Happy Friday, Friends! I don’t know about you, but this week has been crazy busy for our little family. Aside from having baby number two on the way, we have some other big life changes currently happening, so bear with us. We’ll keep you in the loop as soon as all the moving parts settle.
Today, though, I just wanted to share something Johnny and I discussed recently. We were talking about saving money, which means it was probably around the beginning of the month when Johnny calculates our net worth and we discuss whether (or not) we saved as much as we’d hoped.
Somehow, we started reminiscing on the simpler days soon after our newly-found life of debt freedom. Back then, saving anything was our goal because saving anything was so much cooler than watching our money go to slaying our Debt Monster. And for a while, that suited us just fine. But at some point, we knew while saving money was a good pursuit, there was probably a better one.
Fast forward a few months to another riveting OFB budgeting session. (I swear we do normal things like watch TV, go outside, and teach our cat how to stand upright on her hind legs.) After taking a hard look at our numbers, we knew we could save more money. We played around with a few categories and voila! We now had a better pursuit — saving more money. And if saving any money felt good, saving more money felt more good-er. But after calculating retirement, 529, mortgage, and other down-the-road funding needs, we knew the “more money” pursuit wasn’t going to cut it either.
We were saving money, but we were saving an arbitrary amount of money for no particular reason. So we added up all of our savings goals, determined how long we had to work toward each goal, and then calculated how much we needed to save each month to reach that goal. In other words, we started backwards budgeting to ensure we’d save with a purpose. And after years of fumbling with our finances, budgeting, and eventually saving, we stumbled on our best savings pursuit to date.
Saving is good. Saving more is better. But saving with goals and purpose is best. And probably necessary.
The great (albeit frustrating) thing with personal finance is there’s always something more. For a while, saving a dime every month was the best thing we could do. Until it wasn’t. The important thing is to keep working until you find your best. Have you ever thought about what your good, better, and best personal finance stages have been or will be?