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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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81 Comments

  • MaryBeth says:

    Thank you for this post! It is always great to see someone being such great stewards of what God has given to them. My husband and I have gotten ourselves into a pretty big pile of debt, mainly student loans, and even though he’s still in school and we don’t always seem to have enough money to cover the month it always works out and we’ve even paid off 2 credit cards in that situation. Thank you for the inspiration to keep on keeping on!

  • Hannah says:

    Thanks, this is encouraging. Sorry about your washer! What in the world are you doing about laundry in the meantime?!?

  • jane says:

    Hi Crystal! Thanks for this post! Just wondering, what do you mean by “children’s educational savings?” Do you mean college funds for your three kids?

  • A very inspiring post …
    Thanks!
    Sometimes I feel kind of alone in not wanting to always be spending and acquiring stuff. I like saving and paying cash – it’s sometimes hard with a bit of a spender husband. We are getting better at balancing our goals and money personalities though.

  • Vikki says:

    You said: “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.”

    That’s probably the very reason that God HAS chosen to bless you financially! What a wonderful goal! 🙂

  • Sheryl says:

    You mentioned saving for your children’s financial education- does that mean only for your son(s)? I assume you’re going to homeschool- are you going to allow your daughters to attend college, or only your boys?

    • Crystal says:

      By the time our daughters are 16 or 18, we trust that they will be wise and mature enough to seek the Lord and follow His leading for their lives. We’re trying to work ourselves out of a job here and raise adults, so we don’t see ourselves as “allowing” or “disallowing” things by the time they are of college age. That will be between our daughters and sons and how God directs them. 🙂

      That said, we’re saving the same amount for each of our children, but we’re not specifically putting into a college-only fund because we’d don’t want to box our children into only being able to use the money for a college education. We are sure some (possibly all) of our children will go to college, but we want to give them the flexibility to use the money for other vocational training outside of college or starting a business, etc.

      • Homestead says:

        @Crystal, I can’t wait to hear you talk more about kid-money investments…. we also elected to not lock into a 529-style “education only” plan for our kids for similar reasons to yours as well as the fact that other investments have a better yield right now for the time frame.

      • Rachel says:

        @Crystal, Well put Crystal, it’s so easy for us parents of little tots to forget that we are trying to work ourselves out of a job. But so important to remember!

      • jane says:

        Hey Crystal! It’s so awesome to hear that you’re giving your children the freedom to follow their own paths, whether this be attending college, starting a business, etc. It’s also great to hear that your daughters will also have the opportunity to attend college if they want to!!

  • Jerilyn says:

    Our goal is saving up for a down payment on a house. We’d like to get a home within the next year!

  • WilliamB says:

    Are these goals in order of importance?

    • Crystal says:

      They are in the order we’re planning work on them in (i.e. when one is done, we move to the next and so on). Except that giving and retirement savings is an ongoing thing.

  • I love reading about your financial goals and am very glad you’re bringing it back. That was what made me bookmark MSM in the first place when I discovered it a year ago!!

    Those are some great goals, especially the retirement ones. It would be so nice to save now and be able to retire earlier!!

  • This one made me think about our goals right now – in no particular order: 1) Extra payments on our mortgage, 2) cash for new washer /dryer, 3)cash for siding/painting our house, 4)cash for educational savings, 5)extra padding in the emergency fund, 6) cash for next vehicle (my 13 year old Mazda won’t last forever!) Thanks for giving me the conscious reminder to think about why I work to be frugal!

  • God willing, our home will be paid off next month- 6.5 years after we bought it. Then, we need to start saving for a replacement for our 12.5 year old car. We’ll continue to fully fund our Roth IRAs and we need to start a 529 for our baby boy. We fund one for our almost 4yo DD. On top of all that, we’d like to move to a more family friendly neighborhood where there are other young families nearby (and not a convicted murderer and a convicted rapist).r

  • Lisa says:

    Getting a mental picture of the car door that won’t open from the outside. I’ve started a place in the basement to put the parts to my car that come off (you know – a plastic piece here, a part to the panel door there…). I’m not sure why I feel that I need to keep them. Who knows! But the car is paid for and a missing piece here or there – no problem!

