Planning ahead for the big stuff

Photo by martie

frugal goalsLiving frugally eliminates a lot of life’s spontaneity. Because we’ve made the decision to live with as little debt as possible, we save for every purchase instead of charging it. We plan ahead for everything and scrimp and save to reach our goals. But planning and saving take a lot of time.

Yesterday on a long walk with the dog, Tony and I had a conversation about where our money will go when our debt is paid and our savings is fully funded. Mostly we were just dreaming about what we’d do with our money if we were free to spend it however we like.

By planning now, we can map a plan for saving. We can also keep our eyes open for frugal ways to make it happen sooner. Here’s our tentative plan for buying the things we want and building our future.

New furniture and television

All of our furniture is second-hand. We’re still sleeping on the second-hand double bed my grandmother gave me before I moved away to college. We bought our only couch and dresser drawers second hand as well. (I actually love the dresser and will probably keep it, but we really need a second chest of drawers since we’re sharing one now). Someday we’d like to have new bedroom and living room furniture. It’ll probably be a pretty long time since it’s pretty low on our list of priorities.

Also bought second-hand, our TV is pretty much an antique. It’s not even a flat screen (gasp!). But it still works. Stations are now broadcasting in wide screen, so our TV cuts off the sides of the picture. It really bugs my husband. Eh … doesn’t really bother me much. A TV isn’t a necessity at all, so this will also wait a while.

Sometimes I check Craig’s List, but I’m never impressed with the cost considering what they’re selling. I’m happy to wait a while until we can save up for furniture we really like rather than dropping a chunk of change on something we don’t. When we replace our TV it will most likely be second-hand, too, but I see no reason to do it until the one we have stops working. I’m keeping my eyes open, though!

A house of our own

Someday we’ll finally settle down in a nice suburb near a university that wants to hire Tony for a tenure-track teaching job. Then we’ll buy a little house with three bedrooms, a big open kitchen, a wood-burning fireplace, and a nice big fenced-in backyard with room for a garden. (I haven’t been thinking about this one at all. :) ) First we have to get Tony through school and pay down our student loan debt. Soon we’ll start saving for a 20% down payment. It’ll be years before we get there. I still like to dream, though.

A family

I’ll be honest, I wish it could happen sooner rather than later. But I want to be able to stay home with our baby. Until Tony is finished with school, we need my full-time salary. We’re planning now so we can start a family in the next three years, but it’ll probably be another two years before we can really start thinking about it.

This list used to be even longer, but through craftiness and frugality we found a way to get some things sooner. Come back tomorrow, and I’ll share that list with you!

What about you? What would you spend your money on right now if it didn’t take years to save?

5 thoughts on “Planning ahead for the big stuff

  1. Pingback: Looking toward the future | Sense to Save

  2. Jerri

    Hi. Great blog you have here. You guys sound a lot like my husband & I. We celebrate our 2 year anniversary next month. We’re both English/History majors. He’s in grad school now and hopes to teach English in the future but in the meantime he’s having to work full time while in school. I’m actually looking for a job right now. It’s definitely a tough time to be job searching.

    I also understand about the second hand furniture. We have some of that as well, though I actually like most of it. And we’re also anxious to start a family but are putting it off for a little while until we can be more financially stable. Living frugally isn’t always fun, but I’m sure that it will pay off one day. It’s good to know, we’re not alone out here!

  3. Pingback: Frugal ways to make your dreams come true now « Living Well on Less

  4. Anne

    My husband and I also try to save for important things in the future. Right now we are working on establishing 12 months living expenses.
    After that, our goal is pay off my car and his student loans.
    If I could spend my money frivolously right now, I would fill my closet with fabulous J Crew clothes. For now, I shop at the Gap and Banana Republic outlets :)

  5. Pingback: Reflecting on my first frugal year | Frugal Living Tips & Money Saving Ideas | Living Well on Less

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