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Let’s Talk About Money…

Talking Openly About Money

Do you discuss finances with friends and family? There’s still a taboo around talking about money, but it can be really helpful to hear what others are going through. This month, Turbo, a new app from the makers of TurboTax, invited Cup of Jo to join its mission to encourage people to talk openly about money. So, I’m sharing five financial ups and downs in my life (and would love to hear yours!)…

Entering the real world.
After graduating from college, I moved to New York City, feeling both excited and nervous. I had saved $2,500 from summer jobs, but my rent was $850/month (I slept on the living room sofa of a Manhattan sublet I shared with a friend). I knew I could blow through my savings quickly, if I wasn’t careful. I added up the costs of my rent, groceries and utilities — and then after that, I gave myself $20/day to spend on everything else, including clothes, movies, books, the bus, lunch, dinner with friends, toiletries, etc. I wrote down every single thing I spent and drove myself slightly insane, but overall it worked and thankfully I was able to stay in New York.
Lesson learned: Don’t be afraid to create a budget that works for you.

Racking up educational debt.
When I was 23, I went to law school for a year before deciding it wasn’t for me. When I left, I had a staggering $54,000 of debt. I got an editorial day job and tutored in the evenings to make extra money, but I felt completely intimidated by the financial world. Since my friends were in the same boat, I wasn’t sure who to talk to — so I ended up finding two books: Get a Financial Life and The Automatic Millionaire (terrible title, awesome advice). Both were smart and encouraging. They helped me get the lay of the land — how do I do my taxes? what smart steps can I take at my age? will I ever pay off my debt? — and inspired me to make a plan to take control of my financial future.
Lesson learned: It’s not as daunting as it seems to become more financially savvy and make a plan to overcome debt.

Getting married.
After meeting a cute bespectacled guy at a party, I fell in love and ended up getting married two years later. Although my heart was fully on board, my head still worried about one thing: merging our money. I had always been so careful about spending and saving — were we now going to just mash everything together in the bank? So, for the first year, Alex and I kept separate bank accounts and added up receipts at the end of each month, but then we finally took a deep breath, talked about overall philosophies, combined everything, and it ended up being just fine.
Lesson learned: Big life moments are great times to review your financial health and set new goals.

Having a baby.
Nine months after our wedding, we welcomed little Toby into our family! The day before he was born, Alex and I met with a lawyer to put together a will. We felt at peace walking out of the office. If anything happened to us, Toby would be taken care of. (This was also the year I left my day job to focus on running Cup of Jo full-time.)
Lesson learned: Creating a will provides peace of mind, especially for new parents.

Planning ahead.
Over the last few years, I hired my first employees at Cup of Jo, we became homeowners and we added little Anton to the mix. Yet I realized something funny: Alex handles the money management for our family, and I don’t really get involved in the big-picture strategy. (Is that the same for you, or are you the family money manager?) According to Kiplinger, women control 80% of all household spending, but men usually handle investing and other financial decisions. My mission for this spring is to become an equal player in managing our retirement savings, budgets and college planning.
Lesson learned: It’s important to stay on top of your finances at eveey stage of life, and plan for the future. Knowledge is power.


How do you feel about your finances these days? Are you going through any life changes? Do you want to get everything sorted out? Turbo is the first app that combines the three key numbers of your financial health — your income, credit score and debt-to-income ratio — so you can see where you stand with your finances. I highly recommend checking it out, and it’s free. (If only something like this existed when I was in my twenties — it would have given me so much peace of mind.)

Also, if you’re inspired to share something about your own path along the financial highway, Turbo invites you to use the hashtag #RealMoneyTalk to join the conversation. (Bonus: They’re giving away $5,000 to one person each week for the next three weeks in response to selected #RealMoneyTalk stories; to participate, use that hashtag and tag @IntuitTurbo. Good luck!)

Talking Openly About Money

Thank you so much, Turbo!

(Photo and styling by Veronica Olson for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Turbo, a great new financial resource. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Cup of Jo.)

  1. Alicia says...

    we’re 31 years old, took a finance class as part of our pre-marriage counseling, Now we’re married 2 years, debt free and feel like we’ve got a pretty good grasp on money and finances. We do a budget every single month. Some months I do the heavy lifting of planning the budget and the hubs tweaks and other months he does the heavy lifting of planning and I tweak. We love the EveryDollar app for budgeting.

    We combined finances, debt, bills, everything when we got married – we took the “and now you are one” pretty seriously! I love having someone to share life burdens with.

    we took the approach of focusing on one thing at a time.
    small rainy-day fund,
    pay off debt as fast and hard as we can
    a little larger rainy-day fund
    save a healthy downpayment for a house (we close in 3 weeks!!! 12% down!)
    start heavy investing in retirement with a plan
    save for kids college
    start working on paying off the house early as we “find” extra money

    a budget made ALL THE DIFFERENCE because we might argue on budget day, but during the month we spend without guilt!

    (and we use the plan laid out by Dave Ramsey if anyone wants to check in to the process we use)

  2. Angela says...

    I decided 2018 is The Year to take charge of my finances. I am single, no kiddos and live with my boyfriend. We have our own banking accounts as well as one joint checking account into which we deposit money equally and for the sole purpose of paying rent, utilities, etc. That is the end of merged finances in our relationship. I racked up quite a bit of debt after going through a divorce a few years ago and basically walking away with nothing. So, in January, I bit the bullet and withdrew money from an IRA to pay the majority of the debt because the burden was keeping me up at night! Now, I have a manageable remaining balance that I will pay off by June. I have increased my 401k contribution and have an amount in mind I want to have in “regular” savings by the end of this year. I have a nice chunk in retirement accounts, soon to be zero debt and plan to continue saving as much as I can. I don’t feel compelled to merge finances again and it feels good to be in control of this area of my life! I remember an Oprah show from years ago where O. said that if women don’t know their full financial situation, inside and out, they can only blame themselves. That certainly stuck with me!

  3. A says...

    So interesting to read the comments! I didn’t combine finances with my husband and it works well for us. We both have income, and we split our household costs as a percentage of our income. So over the years I’ve paid more than 50% and he has, depending on who was making more money.

    He pays me his percentage, and I pay the bills and buy the food. If we have a date, whoever invited the other person out pays. And then we split the cost of bigger one-off costs like vacations.

    We don’t have a perfect financial situation – we both have debt, we’ve had to change things up and cover for each other to handle times when one of us wasn’t working, or to pay for healthcare/other big unexpected family expenses. But I will say we’ve never argued about money, even though we have wildly different philosophies about it.

    • Clare Agra says...

      Love this!

  4. Emily says...

    I find this all fascinating, especially as a non-US reader. Making & sticking to a budget is a worldwide concern of course, but living in Europe on a modest income, I don’t know anyone who invests in the stock market (unless they have a high net worth), or goes to some of the lengths described here in terms of money management. It’s very interesting too that all of these apps seem to be US-based; I wonder what that might reveal about preoccupations with personal wealth creation, capitalist vs. socialist-orientated societies, and/or the lack of a social safety net? For example, student debt, health and childcare costs are much lower in many European countries; on the flip side, taxes are much higher. I’m not looking to pass judgement on different systems, just curious, as CoJ readers are a really interesting cross-section of women.

    The motherhood around the world posts have been great insights into how women in different countries manage with families; I’d be interested to see a money version too!

    • Andrea says...

      I think you bring up some key financial differences. Also, union/pension considerations are more a part of European retirement planning than in the US.

      Those in the US tend to have more take home pay/less tax/fewer social safety nets, which means you have to try and do this by yourself.

    • JB says...

      Thank you for this comment, so interesting! I’m in Canada so have a similar experience but we are of course also more closely tied to the US. Very interesting to hear about different perspectives from Europe!

    • Lilian Fields says...

      Yes, as an American who now lives in Canada, I’d say that a great deal of this difference has to do with how little security there is in the US for those who can’t pay for their own retirement, health care costs, etc. Americans are often taught from a very young age that it’s irresponsible not to invest in the stock market because our retirement plans are generally stock market accounts (that we create ourselves, often through an employer), not pensions. Here in Canada, I have a pension funded by my employer, but those are almost nonexistent in the US. Americans also face an unusual risk of being bankrupted by medical expenses–over half of all bankruptcies here are (or at least used to be) the result of astronomical medical bills. So I think this emphasis on planning and wealth acquisition has at last as much to do with our lack of a social safety net in the US.

  5. Amber says...

    The comments here are fascinating! I couldn’t agree more that we need to help each other out by talking more openly about money. I appreciate the differences of opinion represented here, but will say from my own experience (make more than my husband) that combining finances was the best thing we ever did for our marriage. We do set aside money in individual accounts, because, yes, you need to be free to make some “bad financial decisions” occasionally, but all of our money in one big pot where we both make decisions about what’s done with it makes it feel like we are more than the money we bring in. I would love to stay home with kiddos one day and don’t want to feel that not generating an income means I’m not entitled to spend as much.

  6. Kate says...

    I would love to hear more about talking with kids about money. We started giving an allowance to our oldest when she was 6 – $6/week that she was required to split evenly between “spend”, “save”, and “give” jars. But after several months we kept forgetting to give it to her and it just fizzled out. I had a hard time figuring out how she was to use the “spend” and “save” jars. Perhaps 6 is too young? I had her buying her own gum at 7-11 for awhile but then I would forget and buy a 10-pack at Target! I’d love to hear more about what other parents do about allowance or other teaching around money.