  • Tennille says:

    Just linked up my mini blog, lol! I read your blog daily. Love all the deals and tips you provide. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Frugal-Ways-to-Save-Deals/192774327992?ref=share

  • Elizabeth says:

    Crystal,

    I read this with tears. This is SO wonderful how you are blessing others with what the Lord has blessed you with! My husband and I long to be one day debt free. We think it is what God would like us to do. Unfortunatly we are a LONG way from that goal mostly due to bad decisions we have made along the way like buying a house before we knew better and now we have no hope of selling it we owe so much on it. This one mistake has affected our lives so drastically even to the point of us having to make decisions about waiting to have more children (again something we believe God would be in favor of and we are very much so but feel due to our financial situation it would be unwise right now). Last weekend we were dropping some bags off at our local Good Will. We always find people there digging through the things people drop off. We offer them anything we have before we deposit it in the drop shelter but I always want to cry because I wish so badly I had the means to find out what their need is and then go out and get it for them. So many times my heart just drops because I would like more than anything to have more to give but because of not having the wisdom to know how to start out debt free we now struggle and don’t have much to give to others. I find myself getting very depressed about this issue especially when I see so many Christians living in “extravagance” instead of sharing. It really warmed my heart to read your story of your wisdom of staying out of debt and then your love for God and others that has directed you to share instead of hoarding for yourself. It is beautiful how you are reflecting Christ in your life and it gives me much comfort to know there ARE Christians out there living this way!!! You are a wonderful example and a huge encouragement to many.

    • Anna says:

      @Elizabeth, I am in the exact same situation as you in regards to my home. Thank you for your honesty in sharing this…it encourages me that there are others out there like me…striving to make things better and to make better choices. Thank you Crystal for sharing your goals.

  • Jan says:

    Great goals! I love that you support Show Hope- very dear to me!

  • Laura Tanner says:

    Excellent goals. I really needed this post. I have fallen off the budget wagon lately and really need to get back on. Saving every penny for a house isn’t much fun but it will be so worth it. Hope to have the house by the spring.

  • ashley says:

    Awesome goals! I hope to be able to pay for our own house one day. Right now, we’re a military family and have decided to live off of one income while i raise our boys. But we get by perfectly fine and have been able to save 15,000 in a year and we pay cash for everything and everything we own, we own outright except for our car, we have the money to pay in off but since it would almost take most of our savings, we just pay extra on it monthly. Im really happy with where we are financially and most people would be suprised since we’re only 20 and 22, but I guess age doesnt matter, we’re both really good with money and your site has REALLY helped me cut our grocery bill in half or more, i never used coupons but now I do. So i owe you a big THANK YOU! your site is wonderful and has helped us save even more

  • Noelle says:

    Very inspiring post. The part about wanting to give mire holds a special place in my heart. I pray we will be in a position to give more soon. You see, we have 7 children and my husband was laid off from his job 2 months ago. We gave been so blessed through Harvesters (a local agency that collects for food pantries) and through your posts. Picture 2 adults and 7 children dressed as cows for a free meal at Chick-fil-A. It was such a fun day. I am thankful that our only debt is our mortgage. It is scary not knowing when my dh will find another job (jobs in his line of work are scarce and he is competing against friends and former co-workers for those precious few positions). But I have seen how giving back to the community is so important and I am humbled by people’s generosity.

    • guest says:

      @Noelle, I am praying for you!

    • Carol S says:

      @Noelle, Dear Noelle, I just want to say with all sincerity that you are ALREADY being an incredible blessing to the world by having 7 children. And those children will grow up and in turn bless you in your old age. I am reminded of Mother Theresa, who knew a thing or two about being charitable, and what she told a young mother of six children when asked how she could be more of a blessing to others. Mother Theresa replied “Have more children!”

      It is counter-cultural and downright radical these days to use the word “blessing” for children, but that is what the Bible tells us, that children are a blessing. Every time a child is conceived, the world becomes a different and better place with infinite more possiblilities just because of their existence. God bless you and your children!!

  • Thanks for this post. I always like to see other people’s financial goals. It’s inspiring.
    It was a good exercise for me as well.

  • Liz says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your financial goals. We are in the process of paying our house off over the next two years. Everyone laughs at us and they tell us that “you will always have a house payment…why rush.” However, just think of the things we can accomplish without ANY debt. It definitely keeps us motivated!

    I appreciate you sharing these goals with your readers. I know it is a personal subject. However, reading your post really motivates me to do better with our financial goals. Thanks again!

  • Paul says:

    Here in the UK we have an incredibly low interest rate at the moment (one bright spot in a period of terrible recession), so my current aim is to reduce that millstone around my neck (mortgage) while endeavouring to increase the small nest egg we have to keep us afloat should my wife or I lose our jobs again (my wife was made redundant from her job of 15 years Jan 2010, but was lucky enough to get a new one in the spring).

