Andy and Natalie are your typical young couple. Andy, 31 and Natalie, 29 have been married for five years. They met in college where Andy got his degree in IT and Natalie got her degree in nursing. They both are using their degrees and have been quite successful with a combined income of $100,000 or so.
Financially they are just doing normal every day things. They do not budget or track their spending on a monthly basis because they are too busy and besides, they have enough to cover all of their bills and money is never really that tight. They like to enjoy nights out with their friends and eat out several times a week. They do not have any debt, well except for a student loan and their car payments. But the $35,000 in student loans they have are at a low interest rate and the monthly payments are small and relatively easy to make at $165 a month.
They both use their credit cards monthly, mostly to get the reward points and 25% off at their favorite stores, but they pay them off each month so no harm there. Well, except around Christmas time when everything is busy or if there is a “really good sale” on an item they were looking for. The house they bought right after they got married is in a nice neighborhood. They were able to afford it initially by getting a 5 year adjustable rate mortgage at 3% and the $1,800 a month payment is manageable.
The cars they had when they first got married were the cars they had in college and when those cars started to break down it became an inconvenience to fix them. So they wanted something reliable and got two cars with combined payments of $650.
Andy and Natalie are now thinking it is the right time to start having children. They both would like Natalie to stay at home with the children, at least initially, but they have no idea how they would be able to afford it. Andy is starting to look into saving more for retirement. Initially he thought he was young and would start to save later. A few years ago he started contributing 3% of his pay into his 401(K) to get the company match, but at 31 he wishes he would have started earlier so he would have more than the $12K he currently has.
Natalie is bothered by the fact they have been making more money than they ever have before but they do not have a lot to show for it. Earlier this year Andy survived some job cuts at work, but it got Natalie thinking about how they would be able to pay all their bills with only $3,000 saved in the bank. In addition, the adjustable rate on their mortgage is set to adjust next fall but they recently had the house appraised and it is currently $40,000 underwater. What would they do if they had to move?
Does any part of Andy and Natalie’s story resonate with you? If so, don’t worry, their story is pretty typical of most young couples today. But the fact is that being normal stinks and is one emergency away from being broke. The good news is that you can change; your situation is not permanent! You can decide to take control of your finances today and plan for your future. Start to talk with your spouse about finances, plan for the upcoming month in advance, start to live on less than you make, dump the debt that is holding you back, build an emergency fund, and let you take control of your money instead of letting money control you.
If you do not know where to get started and would like to work with someone one-on-one, for a limited time I am offering my two hour financial check-up service for only $99, which is $51 off the normal rate! I’ll sit down with you in person or over the internet and for two hours we will look into your financial situation and develop a game plan for your future. To sign up all you have to do is contact me today and we will set up a time that works for us. But hurry; this deal only lasts until January 31st. So if you are tired of being in Andy and Natalie’s position do something about it and become weird with money.