Friday, August 28, 2009

How Much To Save?

So I have this specific amount of money I want to have saved and a bunch of expensive things I want to buy. I'm trying really hard to find a balance between wanting things and sticking to a savings plan. Its hard! If I get those fancy schmancy tickers figured out I will add them to my side bar to track my progress.

Emergency Fund $3000 - I have given myself a deadline of six months to save this. That is a savings goal of $500 per month. Right now I have budgeted $600 per month and that is comfortable so at that rate I will be able to meet my goal at the end of January 2010. A full month ahead of schedule but also some wiggle room for any emergencies.

Travel Fund $2000 - I want to save for my honeymoon vacation next May strictly with money from paychecks along with my emergency fund. However, that would require adding an additional $225 to my monthly savings goals. That could be a bit of a stretch. I can reasonably expect to have around $2000 in a tax return in February 2010. That money will be earmarked for travel when I get it and I should have already saved my emergency fund.

I want to go back to snowflaking as I was pretty successful when I did that in June. I need to weigh the cons of wanting something against the pros of that much more saved because it does add up.

We have a few large expenses coming up in the next six months that I need to plug in to our budget.
  • Dog teeth cleaning - $300
  • Repair clutch and brakes on hubs new car - ?
  • Purchase hubs new car - $2000 (we are buying my dad's old Porsche from him and can make payments if need be). The reason for the new car? The hubs current car is not the most reliable and in January we can no longer commute together.
How is it that Trading Spaces can spend $1000 per room and make them look fabulous and I have spent thousands and still do not have one finished room? We are in the home stretch as far as condo projects go and want to have them all completed in the next year. That will leave four years of enjoying a finished space before we move on.

We saved for and purchased our new TV a few weeks ago. The other big budget items we are looking at. We want to buy quality items since we will be living with them for the next several years.
  • New couch and chairs for the living room.
  • Low profile bed frame with storage in the headboard for master bedroom
  • Bathroom vanity and sink.
  • Five more closet shelves in the master bedroom
  • New kids beds
Things that I would like but don't absolutely need.....
  • New cushy dining room chairs
  • Bar and bookshelves for dining room
  • New kitchen counter tops
  • Deck in yard
By far the most expensive items will be the living room furniture. I absolutely hate what we have now in color and its just not that comfortable. It makes me want to save that for last which is ironic since this is the room we spend the most time in.

Other things we need to do around the place is paint (living, bath & kids room), baseboard moldings (install and paint), replace tile on hearth & beef up the living room mantle. These things are all items we plan to purchase with monthly mad money as they are not large ticket items.

This weekend we plan to head out and pick up some more baseboard molding to finish off the kitchen and dining rooms as well as some paint to start painting all the moldings we have already installed (base and crown). We will price tile for the hearth as well.

Oh yeah, Christmas is coming too! I did get a jump start on that though. We already bought the kids "big" gift of iPods (with cash thank-you-very-much!) and I have 1 1/2 tabi socks kitted for SD. After those are completed I will get SS's fingerless gloves knitted up. I have to start thinking about ideas for other family members too.

I had the thought that if I saved $1000 and then saved for a big ticket item and went back and forth like that I would make both halfs of myself happy. I think its more important to have that emergency fund saved up though. Darn it!

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