Dan and I have always wanted to be good stewards with our finances. Sometimes we do better than others. Sometimes we just plain fail. If you know me well you know I love to plan. I love to plan and plan and change my plan. I have several friends who laugh every time I mention a plan for a baby or a house because these are two items we can't seem to plan for. We are almost perpetually pregnant (or paper pregnant.) Yet our house we planned on moving into for only a few years and maybe having one child is staying constant. We have tried to sell and that is obviously not God's plan for us at this point. We have the goal of trying to pay cash for all large purchases and staying out of debt. However, we haven't always done our best with that. At the moment we are debt free aside from our mortgage, but that is all through God's grace and nothing we did.
So, we decided to take a financial freedom class at a church in our neighborhood. We have read some books by Dave Ramsey and we like his philosophy. However, we are outside of his babysteps a bit. You see he has a seven baby step program. But, saving to pay cash for an adoption isn't on there. :) So, we have to go off the path a little to make that happen.
Dan and I took a good look at our budget last week. We realized we are spending far too much if we need to be saving. So, we are going back to our cash plan. We have been using the credit card for all our purchases and paying it off each month. The great part about that is that we get cash back which has been great. We have not been living outside of our means, but we are not saving what we want. So, we are hoping by moving back to cash for our spending we will be saving a little more each month. The only exception to this rule will be gas. We have a gas card and we get 5% back on gas. I don't want to pull my kids out of the car every time I get gas just to give them cash so we will continue to use the credit card for that.
So, with all that said here are a few of our goals for the next year
-PAY CASH FOR OUR ADOPTION- by far this is the biggest goal. We can't do this on our own at all, but God is faithful and we are believing he will provide. We have had a few fundraisers and they have been amazing so far. We know God is in control of this one.
-START SAVING FOR OUR NEW HOME- This was something we had been planning on for this year, but with the adoption this got put on hold. We are hoping to have 15-20% saved before we buy our next house. This may not seem like a lot, but for us this is a lofty goal.
-CLEAN OUT THE GARAGE- How is this a financial goal, you ask. Well, if you have seen our garage you know it is a clutter nightmare. We have cleaned it many times only to fill it back up. I am hoping to sell/donate a lot of what is out there. I'm hoping this will help us reach goal number one.
FUTURE PLANNING- One of the things we know we need to get going on is saving more for retirement, get more going for the kids college funds, get a will taken care of, and make sure we have all our insurances and that big person stuff in order.
So, there they are. They may not seem like much, but for us we think they are attainable, but lofty goals. I will keep you updated as we make progress.