So, I was going to stop my blog altogether as I have reached my intended goal but to be honest I’ve been feeling a little lost without it!
I’m out of debt, aside from my student loan, which is being paid off at a slow but steady rate of about $130 a fortnight through tax. So now my focus has shifted from paying off debt to saving.
Firstly, an update on my emergency account progress – I had barely got started on saving in my emergency account when I had a dental emergency and had to use the money! The good news is I had the money so I could pay my dentist bill on the spot, and the bad news is I haven’t replaced the money or saved anymore in my emergency account since then!
I have a number of big ticket items I will need to pay for in the next 12 months to ten years and I want to be prepared so I get into as little debt as possible in the future. For this reason, I have decided to forfeit the emergency account (I realize this goes against everything I have said in previous posts), and instead build up my savings for those inevitable (but exciting) big ticket items. If an emergency does happen, then I will have savings I can use, albeit with a different intended purpose. The big ticket items I’m saving for are as follows:
A new car: And by “new” I mean “used” but new for me. I’ve had my trusty car for seven years and now the odometer has ticked past the 250,000 mark, it’s starting to get a little worse for wear. There are numerous dents and a white panel on the outside (my car is silver), the interior has the fabric ripped on the driver’s seat, the middle console is damaged as is the driver’s door, the interior lights and clock don’t work, the air conditioning doesn’t work (which is not really an issue living in Invercargill) and I can’t unlock my car from the driver’s side. (This proved to be a problem when I got out of my car, locked and shut the driver’s door, only to realize my skirt was trapped in the door! The middle of town is not the most appropriate place to remove your skirt so I had to wave down an extremely amused passer-by who kindly unlocked my passenger door for me, but not before telling everyone else who walked by!) I can live with all these things, even the skirt incident; however, my car is getting increasingly more stubborn when it comes to starting, it’s chewing through the oil, the fan belt has started shrieking and it generally feels like it has less get up and go. This leads me to believe that one day it will refuse to go, leaving me without a car. I plan to continue driving my car and maintaining it with regular services and repairs where necessary but I need to be prepared for the day it gives up. For this reason, I have a savings account dedicated to saving for a new car.
Migrating north: As mentioned in previous blog posts, the BF and I are planning to move up north to be closer to family. This is still the plan, but when we move will depend on a number of factors including whether or not my contract is renewed at work, when the BF finishes his apprenticeship and whether or not we can secure jobs up north before we move. We have been slowly putting money away for the move for quite some time now and will continue to do so right up until we move so hopefully when the time comes we’ll have enough to pay for our transport costs to get there, pay bond, letting fee and rent in advance and furnish our new place.
House deposit: This is the big one! Most people would like to own their own house one day, and we’re no different, in fact we’d like to build our own house one day, but perhaps that will be our second house. Because we’re planning to settle in the North Island (Auckland is looking quite likely, despite some reluctance from yours truly), we’re going to require a fairly substantial deposit. When I was in so much debt I did some damage to my credit rating so I want to wait for that to clear (5-7 years apparently), but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it gives us more time to save, meaning a larger deposit and less debt. The closer I get to 30, the more I realize I should have started saving for a house a long time ago; however, my debt situation meant that wasn’t possible, so I’m starting now – well, soon anyway.
Travel fund: The BF and I would like to do the big overseas experience thing one day, but we’re in no hurry to do that, we’d prefer to focus on the marriage, house and kids deal and luckily we’re on the same page with this. However, there is an overseas trip planned for next year to Fiji for a wedding. This trip is looking like it will set us back a pretty penny but given the BF is Fijian, it’ll be well worth it to experience not only the tropical island escape but the cultural side of it too. We’ve been given plenty of notice so I’ve set up a savings account especially.
My wedding! Yep that’s right, something very exciting happened during my absence from blogging – I got engaged! Now I have a super fancy, super sparkly accessory weighing down my left hand and I need to start planning a super fancy, super sparkly wedding! Ok so it probably won’t be an elaborate affair, more like frugal but fabulous. We’re starting to save for it now, even though we won’t get married for a couple of years because we don’t want to start our married life in debt. Plus I absolutely LOVE this wedding planning business; that said, there are a few aspects of it that I’m not looking forward to but I have at least a year to keep my head in the clouds and blissfully ignore the finer details. So if anyone has any handy hints on cutting wedding costs (and no we don’t want to elope or go to a registry office), please share!