Here are some of our financial goals:
1.) Pay off our debt.
Currently we have a home mortgage and a partially paid off minivan.
2.) Make wise financial decisions.
Sean's truck is paid off and books at just about what he paid for it. We plan on selling it and using the money to pay off the rest of the van and buy a smaller, older truck. If the economy continues to slow, we can cut back to one vehicle, which we've successfully done in the past.
3.) Plan for the future.
If you don't have a life insurance policy, you need to get one. If I keel over, Sean will have money so he can be home raising the kiddos and the same the other way around. I love that Sean has thought of me and made provision for us for the "just in case".
Some aspects of his radio show are annnoying, but we like the Dave Ramsey wisdom of handling money.
Will you be paying for your children's college educations?
Sean and I won't be handing out kzillions if our children choose to go to college. Both of us have seen stark contrasts in the effort of college students depending on if they are paying their way or have a free ride. We have made plans to teach them a skill to start a business (maybe drywall, masonry, selling produce at a Farmer's market, raising organic meat, computer programming, custom handcrafts, - whatever their natural bent is) so that they have finances to pursue whatever they like without having to flip burgers or go into debt.
What plans have you made for retirement?
This is one area where Sean and I need to get going. We have a 401K sorta thing from his corporate days but there are some options for business owners that we need to get going on.
4.) Pinch those pennies till they squeal.
Plan to get the most out of every thing that passes through your hands. I believe that someday I will be held accountable for every resource God has given me. Holding this thought in mind through the grocery store, thrift store, and in seeing other's needs is so helpful. Do I really need another cute teacup? Really?
How can you be better about the total at the bottom of the grocery receipt? Do you shop for labels or for quality?
5.) Teach them to your children.
Douglas and Kaelin have their egg business and have made a nice chunk of money. We have taught the children that ten percent is for spending, ten percent is for God, and the remainder is saved. Out of the savings they pay for chicken feed, new hens and ducks, and purchases specifically for giving. We think that by the time Douglas is a young man he will have a nice little nest egg as will Kaelin.
Teaching wise principles in regards to money is only worthwhile if you are leading by example.
7.) Don't buy with credit.
I say this with half a foot in my mouth.
All of our home reovations are paid in full. We bought three out of four appliances at a Sears scratch and dent outlet (full warranties!), the slide in range on ebay, and the cabinets from a locally owned store. Even with shopping for the best deals and pinching pennies, the sum for putting in a new kitchen was a hefty one. The money in the bank, we whipped out our mastercard and paid for the semi custom cabinets.
Our mastercard has a reward program that for such and such spent you get to choose free gift cards as your reward. We chose Sears gift cards and used the money to purchase our fridge and dishwasher for free!
Now I know I will never be on Dave Ramsey's show for admitting to credit card use but I can't help but feel like we pulled one over on the credit card company! There were no finance charges or late fees and we paid the bill online immediately.
8.) Save and spend.
This is the whole "don't go into debt thing". The remainder of our renovations include three bathrooms and a whole lotta drywall and spackle. We'll be saving and then spending. Being DIY'ers this works well because there is no way we can tackle everything at once.
9.) Can we enlarge our income?
This is something Sean and I are always asking ourselves, not because we are discontent or greedy, but because we have a vision in mind. Paying off our debt and finishing the house frees us up to sell it for profit and leaves us free to go wherever God would send us. In this season of life, I am not able to be much help with the income portion of things but I am able to controll to some extent the outgoing expenses.
What about you? What financial goals do you have? Are you pinchinng your pennies till they squeal? Cutting coupons? Keeping the heat lower? The lights off? Making apple cider donuts because they are $8 for a half dozen at the apple store? Are you using your available resources (money, friendship, clothing, hospitality, garden produce) to be a blessing to others? What ideas do you have? I covet your thrifty ideas! Leave a comment!