  7. Kate says...

    I got unexpectedly pregnant while my husband was in the middle of a health crisis (no disability insurance because we own our own business), and our new business was only 1 year old. “Stress” is having a newborn baby, one highly irregular stream of income (winter is our slow season!), 13 employees, and a new apartment for said baby that you can barely afford — all while making payments on a combined $200k in student loan and start-up debt.

    This is all to say: it’s all hard, but it’s only as hard as you let it be. Money isn’t real. Babies are real. Skip cable and use a streaming box; car-share instead of owning your own; shop for clothing second hand (better for the environment, anyway). Don’t skip date night. Save for travel even if it means not paying down your debt “agressively”. Have the baby.

    • laura says...

      Love this comment. You can live meaningfully for much less than you think.

    • Alana says...

      Thank you for this. <3 Exactly what I needed to hear as I am going through some of these same things. Money comes and goes. Finances will always be a stress factor. Reading "have the baby" was and real and as powerful as it gets.

    • Lana says...

      You are so right! Hope your hubby is doing better!

  8. Kaitlin says...

    At 35 I’m finally getting my MBA and finally feel empowered when it comes to finances. I’m proud of myself because at 22 when I was living in Manhattan making $32K/year in publishing, I knew (thank you Cosmo at the nail salon!) to put whatever I could into my 401K. My friend and I met with HR and they gave us that advice, too, so we decided to do $20 a pay period. From that moment to now, I now have $175K in my 401K. I just wish I started an investment account that early, too, so I had a downpayment saved, but hindsight is 20/20! I have a few investment accounts now–testing the roboinvesting providers like Ellevest, Wealthsimple, and Aspiration (Aspiration Redwood has had the best return for me–though a bit more volatile, but I like the interfaces on Ellevest and Wealthsimple, though I wish Ellevest told you your return, it’s annoying to calculate it by hand) and, for fun, I got a Robinhood account to buy stocks myself from the cases I was reading for class. I got a little too obsessed and now understand why people get addicted to gambling, but it’s been really fun to feel that empowerment that comes along with taking control of your finances. I’ve been having money conversations with my friends thanks to my empowerment, and I find that everyone is into talking about their finances because it’s so taboo!! A few of my friends have followed my lead into investing and are reaping the same rewards–gaining confidence and feeling like they have power over their futures! Every time I put something into my investment accounts I think of future me, looking back at 35 year old me thinking, thank god you didn’t wait any later to start these accounts… Just like 35 year old me is looking back at 22 year old me thinking, good job in putting $20 away when you could, I’m proud of you. :) Go get ’em ladies!!

    • Elizabeth says...

      I keep thinking about this. I have been contributing to my 401K for about the same amount of time as you (I’m 39, started when I was 26ish, though took a couple of years off along the way), and I have only about a fifth of what you have. And that includes employer contributions! I know the point of this thread and this comment isn’t to induce shame or frustration–just the opposite–but those are the emotions I’m feeling. Congratulations to you, though, on taking charge of your finances. I will never be so savvy–I’ll just keep tucking away cash in my 401K and hoping for the best.

    • Tara says...

      Hi Elizabeth,
      After reading your comment, I can’t help but wonder if you’re in high cost investments, which could be gnawing at your balance. Your best bet is likely a diversified collection of index funds (Vanguard is a giant, low-cost provider in this area), if your employer offers those types of options. And if they don’t, you might ask HR if they’ve considered them. Hope that helps a little..

  9. JenS says...

    I’m late to this conversation…I’ve always been a good saver and frugal. But divorce hit me hard, Incredibly hard. I lost a lot and now I’m a single mother with three kids 5yrs and under and living in a crazy expensive city. I work full time but everything is going to the mortgage and childcare. I’m incredibly scared and feel so hopeless and helpless. I’m masters prepared and have a good job but I’m one of those middle class Americans who may end up losing everything. I’m considering relocating but starting over with no social support sounds crazy as well. What happens if I have to go to the ED in the middle of the night with a sick kid, take all three since I would have no one to rely on? I worry myself over everything now. I just need to win the lottery lol

    • Robin says...

      Hi, Jens. So sorry to hear you’re in a rough place right now. While our circumstances are different, I too felt incredibly overwhelmed after going through a divorce and ending up on my own, with nothing saved. I can’t recommend listening to personal finance podcasts enough. (You can put them on during your commute or while cooking dinner!) They changed my LIFE and the way I see money. You will realize that there are small changes you can make that, if made consistently, can completely change your financial well being. Afford Anything and the Mad Fientist are where I got my start. I’ve now got TWO investment accounts that are rapidly growing… two years ago, I would have been far too intimidated to start anything like that! This blog article is a fantastic place to start: http://affordanything.com/2014/06/10/the-ultimate-beginners-guide-to-financial-awesomeness/
      You’ve got this!

  10. E says...

    Another tip is buy/read online The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape. Best advice! Very clear, explains how you can organise your money so it all automatically transfers into savings, retirement, ‘mojo’ accounts (An account for when you need emergency funds) and expense accounts. Easy to follow and makes sense!

  11. Bethaney says...

    After 18 years of marriage with my spouse paying the bills and me spending all the money, I had debilitating money fear. It was our number one fight. But I was so afraid to take it over. He was doing a great job but I needed more control since I was the primary spender. Finally, I decided to make a change and take over the budgeting. I found the YNAB sight and it changed my life. I don’t fear money, I’m paying off debt, saving for big expenses like Christmas and vacations and I feel empowered! Yay!

  12. Emily says...

    My peers and I talk about money constantly. We’re mostly nonprofit employees ($45k/year) in Washington, DC ($$$), so swapping advice and tools is a necessity. I’ve met a lot of transient folks in the city who still receive financial help from parents, and it’s not at all uncommon to find four to five people, some well into their thirties, living in group houses to cut back on housing costs. There are certain things–purchasing a home, going on vacation–that feel like a pipe dream, but I make it work.

    Some of my favorite tools:
    (1) Mint. I can’t believe I haven’t read a comment about this service yet! I actually track my daily spending in a self-designed Google Spreadsheet, but I love using the Mint app for quick budget reminders and savings goals.
    (2) Personal Capital. Y’all. The is where it’s at. I link all of my accounts, from my savings to my retirement to my student loans, to track my net worth and analyze my investments. It’s a bit heartbreaking because my student loans keep me in the negative, but not for long!
    (3) Money blogs and money meetups. Even if I find some advice to be nauseating (“I paid off $50,000 in three months and so can you!” blog post written by some lawyer living with their parents), picking up tips and tricks here and there has helped me build my own plan.

    My current plan, at age 25:
    (1) Build an emergency savings account. After I pay rent ($1175 for a room in a 2BR apartment, sob!), student loans, and other bills, there’s not much left for savings. I hope to have $6,500 in an online savings account (Ally is great!) by mid-2019.
    (2) Pay off student loans. I am on a plan to pay off my $20k in student loans in five years. Unfortunately, I don’t trust public service loan forgiveness to be around once I’ve put my ten years into nonprofit work.
    (3) Shovel money into my retirement. I somehow manage to put ten percent of my salary, with a four percent employer match, into my 401k. Learning about compounding interest has changed my life, and I’m eager to…
    (4) …Invest. After I build my emergency savings, I’d like to begin exploring index funds.

    Things that have surprisingly saved me money:
    (1) Having my groceries delivered. I would typically roll my eyes at this because I LIVE ON TOP OF A GROCERY STORE but honestly, I can’t be trusted to enter Safeway or Giant (God forbid a Trader Joe’s) and walk out with just the necessities. Somehow it’s easier for me to ignore cookies and alcohol online than in the store. I also love being able to watch my total add up in real time and stop shopping or adjust my cart as needed.
    (2) Responsibly using my credit card. Cash back, baby!

    I am fairly obsessive about my own finances, so I imagine it will be difficult for me to combine savings/spending with a future partner. I am grateful for everyone who has shared their “non-traditional” paths. Gives me hope.

    • Kaitlin says...

      Have you looked at Ellevest? They have a goals-style interface like what you’re describing and have an emergency fund pot and they have a downpayment pot, a retirement pot, a general “me” pot for the future (investments–some are more risky, some are more like index funds). I think you’d really like the set up (Sallie Krawcheck, the founder, is pretty cool–look her up. She’s a smart lady!). Good luck! Your future self is going to be so proud of how savvy you’re being!

    • Jen says...

      Wow, you are on it. Does Personal Capital have a fee?

    • Maggie says...

      Emily, it sounds like we could be twins! I also live in DC in an (overpriced) 2BR, work hard to pay off my loans and live on a normal salary, and am obsessed with my google budgeting spreadsheet. Tell me more about the money meetups you mentioned!

  13. Sylvie says...

    I am not sure how helpful this is: the turning point in our financial life was getting paid tax-free in one lump sum every month. My husband and I had worked regular jobs and our combined income was just a little over 100K, and we had student debt (16K), a personal loan (20K), car debt (20K), our mortgage. We were doing OK day to day, but had these debts in front of us. When we had our first baby, I stayed home and he left his job to became an independent contractor/form an LLC and was making the same as when we both worked. This is where our financial life changed– instead of getting a paycheck every two weeks with all the deductions taken out, we had a huge check at the beginning of the month, like, 8K-10K at a time and it helped us to attack debt in huge chunks, vaguely following a Dave Ramsey snowball method, so we’d get rid of a student loan, then the other, then the car, then the personal loan, until all we had was the mortgage (which we then decided to put more money toward). The big CON to all of this is making sure you have enough money at the end of the year to pay your taxes, which we barely did and December-March was tough to be in severe saving-mode but then we’d look back and see all we had paid down and it was worth it. The difference was being able to put, say, $2000 into killing off a loan, rather than $200, at a time. It took 1.5-2 years, and I am not sure mathematically *how* it worked but this was the game changer for us.

