Our first year of marriage was hard, financially. I’ve told the story about a billion times, but within a month of getting married, both of our (poor, old) cars died, I was unemployed, and we had expenses– like a cross-country wedding and student loans– that didn’t let us take a break. We saved money, but we weren’t able to really put aside anything spectacular (or even half-spectacular). This was especially hard for me because, before we were married, I had been able to do a lot of saving. It was empowering. I felt like a total boss.
Fast forward about a year-and-a-half. We’re finally in a place where we can seriously start thinking about buying a home. (Yay!) And while we’ve been saving this whole time, we decided at the beginning of the year that we were going to make a concerted effort.
Like a really big push.
We sat down and did the math and decided that we are going to try to save $15,000 in 9 months.
We chose the timeline for two reasons:
- In 9 months, we’re planning on taking a trip, so we wanted to have a substantial amount of savings for our home that we could put away and feel good about. No, nothing from the house fund is going to help pay for vacation. We just wanted to feel accomplished before traveling.
- We’re too impatient to wait an entire year.
And before you ask, no. It has nothing to do with a baby or anything baby-related.
We chose our goal, $15,000, for a few reasons too:
- Realistically, we think we can hit (and possibly exceed) this goal.
- We will still be able to save for retirement and purchase the things we need (food is awesome!) and some things that we’d like (Redbox, I’m coming for you!). We’ll still also be able to put some “regular” savings aside to pay bills with and grow our general nest egg.
And before we begin this journey, I totally acknowledge that our circumstances are different than other people’s. Every job has various perks and benefits. John’s service in the military makes some things easier (and some things harder). We’re also child-free and while I’m not earning a full-time salary, I still consider us to be DINKs (double income, no kids), which makes it a bit easier for us to save in some regards, since we’re not buying diapers or putting money away in the college fund.
But we also do have some obstacles on our savings journey. We’re currently paying off student loans, which is always a ton of fun. Because I’m a freelancer, my income varies from month to month– sometimes there are a lot of job opportunities, sometimes I have to wait for 60-120 days to receive payment for my work, or I may get paid on a different schedule (once every other month, etc.).
While we attempt to save this, I hope you come along for the ride! At the end of every month, I’ll share our savings progress for the month (even if it’s nothing at all), how it stacks up to our goal, the challenges we came up against, and anything noteworthy we learned or did. My intention is to be transparent and share what we learn throughout the process so that you can take that and start your own savings challenge for yourself and your family!