If I could pick one word to describe my financial life, from college student to single professional to married work at home mom, it would be, “Surprise!” Every now and then I get on top of my budget, but then emergency strikes and things fall apart. Some of my past unexpected financial challenges include:
- That time my credit card was stolen and, in 24 hours, the thief spent several hundred dollars partying, buying gifts and filling up his car. AmEx didn’t believe that the signature, which didn’t even come close to mine, was a fraud.
- The first time I went skiing and was presented with an $800 bill for a badly broken wrist while I was completely medicated. (I honestly didn’t know what they were even saying. Those painkillers were strong!)
- The time my hot water heater blew up in the middle of a very cold winter, and was directly followed by my dryer not working – which was caused by the very expensive fix of needing to clean my air ducts. (If you have kids and pets, you NEED your dryer to work!)
- The time I had gum surgery and was given a 10-page document to read informing me about a mystery cost that was not covered by insurance, rather than being told up front by the billing person. Let’s just say that the first thing I did after that fiasco was to change dentists.
The bottom line is that life is full of “I never saw it coming” expenses. So having an emergency fund is really important, but what’s even more important is making sure that that fund grows as you grow. While the stolen credit card had me battling a few hundred dollar fee, the home appliance/air duct mishap cost about 5 times more. And gum surgery in the 2010’s was double the price to fix a broken wrist in the 90s.
After going through bumps and bruises like these, you’d think I’d be an expert on personal finance. And, I do have a talent for math, but only if it’s abstract. Add dollar signs and language about compounding interest and I start daydreaming about being on the beach. Because I get so distracted by financial terms, I welcome any chance that I get to re-learn what they mean because it’s tough for me to remember them all.
And really, who can remember everything? If you thought back on all the financial advice you’ve heard in your lifetime, you probably wouldn’t remember much.
That’s why I was pleased to get the opportunity try out SUM180. This is a financial tool that securely takes all your pertinent financial information, like income, assets, and bills, and creates a personal plan for you to help achieve your financial goals. You get helpful advice without the complicated jargon or a 300-page book on financial planning. Just what you need to know at this point in your financial life. The SUM180 Plan provides you three “next steps” that will benefit you based on your information, explained easy-to-understand language
And step #1 on their list of next steps for me? Advice on how much to save up for emergency funds and how to rebuild that cushion quickly. That was a great help, since mine had been depleted in a recent emergency. (Yes, another one! Life happens.)
I love that the SUM180 Plan adjusts to fit you by assessing where you are right now. When you’ve accomplished the recommended goals, you can submit that data and you’ll get new goals to keep you motivated for financial success.
All you need to do is sign up and enter your financial data. If you are a bit confused or concerned as you go through the questions or your plan, SUM180 has a community forum to help answer your questions. For example, the “Grow your savings” category has practical tips from the community manager on how to cut your cable bill, save on gas, or how a crockpot can save you money! You can also jump in and ask your own questions.
Finally, you can trust SUM180 because they do not accept outside money from anyone for their recommendations to you. They don’t sell you products or services that you don’t need. That’s really important to my family, especially in this day and age when everyone seems to be selling something you don’t want!
Interested in getting your hands on this easy-to-understand advice that custom fits your finances? SUM180 is offering a special promotion for a limited time! Use code SPRING1 and get 50% off the current product offer.
I’m happy to have this plan in hand right now, because guess what? We do have some changes coming up that may again throw everything into question. And that’s OK because I can always go back into SUM180 and change things as needed. It’s such a relief to know that if that happens, SUM180 will come back with helpful advice that I can understand and a few easy steps to help me and my family reach our goals.
This post has been sponsored by SUM180. I was provided with product at no charge to sample in exchange for my review. The options expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with SUM180 and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.