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Financial Goals

April 9th, 2013 at 07:50 pm

Last post http://annereesedebtblog.savingadvice.com/2013/03/30/save-no..., I was feeling pretty down about the state of our penny pinching lives right now. We've made great progress, but it's been all work, little play for quite a while now. This past couple weeks, I've been "running the numbers" and trying to figure out IF/WHEN and HOW MUCH fun money we might be able to squeeze in, while trying to meet our many financial goals over these next few years.

We're still putting most everything extra on hold until we finish paying off the credit cards in the next couple months or so. But I would like to start going on date night's out once every couple months again despite not being there yet. I'm fine with it just being something like TGIF's and a movie. Right now even McDonald's would be a splurge for us so that sounds great to me! But I want to get an actual baby sitter and not have to cook the meal myself. To watch an actual new release in movie seats rather than a rental on the couch. And to be able to start spending time with hubby before 8pm when the boys are finally in bed and our eyes are already getting droopy. This particular splurge, I am not willing to put off any longer. Even it it adds a little extra time to our goal. I need a life again. And once every two months hardly seems over the top.

The trickier part is what to allow when we do finally finish paying off all this debt. Not throwing hundreds, and even thousands into our credit cards each month will certainly free up some funds! But as discussed http://annereesedebtblog.savingadvice.com/2013/03/25/march-m..., there are a lot of prudent ways those funds could and should be allocated. So we decided to determine which financial goals were our most important ones to meet in the first year after paying off our credit card/car loan debts. And to set aside the money for those things each month first. Here's what we came up with:

1) To replace the ancient fridge that is probably costing us a small fortune to operate and can barely hold a food safe temperature anymore. Also, all of the drawers are broken and every time the cheese drawer is pulled out it smooshes everything below. This was the single hardest item for me not to "splurge" on spending to replace.

2) Replace hubby's ancient desktop computer that needs rebooting at least once a day to even barely run these days. Preferably with a moderately priced and more portable laptop. Hopefully before, rather than after it bites the dust, but it's going to be close.

3) Get that $800 car repair for hubby's car that our mechanic mentioned is going to sneak up on us any day now.

4) Start putting in the maximum employer matching 401K contribution. At least it's pre-tax and won't be quite as big a chunk as it seems, but like it or not, it's the most important thing we can be spending our money on at this point.

5) Increase emergency fund from $1000 to $5000. Still far short of our long term goal, but it should be enough to cover, say, an ancient furnace that we were just glad made it through one more winter. Thankfully hubby's job is very stable right now.

6) Come re-enrollment this fall, up our HSA contributions to max that out too. That will be more than double what we're doing now but not doing so has totally bit us in the butt this year with unforeseen dental expenses (given that dental insurance is pretty much a joke). Long story short, I am going to be without a bottom right tooth for a while, and I would like to get that fixed soon.

7) Save about $12,500 for a "new" car. Again, preferably before the current one dies but that will also be cutting it close. In truth, we are going to rely on hubby's bonus next spring for about half of this. At the fortune 500 company he works for, it's a pretty sure bet. We even know pretty much how much it will be. If we're wrong though, we'd still rather get a small car loan that we paid off ASAP rather than wait any longer for any of these other things.

So those are the goals. There will be no family vacations in the foreseeable future, and we're going to keep date nights out at once every other month for now as well. We also will have not yet started saving for me to go back to school, and that will certainly need to be a priority in the year following. To say nothing of our longer term investing goals.

But thankfully, there is some wiggle room in there. A little cash for lunch with friends. Maybe a shirt from Kohl's and a new book once a month. Perhaps I can finally replace that pitcher I use every day that I'm missing the lid for? And we're definitely starting our Audible subscription again. We're going to have more fun. Ahh, the good life! Let me never take these small luxuries for granted again!

3 Responses to “Financial Goals”

  1. Petunia 100 Says:

    It looks completely normal on my screen, Anne.

    It can be very frustrating to have so many competing goals when you are impatient to just accomplish them already! I try to remember to enjoy my life at least a little each day.

    Just keep plodding along, you will get where you want to be. Smile

  2. snafu Says:

    Congratulations on your progress. Clearing the car loan and nearly $9,500. CC debt takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. There's a bit to go on final card and you've stayed focused on your goal. When I researched 'Scratch 'n' Dent' outlets, I realized there were terrific deals on never used, model home or basic 'builder' fridges. The extra step of arranging for a small truck delivery service was worth the time and cost. My problem was matching the dedicated space to the preferred fridge model. Fridges with the same internal capacity have different sized external dimensions. Meanwhile, can the drawer sit on the shelf with stuff stacked higher within the drawer?

    I suggest #4 follow Emergency Fund priority since Retirement savings depend on the magic of long term compounding to provide funds you need in later years. The first year is the most difficult as you can use tax savings in subsequent years to fund a lot of the subsequent contributions. I'm confident you can get past this patch and loosen the spending reins incrementally.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    Great goals!! It helps to know where you want to go...and I'm sure you will make it there.

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