The realisation hit my wife and I like a tonne of bricks. With a mixture of fear and disbelief, we turned to each other: "Oh no. we're being…responsible?" For the first time ever, we craved furthering our house deposit much more than the expense of a trip away. It's a major switch, and I didn't see it coming.
Setting goals is an evolving process and that's what this post is about. Well that and the fact that (yes, you're right) we should have been saving a lot sooner.
Priorities Change, And That's OK
High on travel bug venom, we've always admired friends who instead opted for houses and strollers. "One day" we said. Normally that's short code for procrastination, but sometimes you're just at the right point to make certain decisions.
Spending the better part of my twenties overseas and travelling was a clear and conscious decision, and I'm as grateful for that opportunity as I am proud of our recent decision to focus on settling down. I embrace those choices along with my underlying mistake: house savings and travel needn’t be an either/or proposition.
Don’t get me wrong: there's already enough Lifehacker in me to make sure I split my pay cheque into bucket for each of my goals. My wife and I have purchased and paid off a car over the last few years, and have no debts. But alas, one of those buckets should have been for a house deposit, no matter how small the trickle of coins was or how insurmountable the housing market seems. Consistency and discipline is key. As countless Lifehacker posts will explain, it’s about taking small steps to going frugal without making yourself miserable.
I’ll admit I’m a little OCD at times, but I'm determined to now use that in my favour. I've turned our buckets into separate accounts to further remove temptation, and we’ve drawn-up a detailed budget to track spend and better spot areas where we can shave costs. Between Google spreadsheets and Google calendar we're able to see easily track/update/share expenses and when they're due.
Finding new ideas to save costs has become fun in some sort of sick and twisted way. We’re also cooking again and eating healthier as a result, and heaven forbid -– giving up the cancer sticks will even pay for me to go back to the gym. For someone so into science and rationality as I am, it’s kind of stupid that I smoke to begin with. Still, this post is about owning your choices (good or bad) and course correcting now instead of later. Moving forward and maybe — just maybe — putting something aside to have a nice romantic dinner once in a while.
So that's where I'm at right now. Have any secret ninja tips you can share? Tell me in the comments.