All In

My adventure as I jump into life all in!!

If I had a million dollars

Once a year, people sit down to do their taxes and some of them get a nice surprise in the form of a tax return. This year, my husband and I are one of those people. It’s not much, but it’s enough to do a few things with. While trying to plan out what we would use this extra money for, I got to thinking…..what if it was a huge windfall, like a hundred thousand, or even a million dollars? Of course this got my brain spinning and I wondered what others would do if they magically received a million dollars.

What would you do if you randomly received $1 million?

First, I would breath a big sight of relief as our money stress would pretty much disappear.

Next, I would figure out how much I would have to pay in taxes on it, and set that aside in a savings account until tax time (that way it could still earn a little interest but be set aside so that I don’t accidentally spend it)

Second, I would set aside 10% to be given to charities. I would probably have to spend some time really digging into the charities that I would consider to make sure I agree with their business practices (i.e. to see if the money they receive goes mostly to the actual cause, or a high percentage goes to pay CEO’s outrageous salaries)

Then, I would pay off all our debts: mortgage, car loans, student loans, and credit cards. I would probably pay off my parents’ debts and my husband’s parents’ debts, if they have any. I would probably set aside a portion do be divided as a one time payment per person between my brother and my husband’s siblings, and stress that it should be used for debt payoff. I’m not sure how much I would allocate toward this, but I would want my family to be able to not stress so much about money.

I would probably use a small amount for my husband and I to go on a nice vacation. We really haven’t went on a vacation since our honeymoon (10 years ago) except a random weekend to Kansas City and a trip with my family to Myrtle Beach.

Then comes the more difficult decisions. I would have a few options at this point. With our mortgage and all debt payments gone, that would leave a gap in our bills that might give me the option to quit working and live mostly off my husband’s income, perhaps withdrawing a small amount each quarter to assist with bills if necessary. When we have kids I really want to be a stay at home mom, but it just isn’t feasible for us to live off one income right now. Also, staying home would give me more time to pursue working from home, perhaps I wouldn’t have to touch the money that is left until retirement?

Another option is to consult a financial advisor and put what’s left into retirement accounts, savings, the stock market, or even real estate purchases. Granted, after all the things listed above, I wouldn’t have anywhere close to the original $1 million left, but it would still be enough that I wouldn’t know how to handle it myself. If I chose this route, I would probably continue working, but I’m not in love with my current job, so I’m not sure. The money would certainly have time to grow until I reach retirement age, but it would still be there in case of an emergency of some kind.

Honestly, I don’t know what I would choose to do after paying my debts, helping family and taking a much-needed vacation, but that’s not a decision I will be having to make anytime soon.

Sometimes it is fun to ponder the possibilities, even if it would never happen. Have you ever thought about what you would do with a large windfall like that? Comment below!


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Goal Progress – March

How did the shortest month of the year seem to take so long? I swear, January jumped by like a rabbit and February slid along like a snail! Anyway, a new month means time to check my goal progress. Here goes:

Financial Goals:

Start a Side Hustle – Pass – I actually dug through my house and listed 5 things on Amazon a few weeks ago. Only one of them actually sold, but it’s a start!

Earn $100 extra each month – Pass – The item mentioned above that ended up selling was the most expensive item I listed (yay!) so I made about $75 selling a cuttlebug machine with embossing folders that has been sitting in my basement for a few years. I thought I would be more crafty and make homemade cards or something with it. The idea was nice, but the follow-through didn’t happen. Anyway, I made more than $25 in overtime to bring the total up to $100 so I actually hit this goal this month!!

Pay off at least 1 student loan this year – Pass – We are still chipping away at the loans. I didn’t pay any extra than the normal payment this year, but I am  thinking of changing this goal. When we traded in our truck, we were a couple thousand upside-down on it, which made the loan on our new vehicle even higher to cover the difference. I really want to pay down the vehicles, at least until their value is above what we owe on them. Since the loans are already at a fairly low number, they will get paid off in the next few years anyway, but vehicles continue to lose value and then stop working which means you have to buy another one. I don’t want to be stuck in an upside-down vehicle situation again. I would love to be able to pay cash for our next vehicle, but that means having debts gone to have the ability to save up. (I really hate money sometimes, it is a necessary evil in this world). I hope to use a portion of my bonus as well as tax return if we get one on paying down vehicle loans.

Grow our Net Worth by $10,000 (20%) – Pass – After the drop in our net worth due to purchasing the new car, things pretty much went back to normal. Continuing to pay down debts, so our net worth went back up a little bit. It is still below what it was in January, but I am hoping we can still aim for this goal, even if we aren’t able to hit it by the end of the year. It still gives us something to aim for.

Personal Goals:

Read the Entire Bible – Pass-ish – I still didn’t read every day, but I am making a point to read at least a few times a week. Recently, I was reading Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine and it encouraged me to give myself grace, even in this area. No need to beat myself up for not reading daily. As long as I am making an effort and spending time with God, I am going to count this one as good (even though I’d love to finish by the end of this year, which would put me at 2 years for reading it because I started last year)

Write at least two blogs post per month – Pass!!! – I posted my 2017 goals last month as well as a post about budgeting. Feel free to check them out! I hope to perhaps do a book review post on the book I just finished, so look out for that one as well!

Read 13 books – Pass – I am still read the biography of C.S. Lewis that I started last month, but I started and finished Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine. I also began reading What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey so I am on pace to meet or exceed this goal by December.

Grow Deeper in my relationship with God – Pass – Not exactly trackable, but I have been trying to remember to pray each morning on my way to work, although I may have missed a few mornings. I also have been making a point to silently pray almost immediately after hearing a new prayer request. I am more likely to actually pray for these requests if I do it immediately rather than trying to remember them all later. While I would like to be in the Word a little more, I still feel that I am making a conscious effort to spend time with God. Listening to K-LOV in the mornings helps as well.

Make a point to do something special for my husband once a month – Pass-ish – Again, these personal goals are a bit harder to track. At the beginning of the month I tried to remember this goal and make a point to spend time with my husband and really focus, without TV or other distractions. We planned to go out for Valentine’s Day but I woke up with a cold or allergies of some sort and wasn’t feeling like going out. We ended up pulling a couple steaks out of the freezer and had a romantic evening at home. I still need to be more intentional about this goal, but I am working on it.

Keep Our House Tidy – Pass-ish – With some inspiration from Cyrstal Paine’s book, mentioned above, I took baby steps to work on getting my house in shape. We had family visit and spend a weekend, and the house was clean before they arrived. We even cleared the junk out of the spare room so they had somewhere to sleep! While we still struggle to keep up on the clean house, I am hoping baby steps can help us get into a consistent rhythm and begin to keep our house clean consistently.

Wow! I can’t believe I actually hit all my goals in February! It would be nice to continue this trend, but life doesn’t always cooperate with our plans. Here’s to my attempt at hitting goals in March!

What about you, how are your goals or resolutions doing? If you are hitting your goals, great! If not, don’t get discouraged and keep pushing towards those goals! The best way to stay accountable is to share you goals and progress, so feel free to comment below.

Also, what type of posts do you find most encouraging/helpful? What kinds of posts would you like to read on this blog. In the past I have done recipe posts, budget posts, foster care/kids, Christianity, book review/recommended reading. I could also post about homemaking or my process in becoming a better homemaker. What type of posts are you most interested in reading? Please let me know so I can help out my readers the best I can. Thanks!

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