Author Archives: Jennifer H.

Jennifer H.

About Jennifer H.

Jennifer is an Accredited Financial Counselor and owner of Got HarMoney?, LLC, though which she educates & empowers women on money matters. She is also a military spouse and mother of two boys.

Tech Savvy Tools To Manage Your Money

Ahhh Budgeting, you love it, hate it, find it scary or just don’t do it. If you have been to my blog before you know I love simple and if there is a way to simplify budgeting & tracking money I am all ears!

So what options are there to make things easy? Of course you have the option of the basic excel budget that works just fine for mapping out your budget, but tracking your money is the tricky part. You don’t tend to take your excel budget everywhere you go and would have to wait to manually input your purchases, etc. Having said that, a simple excel budget is important to have as your “blueprint,” and a great view of your plan, your goals and your progress. Continue reading

Becoming A One Car Family

Let me start by telling you a story.

For many years we were a two car family and we were good about paying off the cars fast, so we never really had car payments for long.  In 2010, we unfortunately had to get rid of one of our cars, which left us the need to purchase another one.  We hadn’t planned for this, which meant taking out a car loan and having a car payment.  It was a painful moment especially after going 10 years without one car payment.  Then our other car, the car that had been through everything with us from the beginning and everywhere with all our moves decided she had enough and couldn’t keep up with us anymore.  We already had one car payment, we weren’t going to take on another one, we mutually refused!  This is what brought on us becoming a one car family.  Fast forward–currently we are into our second year of officially being a one car family.  Is it always easy?  No.  Is it doable?  Absolutely!

There is one main reason I believe has allowed us to be successful with this:  We have a huge, compelling and strong enough “why” for making this work.  It is simple, we both (husband and I) don’t like car payments—we don’t think it should be a norm and we want to pay our next car cash.  We also know this is only temporary situation that will help us reach our goal.

The Benefits Of Being A One Car Family

These are some benefits we have experienced firsthand:

  • We have become better planners–being a one car family definitely forces you to do this.
  • There is a big need to communicate, so this has bettered our relationship and brought us closer especially in terms of both being on board with our financial goals—plus there are definitely more discussions on money.
  • We save on insurance.
  • We save on gas.
  • We save in general, having only one car makes it harder to get to places (this is a good thing– you aren’t tempted as much to eat out, etc.).  Just having to plan out everything helps us save money.
  • We get more exercise (or should I say the person that doesn’t have the car gets more exercise)!

Does it have its challenges?  Absolutely!!

The Challenges Of Being A One Car Family

The following are the challenges we have encountered:

  • Since planning is a must, last minute occurrences may not work out if a car is necessary.
  • We are very independent, so sometimes having to ask for favors is not something we like to do.
  • In all honesty it can be a pain!

Being a one car family is not for everyone, so please consider it carefully.  For those who can do it great!  For those who cannot don’t stress about it, there are definitely other ways you can save money!