In this current season of newlywed life, we are juggling a variety of savings goals and the trade-offs that come along with them. To keep track of everything we’re saving for, we use our Net Worth and Goals freebie. This allows us to check in on our progress towards achieving these goals as frequently as we want!
Our Savings Goals – First Home
Our largest upcoming goal is saving for a down payment (plus the closing costs) on our first home. We currently live in North Loop, Minneapolis, which is convenient to both of our jobs and walkable to so many great restaurants and things to do! However, we live in an apartment that is just getting a little bit too small for us plus our four-legged friend, Riley.
These days, so many young couples are starting adulthood with significant amounts of student and auto debt, are having trouble finding the right job, and are eating into their savings by covering the costs of an engagement ring and wedding. With all of these competing forces, the thought of home ownership can feel like a distant dream.
We have definitely felt this way and are trying to build our savings back up after our wedding and honeymoon last summer and after wiping out all of our student debt. Without a doubt, getting organized with our finances has made the path forward so much easier.
Our Savings Goals – Second Car
Saving up for a home purchase is just the start for us. A place outside of the city means we’ll also need a second car. Given that we can walk most places and that parking in the city is expensive, we currently share one car – Brady’s 2003 Toyota Camry.
We know – it’s far from flashy! But it gets us from point A to point B and Brady has kept it in great shape with very low miles over the years. For our next purchase, we’re looking at compact SUVs (Mazda CX-5, Nissan Rogue, etc.) that are slightly used, given that brand new vehicles lose so much value in the first 2-3 years. Plus, you can get great deals on used vehicles that are like-new.
Our Savings Goals – Furniture, Equipment, and More
While these purchases are exciting, unfortunately, the costs related to a home purchase don’t stop there! With more rooms to fill and a yard to maintain, we also need to be saving for furniture and equipment (lawn mower, snow blower, etc.) that we’ll need as homeowners. We have had the luxury of living in an apartment and not having to deal with maintenance or yard work, so there’s some work to do (both financially and mentally) to get ready for the change!
Our Savings Goals – “Baby Stuff”
So once we can scrape enough dollars together to achieve those goals, we should be able to sit back, avoid major purchases, and relax for awhile, right? Not exactly!
After getting some more space, we’ll be hoping to make additions to our little family of three. That leads us to our fourth savings goal which we literally have titled “Baby Stuff,” hahaha. We know we are in over our heads and have no idea what babies actually need, but we do know that babies are not cheap!!
The savings goals just keep piling up.
We’re well aware that sleep may be hard to come by when we get to that baby stage, but our hope is that getting organized with our finances upfront will help us at least sleep easier today. By the way, we will likely do a much more elaborate post on all things babies, once we get to that stage of life.
Our Savings Goals – Medical Expenses
Our fifth savings goal is our medical expenses. In some of our previous posts, we discussed how I (Hannah) was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2018, which has drastically increased our medical expenses each year. Just a little over a year ago, we used to never bat an eye at our medical deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. They were never relevant.
But life throws you curveballs.
Now, our out-of-pocket maximums, which we assume we’ll meet each year, go straight to our annual savings goals. These added expenses would be extremely stressful if we entered each year unprepared and without a plan.
Our Savings Goals – Bucket List Items
Finally, we are trying to determine if we can afford to go on our dream vacation to Scandinavia sometime in 2019! While most of our goals are for exciting new stages in life, this trip would truly mix in some fun for the two of us and check off a bucket list item. We would ideally like to do this before we have baby number 1, but as you can see from all of the above, there are a lot of competing priorities.
What We Value Most
Of course, in our ideal world, we’d buy the nicest house and car, go on the most extravagant trip, and have the top-of-the-line baby stroller. But at some point, we have to figure out how much we think we can actually save and what trade-offs we prefer to make.
After taking care of those mandatory goals (e.g., medical expenses), we decided we truly value our experiences in life as well as those purchases that will have the greatest daily impact, such as the house we will be spending most of our time in.
We’d love some heated seats and AWD to survive these Minnesota winters, but we plan to make some sacrifices with the SUV purchase if it means we could go on our Scandinavia trip and get a house that truly feels like home.
Changing Your Financial Perspective
Hopefully, our personal story helps show why it is so important to have this all laid out and tracked. Getting organized with your finances may feel like an impossible task or a mental drag. And maybe you’ve promised yourself you’re going to focus on the fun in life and not be a Scrooge.
Really, it’s the exact opposite. Having a plan means you can have more fun, nicer things, and less stress. We’re not promoting counting your pennies or only eating tuna sandwiches for every meal – we definitely don’t! It’s all about having an easy-to-use plan and a little bit of forward thinking on what you want. Download our free Net Worth and Goals and get started today!
What are you currently saving for and how do you track your progress? How do you determine what you value most? What’s most painful about the saving process for you? Comment below and let us know!