Financial Goals and Update (and come link up yours, too!)

Many of you have asked what our financial goals are now that we paid cash for our house. A few months ago, I promised to let you know what these were and I’m finally getting around to doing so! It’s taken us a few months to sort through and develop a game plan financially for this season of our lives, so thank you for your patience.

The question we received a lot when people knew we were living on less than we made and saving to pay cash for a house was, “Will you change your standard of living once you buy a house?”

Our heart’s desire is that we would wisely steward the blessings God has given us by giving to others. We want to be conduits. For some reason, God has chosen to bless us financially and we want to use this blessing to reach out and freely give to others.

We’re very content with what we have and we feel like there’s no need to increase our standard of living. Instead, we want to increase our standard of giving and also invest our money wisely so that we’ll be in a position to give even more.

With this in mind, we are currently researching and praying about our next BHAG, as we like to call them at our house. We’ve not 100% decided on what it will be, but we’re looking into the possibility of investing in commercial real estate (paying cash, of course, because we’re weird like that!)

While we pray and research and start setting aside some of our savings towards that, we do have some more immediate short-term financial goals:

1. Significantly increase our giving to needs in our community and around the world.

2. Pay cash for a replacement washer and dryer for our very used set. (This got moved to the top of the list when our washer up and quit last week!)

3. Pay cash for a replacement for Old Blue Van (We’ve almost finished this goal and it’s a good thing because the driver’s door no longer opens from the outside!)

4. Pay cash for a couch for our basement family room (Which currently is devoid of furniture while we save for it!)

5. Pay cash for bunk beds for the girls.

6. Fully fund our IRAs.

7. Bump up our retirement savings to 10% of our income.

8. Fund our children’s educational savings.

9. Double our Emergency Fund Savings (instead of having around six month’s worth of expenses set aside, we’re planning to set aside a year’s worth of expenses)

Our goal is to have all of these items accomplished by September 1, 2011. We have no idea whether that’s possible, but it’s what we’re shooting for. We have the goals broken down by month and there’s a possibility it might all happen by then. But we’ll see as you never know what curve balls might be around the bend.

If and when we accomplish these goals, the plan is then to throw our extra monthly savings into our BHAG.

photo by Alan Cleaver

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What are your current financial goals? Many of you have asked for me to bring back the monthly financial check-up for us all to share about our financial goals and the monthly progress and set backs. So I’m bringing this feature back beginning the first week in October. I’d love to have you link up with your financial goals and successes below!

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Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for sharing and for hosting the linky! My goals this go-round are pretty minor, I’m adjusting to my bargain-shopping routine being changed for a year. It helps so much to sort it out in writing, and I appreciate the encouragement to do so.

    Also, I love how you included bunk-beds in there with college funds. Things like that have to be planned and saved for too if you want to live a debt free life!

  2. says

    Perhaps you’ve done this before, but I would be interested to know what percentage of income you designate to various budget items and savings. Especially with the monthly living expenses. Many bills are fixed of course, as is housing–but finding the right goals for those items has been a challenge for me. I want to be able to pay more to debt–even if it’s a little bit–and cut back in other areas, but haven’t been successful so far. Thanks for all you share here!

  3. AC says

    Great post – enjoyed reading about what you’re thinking for short-term goals and look forward to hearing more about the longer-term ones.

    One thing I’m very interested in is how you have changed your routine (if?) since paying off your house. For example, do you all eat out more often, have you reduced your time spent couponing, etc? Fairly certain you’d never go hog wild spending (haha) but I keep wondering what is “next” after people are debt free with good savings, college funds, etc. We plan/hope to be (mortgage) in the next three years.

    For us, I’d like to think we would travel more (something we’re both passionate about), indulge in eating out more (both foodies), etc. Anyway, just curious if you all have things like that.

    • says

      We really haven’t changed anything since paying cash for a house. We’ve stuck with going out to eat once night a week (unless we have a gift card or the restaurant is giving away a freebie) and I still use plenty of coupons. Our budget has pretty much stayed exactly the same since it’s working well for us right now. The only thing which has changed is that we’re not paying rent anymore or throwing everything extra we can squeeze out of our budget into our house savings. This, in turn, gives us freedom to give and invest.

      I guess the only big thing we are doing is taking a “second honeymoon” of sorts next year. We had a very frugal honeymoon the first time around (think PB&J in a rundown hotel!), so we have been saying for years that as soon as we paid for our house, we’d go on another honeymoon. So, we’re going to do that in a few months — and we’re super excited!