Fun and Gratitude
I want to start off by saying this is the fun part! I love writing posts like this because I get to share our rewards of success.
When I think back to how John and I got into debt and worked our way out, I remember the good and bad times. During that time of paying off our debt and even years after, when our focus was catching up, we made choices that weren’t exactly fun. We put money in our 401(k)s rather than buy nice dinners or new clothing. Looking back on it, I know it was all worth it.
Today we have a net worth approaching $500,000. This does not including the equity we have in our condo and fluctuates depending on the roller coaster of a stock market we’ve been riding. This always makes me smile and say, “I am so grateful we made the changes we did and that I have a partner who has the desire to have the best life we can have!”
Getting Our Wants
John and I keep a list of things we hope to achieve financially in addition to a fantastic retirement and amazing travel. Those two are our primary goals and are set in stone. We build our lives around them. In order to do this though, we have made choices to spend on one thing over another on a regular basis. We look at our purchases and ask ourselves if they align with our primary goals? This means that many of our “wants” get put off. For example, we both would like to redo our bathrooms at home. We have chosen instead to invest in our 401(k)s and spend a month in Australia and New Zealand, a trip that we will never forget.
One of the not so apparent benefits to putting off wants is we know they will always be there. There will always be the reminder of the lifestyle, the car and vacation home that we want. If a want is strong enough it will keep bubbling up to the top of our list. Those Z Cavariccis we wanted back in 1993 are no longer a want. For that reason, they were a valueless want. Fleeting wants are often the worst wants for our budget.
I have a want that has been bubbling for a long time. Back in 2002, I had to get rid of the Audi A4 that my partner at the time (yes, I was being taken care of) was leasing for me. I was working full time and made the decision to go back to school full-time and work part-time. We couldn’t justify the cost of my Audi with the expense of our two year old son and my reduced income. We sold our my Audi and covered the cost to buy out the lease. It was a bad financial decision. Yes, at one time I leased a vehicle. That’s not a choice I will make again. I no longer buy into the Part-Time, Ownerless Society of leasing.
Well, the bubble has become a boil. Not a boil on the butt of humanity, Ouizer Boudreaux! This want is now becoming a need. Our 2002 VW Jetta has served us well, but it’s time for a newer car. Last week, we went to start it and it was dead. I’m pretty sure it’s a dead battery, but that is just one of the issues with a 14 year old car. It’s time for David to get his Audi. Kinda.
Making It Happen
Because we believe in buying with cash and not financing a depreciating asset, last year we opened a new savings account and started to set aside $350 a month. If we finance a $15,000 – 20,000 car for five years, we will spend an extra $1,000 to $2000 over that five year period. We could use that money for better things than paying a bank. Then, back in January, we made changes and I upped that amount to $700 a month. In 2016, we will have about $16,500 in savings for my Audi.
I am going chronicle this journey to a new (to me) Audi in a monthly post that talks about how we are making choices to cut back in some ways get to that $16,500. I invite you to come back each month to see our progress, help motivate us and motivate yourself.