Sunday, August 8, 2010
Savings Goals Update
About a year and a half ago, I wrote a couple of posts about my desire to get a firm grasp on my spending habits and become a saver of money instead of the dreaded spender. I needed to understand why I spent the way I did, and I desired to be a better steward of the income that God was providing for our family.
This really was not an easy task. I had to learn to be firm with myself and physically stay away from places that sucked the money right out of my debit card (even if it was willingly), like the grocery store: "I know that organic is often more expensive, but I love my family and they deserve the best!"; chain stores: "I really should by this t-shirt because it's on clearance even though my dresser is full of ones that I hardly wear..." and "I'm so bored with my clothes - I need one or two items to 'freshen up' my wardrobe." I had to learn to separate my wants from my needs to help me keep the big picture (my goal of getting us more financially stable) at the forefront every day. Also, I found it very difficult to be patient. Income comes in only so fast (who wouldn't want for payday to be everyday?).
So, slowly, slowly, our checking account balance ceased to dwindle each week. Instead, I learned to just leave it alone, and, when all of our monthly utility bills + the mortgage had been paid, I started to apply as much as I possibly could to our credit card balance. In a matter of months, our credit card was paid off and I was able to start funneling small amounts into our savings account. Just $20 here, maybe $100 there.
Of course, we had some glitches along the way. Our dog became very ill and we had some unanticipated vet bills come upon us. Well, we felt blessed that we had some money set aside to be able to handle this situation.
We are a long way from where I'd like for us to be, but I think we've made some great progress in the past year. My new goal is to save for a new vehicle. Not brand new, but new to us. I currently drive a 1994 mini-van that has over 211,000 miles on it. And believe me, I baby it.
What about you? Have you gotten any closer to any of your goals? Is the journey what you expected it to be? Please share!