I just read a piece of advice (a couple actually) that got me thinking. They were about having a plan for your money. Not Earth-shattering advice, any budgeter will tell you that you need to, but it occurred to me that I need a long-term plan for our money. I need to write out a business plan for the family basically. Our overarching values, how we want to live, where we want our money to go (rather than where it necessarily does now), and our priorities going forward.
The Small Business Administration has tools for writing a business plan and I may have to look at them. Really though, it could be an informal, one-page write up detailing what our goals are and how we plan to get there. We’ve started already with our plans to save 15% (at least) of our income for retirement, opening the college savings plans, and paying off debt. We just need a solid set of goals like 10% to philanthropic enterprises, or $1,000,000 for retirement, or getting the kids through college. Solid, measurable goals that we can refer to on a daily basis, posted where we can all see them.
The kids should be involved as well I think. They have goals for themselves and for us. Those would be interesting and we could incorporate them into our larger goals.
My husband and I talked and he wants more mini-vacations. We generally go on a weekend away about once a year right now. He, and I agree, wants to do it more often. I can accommodate that. As far as values, family comes first in everything we do. More vacations means more memorable family time, rather than just sitting on the couch watching movies. The kids’ education is a priority. To that end we’ll be moving within the next year or two to get into a better school district. It turns out that paying off the house as aggressively as I want to isn’t something my husband wants to do. We had never really talked about it. We’ll be having more conversations in the coming weeks I think. It should be interesting to see how his vision differs from mine.