. This involves:

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