Sunday, December 4, 2011

So Many Priorities, Never Enough Money

80-10-10: That is the budget we strive to achieve in our household. Live on 80%, save 10%, give 10% of our time, talents and treasure. We are not there yet but every year we get closer. Coming to the end of this year and heading into the next, we find that we have had, and will continue to have, more priority family fun than we originally budgeted for. How do we balance our priorities and our income?
  • Want to pay for it in cash and continue to keep our credit card balance at zero each month? -Yes
  • Want to take out of our savings or reduce our savings rate? -No
  • Consider backing down on our giving? -No.
Ideally, we should bring our life style within the limits of that 80%. Selling off an asset, such as an extra automobile, is one option we discussed. We have three vehicles (car, truck, van) between two drivers. For the most part, the truck and the van sit in the garage as we typically car pool. Why is it hard to part with assets we seldom use even though they cost us money? Even if a vehicle is paid for, it still costs you in maintenance, license, insurance and depreciation.

It’s hard. Yes, a van is handy at times and we love ‘Chitty’, with her ‘Truly Scrumptious’ navigation voice and leather, heated seats, back-up camera and warning sounds when her bumper gets close to another object – which makes parking in tight spots such a breeze. We named her ‘Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang’ because with her laser speed control, we felt she practically drove herself.

To balance our budget, do we:
Take from savings? Take from giving? Carry a credit card balance? Sell Chitty? Change spending habits elsewhere?

Whether you are striving to live on 90% of your income and save 10%, or aiming for the 80-10-10 split --how do you keep an every changing lifestyle balanced and in budget?  What recommendations do you have?  Thank you for sharing.

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