finances

This is our house – we think it's so cute! Sadly we had to have the backyard tree removed last year though. Last Friday was the two year anniversary of having our offer accepted on our second home in Eau Claire, Wisconsin – even before we had ever been to Eau Claire! Here's the full story about why we purchased a second home including how we afforded to buy a second home. The short story is climate change and by using a big chunk of savings and additional funds from a well-timed cash-out refinance of our Arizona home. Now that... Read more →


Team Wharton on the last day of 2023! At the end of 2022 I wrote myself a quick email to be delivered at the end of the year. It arrived in my inbox yesterday. I wrote briefly about "what's great right now" and "what's hard right now" and hoped for my future self that the hard stuff would be less so by this time. And a few of the hard things do feel better! At this time last year we were carrying the disappointment of Chris not getting sabbatical which Chris has now processed and put behind him. I was... Read more →


In a recent post about our current monthly budget I shared that our "Miscellaneous" spending category is one of the hardest to tame, and many people chimed in that they feel similarly. So, I wanted to do a Miscellaneous budget and spending deep-dive post to share how we manage this category, what's working well for us, and where we're trying to improve. Also, if you missed my current finances overview post from February that would be a great place to start. Miscellaneous overview This category encompasses nearly all of our household spending that isn't groceries or a fixed-cost bill, like... Read more →


In February I shared a post with a snapshot of how we currently manage our personal finances. Today I'm sharing a budget breakdown with actual numbers. I know I find it so helpful to see how other people allocate their money and what they actually spend on things, so I hope this will be helpful to see. Being transparent about our money also motivates me to spend and save well. Not reflected in this budget are any expenses related to The Girl Next Door podcast or our home in Eau Claire. This is because both of those endeavors have their... Read more →


In sync on finances and sweater color. I've missed writing about our personal finances and today have a post sharing a snapshot of how we manage our finances right now. So let's get into it! Getting back into our finances One reason I haven't written about finances as much is because over the past few years I've taken less of an active role in managing our day-to-day finances. Chris and I have continued to have regular budget meetings and conversations about our finances but Chris has been the one to keep an eye on exact dollar amounts, what bills are... Read more →


Hello from the other side of a two-week fall break for the boys and from the downhill side of October! Just this week we can open the doors in the morning to let the cool air in and I pulled my favorite golden yellow cardigan from the closet. Instead of trying to catch up on October goals I thought I'd write a post in the style of the coffee date posts that Lindsay on Pinch of Yum shares occasionally and which I always enjoy. A coffee date is best started with coffee. Currently I'm brewing about 6 cups of coffee... Read more →


It's a bit of a wild story that includes offering on a house we had only seen virtually and having never actually visited the city it's in. But we are thrilled to share that we've closed on a second home in the lovely Midwest city of... I wore my new Wisconsin shirt for our closing and afterwards we celebrated with iced coffees Eau Claire, Wisconsin! We are excited about the house, the city, and the time we'll spend there as a family. I'd love to share all the details with you. But first let me remind anyone who is new... Read more →


Being stuck at home for months has inspired us to plan some big changes for our house. And apparently we aren't the only ones. After a lot of thought we have decided to dedicate a significant chunk of money to some big changes that will make our home even more functional and beautiful – we're excited! We are planning a backyard update including a studio space, a kitchen renovation, and new floors throughout the house. Let me tell you a bit about how we came to this decision. This summer our 1,776 square foot house, which normally feels like a... Read more →


One of my 2020 family goals is to get an allowance system going for the boys. They are very interested in money and want money to spend but, being five and six, aren't great at managing their money (of course!). As in, they like to get it out and play with it, or give it back and forth to each other, lose it, and usually want to know what they can afford to buy once they have about three dollars. Chris and I want to have ongoing conversations with the boys about money and to set them up to have... Read more →


Something I've learned from meticulous budgeting with Chris is to question everything in the budget. That way you ensure that you're spending your money on the things you actually want to spend money on. It's alarmingly easy for wants to creep into a budget and then establish themselves as needs. So we go through each line item: Do we need electricity? Yes. How about those expensive gym memberships? Yes, we really use and love them. But sometimes asking these questions revealed things we were willing to let go of. Especially if living without something might actually make us happier while... Read more →