    • suzylee says...

      totally agree, when my kids were younger (now 8 and 10) we paid off all the student loans, mortgage arm, refinanced to a lower interest 15 year mortgage (there will be no mortgage while kids in college), bought our cars with cash. Now we continue to put those big chunks down, but in other places, one bucket an HSA, another the kids 529, 401k, SEP, mutual funds, emergency funds, saving funds, index funds. Only debt is the mortgage. It’s amazing what compounding interest, and steady savings can do. HSA is tax free money in and out (only to be spent on health expenditures, but you can invest like a 401k) this can grown and be used for things like braces, dentists, glasses, and health spending in retirement.

  14. Erma says...

    From the vantage of 70+ years, I have a few bits of advice for you younger people.
    1. Buy disability and longterm care insurance while you’re young and it’s cheap. My friend did this….and now that she has a debilitating chronic disease requiring 24-hour in-home care, her husband is so thankful she insisted on it.
    2. If you have student loans, continue to live like a student for a few years after you graduate and start working. This will allow you to pay them off much more quickly. Buy the professional wardrobe that might be required, but continue to drive the beater car and live in a cheap studio while you pour money into both savings and loan repayment. You’ll be so glad you did!
    3. I believe student loans are best reserved for graduate or professional school. Try hard to avoid loans for undergraduate school. Make use of high school programs where you earn college credit, go to community college for the first two years, go to a less-expensive state school. If you do have s loan for undergraduate school, have a job that pays incidental expenses; don’t use student loans for pizzas and beer.
    4. That old budgeting trick of using envelopes for each week’s expenses works well. There are apps that mimic that approach. Use them from the get-go, so you can see where your money goes, and so you can stop spending when your money for a category is gone.
    5. Pay off credit cards in full, every month. This means, don’t spend what you can’t afford. The credit card is for safety and convenience, and for a true emergency (like needing to replace all four tires on a trip, or the furnace dies during a cold snap).
    6. There is always a cost for things. You can pay with time (you do the painting, cleaning, repairs) or money (you pay someone else to do those chores). Generally, when you’re young, you have more time than money, so you do all that work. The older you get, the more valuable your time is to you, so you become more willing to pay for services.
    7. I think young people today have a much more difficult time financially than people of my generation did at the same age. It’s good to talk about this and share experiences. Everyone learns something. From reading all the comments in this thread, I’ve learned that there are benefits to having some degree of separation of finances, something that never crossed my mind when I was newly married.

    • ZM says...

      Thank you for these words of wisdom. Very interesting and certainly got me thinking.

  15. Morgan says...

    My husband and I combined our finances just after getting married, but had set up a system that worked really well after we moved in together a few years ago. At first we each put 70% of our pay into a joint account and kept 30% for whatever we wanted to spend it on. That way we covered joint expenses (rent, cell phones, date nights) but both felt we had some disposable income. When we first started I was making less and was so grateful to have a little money to spend how I wanted, but over the years it’s balanced out as sometimes my work has paid better. Now that we’re trying to save for a house 80% of our salaries goes into the joint account, and if we want to do something like go out for dinner or drinks, one of us will ‘invite’ the other out and use our disposable money. We found it works SO WELL for us!

  16. All of these comments and recommendations are wonderful! The comments here and on the New Year’s post from a few weeks ago have been a goldmine. CoJ really does have the best readers.

    Thanks, CoJ, team for inspiring this community!

  17. Chrissie says...

    I love talking about money!

    My husband and I don’t have a budget. We have crappy but reliable cars, got a great deal on our house and have no credit card or student loan debt. BUT we also find ways to justify other ways we overspend. Ie: going out to eat a ton (we’re stimulating our local economy and being a part of our community!), traveling (it’s good for our kids to experience new places!), and renovating our home (we have to see it every day, we may as well like how it looks!!)

    I recognize that we’re in a privileged spot if we don’t have to focus much on our finances. Recently, though, several friends have gotten divorced. My husband makes almost four times as much as I do and it’s made me realize how absolutely fuuuuuucked I’d be if we got divorced.

    Thank you for this post. Reading all of these comments has been eye opening. Makes me realize I need to plan better for the future!

    • It is so awesome that you guys have no debt!!! That said, it is soooooo nice that my husband and I are on the same page with finances – and that is solely due to the fact that we have a monthly money plan that we agree on before we earn and spend the money. *This* is what I call a budget. Belt-tightening and spending nothing and having no fun is what some people call “being on a budget” but that’s just sad IMHO. If you have X amount to spend each month and you want to spend 20% on eating out 20% to home renovations 20% to travel and the rest on bills or whatever, it’s in the plan! Guilt free! A good budget gives you the freedom to spend, not guilt on where you’re spending it. I really like what Rachel Cruze has to say about money and relationships. Helped us a ton!

    • Chrissie says...

      Kati, thank you for that! I guess I do have a budget and just don’t realize it.

  18. Pie says...

    It’s interesting to read these posts as I grew up in a poor immigrant household that emphasized survival over happiness (let’s just say that if I dropped out of law school to start a blog, my parents would have stopped talking to me!).

    I have always been very money minded, to a fault. I wanted to work in a creative field (I loved painting and writing and film), but couldn’t stomach the uncertainty and instead chose to work in a field that felt a bit awkward for me but was secure -business. The decision paid off financially. My husband and I have 7 figures in savings and can do really anything we want – send our daughter to the best schools, buy a beautiful home in a great neighborhood, go on fabulous vacations and have a great social life filled with weekend trips and great meals.

    But two of my closest friends chose their passion paths (they’re both in the arts) and they have a much richer community, a tighter and wider group of friends, and while they complain about their jobs like everyone, they fundamentally like what they do and feel like they belong.

    I don’t know what the right answer is or what I’ll eventually teach my daughter. I know that money feels safe and opens your world to so many tremendous experiences, but I also know that belonging, community and enjoying your day to day creates happiness too. I just hope she can both do what she loves and flourish financially.

    • Clare Agra says...

      Wow. This is really interesting, thank you for your candor.

  19. Sarah says...

    Hey Everyone,

    thank you so much for this post! I am so eager to read more about this topic…money it stresses me out! I am one of your Europe follower, I am from Austria, Salzburg.
    Usually I hate do deal with money, it tried hard to avoid everything that has to do with money (unfortunately not spending). I work as a social worker in a house for minor refugees without family for 32 hours a week, my Income is not very high and sometimes I felt ashamed about it. Although the money topic pops up rarely and then you talk only to good friends about it.
    As I decided this summer for a post graduate education to become a psychotherapist which costs in total 40.000€ ( 50.000$), I have to deal with money. …So this decision scared the shit out of me and then…I accidentally started listen to the podcast farnoosh torabi – welcome to so money…which gives a lot of tipps and deals all the time mit money! By listening to the podcast I got really brave to think into the topic money..spending, saving, spending extra…everything.
    My life changing day was then when I listened to the Interview with farnoosh toradi and Bari tessler! OMG Bari Tessler changed my perspective and my view of money totally (http://farnoosh.tv/?s=bari+tessler). She wrote a fantastic book about money, that I can recommend to everyone: Bari tessler: The art of money: a life-changing guide to financial happiness. https://www.amazon.de/Art-Money-Life-Changing-Financial-Happiness/dp/1941529208/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517036125&sr=8-1&keywords=bari+tessler%3A+the+art+of+money) this book is absolutely amazing because it’s not only about budgeting or saving, or spending lists, it helps to reflect what value I do attribute to money, how dealt my family with money,…I could write about it forever but I can really recommend it to everyone in every state of your life.

    so thank you Cup of Jo Team for your work! Weekly you make me happy! All the best from Salzburg

  20. Bec says...

    I don’t mean to sound rude, but I’ve never been happier not to be American after reading so many comments about crippling student debt… It seems so unfair. Thoughts go out to you all.

    • This made me laugh / kinda cry! I feel bad for us too!!

    • Lana says...

      Student debt can be avoided in many circumstances by choices. My husband and I put ourselves through college as we went along without any assistance. We went to local colleges.

      My kids went to local colleges and got scholarships. They finished on time and worked through the years. We helped out a little bit. They are in graduate school now and still debt free.

      It’s a priority with us. Education is great, but debt is not.

  21. L says...

    I’d love to hear more about setting up a will. We have kids but still no will and it’s been nagging at me since I was pregnant with my first, five years ago. Part of the hangup is that I just want to ensure our kids are taken care of should something happen to us, but my husband thinks that we need to nail down a million little details, like how and where we’ll be buried and who will inherit certain heirlooms, etc. Also, we aren’t 100% on the same page regarding who our kids should go to and it’s a tense conversation every time. Anyway, more on this topic would be really welcome. I feel so irresponsible as a mom without a will in place but I can’t be the only one dragging my feet, right?

    • E says...

      L totally agree. Such a difficult thing. You can have stipulations in your will (which we did) so that whoever is the guardian of the child needs to consult with others before big decisions (ie. Schooling, moving away). For me, as we put down my husband’s parents, this was super important that they consult and take into account my family’s wishes for our daughter. Ultimately it will be up to the guardians to choose but I felt that by having it in the will our wishes will be heard.

    • G says...

      I don’t know if this works in your country, but I’ll just share in case. I felt the same way as you did about wanting a will for the kids.. and also I thought the same way as your husband did, about the need to get all the details right. One thing I learnt was that you can change your will along the way (assuming costs aren’t exhorbitantly so). And so perhaps you can just perhaps decide on the essentials first, perhaps executor-ship & guardian-ship?

