07 April 2009

Our Plan

When deciding what to include and plan for in our plan it was important to remember our goals. We plan to live debt free. We want to have a large family. We expect to own a home one day. The LDS Church councils us to avoid debt, have food storage, build a financial reserve, get all the education we can, teach others. These items match with a number of the financial plans you can find.

  1. Plan a budget: Most plans just assume the budget. We put it as a step. Setting a budget is important to know what resources we have available. We started by creating the budget. But sitting down and reviewing the budget every quarter is important. A company puts out quarterly earning statements to ensure the financial plans are working. This is also good advice for a person or family. Review and adjust every quarter.

  2. Get out of debt: Saving $1000 dollars before paying debt is nice but we don't have as much debt as half the callers on Dave Ramsey's shows. Dave also suggests a debt snowball. We opted for a similar plan but instead of paying debts based on the amount we decided to pay them based on the interest rates. This makes the best use of our money. The emotional benefit of getting rid of smaller debts is nice, we felt the more logical approach would work for us.

  3. Three months supply: Different from Dave's 3-6 month emergency fund. A 3 month's supply includes 3 months worth of cash on hand and 3 months worth of food and water. Three months worth of budget and three months worth of basic food supplies. Grains, dried beans, rice, canned or dried fruits and vegetables.

  4. Retirement fund: 15% of income into retirement investment accounts.

  5. 1 Year Emergency Fund: Build up financial reserves to cover one year. Use your income as a basic starting point. Up until this point you are spending less than you make so you don't need a full year's salary. Figure out what you do need and save it.

  6. 1 Year Food Storage: Increase your 3 months of stored food to enough to sustain for 12 months. Well stored staples like sugar, grains, beans, etc can store for 30 years or more. Rotate the staples you have with your new purchases.

  7. Pay off the home: Get rid of this last debt as fast as possible. Get rid of the mortgage.

  8. Children's college funds: It is possible to work your way through school. Once you are clear of all debt and working for the future you can begin helping others. Paying for children's college is a bonus.

  9. Build wealth and give: This point is the last point of almost every source of financial information. The what's next step. Now that you are sound you can help others financially. Give substantially to charity, start your own organization, do what you want. Just use your wealth to help others.

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