The past few years have been a little rough for our budget. Every time we make a plan for our money, life happens different than we plan and we have to reevaluate. School, babies, our house, our businesses, have all caused us to shift our budget in some way or another. So we've decided that this will be our reset year.
Savings - The next baby step on our list is to build up six months of living expenses in our savings account. We've been making slow, and not always steady, progress on that goal over the last few years. This year is the year when we make it happen. Without tuition to pay and hopefully no big medical expenses, it should be fairly doable if we work hard and tighten our budget in other areas.
House projects - We had plans last year to do a few things for our house that are somewhat cosmetic but needed at the same time. This year we have a goal to get a few of those mid sized projects crossed off of our list. We want put shelving in our basement for food storage and regular storage. We need new front and sliding doors for cosmetic reasons, for ease of access and because they're both drafty and new ones will help keep our electric bill down. When we renovated our house after we bought it, we didn't replace the tub/shower in our upstairs bathroom and while it's needed, I'm more excited not to have to look at it anymore. Does anyone feel like their "house projects we need to do" list grows five times as fast as you are able to cross things off?
Vacations - Joe and I haven't been on an actual vacation for a couple of years. This year, now that both of our schedules are a little more flexible, we've decided that we want to take our little family on a camping trip (in an RV that we'll rent) after Emmy turns one. We'd also like to get in two weekends away, just Joe and I, hopefully for our anniversary in June and our birthdays in October. In addition to this year's planned trips, we will be saving up for a bigger vacation just the two of us next year.
Cash System - A few years ago, Joe and I tried the envelope system and it worked pretty well for us. We were able to save a lot of money and pay off all of our debt with what we were saving. Since putting an offer on our house almost three years ago, our budget has been so different month to month that we haven't been able to consistently fill our envelope. After this month of no spend (which didn't work out so well when we had to buy a lot of stuff for all of the sickness in our house), we decided to bring the envelope system back but on a smaller scale. I will write about it later this year!
We have loved everything that's come our way over the past years and feel very blessed, but we have not been able to "build wealth" (Dave Ramsey terms) as quickly as we would like. After three years of budget chaos and not being where we'd love to be financially, we're excited to have full control of our money again. Cross your fingers for us, we're hoping for no more big financial roadblocks to slow us down.