    • MCW says...

      I’m late to the game here but just to throw an awesome resource out there, check out Get Your Shit Together, https://www.gyst.com. It is a site co-founded by a woman who lost her husband tragically and unexpectedly. She and her team provide ample information to help guide you through which legal documents you need and what to consider as you put them in place. Illuminating and really takes a lot of the scare factor out of wills and trusts.

    • Lana says...

      We did ours on line. Our fist one was expensive and I learned what needed to be in a will.
      Last year, because of a move, we redid our will and it was cheap. We used Dave Ramsay’s and just filled it out. We kept it simple and have a FLOP.
      Financial Life on One Page allows us to identify all the accounts for saving, insurance, investing etc so our executor can easily figure things out.
      Along with the wills, I place original birth certificates and our marriage license. It’s something that will be needed if something happens to us.
      Being prepared is a blessing to those left behind.

  22. L says...

    In my 20s I worked really hard in a competitive but low-paying field. I lived pretty simply but managed be debt free (I was fortunate to have parents who footed the bill for college), put a lot into savings and travel a bit. Merging finances with my husband was really scary for me. He earned LOTS more than I did, like 5-6x more, but when we started dating he was basically living paycheck to paycheck. He had no savings account, no retirement fund — nothing. We’ve had to work hard to strike a balance when it comes to spending and saving, etc. We both left stable jobs (and in his case, a very lucrative one) to move closer to family and enjoy more flexibility. Now he works from home at a relatively low-paying job and I stay home with our kids. Our finances are TIGHT. Living on a smaller income has actually brought our individual financial philosophies closer in line to one another. I’ve had to let go of some of my save, save, save tendencies because there just isn’t much to spare and he’s had to stop spending so much for the same reason.

  23. Catherine says...

    I’m late to comment here, but here’s my two cents: I’m 47, 2 kids (19 and 8), married x 11 years (2nd marriage), and even though he makes more than I do, I INSISTED that I handle the finances. That meant I had to learn how to do it (I’m a nursing prof. – nothing to do with money). I pay all the bills, we do a yearly budget meeting where we plan out our finances in detail (it’s all spreadsheet-ed – it’s totally awesome), and year after year, we figure it out. We FIGHT in our budget meeting every year – money is a hot topic for me – but we know we’re going to fight, and we just plow through and figure it out. I know I’m annoying to my kids (both girls) about money, but money management and understanding the basics are non-negotiable. They WILL learn this. My advice to anyone about money is to not be afraid of it. Money and numbers are just a language to learn. Don’t give it more power than it deserves. It’s not about power or success…it’s linguistics.

    • MADLG says...

      Can you share (the bones – not details) of your spreadsheet? Would love to see how it works!

  24. Hannah says...

    My husband and I just combined finances after getting married, and it is nice not to do the tracking of all spending and pay back at the end of the month. What we ended up deciding on as a setup was pooling our savings, and making a joint checking/savings account. Our paychecks both deposit into the joint account, and we have a joint credit card linked to the account. All household spending comes out of that account. Then, we transfer a small amount each month into both our personal accounts for spending money. I like the setup because I can make my own financial choices (ex. forgo new clothes for a few month to save for a girls trip) and he can make his (ex. spend it on go-kart racing or whatever). We’re very aligned in general (heavy saving, financially conservative), but it’s just nice to not have to feel guilty about the price of my shoes!

    My husband manages the finances because he works in finance and likes it. We do a monthly finance review (it’s in the calendar) on the last day of the month, and he walks me through all the Excel spreadsheets and we check charges, etc. Even though he manages it on a day to day basis, we both check in each month, which has been working for us.

  25. Emily says...

    My finances are stressing me out!! I recently moved to new york for my first adult job and while it pays ok for my arts field, it’s still barely enough to scrape by. Still figuring out how to budget and be able to cover everything. I love R29’s money diaries, which break down millennial salaries and spending for a week!

  26. J says...

    What a fascinating comment thread, it feels like half humble-bragging and half cries for help, and I think I’m somewhere in between. Like others mentioned, it would be great to see financial health be a continued topic here, and with recommendations for books and resources that offer free education (at least to start), perhaps an interview series with financial advisors to cover different topics since there is clearly a range of lifestyles, ages, geographies, and setups. Personally I feel like I’m doing ok, very grateful not to have debt but pretty unclear as to how to assess and meet goals, and frankly I just don’t trust apps and “gurus” so some un-sponsored content would be great.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, we have many more posts to come, thank you so much, J!

  27. Jaclyn says...

    I still have student loan debt but have managed to own a few cars over my life and own a house with my husband and I have an excellent credit score from using credit wisely.
    My piece of financial advice for newlyweds is to be brutally honest with each other about financial matters and not to feel bad if joining finances doesn’t feel right yet.
    My husband makes roughly double my income so while I do get peace of mind knowing there is a nest egg being built for the both of us, we keep our accounts seperate and I manage my own savings, retirement and invesments. Some friends and family think it’s strange but it’s just what feels right for us.

  28. Maranda says...

    My husband and I were raised with completely opposite financial philosophies so merging our finances was a major lesson in compromise. I’ve learned to spend on things that bring me joy. A $50 pedicure would make my mom’s head spin and is something I would have previously guilted myself about. But it brings me more joy than an additional $50 in savings would. A former boss stressed net worth. So, having $10,000 in debt and $10,000 in cash is the same as having 0 debt and 0 cash, you have to operate with what you’re most comfortable. This has changed the way we think about long term debt-it would be way more stressful to us to be strapped for cash In order to pay off debt early than it is to carry the debt through the life of the loan!

    • Rashmik says...

      Am glad that works for you, but it’s a huge misnomer that 10000 in debt and cash is the same as 0 in debt and cash. A no debt situation means no hefty interest payments. The importance of being debt free was the first money lesson my parents taught me. I cleared off my student loans as quickly as I could because I knew once that was Done, the nest egg would accumulate. Free cash earns interest or can be invested to grow far beyond its starting worth.

  29. Jess says...

    Yes! Love this topic. I constantly worry about being priced out of my neighborhood. My husband and I just had a son and we both have solid salaries, but our neighborhood (Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn) now is starting to seem unaffordable for us as a family. We love it here but the cost of rent alone makes me feel like it would be financially irresponsible to stay here – possibly even stay in nyc.

    • Mollie says...

      I’m in Carroll Gardens too, Jess – and feeling the same. I absolutely love it here, but have a nagging feeling it’s a financially irresponsible choice when I think bigger picture. What to do, what to do …? :)

  30. Marta says...

    As a Danish woman, who has lived in New York, Copenhagen and now New Zealand can I just say that I have SO MUCH RESPECT for you American mums – childcare in the US (especially in New York and big cities) is so, so expensive. You ladies are superstars for managing to pay down your debt, save for college tuition (which is free elsewhere) and make ends meet. Kudos.

  31. Lori says...

    I think this is a very important discussion. Thank you. My daughter is currently deciding between colleges and I am so worried about her debt. I feel like we are totally alone in these worries. In our community no one is talking about this, only about where their children applied and were accepted. They aren’t talking about how they are affording these expensive schools.

    • dana says...

      This is just my two (unsolicited) cents…
      I went to an elite and expensive university. My family couldn’t afford it, but neither of my parents went to college and I guess they thought that taking out private loans for me to go there was a good investment in my future. Long story short– I owe over 100k for an undergrad degree. It still kind of baffles me to think about that number. My best advice for her (and you) is to go somewhere that you can afford or at the very least, come out with a reasonable amount of debt. I think you can have a great college experience pretty much anywhere, as long as you’re open-minded about being there. I wish I had thought about that before I made the choices I made back when I was looking at colleges. Anyway, best of luck for you and your daughter in whatever path you take. She’s lucky to have a mom who’s looking out for her. =)

    • Adrienne says...

      My mom always says, “Go to the best school you get into THAT YOU CAN AFFORD.” My SIL racked up tons of debt at a private school that she, at 33, is still trying to pay down. I asked her, “If you knew then what you knew now about this debt, would you have made a different choice about your college?” She said, “yes.” I think 17 yo have a hard time visualizing what $120K in debt is going to look like for them.

    • lola says...

      I would really agree with this feedback UNLESS your daughter is 100% sure she wants to go into a very specialized profession, one in which particular schools pay off career-wise much more than others. I studied fashion design and went to the best school for it in the US. It got my foot in the door at every interview and my alma matter won me jobs. I know it sounds snobby but it is the sad truth. I’m still paying off student loans (7 years later) but have an incredibly successful career and am not broke.

  32. Kat O says...

    I’ve always been a saver (my husband and I put more than 30% of our paychecks directly into savings and DON’T touch it). I’ve never had credit card debt, we have one car and it was used and paid for outright, we both make decent incomes, but…we have about $90k in student loan debt, and know nothing about investing. I’d love some guidance on investing but I feel like there’s no one I can trust, with everything you hear about shady dealings in the financial world. So essentially it feels like, no matter how much we save, we’ll never be able to afford a house. If you could do articles specifically on student loans and/or investment for beginners, that would be awesome! Or if any readers have suggestions, that would be much appreciated as well!

    • Liz says...

      Open up a Vanguard IRA or a taxable account. Warren Buffets’s advice is to put your money on a low cost S&P 500 index fund. In the long run, you should do ok. I personally love watching CNBC and even though I have a finance background, I have learned a lot about picking stocks.

    • Andrea K says...

