We are 4 months in to 2014 and I think I finally came up with our family buzzword for the year. In-ten-tion-al. Punctuated, precise, pointed: it’s the word that’s challenging us to bring definition and discipline to our thoughts, time, and efforts. It just keeps popping up in our conversations, particularly now that we have reached our goal of becoming debt free, and we have been asking ourselves “what’s next?”
It’s tempting to say we hit the goal and then call it a day and go home.
But I don’t think that’s what’s next. Not if we want to keep moving forward.
One of the biggest lessons we have learned as we have worked hard to pay off our debt over the past three years is that being wise stewards of resources doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan, a vision, and hard work.
Oh and probably should throw in some flexibility too. Life happens. Seriously.
Here are a few things on our financial “vision” list:
- Building a solid 6 month’s worth of income in an emergency fund
- Paying cash for a new (to us) car
- Going on vacation as a family
- Putting at least 20% down on a house with a 15-year mortgage
- Really starting to work on investing for retirement
These are our dreams that we are working to put into solid goals over the next several years. And boy do I sigh a little bit on the inside when I say that word years. I love quick fixes and to-do lists that I can cross off all in one sitting.
But we’re building our family culture over here. And part of that involves some serious lessons on finances. We’ve been given too much to waste it by lack of wisdom and insight.
Over the next couple of weeks I hope to find some time to craft two more posts on becoming debt free: one about the challenges and roadblocks we encountered along the way, and the other some of the insights and lessons we learned that have helped to shape our current views on money. It’s ever a work in progress. Thank the Lord for the beauty of the struggle.