Saturday, October 6, 2012

Saving the Moola: September in review

Since we're now expecting a new member of our family in March, many of our financial goals have changed. We are very excited and blessed to be expecting a child, but there was a little bit of mourning on my part for the financial goals we're having to set aside for now. Many others enjoy sharing pregnancy news early, but I have to say that I would never have wanted to share our news differently... actually, I think we will probably wait longer if there is a next time! It was truly a blessing to have a couple of months to ourselves to digest the news, re-work our goals and become truly and abundantly joyful at the coming blessing.

But now that the mushy stuff is over, it's time for us to share our financial progress. And this fall has definitely felt like a "git 'r done" season of life. We were really working hard toward paying off my last student loan, but we're saving money with even more zeal than before! To date, we've saved $1,200 more than we had budgeted for our expected child. This is really, really good. I am, to be honest, a little nervous about hitting our goal for right after Christmas. Jason's goal is more laid back, and we have had many, many conversations, particularly in the last week of September about our goals, how to achieve them, accepting they might not be able to happen, etc.

We are off to a good start, and we know what we have to pay for medical bills and we know how much to save so we can take some time off work and spend the first couple of months with our child. We have goals, we're working toward them - I can't really ask for much more than that.

Along with re-working our debt free plan, we've absolutely had to take a look at what we expected to accomplish in the next 10 years and change our mindset there as well. While we still dream of paying for a home in cash and we are praying and leaving it in God's hands (along with working our butts off and being good stewards of our resources), we know that our expenses will look a bit differently now that we'll have added costs each month, particularly as the child grows older. We know nothing's impossible with God, and that brings us great comfort.

We want to encourage you as much as possible, and this post resulted from a urge to encourage you and lift you up, even when you feel like you're not much making traction with your goals or lifestyle changes. It can be hard to beat a defeatist attitude, but we encourage you to keep fighting and keep plugging away at this crazy game of life. You can turn your life around, you can keep going on your path to financial freedom, you can really do this.

We also feel it's incredibly important to know your price points on everything you buy. I know my price points for things like cereal and a really great sweater. This helps keep me in check when I'm tempted to spend a little more, but it also allows me a lot of freedom when there is a great deal on something I need/want. We recently stocked up on canned vegetables at Meijer for 33 cents a can. We were completely out of canned vegetables and ended up buying 36 cans in total. We felt comfortable buying that many cans (after we checked to ensure they wouldn't expire for quite awhile) because they were at a great price and we needed them.

We would love to hear how your financial goals are coming along! There's only three more months left in the year, but we know we can all make great progress.


Rose said...

Hey, Jess! I just wanted to encourage you and say that it is more difficult to keep your finances planned effectively with a baby, but you do get used to it and know a little bit about what to expect. Yeah, sometimes your kid will outgrow a size of clothes in like a week, or sometimes you end up needing different diapers / more inserts (for cloth) suddenly, but if you keep a buffer for that stuff, it's really not that bad. I mean, a kid costs money and there's no way around that, but it's definitely manageable. Your post isn't negative or anything, but I know I was in a bit of a panic about it for a long time, so I just wanted to be encouraging! <3

Jess and Jason said...

Rose, thank you for your words of encouragement. I'm hopeful our clothing budget (which at times encompasses the oddest things :)) will be a good buffer for things like that. In the beginning, when I realized some goals we had to give up for now, I was really mourning the loss of those goals. Since August, I've been a lot more positive, but I always need all the encouragement I can get!!!! Thank you!!

sdr said...

Definitely plan to have a buffer in your budget. When we had our first we thought we'd planned things out and had a baby budget in mind but ended up having a daughter with severe dairy and soy allergies--breastfeeding was out the window, and she needed a prescription formula that ran around $800/month. It was worth every penny as she's perfectly healthy and entirely allergy-free, but I can't even imagine dealing with that cost if we hadn't planned for contingencies.