      I totally agree! I’m an amazing saver, excellent credit, I pay my credit cards off every month… and yet I don’t foresee owning a home or having a kid anywhere in the near future unless I suddenly get a huge raise or better job. And investing intimidates me so much…

    • Rachel says...

      Jlcollins stock series. He initially wrote it for his college aged daughter. Other people have recommended it in the comments, and he now has a book. http://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/

    • Hannah says...

      Second the Vanguard and S&P thing. If you’re not going to be super active in managing, it’s super hard to beat the market. If you just think long term, you won’t lose on the S&P. If you’re willing to leave it in for 10 or 20 years, you’re fine. It’s when you need to draw it out desperately during a down market that you’re in trouble. So, if you invest assets that you are sure you will not need to access, that makes sense. Keep enough for 6 months expenses in a high interest savings account (like Marcus by Goldman Sacchs) that offers a 1.5% interest rate.

    • Alex says...

      Agree with vanguard. Such a great company with such a great ohilosophy- they have lots of calculators to find the right mix of a few mutual funds that will be very low cost to match your comfort with risk long term.

    • Kathleen says...

      The way I’ve handled savings vs. student loan debt is to assess whether my money could work harder as an investment…or harder against loans. I have a mix of loans with interest that varies from 2% to 5-6%. With the current market, most investments wouldn’t garner me 5-6% return, so I’m aggressive on paying off those loans.

      I do have a financial advisor, a friend who works for a company that doesn’t require wealth before they take you on :) it helps that I trust him even though we basically just hold any roll over retirement funds and some IRAs. I think about it like this: sure, I COULD give myself a hard and varied workout vs. paying for a spin or training class, but I probably won’t. Paying a small fee for an advisor feels like a good investment in that way.

    • Adrienne says...

      Vanguard. And Money Magazine. It helped me so, so much.

    • Kat O says...

      Thank you all! I appreciate the resources (and the commiseration :). I’ve always been such a fast learner, but financial/investing info never seems to stick – I’ll start looking at these things!

  33. Heather says...

    I make three times as much as my husband. I’d love for CoJ to do a post about women who earn more than their husbands, and how that plays out in the home. My husband is super supportive of my career, but he has voiced how sometimes the salary disparity makes him feel like less of a man. I remind him that his masculinity is not defined by his salary, and that he cares for our family in other ways, by protecting us and loving us and opening tricky jars of pickles ;)

    • Julie says...

      That’s so true! I would love to read a post on this as well. I’m 25, my boyfriend is 28 and I already make more than him as I have higher education. I also look around at my group of friends and almost all of the “girlfriends” make more than the “boyfriends”. Personally my boyfriend doesn’t care (he’s actually happy about it as we have more income overall), but I notice it motivates him to try to earn more (he’s actually going back to school to get a certification). I think men in the younger generation might not care as much since it’s much more common for women to earn as much or more nowadays but I’m curious to see how it will play out in the future once kids come around, etc. For now, even though I make more, we both take the lead financially and discuss how to save for the future. I love that we’re so open about it.

  34. Lana says...

    I’ve been a stay at home mom for 26 years and handled money and investments. We are completely debt free, our kids are in graduate school and debt free. We live modestly, invest the max, tithe and enjoy travel. Before leaving on an overseas trip a couple days ago, I updated our FLOP (financial life on one page) and put it with our wills, birth certificates, marriage license and life insurance policies. One concern is not leaving a mess for my kids to have to sort through. Everything is organized and has been discussed.

    • Midge says...

      You are my hero. I live the FLOP and now I might just create my own this weekend.

    • jules says...

      you are my hero.

    • Amanda Sharpe says...

      One concern is not leaving a mess for my kids to have to sort through. Everything is organized and has been discussed.

      Thank you! Amen! I recently learned my husband’s parents, who own a large home and have a business, don’t have a will. This seems so unloving to my husband- he would have a nightmare on his hands if, God forbid, they passed. I think this is something my husband should bring up to his dad, but his mom doesn’t even want his dad to know that we know. It seems so unnecessarily complicated.

  35. Hayley says...

    I have been reading more and more about personal finance since last year, when I got a grown-up job again after a long stint in grad school. I am from a different country so I had to learn about the US tax system and the various perks of Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, HSAs, FSAs etc. Doing all this research and learning made me wish dearly that I had been more financially literate in my early 20s. I never had debt and have a good income, but could have done so much more in terms of making good investments and fully taking advantage of credit card perks and tax breaks.

    Two things I learned today while going over my paycheck (yes, today!) are that

    1) on top of federal and state tax, I am separately taxed for medicare (1.45%) and social security (6.2%) at the federal level. I had no idea – I just blindly accepted the amount deposited into my checking account after maxing out my 401(k) and HSA contributions.

    2) Typically you don’t pay federal and state taxes but do pay medicare and social security taxes on 401(k) contributions. On the other hand, you don’t pay any taxes on HSA contributions – so on top of the benefit of not paying tax when withdrawing money from your HSA account for medical expenses, you also save an extra 7.65% compared to a 401(k).

    It is a moot point for me since i am maxing out both anyway, but this adds weight to the typical wisdom of saving into a 401(k) or Roth IRA up to your employer’s full match, then maxing out your HSA if you are eligible for one, and then putting the rest of your long term investment money into your 401(k) or Roth IRA.

    • Rachel says...

      Also, you can use HSA contribution and gains for any expense after a certain age. Some people use this to their advantage and don’t actually use the HSA for medical expenses (just save the receipts in case you need to get some cash out someday). https://www.madfientist.com/ultimate-retirement-account/

  36. Alex says...

    On affording multiple kids, I’ve made a somewhat unconventional choice for our day and age and am a stay-at-home mom. obviously this saves on childcare costs. My husband makes 55k and we live simply and debt free (though I buy quality and try to have nothing in our house I do not believe to be useful or beautiful, to paraphrase W.A. Morris). Currently we rent so when we buy we will have mortgage debt. But we have two kids and are expecting our third and I couldn’t be happier. Finances are so much about making choices: there’s no right answer, but if you want one thing, you’ll probably have to give up another.

    • Alex says...

      Also, we just paid off our car and grad school debt last year, so that’s why we’re debt free (woohoo!)

  37. Laura says...

    Random aside: My sister moved to Tanzania for two years and I suggested she write a “Motherhood Around the World” post and sent her your site. She was apparently looking at it with her husband, who recognized you as his LSAT tutor from many years ago in New York. Small world!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a small world, laura!!!

  38. Heather says...

    Really like this topic, and would love to see you keep covering finances because we women need to be informed and involved captains of our financial ships ☺️ Here’s how it works in my household: my husband handles the tactics of day to day bill paying. We make bigger decisions and goals about investments and savings together, but I tend to set our strategy since I’m especially savings focused. Recently we set up a weekly check in on Wednesday nights to review how we’re doing and it’s great! Now that we’re checking in with our numbers and each other often, it’s quick and reassuring!

  39. Jen says...

    hi CoJ!
    Thanks for starting this series – it’ such an important topic and one that I need to learn more about.
    Would you consider providing links to more resources like books, online tools, podcasts, etc.? I’m embarrassed at how little I know about investment and long-term savings. And how little I have in long-term savings at that.
    Thanks!
    Jen

    • Ally says...

      I would love if you did that too, CofJ.
      I had no idea how much I didn’t know until I read everyone’s comments. I have a 457(b) and a government pension but I still worry a lot about if what I’ve saved will be enough for when I’m old, should I contribute more, should I buy long-term care insurance, etc.

  40. Finacial down, when I left my full-time job for a contract job that I loved, but abruptly ended.

    Financial up, when I graduated from a vigorous graduate program, and was converted to full time at a company I love.

    Thanks for sharing! I recently listened to Juliana Park, author of the book the “Abundance Loop” and your blog reminded me so much of all that she said.

  41. Betsie says...

    My husband I decided before we got married that in our first year of marriage we wanted to get set up with a financial advisor. Best. Idea. Ever. Neither of us come from wealthy families, and we both had student loans and a bit of credit card debt. Our financial advisor, John, helped us identify our priorities and long-term goals, got us set up on a loan payment plan, signed us up for life and long-term disability insurance, set us up with Roth IRAs that we can use for a down payment on a house, helped us manage our investments in our employer-sponsored 401(k)s, and helped us set up an emergency savings. After two years, we have zero credit card debt, are set to pay off our student loans in two years, and went from negative net worth to nearly six digit positive net worth. We meet with John three times a year and pay a flat fee based on our incomes. Not only has it been worth every penny, it has set my husband and I up to be equally involved with our finances and feel empowered to manage them. Maybe we could have figured out how to do all this on our own, but would we have really had the time and energy to acquire the expertise that John has from years of experience and education? Probably not.

    My other pro-tip is banking with Simple. It’s an online-only bank with hands down the best app and web interface. Four years ago, before I started banking with Simple, I used to dread checking my bank balance (insert See No Evil monkey emoji). Now I look forward to allocating my paycheck to my various goals, and check my balance on the app at least daily. My friends can attest that I am a Simple evangelist and will nerd out about it at every opportunity!

    • Michelle says...

      What an interesting idea! My partner is terrible with money. He has mountains of student loan debt and I don’t bring up marriage because I don’t want to gain his debt. I’m learning from some of his mistakes ( no grad school for me, yet!), but I hate to think that we don’t daydream about our future together because I’m scared of financial burden. Outside help may be part of the answer?

    • Betsie says...

      Look into it! Before we hired our financial advisor, I was envisioning that we’d be a bit admonished and shamed during our meetings with him. But the reality has been that he’s made us feel like we’re capable of managing our debt, income, and finances wisely. We leave every meeting feel like an informed and confident team.

