Last week I talked about saving and paying down debt. Now I wanted to discuss how our family’s finances and goals have shifted with all of the changes.
Getting Rid of High Interest Debt
When we started with our joint finances, our focus was about eliminating high interest debt, which at the time was a car loan. That meant we placed a minimum amount of money and energy into our investments.
As we finished paying off the car loan, we then built up our savings for emergencies and irregular expenses. I also increase my contributions to my Roth IRA.
Buying a House
We also bought a townhouse and kept our mortgage within a budget of one of our incomes. Our mortgage and other housing expenses (property taxes, insurance, and so forth) is less than rent in the same area for a place the same size. That meant that after we settled into our new place we set up an automated system for paying down debts and investing a bit for retirement.
Even though we took out a 30 year mortgage, we started an extra payment system to bring it down to about 15 years.
We then found out the happy news that we were pregnant, so time for another goal! We want to increase savings to cover baby expenses. Between diapers, baby gear, and unexpected baby expenses, we wanted some peace of mind knowing that we can cover these bills as they come.
For us automated savings was the system- every paycheck meant we built it up and every windfall had a chunk allocated towards the account. Happy to note that so far that cushion helped us make the transition during the first couple of months as we adjusted our family’s monthly budget.
Working on Finishing Our 2012
Energized by our past success we again decided to switch our focus with our finances.
- Get our finances prepare should something happen to us.
- Purchase a family car.
- Pay down the student loan.
We made a few goals this year and while we’ve made progress, there’s a lot left to do. We bought our family car in April and we’ve worked at building the student loan debt snowball. Now we have to finish up with getting our finances prepared for our little girl. We have to meet up with a lawyer and get the paperwork done.
Thoughts on Finances and Family
How about you? How have your finances changed as the years passed? What were some of the biggest adjustments? Which changes weren’t as bad (or big) as you expected?