Oh priorities! My life runs smoothly with lists and order and structure and knowing (and believing) what needs to be done in a particular sequence. Ironically my mother once compared me to a barge moving through the water, I tend not to do one project at a time but try to do everything all at once. So here is my dilemma and how I am trying to prioritize and, unfortunately, remain in my true ‘barge’ nature. As must as I would like to focus on paying off debt, and then building my emergency savings fund and then saving money for our house renos, there are things outside of my control that messing with this.
Emergency Savings! So important to have. I really started putting 10% of hubby’s salary and my income into a savings account this summer while he was working. Thank goodness I did because it paid for almost half of our new furnace! The other half was paid for by basically doing the spending fast before I had heard of it.
Savings! My hubby has some courses to do for his job, I have some conferences I should attend this spring that work may not pay for, and we have this old house that needs an insulated basement, a new bathroom and eventually a new kitchen. Now out of these things the basement and Han Solo’s courses are really the most important, with Han Solo’s courses beating out the basement just slightly.
Debt! We are doing the spending fast for a reason! We need to pay off debt, we have more debt coming (the looming septic field loan) and potentially MORE if we borrow money to finish the basement. The longer we live with the debt, the more interest we pay and the more stress we have in our lives. Not healthy, not happy, not good.
So where to put the limited funds we have? Our plan was to put all money left at the end of the month and all bonus money (pay from Han Solo’s boat structure building related jobs) towards our debt. Han Solo’s credit card being at the top of the list. The reason we decided to start there rather than rebuild our diminished savings was that if an emergency arose, we could at least tap into the available credit on that card. Not ideal, but hey, it would be an emergency.
Now we have decided to amend that plan. Leftover money goes to debt, bonus money is going to the courses Han Solo needs and we are considering borrowing money from our parents for the basement (which should be about $1500 tops).
The thought of owing more money rots me. Plain and simple. The snag is (and I may have mentioned this in my blog before) that there are tax incentives for increasing the energy efficiency of your home. If we go through with borrowing the money, however we borrow it or whomever we borrow it from, will be the first priority for our income tax returns in April/May, rather than it going to our debt. It is far from an ideal situation but it is what it is.
Course #1: $1200
Course #2: $850
Basement project: $1500
How are we going to come up with $3550 over the next two months? Currently we have about $700 in our savings account. It is actually more but the rest of it is what I refer to as “Booboo’s money”, and it is money that will get moved to an RESP eventually. Back to the $3550. It is time to get a serious hustle on if we want to keep things under control.
Along with budgeting our income we need to start budgeting our time. We are not making time for things that could potentially make us more money. We are simply running out of time everyday. If we want these things we will have to work for them!
Stay tuned, at the end of the month I will be posting not only how much extra debt we will be able to pay down buy how much of the $3550 we have managed to
save scrap together.