      Our guy’s “thing” is financial planning for young professionals, rather than wealth management for people who already have a lot of assets. I’d encourage you to look for someone with a similar passion.

    • Tiffany says...

      I LOVE SIMPLE! hands down, best bank ever.

    • Morgan says...

      I completely agree! I’m a spender and my husbands a saver, and we use to have huge arguments about money (spoiler he is not a fan of #treatyoself) and seeing an outside specialist made a huge difference. It helped me see things from his perspective and was a great way to outline our goals (house, kids, travel) and see how much money I was spending needlessly and how much we needed to save in order to live the way we wanted. Highly recommend an adviser.

    • VKP says...

      hi! Can I ask where John is located or if he has a company with providers in the Chicago area? thank you!

    • Betsie says...

      VKP – John is with E3 Financial Planning, and I know he is certified to advise in several states. Maybe he or someone else at his firm would have ideas for a more local firm, if you wanted to be able to meet with your advisor in person: http://www.e3financialplanning.com/

  42. I’ve found some good information on a blog called financialpanther.com. It goes through different debt repayment and investing basics. If you’re new to the world of investing, and a bit overwhelmed by it, I’ve had luck with robo investors (Betterment). It helped me take care of that first step, getting into the game. As I learn more and get more comfortable, I can take some of the control back, but for now, it’s been helpful.

  43. Suzanne says...

    Wanted to weigh in as a fan of the topic and this post! More people, women especially, should focus on this more. Myself included!

    • Totally agree! This is so awesome!!!

  44. Lilla says...

    What an important topic!
    In so many ways I am very lucky- I have no debt, my husband and I are both employed with benefits, and we have already started saving for our child’s college education (she is 2 years old) and our retirement- but I have a conundrum and I am wondering how others handle this cost…
    Month to month we are able to make our ends meet, pay our bills and save a tiny bit. We do not live extravagantly. We have one child, and just started trying for another. I really want a second child, but do not know how we will pay for childcare for that child. Our daughters daycare costs more than our mortgage. She won’t be in public school until she is 5- so do we wait until she is 4 to try and have another kid? Or dip into our precious savings for the few years both kids will have to be in daycare?
    It makes me upset how much childcare costs in our area, but it is what it is. I don’t understand how poor families manage childcare- I think it is a real problem for our country. I could find a slightly cheaper daycare, but it’s important to me to leave her in a place I feel good about (mom guilt is so real!). We have no family close by and my husband doesn’t make enough to support all of us on his own, plus I love my job… anyways- how do people afford having more than one kid?!

    • Jen says...

      Hi Lilla,
      We’re in the same position as you and I’d love it if CoJ could talk about this in the future!
      The combination of high-priced daycare and not having family close by is a real bummer. I have met people who opt for nannies when their second child arrives because the cost can be slightly lower compared to daycare for two children.
      All the best to you!
      Jen

    • Alex says...

      Please don’t ever feel guilty about placing your child somewhere you know she’s nourished. That’s a loving decision to designate funds for her benefit.

    • t says...

      poor people often manage childcare using welfare.

    • Betsy says...

      Usually child care costs drop after potty training age and there’s often a sibling discount. Maybe you could cut back on college savings to help pay for day care. There are more options for paying for college than day care.

    • Rachel says...

      We did it in DC by living in a one bedroom apartment. It’s tough. Nannies make more than me per hour, so I stayed home with two kids and worked part time at night and on the weekends.

    • L says...

      I stay home with my kids (2 and one on the way) for this very reason. I never intended to be a stay-at-home mom but it simply makes more financial sense at this point in our lives. I try to keep one foot in the door via freelancing and hope that I can contribute more to our household finances once our kids are in public school. Also, I didn’t really feel like my husband earned enough to support us on one income either, but we cut back in many ways (one car, no vacations except camping or road trips to visit family, gifts for the kids but not each other, a major reigning in of general expenses like clothes and groceries…) and made it work. However I totally respect people who have one or no children because of the financial freedom it affords them. Kids are expensive. I wouldn’t trade mine for the world but I do miss things like traveling and dining out.

    • Becky says...

      I would love to see this addressed by CoJ. I often wonder the same thing – how does everyone else seem to afford having two kids in daycare? The tuition is insane no matter where I’ve looked.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      great idea, we would love to write more about this.

      fwiw, this was one cool/non-traditional idea — for two families to share a house:
      https://cupofjo.com/2015/10/communal-house-cohousing-san-francisco/

      some families we know do nanny shares, which work well for everyone. (the kids play together, their nanny gets paid more per hour, the families pay much less per hour.)

      some churches, even in manhattan, also offer daycare that is much, much less expensive than other daycares/preschools.

      i’ll keep thinking! great questions, and i’d love to hear from others, too.

    • Seriously. SERIOUSLY!!! How do people do it? I have three kids and my two oldest go to elementary school while my youngest is in daycare. I was terrified that I’d have three in daycare, all at the same time. We were blessed to have some things shift around so now it’s our current arrangement, but it’s still not enough. Daycare for baby costs $840 – $1020 per month. FOR ONE KID. Isn’t that insane?! And, we have to pay a sitter to get the kids because they are out before either of us is done working. We had to really buckle down and be in charge of the rest of our money on paper with a budget (We use an app called EveryDollar) and when we are in charge of our money, it feels like we’ve gotten a raise because money doesn’t sneak out on us. We are getting out of debt, so in order to pay all the childcare costs and make progress on the student loans, we do work extra. I am also looking for a cheaper childcare option. Obviously no one would say ‘have a kid even if you can’t feed him!’ but I bet there are more ways to achieve your dreams of a second baby. What do you do well at your current job that could be a side hustle? Is your husband experienced enough to ask for a raise or promotion? Childcare is sooooo expensive. I feel you!

    • MM says...

      We have a 3 year old and 6 mo old twins and the cost for all of their childcare in NYC area where we live will be $75k this year. It’s barely what I make after taxes but I’m too afraid to stop working and not be able to get back into the workforce when they’re in school. We hope to get an au pair when the twins are older but giving up a bedroom will be tough..

  45. Katie says...

    Money is something that’s definitely been on my mind lately! My husband and I are expecting our first baby in a few months. We’re mid-thirties, have good jobs, some debt but not excessive, and are pretty good savers. I would love to take some time off work and stay home once the baby comes, but when I actually sit down and crunch the numbers, I can’t figure out how we could afford it for very long! I see other people in similar situations as us where one parent stays home (with multiple children sometimes!) and I can’t figure out how they afford it! I would love some advice on how to make this work!

    • Katie says...

      Not really great advice, but we just *made* it work.

      When I stopped working after our first baby, we went down to one car (also one less car to insure and get gas for), stopped eating out (partly because going out with infants isn’t as fun…but it definitely helped us with our budget), and all of the other “work related costs” for me were completely cut. Things like daily coffees, celebrations with co-workers, even office fundraising efforts. And oh, the work clothes!

      Otherwise we just had to prioritize everything…and last minute get-togethers with friends, small trips, hosting bbq’s etc. were cut. A lot of this happens once you have kids anyway. Sometimes I don’t totally know how, but we are making it work. Your life won’t look like it did before, but kids make it worth it :)

  46. Sarah says...

    If you would be willing to share, I would be very interested in hearing more about the financial side of running a blog as a small business.

    • Jennifer says...

      Agreed! Please share how that works.

  47. Allison says...

    Joanna, Do you have a financial adviser? My husband and I are flip flopped, he manages bills and monthly expenses, I manage our 401Ks and IRAs. As we are getting older, I’m concerned that my basic knowledge of investments isn’t cutting it. I’m acutely aware that all of our investments won’t be accessible until we are 72 and a half, unless we want to take a tax penalty or it’s one of the few exceptions. I want to retire before 72 and a half… But I also hate the idea of paying someone to just follow the established model from their broker dealer, I feel like I should be able to do that myself. I’ve tried Personal Capital, but they have too many issues pulling in data from our banks, and it’s annoying that they try and double as Mint. I just need long term planning help, but budgeting. I’d love to hear from anyone who has figured this out!

    • Jaime says...

      We have a financial advisor through Ameriprise and it’s been great! We are early 30s with one child and I’m a sahm. We were in a similar situation to you and trying manage our investments/retirement accounts ourselves and it got to the point where we just weren’t sure what else to do with them. Our advisor helped us streamline our goals for saving, retirement, college fund, etc. It costs us $600 per year but it’s been totally worth it to us. I highly recommend it if you can.

    • Nicole Shelledy says...

      The minimum age to withdraw money from an IRA or 401(k) without penalty is 59 1/2, much earlier than 72 1/2. Where did you get that figure from?

    • Cyndi says...

      The traditional IRA requires mandatory withdrawals at 70 ½. These are referred to as required minimum distributions.
      There is no mandatory withdrawal for the Roth IRA.

      Both types of IRAs allow for qualified distributions, penalty-free, at 59 ½. For the Roth, your first contribution must be made five years before any withdrawal.

    • Meg says...

      Also note that you’ll be able to draw social security benefits by age 67, maybe earlier (depending on your age). I just hired a financial advisor myself to help with long term planning. Although I haven’t gotten any advice from her yet (still compiling info), the very act of hiring her and knowing I will have expert help has eased my financial anxieties. Financial planners can do a lot more than just follow an established model. They can help you engage in scenario planning (e.g., what happens if you retire earlier, or take a lower paying job) and give you advice about taxes and insurance and how to prioritize your financial goals. Whatever you decide, good luck!

    • ML says...