  • Do you know how much I love that you have a fully paid for house and yet you have to climb through the passenger door to drive your van?!
    It makes me smile.

  • Sarah says:

    Great post, thank you! I started couponing about 6 months ago, and because of blogs like yours we have saved so much money! We are for the first time in several years without credit card debt….and are just a few months away from paying both cars off. Our plan is to continue paying a car “payment” to savings each month so when the time comes we can pay cash for our next one!

  • Thankfully, we are not in debt, but I spend too much time spending and I knew I wasn’t setting a good example for my daughter. I decided to give up shopping and needless spending for a year to show her that it can be “cool” to save and that it’s absolutely possible to have fun without spending a lot.

  • yikes! i accidentally added my link twice. I’m so sorry about that! I’m 15 and 18. Please ignore one! Again, my apologies.

  • Rose says:

    We payed off all our debt this year in time to welcome our twin boys! We want stay out of debt, get at least three months expenses saved, and start an ESA for each of them.

    Really enjoy reading your blog!

  • Lisa says:

    I LOVE reading your financial updates and those of others and have missed seeing these posts greatly. They are full of encouragement and help me to continue on my road to being debt free. But, as I click through the links of others, I have noticed not all of them are financial updates and it’s frustrating to try and find the ones that are….

  • Allison V. says:

    We currently have no income, since June. God has provided, because we had no savings either. We have read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, and one of my goals is to get our budget to the point where I can be the giver and not just the receiver from our church “benevolence” fund.

  • Jenn says:

    I truly can’t thank you enough for your blog! What an encouragement and blessing. We are “weird”, too…in that we would like to be all paid up to date and using cash to do so. We are currently in the process of adopting again and God has really challenged me…through your blog to cut my grocery budget to help out in that small way! I’m excited as I watch him provide for our next “bundle of joy”! Thank you for the weekly help and inspiration.
    Our goal is to one day have a “fund” set aside to help other couples in ministry who want to adopt as well…we will get there one day!
    Blessings,
    Jenn

  • Our current goals are paying off our car (we only owe on one) and starting to fund our “fully funded” emergency savings! We are lucky and already have ESAs for all 4 of our children, but I would like to contribute to them regularly!! We would like a bigger house, but I don’t see that in the card for us for a while! I would also love another child, but my husband is not on the same page because we would need a bigger car and a bigger house! I know God will provide, but this is a daily struggle for me cause I was brought up with the “You want it, you get it” mentality!
    http://www.mylittlebitoflife.com

  • Lynn Oyama says:

    You and your family are such an inspiration. We are on a 5 -1/2 year plan to pay everything off except the mortgage and then we will work on that. I pray daily for this goal and the ability to help others again. Thanks again!

  • Thankfully, we have no debt right now, a good health insurance plan, my husband is employed, and we have a decent emergency fund (at least 3-4 months of living expenses). That said, on my husband’s current income in an area with an extremely high cost of living, it has been hard to feel like we’re moving forward, and I feel like it’s overwhelming to try and generate additional income myself with two small children at home, no family in the area to help, and one baby on the way.

    So, it may not sound like much, but right now, we are in a holding pattern, and by holding, I mean trying to “hold” on to as much money as we can, but for what, we don’t know at this point. In California, where an average 3 bedroom, 1 bath in our area starts at $600,000, there is no way we could even afford the down payment after years of savings. Even though we aren’t homeowners, though, we are content right now at this season in our lives with what we have. There is very little that we truly “need” beyond what we already have (our kids are healthy, we have clothes, a nice 2 bedroom duplex, and food on the table every night, and we drive two cars that are 18 and 16 years old, but are very reliable), but when those needs come up, we want to have money to pay for them by saving and not spending on what we really don’t need now.

  • Sarah in Alaska says:

    I was interested to learn that you are going to “bump” your retirement savings up to 10%. Are you departing from Dave Ramsey on retirement savings or doing something else to get his recommended 15%? Knowing that you’re a DR fan, I guess I would also be interested in what ways you’ve not done his plan “by the book”.

    • Crystal says:

      Yes, we don’t follow his plan “by the book” just like we pretty much don’t anyone else’s. We like to learn from others and then devise our own plan based upon our own family’s goals and how the Lord is leading us.

      We’ve opted to go with 10% because, at our current income rate, that will allow us to retire (if we ever decide to do so!) without worry and we both would rather use that extra 5% in the here and now in giving, investing, etc. Were our current income to significantly change, we’d likely revamp our plan.

