Roth IRA, No Way! Part 1

There is no way that there is a retirement account that can grow, and grow and grow….TAX FREE!!!

In my, almost 25 years, of being employed I had no knowledge of a Roth IRA. Growing up there were no family or friends that educated me about saving for retirement, let alone investing. That’s a sad reality but others can’t teach you what they don’t know. This is one of the main reasons I created this blog. I want to educate those around me, and whoever else, on the importance of saving and investing.

I first heard the term Roth IRA from a co-worker, I was embarrassed that I didn’t know what it was, how it worked and why I needed one. So I began to research what it was so that I could be well versed in the subject the next time it came up. Here’s what I learned…

What is a Roth IRA?

A Roth IRA is an individual retirement account and an amazing way to get your feet wet in investing. This account is so great because contributions made to this account are made with after tax dollars. Meaning you’ve already paid taxes so the funds in this account will grow tax free and won’t be taxed when withdrawn in retirement. How awesome is that?

Who can contribute to a Roth IRA?

Roth IRA contributions can be made by anyone that’s earning an income. Now, there are income limits. As of 2019, you can only make contributions if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is less than $137,000 for single employees. The income limit for married couples filing jointly is $203,000. There is no age limits to the Roth IRA, if you have earned income you can contribute.

How much can you contribute?

Since it’s beginning in 1975, the contribution limits have increased over the years. In 1975 the limit was $1,500, but this year the contribution limit was increased to $6,000 per year. Since 2002, individuals 50 years or older are allowed to make additional contributions as a way to “catch up”. Those additional contributions are currently $1,000 annually.

Keeping up so far? I know this is a lot of info so I’m gonna stop here. Come back next week as I’ll continue to dive into the Roth IRA.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below!

Until Next Time





Debt Avalanche for the WIN!!!

CC0190BD-349B-4D12-AA89-561115F11D5F.pngWhen I initially started to pay down debt, which was credit card debt (back in 2017), I learned the debt snowball method, which is a highly popular debt payoff method in personal finance. The debt snowball method is where you use any extra funds available to pay off your smallest debt, while only paying the minimum on all other debt. Once your smallest debt is paid to $0, you snowball that payment along with any extra funds into the next smallest balance. You continue this strategy until all balances are paid to $0. So you know an example is coming (I just love examples, what can I say I’m a visual person!) Let’s say you have a total of $19,000 in debt with various interest rates:

  1. $5,000 (22%, minimum payment $115)
  2. $2,500 (12%, minimum payment $50)
  3. $7,000 (29%, minimum payment $175)
  4. $4,500 (24%, minimum payment $95)

I entered the interest rates because we’ll use those in an example further down. With the debt snowball method here’s the order in which you would pay down this debt assuming that in addition to your minimum payments you had an extra $50 to pay towards your debt:

  1. $2,500 (minimum payment of $50 + additional $50= $100) every month until paid in full then you’ll snowball that $100 into your next highest debt.
  2. $4,500 (minimum payment of $95 + additional $100 = $195 from previous debt) continue on to next debt until all are paid in full.
  3. $5,000 (minimum payment of $115 + additional $195 = $310) then on to the last debt, the largest.
  4. $7,000 (minimum payment of $175 + additional $ = $485) pay this amount until paid in full.

With an additional $50 and the debt snowball method it would take 83 months (6yrs and 9 months) to pay off this debt instead of 149 months (12yrs and 4 months). The interest paid with this method would be $21,013.40, a savings of $12,618.40 from the original payment method. Also you can see, by the time you get to the largest debt you have a much larger payment amount to throw at that balance. This is a great method and has been proven to work for those in debt. According to Dave Ramsey “when you see the plan working, you’re more likely to feel like you can stick it out. And when you keep at it, you’ll succeed in becoming debt-free!” Ramsey also says, ” Winning with money is 80% behavior and only 20% head knowledge.” I would definitely have to agree with him on this. Changing our financial behaviors is what will ultimately make us successful with reaching our financial goals.

Now after using the debt snowball to pay down over $10,000 in credit card debt, I have recently found a new more financially savvy way to pay down debt. The debt avalanche, which is when you pay down your debt from the highest interest rate down to the balance with the lowest interest rate. So for example, using our same numbers from above, but listing them from highest interest rate to the lowest:

  1. $7,000 (29%-$175 minimum payment)
  2. $4,500 (24%-$95 minimum payment)
  3. $5,000 (22%-$115 minimum payment)
  4. $2,500 (12%-$50 minimum payment)

With the debt avalanche method in this example it would take 76 months (6yrs and 3 months) to pay off this debt instead of 149 months (12yrs and 4 months). The interest paid with this method will be $17, 661.20, a savings of $15, 970.78 from the original payment schedule and a savings of $3,352.39 from the debt snowball method. So in the end, not only does the debt avalanche save you a significant amount on interest it also decreases the amount of time you’ll be paying down your debt. What could you do with an extra $3,352.39?

