Baby Step #3: DONE!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Indeed it is!!

We saw yet another blessing [with the delivery of our tax return], of Jairus' tax disability status. With this extra money, we finished off Baby Step #3, which is 3-6 months of emergency savings. Yeah, ok. We're just doing 3 months.

So that means it took us one month to do Baby Step #1, 5 months to do Baby Step #2 and nearly 8 months to do Baby Step #3. A little more than a year in total!

This Friday, if we find a sitter, we'll head off to see our financial planner to get Baby Step #4 (retirement savings) and Baby Step #5 (college savings) underway. With James' new job, #3 is going to be nicer to consider, as I'm sure the university has some options to help in this manner. #4 we've actually already started, but don't contribute to regularly.

I still have to admit being a little concerned about how we'll manage after this though. Baby Step #6 is to start paying off our house. For a long time, I didn't even think about that; didn't even imagine we'd get this far. And then sometime in the past year, when it seemed attainable, I was gripped with the exciting thought that perhaps we really could do it. I've come down a few notches since then...

I just can't see us going right on to Baby Step #6 anytime soon. With leftover from our tax refund we're able to replace the carpet in the family room (hallelujah!!) but that's only the first of a long list of expensive repairs our house needs before we could think about putting it on the market. Extra money after #4 and #5 are in place will be going to that. And then we really need to be establishing what they call 'sinking funds' for the repair and replacement of our vehicles. I drive a 2000 Odyssey that needs brake work (among lots of other stuff I'm sure) and James drives a 97 civic that has all manner of things going wrong with it.
Never mind the fact that we've been pretty much living in scrounge mode for the last 14 months. At Christmastime we sat down with the budget to see where we'd start allocating the extra money coming in from James' change of job. We made a 'wish' list of things like: more money to the grocery budget, money for a date night for the two of us, vehicle repairs, setting aside money to have enough in the fall for Verity to continue with gymnastics, Christmas savings. We got all that done and then within a few days I was struck with the thought that there seemed to me a good possibility that I might be losing my HCC pay by the we wiped out all those plans and started funneling it all towards Baby Step #3. We had planned to be done by the end of we're ahead of schedule!! Awesome. But still...for us to reasonably live within the budget we've created, we need to have some wiggle room or we'll just keep overdrawing our envelopes. Someone on the facebook group I created about saving on the grocery budget insists that by going to cash for groceries, we'll never overspend. I think about this when for some reason the 5-6 boxes of cereal I buy don't make it past one week and the food budget is gone. Sooo, we would do what for breakfast? Maybe I need to get more creative....

But sometimes I just can't get any more creative. I just want my Lucky charms. Oh for the day we can afford Lucky Charms without the guilt. :-)


Ryan said...

boxed cereal is the biggest rip off. Between $4 and $6 for that wee little box of what, 325-450 measly grams of processed little things? How much do you think that wee handful actually cost them to make? About thirty cents. I like my lucky charms too, but not enough to let myself be taken advantage of to that degree.

Get yourself a package of quaker oats instead. Not the pre-packaged flavoured ones that also cost an arm and a leg, but the actual big old bag of them. You can get the no name ones, they taste the same. The bigger the bag the better. The biggest no name bag, and you're now running about twenty five cents per bowl.

Making it stove top, once you get in the habit, is not nearly so labour intensive as you always think it's going to be. And now even the old fashioned ones have microwave instructions - just pour the oats, water, and a dash of salt into a microwavable bowl and nuke it for a minute or something.

Cheap, you say, but boring? This is where the toppings come in.

Fruit works well. Buy one of those apple peeler/corer tools from lee valley, and you can have chopped, peeled apple ready to be put in porridge just 32 seconds after taking the apple out of the fridge. Chopped peaches work well too. During the summer when driving through the country, stop at one of those farms you see with the hand painted signs and get a huge bucket of blue berries for $20, and freeze the suckers. A handful of frozen berries tossed into your porridge adds about 3.2 seconds to the preparation process, but makes it immeasurably better.

All this, and it lowers you cholesterol too, which is a family concern with you.

btw, these random recaptchas are funny: the one for this post is "booti"

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