      I met with a financial adviser once in my mid-20s, and once more in my early 30s. She gave me a few worksheets to fill out about my personal situation, goals, and dreams. Based on answers like “I might want to go to grad school… or start a company… who knows!” she advised me to split my savings between 401ks restricted to a certain age, and unrestricted index funds through Vanguard or Betterment that allow you to specify dates when you want to use funds (they adjust risk accordingly). Her fee wasn’t cheap but looking back, the detailed and thoughtful recommendations have paid off so many times in both dollars and personal & professional freedom. I ended up using those savings to take a nonprofit fellowship, and for peace of mind when I started my own company, so I could pursue work that felt meaningful to me. Her name is Cindy Sterling at Sterling Financial and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her. Good luck! Regardless of who you choose, look for a *fee-only* adviser who is not paid based on how much of your funds they manage.

  48. Clare says...

    Could you talk more about how you and Alex budgeted for your wedding? I live with my partner and even though we aren’t engaged yet, I opened up a wedding savings account in September since weddings are EXPENSIVE (it is seriously fascinating and horrifying) and neither of our parents are in a position to foot the bill (nor should they be expected to, especially after helping us pay for college).

    • Alexandra says...

      Keep it simple; it shouldn’t be the best day of your life, just the beginning of all the best days :-)

    • Kat O says...

      We just got married at city hall and then threw a big party for our friends and family, and people said they loved it. My mother and I thrifted and made our decorations (which I was SUPER proud of, if I do say so myself :). We rented a beautiful historic mansion next to a park in our neighborhood that normally functioned as a community center, so it was cheap; we rented a food truck, stocked our own bar (Costco for the liquor, and a friend donated beer from the brewery she worked at), let Spotify be our DJ, and had lawn games out. I couldn’t care less about a wedding dress, so a cute ivory lace sun dress did the trick. My mother did insist on a cake, which was stupidly expensive, and my one regret is that we didn’t hire a wedding photographer – tipsy friends can’t be counted on to take good photos, I learned. Aside from missing some photo opportunities, it was really fun and WAY less stress. I think we only spent about $5000 all said and done, which we mostly made back in cash gifts from our 80 or so guests (even though we requested no presents…people are just generous :)

    • t says...

      this is such a good question. we saved up for our wedding (about $20k) which at the time seemed like to much money. Looking back on life I am not sure that I would have spent that much money but it was also so special. for me i think the perfect solution is not going overboard on a blowout wedding but still gathering your friends and family.

  49. Christine says...

    Helpful post! I’m getting married this year, and the idea of combining our finances majorly stresses me out. Because HE’S actually in much better shape, financially, than me. He has a high-earning job and makes 4x my salary. I have $40k student loan debt, and he doesn’t. I don’t feel like he should be responsible for the debt I’d be bringing into the marriage – he paid off his own loans already. And I don’t feel “entitled” to the higher income he earns. It’s messed up, I know. He doesn’t say anything like this to me, it’s all in my own head. Also, we are such a perfect team in every way, and talk about how we want to get married because we feel like we can be a great team in life! But I don’t know how to be a team about money.

    • PLEASE get premarital counseling. It will be so helpful for both of you to air your financial fears and goals. I have a strong feeling that you will come out of it feeling relieved and a full partner in every way. Without it, this could potentially be the basis of every fight and miscommunication you two will have for the duration of your marriage.

    • Nicole Shelledy says...

      I am in a very similar situation – I am getting married in a couple of months and my husband-to-be makes over 2x my salary. I also strongly recommend premarital counseling, but I would recommend that to every couple. I have always been very proud and self-reliant (I also have a 14-year-old son who I have raised completely on my own), so it’s been difficult for me to come to terms with the fact that just because I CAN pay 50% of everything doesn’t mean I SHOULD. By getting married, we are becoming one unit, and it will be OUR income and OUR bills. Part of why we are getting married is because we have similar goals in life, and the best and easiest way to achieve those goals will be by considering the money and debt “ours” and instead of his and mine.

    • Heather says...

      My husband and I had a similar situation. He made six figures and I was just graduating law school with six figures in debt. For the first years of our marriage, I used every bit of my salary to pay off MY debt. I didn’t want him to feel burdened or obligated to pay for it, since I was the one who incurred it. I also wanted to pay it off myself, as a pride thing. He did, however, use his salary to pay for our rent, food, car, etc. so that I could divert all of my salary to debt reduction. It worked for us. He felt like he was helping and contributing, and I still got to maintain the feeling of paying off the debt I incurred before we met. Hope that helps :)

    • Kat O says...

      Okay I feel like I’m commenting a lot on this thread, but for what it’s worth: my husband and I have almost equal student loan debt (ie, A LOT) and comparable salaries, but when we got married we split our money three ways: a percentage of our paychecks into a joint savings account; a percentage into a joint checking account for our budgeted household expenses, going out together, etc.; and a percentage into individual checking accounts, which we use for occasional unnecessary personal things (ie, my addiction to sweaters haha) AND our individual student loans – with a commitment that we each pay as much as possible each month. It’s worked for us and it feels very fair!

    • Man, it wasn’t too tricky getting married with my husband making 2-3x as much as me, but now I’m a stay at home mom- and I feel so guilty for every dollar I spend on myself. I used to think it was because the mom was spending so much money on the kid that she lost herself a little bit. Now, for me it’s, why do I need a haircut? I’m at home. Nicer clothes? They’ll just get messy. The smallest indulgence can feel so selfish when I’m not bringing in any money.

      I guess I say this, not to make you feel like you’re not feeling real feelings, but that even if you didn’t feel this way now, you may later anyway (regardless of kids, lives change in ways you don’t expect). Premarital counseling now would be a great place to hash this out- get it out of the way!

    • Meg says...

      Here’s my 2 cents after more than 25 years with my husband. When we started dating, he made a lot more money and kindly helped me out. Now I make almost all of the money and happily help him out, while he does all the cooking and almost all the house stuff. We’re a true partnership. Your marriage will hopefully be a very long one. Consider that your willingness to help him now can be part of a commitment to help him in the future. It’s an enormously loving gesture. Also, please note that you’re not just bringing debt; you’re bringing an education that is now an investment in your husband’s future too. It sounds like you have a lovely relationship. I’m sure you’ll find your way!

    • when my husband and i got married, we opened one joint account for monthly expenses, and each kept our own checkings and savings. we then sat down and evaluated how much each of us would spend out of our own personal checkings account on “household” things [like groceries, laundry, eating out, etc] and what our savings goals were, and then adjusted our contributions to each account to be equally proportional. since he makes more than me, i don’t pay 50% of the rent or whatever, but we each contribute, say, 30% of our take home pay. it still feels “fair” but also gives us some freedom to do what we want with our own accounts.

    • Let’s pretend it was something else: weight. Let’s say you were fit and trim and he was 150 lbs overweight. You have a good exercise and eating system, and he is going to be diabetic if he doesn’t change something. Other than health, you guys are a team in every way. Would you suggest once you’re married, getting separate fridges, pantries, and dinners, because he hadn’t earned “eating healthy” or “feeling good” about his weight? Should he feel bad because this ‘hypothetical you’ was doing better or put in more work to get results? No of course not! :-) You’d show him how to cook healthful meals, you’d go to the gym with him, you’d teach him about meal planning and tracking calories and cardio and weightlifting and all the other ways to be successful and win with health. This hypothetical situation is just an illustration to show that spouses lift each other up, and it’s not about “earning” when you are committed to each other for life… And definitely join together and talk about why you feel this way. I highly suggest taking the Financial Peace University course which did a ton for our marriage and relating with money! Congrats on your upcoming wedding and don’t stress :-)

  50. Northeast says...

    This topic is great — if you continue with it, I would suggesting featuring articles that might be regionally based. I’ve seen some comments on here about paying down a mortgage — I live in the northeast and my mortgage is about about $600K. I don’t see paying down a mortgage as a goal at all. What little excess money I have left over, I’d rather just try to build up a savings, put more towards retirement, or even money for vacations, etc. I’m also really curious if people’s salaries vary that widely across the US and whether they are proportional to the cost of living in those areas?
    When I watch House Hunters and see people in the middle of the country buying huge houses for $200K, I just wonder are they really making that much less than I am? I’m just curious about what people make/take home and what their expenses are like — because either I’m doing it wrong or I’m just a victim of where I live!

    • Emily says...

      They are making that much less than you. I live in the Midwest, and cost-of-living is substantially lower, but so are salaries. I have a “2018 salary guide” here, from a national recruiting firm. It has a whole “local market variances” section. My market is 0.5% below the published market rate salaries. NYC is 40.5% above these rates. Boston is 34% above these rates. If the base is $50K, in St. Louis your pay would be $49,750; in NYC it would be $70,250; in Boston, $67K. So cost-of-living is reflected in pay.

    • Hayley says...

      It is pretty easy to google median/average/25%/5% etc income (individual or household) by states/counties/etc if you want to learn more about income differences :-)

    • Rachel says...

      So salaries are definitely lower but not proportionally to housing. To everything else–definitely–but not housing. It’s why we moved to Texas from the east coast. My husband would make 33% more in the same job in New York or D.C., but the house we bought in Texas would be 2-3x as much, even taking proximity to the city center and other factors into account.

    • Anneka says...

      It totally depends on the field you are in! I work in Mental Health and make about the same salary that I would be making in a lower cost of living place (I live in NYC). Hard to stomach!

