Our Favorite Posts of 2014


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Favorite Posts of 2014

Ready or not, 2015 is knocking at the door! I’m always both excited and anxious for what a new year holds. I know what I’d like to accomplish in 2015, like birthing a second baby in about 15 weeks. Other than that main goal — which isn’t really a goal at all, Johnny and I are still nailing down our New Year’s resolutions. So instead of looking forward today, I’d like to look back on our most favorite posts of 2014.

Why We Don’t Use Mint for Our Main Budget

We automate every aspect of our lives that we can — except our budget. Johnny and I like to feel the pain of entering in every single expense as it happens. It helps us play an active role in our budget, which in turn helps us to stick to our budget each month. While we love using Mint as an overview, it’s just too automatic to use as our main budget.

Why to Start a Roth IRA

Our reasons for having a Roth are simple. But the most important remember are these: you’re going to get old, and compound interest is THE bomb. If you, like us, are looking for more ways to be ready for retirement, it’s time to look into a Roth IRA.

How a Saver and a Spender Made a Budget

I won’t name any names, but one of us is more prone to spending than saving. It might be me. But who really knows. The point is, if you and your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend have different saving and spending philosophies (and you likely do), you can still have a successful budget.

Should You Save While You’re in Debt?

There’s no simple answer to this question, but we took a stab at it anyway. We looked at what the experts had to say, and then we chimed in with what we did while we were paying off our debt. For us, the answer to this question was a big YES, and it might be for you, too.

I’m Quitting My Job

In May, I quit my full-time job to stay home with Sally. This was one of our biggest decisions of 2014, and we’re happy to say it’s been the right one for our little fam. Oddly enough, I now feel more invested in our financial future than ever before, and I hope to help contribute financially where I can in 2015.

How to Save on Your Cell Phone, Cable, and Internet Bills

We shared one of Johnny’s best tips for lowering your monthly bills — picking up the phone and haggling. It works like a charm, and as long as he continues to do it, we’ll use this method forever.

How to Fly (Happily) with a Toddler

A roundtrip flight with a toddler can either be the worst thing in the world or it can be… tolerable. It’s never the best thing. We took a flight to DC with Sally in July, and we’ve since flown with her more times than a sane person should. So we shared what we learned from being in a confined space 30,000 feet in the air with an unpredictable ball of energy.

Cheating our 529 College Savings Plan

We looked at the pros and cons of fun-size contributions to a 529 versus king-size contributions. Our conclusion? If you can, contribute to your 529 in a few big chunks to maximize your compounding interest potential. In 2015, we’ll share more about exactly what we did, just in time for us to have another baby in need of a 529 :).

It’s Time to Start Backwards Budgeting

Instead of creating a budget and then deciding how much you can save, what if you first decided how much you needed to save and then created a budget to make it happen? Welcome to backwards budgeting. Johnny and I are super fans of this form of budgeting, so look for more on this topic in 2015!

Coming in April…

Yup. We created another human. Or rather, there’s one still in the process of growing in my belly right this moment. Either way, we can’t wait to meet her come April! Next year, we’ll be sure to share all the budgeting ins and outs of adding another kiddo to our brood.

OFB + NYC

2014 was full of changes, and moving to NYC might have been the most unexpected change of all. But here we are! We’re excited to share more about our downsized life and adjusted budget in 2015!

Thanks for reading along with us this year! We’re ready to kick 2014 to the curb and have our best year yet of OFB in 2015.

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8 Comments

  • Reply Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank December 29, 2014 at 7:25 am

    SHOULD YOU SAVE WHILE YOU’RE IN DEBT? My answer to this is yes but I don’t save. I’d rather pay the money I may save to my debt just to pay it off sooner and stop the interest from incurring. More importantly, this is to lessen the stress. haha! Happy Holidays!

  • Reply Traci December 29, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I’m new here, but I plan on clicking through most of these, starting with the should we save while in debt post. Happy new year!

  • Reply jolie December 29, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Never heard of that budgeting backwards idea. Very intriguing. I can’t wait to read more about it.

  • Reply Miranda @ Miranda Writes Blog December 29, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Great year for OFB! Can’t wait to hear about the resolutions and see what you guys come up with for 2015! =)

  • Reply Rob December 29, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Hi guys and here’s hoping that you’ve been having a Merry Christmas and are looking forward to a Happy New Year.

    “Either way, we can’t wait to meet her come April! ”

    Well I too liked your “Coming in April” 2014 post, especially where I now see that my comment made back then will now be coming true! Remember when I posted this:
    “Of course, should your baby #2 turn out to be another girl, then I presume that Sally hand-me-downs will be the order of the day to some extent.”

    You do realize of course that your budget will have to change a tad and now include this item: Saving up for two “future” daughter weddings! :-)

    • Reply Joanna January 7, 2015 at 11:21 pm

      Ha! Thanks for the reminder. I think as far as Johnny’s concerned, neither of our daughters will ever be getting married!

  • Reply Donna January 3, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Don’t forget about the awesomeness of your Roth IRA’s being a great family wealth plan. If you plan to only take minimum distributions, pass the Roth along to a young family member after death – child or grandchild, that money keeps growing tax free and only Required Min withdrawals need to be taken. Could add up to big bucks.

    • Reply Joanna January 7, 2015 at 11:22 pm

      Good point! Thanks for the awesome tip, Donna!

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