Since I am laser focused on achieving my financial goals and want to optimize my savings it’s debt avalanche for the WIN!!! That’s extra savings that I’ll have to throw at my mortgage once I start to tackle it. Although the debt avalanche is the method I am currently using, I suggest you use whatever method will help you ultimately achieve your financial goals. Choose the method that is doable and the one that you’re most likely to stick with. I know this phase of achieving financial independence can be long and boring but just stick to the plan and trust the process, the finish line is closer than you think!

If you’re in the process of paying down debt please leave me a comment and let me know what method you’re using and how it’s working for you.

Lastly, if you would like to do some calculations of your own this is a great debt snowball calculator. Just follow the instructions and see your results.

Until Next Time,


Debt is NOT an Option!

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It has taken a long time for me to realize that being in debt was a decision I chose. After finding FIRE I made up in my mind that debt would no longer be an option for us as a family. So to start this journey I had to figure out what all our debt was made up of. Upon listing all of our debt this is what I discovered:

  1. Mortgage (4.68%)
  2. Student Loans (6.8%, 4.04%, 3.51%)
  3. Car Loan (4%)
  4. 401k Loan (5%)
  5. Solar Panels (0%)

The great thing about our situation is that we didn’t have any credit card debt (we used the debt snowball to pay them off in 2017) and the debt we had carried pretty low interest rates. The plan I came up with involved using the debt avalanche, with  this plan I chose not to include our mortgage or solar panels. I chose not to include the mortgage at this time because it is such a large debt, so it will be the last and final of our debt that we tackle. I didn’t include the solar panels because, although I want them paid off before the 20 year term, they are interest free and I can use that money towards our other debt. So here is the order we’re paying off our debt currently:

  1. Student Loans (6.8%)
  2. 401k Loan (5%)
  3. Student Loan (4.04%)
  4. Car Loan (4%)
  5. Student Loan (3.51%)

As of March 1, 2019 we have paid $6,156.76 towards the student loans. Now I am feeling even more motivated to keep going and stick to the plan.

In a future post I will detail how we were able to pay $6,156.76 towards our debt in just 5 months. It may not even seem like a lot to some but for us it is a HUGE accomplishment.

Until next time!



The Forbeys Find FIRE!

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Photo by Pixabay on

Hello and welcome to Forbey Financials where family and finances will be the topic of discussion….my very first readers(EEEKKK). My name is Tunisia and I’m new to the world of blogging. I look forward to sharing some fun and exciting things with you, all while we pave our way to Financial Independence.

I am a wife, mother, TeeTee (Auntie), daughter, and Registered Nurse. Me and my husband live in South Jersey with our 3 kids, fur baby and my daddy. My kids are 9 (girl), 5 (boy) and 2 (boy)….yes! we have our hands full. But we love this little life we’ve created for ourselves.

We (well me 😕) are new to the world of finance and are just beginning our path to FIRE, financial independence retire early.

Until a few months ago I had never heard of this term or knew it was something I needed to be working towards. But now that I’ve discovered it, it’s all consuming.

I stumbled upon this concept while looking for ways to invest a small inheritance. Last year, May 26th…the day after my youngest turned 1, my mother transitioned after giving cancer the fight of its life for a full month. It was just too late to fight that beast.

My mother was never great with money but she was a very hard worker and had two really good long term jobs, 18yrs with Sears & Ro. and 23yrs with the City of Chicago. She faithfully contributed to her retirement accounts as well as having 2 pensions. The really sad part is that my mom was truly looking forward to retirement so she could finally enjoy life and do some of the things she always wanted to do. Well just 10 short months after retirement she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer with metastasis to her lungs and liver. 1 month later I watched her take her last breath….it was so fast and none of us were prepared. After the initial shock and hurt what really haunted me was knowing that my sweet mother worked so hard and depended on her retirement years to live the life she always wanted….just to never get the chance. It was a sad reality. Although I have always lived my life to the fullest I knew that I needed to do more, that there had to be a better way.

So I began to research investing…which lead to the stock market. I took 2 paid online classes to learn about retirement savings and how to invest. Then somehow I stumbled upon the Journey To Launch Podcast (Hi Jamila👋🏽) and my life was completely changed. I could not stop listening, no way were regular old people like me retiring early😱😱😱. I just couldn’t believe it. Well I just had to know everything about FIRE because if others were doing it, I surely could. After listening to ALL of Jamila’s episodes, one of which had Brad and Johnathan of Chose FI on, I binge listened to their podcast as well. I was totally hooked. But now what? I had to figure out how to get started on our path…come back to find out what we did next!