  51. Kelly says...

    Apps are genius! My husband and I have joint accounts for everything and we use an app called Goodbudget to help us monitor our spending. We have 10 folders created such as: groceries, bills/mortgage, personal care (like hair cuts!), entertainment, eating out, allowance (to spend on things like clothes and books), etc. We set our budget each month for each folder and since it’s shared between us on our phones, we enter everything we spend in the folders so we are always in the loop. It does take effort to remember how much you spend (since I decline receipts for food and small purchases!) and to make sure to enter spending in each day, but it really works great. We do have a miscellaneous folder because you never know what is going to come up…like our dog breaking a tooth and needing it removed! There are other ones out there like this and I think they really help you stay accountable.

    • Laura says...

      I’m a big fan of goodbudget too! I don’t like the other apps that require your credit card info to track spending. I like just inputting everything myself into my “envelopes” in Goodbudget. It keeps everything manageable and knowledge is power! Instead of just feeling vague guilt that I’ve spent too much eating out this month, I can look and see that I’m $12 over budget, or whatever it is.

  52. Jess says...

    oh Joanna, I’ve been waiting for a post like this – you cover all of our lifey moments so well. thank you! I would love to see more posts from working class families just scraping by – I’d love to see their resilience. My husband and I are both in our early thirties with tons of education, tons of debt and two littles. Folks thought we were on the young side when we had kids (even though I was 29) because I was still and grad school and my husband was starting a Phd. But who knew that we would even be able to have kids, right? We had the desire and had to try and take the leap. But it’s been so hard raising our kids far from families, starting a new community and juggle work and also trying to be available (not working 1million hours). How do working class families “have it all”?

    • M says...

      Jess, one of my professional heroines is a woman who had 3 kids in her late 20’s. She even took 3 years off (and her husband a year off) when the kids were young. By the time I met her, her kids were all self-sufficient in elementary school and she was in her mid 30s at the beginning of an incredible kick-ass run of leadership in her field. I don’t think you can “have it all” at the same time — but hopefully everyone can find their own mix of “all” when looking at the long term arc of career, family life, and community.

  53. Kylie says...

    Tough topic for me. Mostly as it brings up so much stress! But I am learning how important it is to confront this conversation if I ever want to see forward movement and results. A coworker has been working with me on a budget and financial goals. For the first time in my life (at 27), I am finally putting money in a savings account. I’ve been able to have some awesome experiences with the rule, “if you have money, spend it!” but I am realizing that’s putting unnecessary stress and anxiety on me as I think about the future and having nothing set up. My current financial woe is really wanting to move into a new career and new city, but not having the financial stability to make the jump. I just can’t make a big move and drain my bank account. It’s frustrating. I wish this topic was discussed in school. So much of my financial habits were learned from my parents (which never had enough money to put some aside, and constantly complained about it). So now as an adult, I am having to teach myself a new way to interact with money. Talking about it in school (high school, maybe?) would have helped me as a started earning throughout college and beyond. Thank you for bringing this to your blog! As always, the variety of topics and thoughtfulness is refreshing and hopeful.

    • jules says...

      Start putting $ in your 401K if you haven’t already. The earlier you start the less you have to put away. HUGE opportunity most Americans blow off. You will not remember the extra few lattes, ok tops bought on sale, random sheet masks, or concert you don’t really want to go to anyway.

  54. My husband is 8 years older than me so when we met, he had substantially more stable finances. Even though I had purchased a two bedroom townhouse, I didn’t really have a big picture plan. When we got engaged and prepared to get married, he said our money would be combined (it made sense to me too). He tracks our spending in a spreadsheet and he’s quite detailed in his checks and balances (I have to give him every single receipt – while this is kind of annoying when I want to splurge, it probably keeps me from getting too crazy). He pays the bills but we make big financial decisions together – like should we go on that extravagant vacation this year or just drive to North Carolina?!?! We have a good balance of spend versus save and we are well on our way to being multi-millionaires in retirement. I couldn’t be happier with our balance when I know this is such a difficult subject for some couples.

  55. Dana says...

    OK, it’s official, Cup of Jo is my most awesome life coach: now responsible for me buying both a vibrator and life insurance

    • Yulia says...

      Agreed! And I would add to that EYEBROWS. Years ago there was a post about how your browns define your face and make you look more put together. That was a game changer for me!

    • Anne says...

      Quote of the day. YAAAS (though I already had both, hey oooh)!

  56. Heather says...

    Money stuff STRESSES ME OUT. I have a huge amount of student loan debt. My husband and I are considering consolidation, but I’m so scared I won’t be able to make the monthly payment.

  57. Kim says...

    The best financial advice I’ve received was from my mom: when you have an increase in income, don’t change your lifestyle for a while. It’s the easiest way to save money because you are already used to your current lifestyle. It’s much harder to cut back.

    I recently started a new job with a large pay increase. I decided to keep my spending habits the same–I’m putting that money into my mortgage, 401K, and a rainy day savings fund. If I can keep up with my current mortgage payments, I’ll pay off my house 17 years early saving almost $100,000 in interest. More importantly, that rainy day fund puts me in a position that if/when expensive life happens (lose a job, have a baby, wreck my car), financial stress will be limited in the situation.

    • Michelle says...

      Dang Kim, that’s rad! Keep it up the inspiration!

    • Amy says...

      Your mom’s advice is so wise! I’ll add: The amount you’d earn in the stock market would exceed the interest you pay on your house. So invest that extra money, don’t pay off your mortgage early! You don’t need any special investing knowledge. Just find a low cost S&P Index Fund. For example, the Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX) had a 2017 return of 21.7%.

    • jules says...

      I”m with Kim. Live below your means. I grew up broke and it ingrained want vs need. NEED financial security. I’ve put away 25-30% of my money for years. I got a financial planner in my late twenties when I realized my baggage would keep me from making rational financial decisions. Figure out what luxuries mean something to you – mine are travel, eating/drinks out whenever and a few nice things a year, always on sale. My phone is 2+ years old and i’m wearing $50 Levi’s from 7 years ago. But I live in MN so I splurged on a Mackage parka – on sale at Shopbop. WORTH IT.

    • It’s Ben easier if you have multiple accounts, and you just put the whole new increase into savings automatically, because if you don’t see it hit your checking, you may be less tempted! Your mom sounds like a smart lady.

  58. Stefanie Farquharson says...

    Thanks! i love hearing how other women are tackling finances at various stages in their life.

    Side note: where are those glasses from in the photo? I love them!

  59. Leah A Klein says...

    My husband and I (dating for 7 years, married for 2) have an account for bills, and then our own separate accounts. I really like this for a number of reasons. Even though we own a home (and dog) together, the separate accounts are helpful.

    We both have different incomes, and we spend differently (though probably similar in amounts, I pay more on clothes and makeup, he has a budget for gambling and alcohol). I realize that last sentence sounds bad!!!…but I don’t drink at home where as he will drink a beer or two on week days. Also, he’s an accountant and sets a gambling budget for himself to bet on games (he’s a huge sports fan) or go to the casino to play poker with his friends.

    THAT being said: he recently paid off his loans (a much smaller amount than mine) and has been contributing to my loan payments to pay them off quicker. He also pays for my car (I’m blessed! he makes a lot more money than I).

    Because he’s an accountant, he is primarily in charge of all our finances. I have access to everything and can see where the money is going, but it’s so much easier to have him handle it because he notices EVERYTHING. Changes or discrepancies are his specialty.

    I just want people to know there’s so many ways to do finance, as long as you and your partner are transparent and have similar philosophies, it works!

    • jules says...

      i do the same. I would NEVER combine all my finances with a man, and I’ve been with mine for 17 years. I don’t want him questioning how I spend the cash I make and his $300 hockey sticks are his business. We’ve invested in real estate together and go back and forth picking up the checks for drinks, dinners, lyfts and babysitters. Feels better.

  60. Kimmy E says...

    I just got married and merging our finances was terrifying for about 8 minutes! We only have joint accounts now, but kept separate credit card accounts for discretionary spending and building credit. My husband is definitely more into the investing side of things and he has big financial dream for us. He developed our budget spreadsheet, but I’m really the one who keeps track of student loan payments, bills, groceries, etc. Knowledge really IS power! It’s not about gender or even experience. It’s just two adults being responsible for one another and our shared future. It’s beautiful! (I try to remind myself that while I enter numbers into Excel spreadsheets…)

  61. This is a very good conversation. And you’re right, as women, even though we handle 80% of the day to day financial decisions (usually around food and purchases for the kids and the home), our spouses tend to handle the big picture decisions, like budgeting and investing. After all, as women we tend to shy away from spreadsheets! After my husband passed away suddenly (He was also a CPA with an MSc in Accounting), I had to deal with all the financial decisions. Even though I’m a trained Economist – I really preferred to let my husband take the reins. After he died, I didn’t have a choice and I had to develop my own “investment identity”. As a result, money is now a favorite conversation of mine and one that I encourage all women to start talking about. To develop an “investment identity” for ourselves. I mentioned some of those things in this article here: Its so important for all women:
    http://www.keishablair.com/life-lessons/my-husband-died-at-age-34-here-are-40-life-lessons-ive-learned-from-it/

    • T says...

      I’m sorry for your loss. Thank you for your thoughtful article.

    • Lana says...

      Your article on life lessons is beautiful! I’m so sorry you lost your husband. You are a very sage woman. I will carry your lessons on.

  62. Ana-Maria Sinitean says...

    I am a huge fan of ElleVest and have recently starting investing with them and taking everything Sallie Krawcheck says as gold! I highly recommend signing up for their emails even if you are not using their financial services. It’s a very easy way to become financially literate and to start putting a plan together.

    • Eden Hend says...

      Hey friend! Thanks for the recommendation.