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Savings Plan – Now thru May, 2022

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I mentioned in my recent Budget post about having a savings plan. While I do include these in my monthly “where are you spending your money” posts, I thought seeing a plan for the next 8 months in one place might help assuage some of the BAD commenters fear that I am no saving or prepared to be a home owner or…

But before I post my plan, let me caveat by saying that my ROTH IRA and 401K contributions are NOT LISTED here. They come out of my twice monthly paycheck before I even see my income so I do not account for them here. And this works best for me, I am not ever tempted to spend the money elsewhere.

Without further ado, here is my savings plan from now until May, 2022 (which is as far as my budget goes right now.)

Savings GoalsDateAmount
College Savings9/15/2021-500
College Savings10/15/2021-500
Christmas Savings10/30/2021-500
College Savings11/15/2021-500
Christmas Savings11/30/2021-500
Christmas Savings12/15/2021-500
College Savings12/15/2021-500
Travel Savings1/1/2022-500
Car Savings1/15/2022-750
College Savings1/15/2022-500
Christmas Savings1/30/2022-167
House Savings1/30/2022-500
Travel Savings2/1/2022-500
Car Savings2/15/2022-750
College Savings2/15/2022-500
Christmas Savings2/28/2022-167
House Savings2/28/2022-500
Travel Savings3/1/2022-500
Car Savings3/15/2022-750
College Savings3/15/2022-500
Christmas Savings3/29/2022-167
House Savings3/31/2022-500
Travel Savings4/1/2022-500
Car Savings4/15/2022-750
College Savings4/15/2022-500
Christmas Savings4/27/2022-167
House Savings4/30/2022-500
Travel Savings5/1/2022-500
Car Savings5/15/2022-750
College Savings5/15/2022-500
Christmas Savings5/26/2022-167
House Savings5/31/2022-500

They are all marked as negative numbers, as they are getting transferred out of my personal/bill paying checking account and into the appropriate savings or checking accounts.

My 5 savings categories

You will note that beginning in 2022, I have 5 designated categories. For the remainder of 2021, there are only two. The reason for this is that I now know what Princess’ spring semester will cost me. I have divided that up and am focused on having that amount ready by January, 2022. For this fall semester, I dipped into my Christmas account to pay for college so I’m paying that account back.

For 2022, things will be a bit different:

Travel

The bulk, if not all of our travel over the last few years has been to Texas. And I foresee that being the case for the next several years with an increasing number of trips. My parents have been coming here twice a year for the last several years and then we go there a couple of times a year. However, my mom is no longer able to travel.

With my mom’s health on the decline, I anticipate Gymnast and I will be going there more frequently. (The other kids will most likely make the trip at least once a year.) I am preparing for this reality. My dad has been amazing at helping me with travel expenses. He is flying Gymnast out next month for a week. (Gymnast and my mom have a very special relationship, so as often as he can go, we facilitate that.)

Car

I recently sold Princess’ car for $2,000. (I mentioned this as a side note in a previous post.) That money went into a savings account for another kids’ car down the road. Gymnast and I are sharing a car which works out great since I rarely go anywhere. Knowing that another car is going to become a NEED versus a want sometime in the year or so, I am going to amp up the savings  so I am not caught off guard and should have a healthy amount when the time comes.

I realize the BAD community is split on whether parents should help or buy kid’s cars. I come from a family who always have purchased the kid’s cars while they were in school. That is something I plan to continue as much as I can.

College Savings

I think this is self-explanatory. If not, our goal is for all 5 of my kids to get through college or technical training or whatever they choose after high school with no debt. The twins and Beauty, due to their circumstances, get a plethora of funding from the government. So much so that they all get refunds every semester. As long as they make wise decisions, they do not need any financial support from me on that front.

Princess and Gymnast do not get that type of funding. So this savings is to help them out. They both work and save toward college. And their dad has committed to pitching in where he can. This savings account will help cover semesters’ tuition and housing costs along with books, etc. It certainly won’t cover all of the expense but it will be available to help.

