11/26/2010

Doing it All?

It's hard to believe that I haven't written since Monday as I sure have been doing a lot of talking about money.  Most notably was a conversation I had with Jordan which started out as one about my vehicle crapping out and turned into one about how we manage our money and communicate that with each other.

There are a lot of things that we want...a wedding...a house...a new vehicle.  We also want peace of mind.  Can we have all of those things, do you?  I think that we can, I'm just not sure that we can all at the same time.

Let's start with the peace of mind.

We have recently depleted our emergency fund and are down to a measly $75.  As we have so many plans right now - I can't see where we can get the money to fund this up to say, $2,500.  A number that Jordan and I are both comfortable with.

My suggestion is that we use any Christmas bonus' (approx $500-750), Jordan's GIC ($500) and any tax returns to fund it.  That in conjunction with continuing to put away $100/month - should have it back to respectable levels within the first few months of the new year.

Next, is our vehicles.

You may have noticed that we don't/haven't budgeted for vehicle maintenance/expenses as a category of its own.  This is paid for from our 'other' category. We are finding from the tracking of our spending, that we're actually spending about $115/month on repairs - every month!  That seems a bit ridiculous.  To compound that my car and Jordan's truck need more work.  My steering is acting up and I think i'm burning oil - apparently expensive things to fix.  Jordan's check engine light is on - (has over 400,000km) and so may need some big work as well.

Our thought is to purchase a new vehicle (2010 so has better discounts than the 2011's coming up).  We're looking at either a Ford Escape or a Ford F150 which would work for our lifestyle.  Buying another small, used car that won't last - won't work.  We need something safe for me and a couple of kids and something that we'll work for camping and moving my horse (towing capacity) and potentially a camping trailer 5 or 6 years down the road. I expect our new vehicle to last upwards of 10 years, if not longer - so that means spending a bit more money now.


So, the next big things are a wedding and a house.

Jordan said that he's willing to put off the house to keep everything else on track and keep me in safe ride.  I think that maybe we could look at a Condo instead of a house - so we can be on our own without roommates, and keep costs down.  While condo fee's will be a factor there are condo's for sale at about the $200K mark in this city of ours.

If the numbers I'm guessing to the left are accurate, we could still save about $500/month for the wedding.  We would have $10,000 come bill paying time - which granted is about $5-7,000 short of what we need - we could certainly look at doing a bit of trimming.

Jordan did also say that he would be happy to shave some of our 'planned spending' down and our allowance to order to make this work.  My mom felt that we still need our allowance to have a bit of independence, but we could certainly cut our spending some.

So, all of this....the thought of doing it all....is what has my head spinning - and why I've been so quiet.  We've been thinking and talking a lot about what our next move is going to be.  We're both wanting to take a leap - but it's certainly a bit scary!

I'd love comments, questions...support ;) If you have any to give.
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5 comments:

  1. Car insurance could/would go up if you have a new fully insured vehicle. Sorry. Being a grown-up is hard.

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  2. Oh, I know what you mean. We just bought a new used car. Need to get the EF back up to 10k (that's what I feel comfortable with, should be done by year;s end) and then save for all the travel we want to do. House and wedding...don't even feature on the horizon yet.

    I guess break it down and focus on baby steps to make it more manageable. Sometimes big picture thinking will only overwhelm you and leave you head spinning...

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  3. I have a 2010 Ford Escape - bought because my car literally died in downtown Toronto. I am hoping it will last me 10 years. Don't forget to factor in larger gas costs - if you've been driving a small car. Before this I had a Ford Focus, which didn't use much gas. Factor in a much larger gas cost if you go with the F150. That's what my husband has and it drinks gas ;)

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  4. It's easy to see how young couples get into debt quickly and insidiously! Take us, for example: back in June 1998 we got married. In May 1999 we bought our first house together. In Feb 2000 I gave birth to our first baby. I took a year off work and when I went back to work I switched from fulltime (40 hrs/wk) to parttime (12 hrs/wk), taking a huge pay cut in the process. I worked parttime for a year, then brought home a second baby in Mar 2002. By this point we were about $8000 in debt on the LOC... life went on and a third baby and a new minivan arrived into our lives in the summer 2005. We decided our house was "too tight" so we upgraded to a bigger house in 2006, with a bigger mortgage (added $130,000 to our mortgage) - and THEN I got injured and couldn't work at all! BIG problem - we NEEDED my income and I couldn't go out to work! Then I got Vaz-Oxladized and got onto a budget and turned things around. But I tell ya, those first 8-10 years of marriage were financial suicide for us!

    Be careful and be realistic with your plan or you'll find yourselves like us, in your mid-40's and just starting to save for your retirement!

    I think you two are pretty smart people and I know that smart people learn from the mistakes of others so I thought I'd share my story with you. If I could go back, I'd do things a bit differently!

    You CAN have it all, it will just take some time and patience. My advice? Focus on the wedding first, then the replacement car, then the house. Once you have all that organized, then you can grow your family. :)

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  5. You go through life and it's point A to point B to point C. But then you get to this stage in your life and all of a sudden you can do anything you want, but you need/want to do 7 different things at once and where do you start?

    There's so many things pulling in different directions, it's tough to figure out which way to go first. It's hard to be patient and work on just one or two things when there's still five other things to worry about. It's really tough to balance living your life today with what you need to do for tomorrow.

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