  • You inspire us all Crystal! I love reading about people’s finacial goals because it helps me to stay on track. I think it’s great that you use cash to buy the things you need. That is not weird.. at all. I also think it’s great that you are thinking about others. The Lord will bless you and your family for being so humble and giving. Thanks again for this post!

  • Kim says:

    Thank you for sharing. It’s inspiring to read. My husband and I are on the baby step plan and are on steps 4&5 and soon 6. (saving for retirement, college, and paying off the house) We are also always saving up for different items and projects. We already have the money set aside for the bathroom project we are currently working on. We have discussed our goals but definitely need to put them in writing. I also look forward to giving more in our community. After reading a few posts by others that have done 30+ random acts of kindness on their birthdays I would like to give this a try. But will definitely need to add that in the budget. 🙂 Thanks again for sharing your stories.

  • @Crystal,
    Again..thank you for sharing your goals. Oh and I read your article about renting and I think it is very wise. I think by paying cash for a house you set yourself up for success. I live in a very high cost of living area with excellent schools(top 1% in the nation and public). Our rent is much, much cheaper than if we were to put 20% down then make a mortgage payment, homeowners insurance and property taxes. This does not even take into consideration maintenence on the home.

    When I get the emotional pull to have the “American Dream”, homeownership, with all the debt I remember the bill my landlord had for a small plumbing problem over $2500.

    We already have the 6 months plus of living expenses and no credit card debt. We sold my husband new car and purchased a smaller older one for cash dropping our debt by over a 1/3. Here are our goals:

    1) Pay off a small medical bill in October.

    2) Pay off my student loan in December.

    3) Pay off a tax bill, my husband brought to the marriage, in February.

    4) Pay off another medical bill in May 2011

    5) Have the family vehicle paid off in July.

    6) Continue to work on my website so I can continue to be a WAHM.

    Marisa

  • Erin says:

    Crystal,

    Thank you so much for all of your posts and help you give to all of us wishing to save money. While my husband and I strive to pay cash for everything possible, it’s definately hard. We both work full time (thankfully!) but with 2 kids in day care, the expenses are many! We just finished residing our house and paid for everything in cash. It cost right around $10,000!! I have to admit that the bulk of that came from our Income Tax Refund, but it feels good not to have that hanging around our necks as a debt. However, it definately depleted our savings account, so my goal is to get it rebuilt ASAP for our cushion should anything happen to either of our jobs.

    But thanks to your posts, it encourages me to save more money and I love seeing how many coupons I can use in one shopping trip and how much I can save. Thanks again!

  • nanasewn says:

    Crystal I would be interested where you put the money while it is “waiting” to be used for some cash item or pay off. Savings accounts or some type of investment?

  • Chris says:

    Thanks so much for this. I need to redirect my focus on saving.

    I’m debt free including my condo and have eight months in emergency fund. I cash flowed replacing the washing machine and have done a few things in the condo, but I need to concentrate more on that now.

    1) Cash flow immediate maintenance on condo (simple bathroom tile repair, weather stripping, etc.)
    2) Finish fund for replacement water heater ($170 to go!)

    Then start saving for upgrades on various areas of the condo

    4) Powder room (reface vanity, replace counter, mirror, light fixture)
    5) Main Bath (replace vanity, mirror, light fixture)
    6) Sliding glass door window treatments
    7) Light fixture in dining room
    8) Painting everything except kitchen

    Then, in my world, my BHAG is kitchen upgrades, including replacing a couple of the kitchen cabinets to free up dead space (what were the builders thinking?!), installing an over-the-range microwave to free up counter space, refacing remaining cabinets, replacing countertop, and painting.

  • Lori says:

    We have read that there is a “window of opportunity” with autistic kids between ages 3-5 where lots of speech, OT and behavior therapy along with biomedical interventions can pull them thru and recover them somewhat. So for the next two years our goal is simple: to increase the amount of interventions we can give him.
    My faith waivers sometimes as he is still nonverbal despite all we’re doing. But I know in my gut that God loves him even more than we do and He will provide as we work hard and place our trust in Him. My son has blessed our family more than I can articulate and made us better stronger people in every way. His sweet innocent smiles motivate me to try harder and pray more =) For this season in our lives, his recovery is our only financial goal!

  • tammy says:

    You should check out garage sales for the bunk beds. I see a ton of them! At least the frames (some people don’t like used matresses). I mean I know you already know this and all but it could really save a lot on the bunk beds.

