Good habits are hard to break
With a baby on the way, Natalie and Greg Turner put saving first...and Pearl Jam second.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Some people get a thrill out of spending -- the Turners are excited to save.
Natalie, 27, and Greg, 28, first met at Clemson University in South Carolina six years ago, they fell in love and moved to Charleston shortly after graduation. They bought a home together, then got married and are now expecting their first child.
Life is sweet for the young couple but they've worked hard to make it that way.
Greg, a pharmaceutical salesman, and Natalie, a software engineer, make a combined annual income of $130,000. Even though their net income affords them a comfortable lifestyle they have made saving their first priority.
"My husband, Greg, and I make it a game to see how much money we can stash away in savings and mutual funds," Natalie said.
"He invests 19 percent of his paycheck, while I put 15 percent into retirement, but we also put aside about $12,000 a year into mutual funds and always have at least a year of living expenses saved up just in case of an emergency."
So how do they manage to sock so much away?
The couple are modest spenders, Greg uses a company car so they only own one car between the two of them which has been paid off for a few years. They do most of their shopping at Costco and Natalie admits she has even curbed her clothing expenditures thanks to Greg's influence.
They recently splurged on new baby furniture for the nursery but Natalie and Greg never put more on their credit cards then they can pay off at the end of the month.
And they still allow for at least one nice vacation a year and one other indulgence -- Pearl Jam. They make time for concerts whenever and wherever they can.
Next up the couple is heading to Cabo San Lucas for a romantic getaway before baby makes three. Natalie says they will use hotel points and frequent flier miles that they have earned from frequent business trips.
Any extra income, including bonuses and monetary gifts from family, goes directly into an investment or savings account, and they plan to start a 529 college savings plan with the money they expect to receive from their families after the birth of their child.
The only exception has been their tax refund -- which they've spent on new floors, new countertops and other upgrades to their home, which they recently sold for $480,000 -- more than twice what they bought it for three years ago
They used the money from the sale as a downpayment on a four bedroom in the same neighborhood. Natalie says they didn't intend to turn their house over so quickly but with a baby on the way, "it was a good time to upgrade."
But even with a new house and new baby, don't expect the Turners to slack off on saving.
"It's great to be able to live and enjoy life, knowing that 30 years from now, we will be able to enjoy it even more!"
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