The thing I love about personal finance is that it is just that- personal. I love hearing about how and why people choose to do things with their money. Even if I can’t relate I’m curious to know what makes people tick when it comes to their finances. Though I’m pretty clear about our goal to pay debt off, I’ve never really talked about my financial priorities as a general topic and so here they are:
1) Pay off debt. Obvious I guess, but we’re almost halfway there with a goal to have the remaining $70,000+ paid off in 2.5 years.
2) Buy a second car, with cash. We need a second vehicle. We’ve made it work with one vehicle for now but it is less than ideal. When Mike goes out of town for work I am 100% reliant on our family (thanks guys!) which works for now but it’s not great. Maria is also starting to get involved in things (I’m officially a soccer mom) which means getting me from work and having her at the field at the same time won’t work. Buying a second car might happen before the debt is entirely paid off. I suspect in 12 or so months we’ll start saving for one.
3) Start long term savings. We have savings for short term goals and emergency fund but no retirement savings. I’m not worried about it though since we’ll have over $2,000/month to play with when debt is gone- and incomes will increase. Living a life where we we’re required to live on so little has also put retirement into perspective for us. I don’t think we really need 70-80% of our pre-retirement income. I think we’d be happy with 45-50% of our pre-retirement income though I know we’ll achieve more.
4) Have more kids. Though this isn’t directly ”financial”, it also is in many ways. Kids aren’t cheap and we need many things in place before we have more (see 1-3 above).
5) Increase travel fund, significantly. Travel is important to us. I’d rather spend money on experiences and travel than things, any day of the week. We currently have little to no travel fund, we save for small events like out-of-province family reunions but no current regular travel fund savings. We won’t be a couple that flies south every winter either. I’d rather spend two weeks in Europe every two to three years and really learn something then get a sunburn every winter in a sunny destination. We’d love to eventually attend a winter Olympics too.
6) Increase post secondary savings for kiddo. We’re putting aside a small amount every month now but will increase this once our debt is paid off.
7) Move. We have a goal to move in 3.5-4 years. I’ve said it before but this house just doesn’t work great for us for many reasons and so we’ll move. I’d like to have 20% down when we move into next property which we should be able to do between our personal savings and nine years of equity in current property. We’re not necessarily looking for more home just better layout and away from this particular street.
Even though these are things we won’t start acting on for a few years, I think it’s important to see beyond the initial goal of paying debt off and project where you want your life to be within a five year window. I don’t want to wish time away by any means but I’m excited to see how we accomplish everything!
What do your financial priorities look like?