Prioritizing financial goals

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about our finances. {Let’s be honest. It’s been a while since I’ve talked about anything!} We’ve found that our motivation for following the budget flows up and down depending on the time. While I was nursing my broken foot, we floated by from month to month. We weren’t spending much money so we weren’t spending much time looking at it. Once things got back to normal we decided to attack some areas of our finances. Specifically, our mortgage. We’ve been following a plan where we are paying more than our monthly payments, but we wanted to get more aggressive and shave more time off our loan. Of course we started this plan after we got through the first few Dave Ramsey Baby Steps.

As always seems to happen with us, other things come up. I got pregnant and our financial goals changed. We had saved up money to buy a new vehicle. Like we had all the money we wanted to save, but just needed to decide what we wanted and if we wanted to use all the money. {We expected to feel a giant pull at giving away all that cash!} We reassessed our finances and decided that money would be used elsewhere. Specifically, medical bills, hospital bills, covering paychecks that we wouldn’t get while I’m on maternity leave, and nursery furniture. So, gone was our car fund and in its place a baby fund.

Here’s my dilemma. I feel like we’re always saving up for a goal and we get so close to obtaining it and then we have something else come up and spend the money another direction. Yes, most of these goals are materialistic, but at the same time we will eventually need a new vehicle so it’s a little of necessity and desire. If not because of space and car seats, well then because one of our cars will crap out on us soon. Since starting the Dave Ramsey plan, we can’t imagine ever buying a car on a loan. So, now we start back at zero for our car fund. And now we’re left deciding if we aggressively build the car fund back up and cut out all extras until we do. Or do we slowly build it back up while reaching some of our other “fun” goals too.

How do you prioritize your goals? How do you plan for these goals? 

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7 thoughts on “Prioritizing financial goals

  1. Hi. I’ve been wanting to blog about finances for a while, but I never get around to it (You know, busy with all the other mommy stuff!) As a newlywed and new parent couple, we’re still figuring out the finances thing. Our plan is basically to pay the bills, and put away X amount each month towards our ‘house’ fund. This builds and we pull from it for stuff like building a deck, or we need some new lights for the basement, etc. We haven’t needed to save for anything huge like a car, but putting the money away and not touching it seems to work for us. We also save coins. I know, totally lame. But after a few months, we get like 70-100$ in coins and that usually goes towards vacation spending money. I know it won’t pay for a car, but maybe a pedal bike? 🙂

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  2. I ended up opening another savings account to help me really manage the savings goals better so we now have 3. One I use for bills that come up once a year (insurance and property taxes) and the other I use for what I use for other savings (future cars, emergency fund, etc). The third is for Cassidys savings and 3/4 of that automatically moves to her 529 each month. I also have a Smarty Pig account that I have started moving money out of that savings account into for a future car. I am thinking of making another one for future vacations. I found if I break things down like that then I do a much better job with savings vs all money getting dropped into one savings account.

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    • We also have multiple accounts – emergency fund, Maximus savings account, checking account, mortgage account, and then a normal savings account. Even with multiple accounts, there are further breakdowns and I don’t really want to have 10 savings accounts. I wish banks had a way for you to put money towards different goals IN one account. Instead we have a spreadsheet and have to keep track of what money is headed what direction. I suppose if we weren’t thinking ahead so much it wouldn’t be an issue! 🙂

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      • Yeah, that is what I use Smarty Pig for. It helps me break down the goals even further within my one savings account without opening up official savings accounts with the bank. Otherwise it is hard to keep track of how much goes towards each goal! Smarty Pig has become my friend. 😉

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  3. I always have this same exact problem. Everytime I am about to reach a goal something else pops up and and takes all my savings away. I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey also so I understand the way you feel about not having a car loan. I also would advise you to remember that Dave’s teachings are just that, Teachings. Dave Ramsey cannot give out a foolproof plan that always works all the time for everyone. The thing to take away from Dave’s teachings is how to be smart with your money avoid paying the “Stupid Tax” more often than you have to. Assess your financial situation and if a car is what you need then don’t count out a loan if done properly you can find financing that isn’t horrible. The Giant SUV with all the bells and whistles is not what I am talking about. Look for something safe and reliable.

    A personal example. I drive a 2000 Plymouth voyager with 300k miles on it, I love that van! such a good deal financially. My wife drives a 1995 Mercury Grand Marquee (Land Yacht) with 120k miles on it. There is no way I am putting my 4 year old son and my newly pregnant wife into a 17 year old car during an Ohio winter. The cost of a new car with safety features is worth it for me. It helps me sleep better at night knowing they are as safe as I can make them. I opted for a reasonable loan and a new van. I sold the Mercury to help with the down payment and I continue to drive the Voyager with 300K miles on it I just don’t let anyone else ride with me.

    I think my point is Financial success is inportant but don’t sacrifice the things that are more inportant.

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  4. Pingback: Monthly tracking and budgeting « KYLEY LEGER

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