A big part of changing my shopping habits has been to stop shopping.
But, I mentioned that I spent far too much on non-necessities in the month of August. I was starting back down a slippery slope of just “stopping into” a store. And then I’d leave $100 poorer.
So, I’m working to be proactive about cutting the spending. Especially on things like clothes and toys and eating out.
There are three things that help me keep my spending in check:
- Being 100 percent accountable to Ryan about money. We talk a lot about money and we don’t hide anything from each other.
- Remembering the stress that comes with stuff. We have more stuff than we need, and with a move on the horizon, we can use all the extra funds and space we can get.
- Keeping the end goal in mind. This isn’t about saving money just to save it. There are things we want to do – and no pair of new shoes will get us there.
When we worked on the budget, Ryan and I talked about reasons we want to put our savings back into hyperdrive and cut spending. A bucket list of sorts.
I thought it may interest some of you to see what’s on our bucket list – these are what I would consider our “biggest” three dreams – those that will take the most work and cost the most and be the biggest life-changers for us.
Finish the barn with an apartment.
In the short term, we want this barn apartment finished. I am so excited to live and enjoy our property. Plus, I love the idea that this barn will serve a purpose forever.
I have huge dreams for this space in the future. I believe it could serve as a studio, a small event/class space, a hub for a small farming operation, even a small boutique. It’s all big, long-term dreaming, but our barn is truly going to be such a big part of lives forever.
Build a house without being in debt.
We so badly want to live on our property forever.
But it’s a huge job to build a house – and a huge expense. So, we’re getting our plans in order and saving pennies so we don’t have to be in debt to do it.
Ryan plans to build the house almost all by himself. This is a huge dream of his, and also something that feels right for both of us (financially and philosophically). Many of our family members have built houses, going back to both our grandparents. (Did you know that my grandparents lived a block away from Ryan’s grandparents? And both built their own homes after the war. Ryan’s grandpa below.)
I would really like to write a whole post about this, but there are a lot of major financial hurdles to building your own house today. A big one? Financing. There aren’t many (or any) banks who will lend to a couple building their own house.
This means that we will be using the proceeds from the sale of our house to build our new house. Which puts us on a pretty strict budget. But also gives us so much freedom from debt.
No 9 to 5 jobs.
When I left my day job to stay home with Henry, we adjusted our plans a bit. But, it’s still our plans for Ryan to be able to leave his day job while he’s still young.
We will still be working – on our rental properties, on a potential small-scale farming operation, on other projects of our choosing – but it would give our family so much more flexibility and time together. This is the end goal and probably the biggest thing we are working toward.
Ryan works so hard for our family and by cutting our spending, he can choose to work for himself.
So, those are our big bucket list itmes.
I’m willing to give up just about anything when I look at the big picture. So, I can say goodbye to unnecessary eating out, clothing, toys …
Budgeting isn’t really fun, it’s true. It can be tedious and frustrating. But, we do it because of our bucket list.
Looking for an easy excel budget worksheet – check out this worksheet from SunTrust to find areas where you can save money!
Now, I want to know:
What’s on your bucket list and what spending would you cut to cross it off?
At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well being. They help you get organized, make a plan, and stay on track so you can get and stay in control of your finances. When you are confident about your money, you can save for your goals and splurge knowingly on what matters most to you.
To get started visit suntrust.com/getorganized
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.