Christmas Savings

In 2022, I will return to my monthly Christmas savings. Yes, I tend to go big at Christmas, maybe bigger than I should as I working to get out of debt. And I may rethink this in regards to my goal of being debt free come May, 2023. But for now, I will continue setting money aside each month.

We always finish our Texas family Christmas shopping by November so we can take it with us at Thanksgiving versus having to pay for shipping. We are ramping up to do that now. I’ve been buying and wrapping Christmas presents for the last couple of months.

*Note: the kids’ birthdays are all included in my monthly budget. I don’t save specifically for them, but do have a dollar amount set aside to cover gifts and a nice family meal for each child’s birthday.

House Savings

I own a house now. I get chills every time I say that. It’s just so unreal to me still after dreaming about it for so long!

While there’s been a lot of work done to it, I realize that anything could happen. As of 2022, I am setting up a new savings account to save for “house emergencies”. My previous plan had $1,000 per month, but with my debt payoff goal and knowing all the work that has been done, I felt like $500 per month should be sufficient. I am very open to suggestions here as I am new to this one.

I carry the suggested home owner’s insurance through a reputable company, have a brand new roof, new electric, new A/C, new bathrooms/kitchens (including new plumbing and electric)…so I feel like I’m covered barring something catastrophic. But am certainly open to real world experience and guidance here.

Summary

Each of my 5 savings categories and budgeted amounts are wholly automated and have their own bank accounts. This was new for me last year and really helped. Kind of the whole “out of sight, out of mind” thing. The college savings is a checking account as there are expenditures from there more regularly then the others.

The others are just basic savings account. I would love some guidance especially on the housing account on if I should set it up differently as I anticipate it sitting a lot longer than the others. At least I hope so.

 

 

What’s Next?

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I spent my 20’s (into my 30’s if I’m honest) creating a disaster of my finances. There wasn’t a loan or credit type I didn’t like. In my 30’s, I took control because the paycheck-to-paycheck life was miserable and spent years cleaning up the mess. I’m in my 40’s now and I’ve been debt free for 4.5 years. I’m so debt averse that things smelling remotely like debt (even if they aren’t) are radically avoided. I generally stick to my budget. If I blow it, I show myself some grace and fix it over the next month or two. I’m getting pretty good at living the debt free lifestyle and sticking to it.

But it’s not enough. I need growth.

I’ve been steadily investing in retirement but it’s hard to find the motivation to save more for it. I’m behind but not to the point I’m worried. I need a boulder to push. A mountain to climb with very clear middle and end points.

As I said in an earlier post, we are renting for a year in Texas as we figure out the lay of the land. My husband and I assumed we would take the money from the sale of our home in California and pay cash or close to it for a home in Texas. I’ve been planning buying on a middle to moderately nice home. Maybe 2,500 sq ft? Maybe a nice kitchen?

But then it hit me, we live in a 1,200 sq ft home built in 1959, desperately in need of maintenance and a remodel right now. No, not great but we’ve been OK. Do I really need to DOUBLE that space?

Eh. Maybe not.

We are considering ‘downsizing’ our Texas dream house to something only slightly better than where we are now. Any extra money we can save will go to purchase a second home/condo/townhouse as a rental property. Nope, we’ve never owned a rental property and we have exactly ZERO experience. Obviously, we’d use a management company (we aren’t THAT dumb) and my husband can do any repairs on the rental himself since he’s a licensed contractor. Our goal would be to pay cash (or very close to it) for the rental. If there wasn’t a tenant, it wouldn’t put us at risk financially. On paper, it looks good…but I’ve been burned by ‘on paper’ once or twice (or a million times) in my life.

With a clear goal and a clear start and end point, I’m excited about saving again.

Thoughts?! Are we crazy? Stupid? Both?