With Baby #2 almost here, people are already asking whether this is it (particularly if we have a boy) or if we want more kids. Some also feel the need to comment on the cost of college, diapers, childcare, braces, etc. I get it. Kids can be expensive. And while it’s hard to ever be 100% ready for another baby, I’ve also heard the saying that “every baby comes with a loaf of bread.” Meaning every baby comes with temporal, spiritual, and yes, financial blessings. And we’ve been preparing for this. (Fiscally Chic’s tagline is “saving money with style,” after all!)
See Exhibit A: My recent post on the Brightwater Financial blog explaining the real purpose of saving money: “If Saving Money is Wrong, then I Don’t Want to be Right.” This was in response to Elite Daily’s piece “If You Have Savings in Your 20s, You’re Doing Something Wrong.” (I’m 31, so apparently it’s OK for me to be boring now.)
Also, there’s the saying that “it takes a village to raise a child/family.” This village includes extended family, neighbors, friends, the babysitter/nanny/daycare, and possibly the occassional visit from a housekeeper or lawn service. From a financial standpoint, your village can include your spouse, a trusted friend, and/or a financial adviser. Personally, I know that I don’t know every single financial topic in the world, so I’m constantly learning. That’s why I was so excited when Matt Becker sent me a copy of his ebook “The New Parents’ Guide to Financial Independence” to review.
Matt is a fee-only financial planner at Mom and Dad Money. His goal is to help new parents build happy families by making money simple. Matt and I first met at FinCon14, when I first considered becoming a financial adviser. And at FinCon15, Matt won the Plutus Award for Best Financial Planner Blog. We’re both members of the XY Planning Network and he’s been more than helpful as I get Brightwater Financial off the ground. The Mom and Dad Money blog was also named the Best Blog at XYPN15.
Both Matt and I started our firms as a means of gaining financial independence and spending more time with our families. But what is financial independence?
According to Matt,
Financial independence is the freedom to make decisions based on what makes you happy instead of what makes you money.
The end goal of financial independence is to eventually have enough money that you never need to work again. Not that you will definitely stop working, but you have the option to stop if you so choose.
[F]inancial independence can also simply mean having enough money to temporarily give up income in pursuit of something you care about.
In his guide, Matt does a fantastic job in helping you determine what you’re working towards and what financial independence look like to you. The rest of the guide shows you how to create an investment plan that you understand, as well as helps you reach financial independence along the timeline you want.
Being a bit of a nerd, I enjoyed tinkering around with his financial independence calculator. Matt’s focus was on keeping the calculations and inputs simple, with the focus being on how much you save each month. If you want to play around with other financial independence spreadsheets, you can do so at this post from Budgets are Sexy.
Overall, Matt does a great job at explaining the sometimes complex topic of investing, breaking everything down into easy to follow steps. I also learned a few new financial tricks, which is why even financial planners have financial planners. He’s also very encouraging.
This guide is a great resource for someone who wants to learn more about investing and start working towards financial independence. If you’re looking for an overly complex investment strategy or get rich quick schemes, you’ll need to go somewhere else. Because as Albert Einstein says and is quoted in the guide,
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.
Fiscally Chic was sent a copy of the “The New Parents’ Guide to Financial Independence” to review. All opinions are my own.