Mixing Maroons - Spend Less, Save More … Get Marooned!

Mr. Maroon

January 7, 2014

It Matters Not Where You Start, But That You Start

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It’s 10 O’clock!  Do You Know Where Your Money Is?

So, it’s really6:45p, and, yes, I do know where my money is…now…but this slant on a once popular public service announcement from my childhood echoed throughout our house over the past twenty four hours or so as the Mrs. and I frantically tried to recall not just log in credentials for our various online savings and investment accounts, but the actual companies with which our investment accounts were held.  An “I think I rolled it over” here and another “I just don’t remember” there left us helplessly worrying what we’d done with our hard earned greenbacks.  I mean, the investment advice we received when we opened our first 401(k) accounts was to “set it and forget it” – but we forgot about it!

I’m betting there are plenty of you out there who can relate.  You’ve read our first few posts and become inspired to make a change – but, where to begin?  If you can’t clearly identify a starting point, the odds favor that you start with getting organized!

Clean Out Your Junk Drawer and Clear Your Mind

Everyone has one.  That convenient little cubby where you discard items that you can’t bear to throw away, and then months (or years) later you rediscover them only because you confidently believe the one thing you actually threw out might be at the bottom awaiting excavation.  So, you sit there deflated, surrounded by crap, and can’t help but cram it all back in.  That’s where we started!  When the Mrs. and I couldn’t remember where we’d left our money, but thought a clue might be found in the confines of our junk drawer, we found ourselves in the middle of our kitchen floor, surrounded by complete and utter worthlessness – flashlights that didn’t work, rubber bands that were no longer elastic, dry markers, sticky notes covered in dust and dirt, an assortment of fasteners, cheap hex wrenches from every assembly-required product we’ve ever brought into our home, old mail, coupons, dead batteries, two packages of genuine Texas A&M maroon bluebonnets, and a dozen or more blank spiral notebooks (many of which had had some pages removed by an obsessed Mrs. Maroon to salvage them from scribbled impurity) – but nary a hint of where we might have recorded the destination of our life savings.

To add insult to injury, we found proof that our minds have become conditioned to cling to apparent necessities which consume valuable space, provide little satisfaction in return, and essentially only add chaos to an otherwise could-be serene environment as we began to replace all of the junk.  Somewhere about the third or fourth handful, the Mrs. reached a point of clarity and retrieved a trash can.  And we might have proceeded to clean the entire house with the frustrated spirit in which we disposed of our newly unwanted waste – that is, until Mrs. Maroon recalled the location of the information we so desperately had been seeking…in another junk drawer.

Oh the Wonderful Things You Can See If You Know Where To Look!

Armed with a sense of accomplishment and our account information, we anxiously sat at the computer researching our life savings.  One by one, we logged in and viewed our balances.  It was like seeing the ocean for the very first time as we ogled over our findings at each investment website – $131,661 in all, spread over three 401(k) accounts, a former 401(k) turned IRA, a Roth IRA Mrs. Maroon came accessorized with at the time of our marriage, and a 529 College Savings Plan (the only one we remembered since I opened it two weeks ago).

At one point some years ago, we attempted to use Mint.com (and their wonderful little mobile app) to consolidate our finances.  Much like the budgets we’d set in the past, it was easy to get it started and cumbersome to maintain.  Eventually it became outdated, and I uninstalled the software and canceled my account. Inspired by Mr. Money Mustache’s review of Mint.com we had a renewed interest to consolidate.  After all, when you discover you have $131,661, suddenly you want to check on it every little bit, like a newborn baby – amazed at its existence and concerned that something might happen to it!

While I have been gung ho about our new lifestyle, I’d be lying if I said I never felt any skepticism.  I mean saving $1,500,000 is a daunting task.  But, as we began to log our information into Mint, a calming sensation washed over both of us.

  • Total Cash:  $30,135
  • Total Investments:  $131,661
  • Total Property Assets:  $554,645
  •  Total Debt:  -$265,851
  •  Total Net Worth:  $450,590

Maybe that goal isn’t as far out of reach as it seems!  It’s doubtful that yours is either.  So, what are you waiting for?  Start cleaning!

~ Mr. Maroon

A Regular Word from the Mrs.
The Master Plan

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