  • Mynanakandi says:

    Hey! I saw you are trying to save for bunkbeds fro your daughters. Have you ever tried freecycle.org? I know I check it numerous times a day and there are always bunkbeds on there. I am in the Denver, Co are, but other areas I have checked out also have had them! stuff is really nice also! What a way to save. Toys, furniture, you name it! With toys and clothes, kids outgrow them so fast, why not get used and then re-freecycle when you are done! Give it a try!
    Nana Kandi

  • Dana says:

    Love to hear about your next goals! We are 12 months away from being DEBT FREE (about $90,000 of debt paid off in about 3 years). I can’t even envision how to attack next so this really helps.

    I wanted to also take a second to THANK YOU! You were the one who started our family to take control of our finances. I had never heard of Dave Ramsey before your introduction.

    Our family has been blessed in so many ways and one day we dream of giving away 1/2 our income. Thanks again!

  • Dana says:

    One more thing, could MSM have some guest posts or posts on what you are learning about retirement/college savings/etc. That would be great.

    These financial updates are one of my favorite posts to read. How we can inspire each other to move forward~!

    • Crystal says:

      I’ve actually asked my husband if he’d be willing to tackle some of these subjects as he’s much more the financial nerd in our family. I’m hoping he has some time to write some posts over the next few months!

      • @Crystal, OH I would also love to read these types of posts. I read the site daily for both the deals (I cvs hehe) and also the financial posts, as I find them very encouraging and inspiring. For example, without having goals to reach, couponing didn’t have as much appeal to me. Now that i’m striving to become debt free, every bit I save means I’m getting closer to that goal. 🙂 Plus I hadn’t learned about saving and emergency funds when I was younger and wow does that make so much sense to me now! In fact my (very small but started) emergency fund saved me from adding on more debt when life threw a curve ball my way. I’m soooo grateful I had started that fund! Your site really helps me stay motivated, thanks for all you do!

  • Ashley B says:

    Great goals Crystal! Knowing you and Jesse, I have no doubt they will be accomplished by September 2011. I have been reading your blog since you were pregnant with Kaitlynne (I’m not sure I spelled that correctly!) It has been so much fun watching your online business grown and watching you and Jesse achieve your goals. I love reading your updates!
    Ashley

  • Crystal, I LOVE that you and your husband are wanting to bless others! Your website has been a gift to me… I am always blown away by the wealth of information that can be found here. One of the things I like to give is my time… And, one of the things I chose to do when I started couponing was to give away “10%” of what I received for free or near free. Allen and I are desperately trying to get out of debt and get ahead…. we don’t have muc to give, but we do have an abundance of food, cleaning supplies and household supplies. So, each time I come home from the store, I set aside a few things, walk across the street and give them away to a neighbor who is literally, in need. We also give a little money towards missions trips through church. I cannot wait until the day we are debt free and are able to set more long-term, financial goals. Thank you for allowing us a sneak peak into your life. It really does help me stay focused on our small goals! 🙂

  • alicia goolsby says:

    Have you thought about building your bunkbeds and couch? That would save money and increase personal satisfaction in what you have. A lot of knock off wood builders have their kids help too! I have loved your site but I have also loved the creativity over at knock off wood! http://ana-white.com/plancatalog You would be able to furnish your new house!

  • Abbie says:

    Thanks Crystal for starting this again. It is the reason why I read this blog. (That and deals!) 🙂 I like all of the other posts, but to be encouraged by you and other women to set financial goals and reach them has helped our family be debt free and work on paying cash for our next van. Thanks again.

  • Karen says:

    After 7 years of hard work and lots and lots of planning and budgeting we paid off our home 2 weeks ago (we were even on the Dave Ramsey show to do a debt free scream). We are now going to increase our emergency fund, start a college fund for our 10 month old, and start saving for our next vehicle. We have been saving for retirement and giving to church the whole time but we are looking to increase those too. I am now at home with our baby and its a lot easier to live on one income with no house payment. Whatever obstacles get in your way just keep going, reaching your goals is SOOO worth it.

  • We recently paid off all of our credit card debt and paid cash for a minivan, so our next goal is building up our savings account. My husband has a very stable job, so we’re looking at putting 2 to 3 months of income in an emergency fund and then saving for the next “big” thing. Whether it’s another baby (I tend to get pregnant every 15 months) or replacing my husband’s truck when it finally dies, something urgent will probably come up. Non-urgent goals would be a new roof, new windows, and eventually adding on to our 2-bedroom home.

  • 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!

  • Beana 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!

  • 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.

    • Crystal 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!

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