Taking a Step Back #illumedati


Hey everyone, it’s Finance Fridays again. Today is more of just a stream-of-consciousness post and a reminder to you (and me) about “Taking a Step Back“.

Taking a Step Back
Stock Photo from: Pixabay

Taking a Step Back?

Yea.

In my past few posts, I’ve talked a bit about my Home Improvement projects… and the more I plan, the more things that seem to come up. Seeing as how currently I have two teams at my house working on renovating my deck/lanai and then planning to paint the house, we’re kind of already in full-swing of home improvement.

However, as I’ve said before, there are still a lot of little projects (and big ones) that I want to do. These include things which I prioritize, like fixing the 3rd bathroom up so my daughter and son can start using it by themselves soon. Then this goes all the way down to things that are of lesser priority such as renovating the bathroom and kitchen — which are too costly and not needed yet.

At this point, I think I got a little caught up in the “home improvement” mindset and was thinking of all the things we need to fix in this house of ours to make it better (even just a little bit). However, in doing so, I may have lost sight of what was truly a priority to me, which is paying down our student loans. As I said before, since this year Kylie is in public school, I was going to make a conscious effort to throw a good chunk of money at our student loans, after we did a little home improvement — which was the lanai/deck and painting. However, now we’re considering adding on putting on a new garage door, fixing the 3rd bathroom, changing out some air conditioners… etc.

That’s kind of a lot…

Yup.

Basically, it’s kind of this waterfall effect where you fix one thing and you decide it’s time to fix everything. That said, there is no question that we had to fix the lanai/deck and repaint the house. That was indeed a priority that needed to happen this year — it was just time. The garage door is not technically a priority, but honestly it is reasonable to get done at the same time as well. Then, fixing the 3rd bathroom is important, but not necessarily a priority, since the kids don’t use it really yet. Additionally, putting in new air conditioners is also probably not a priority either.

So then, before I put to many other things in place, I’ve decided to step back and re-examine our finances. Other than the lanai/deck and garage, I’m not making any more plans — unless fixing up the 3rd bathroom can be done relatively inexpensively. I’ll likely put the putting new air conditioners in on hold for the immediate future.

Then once all the money is paid out for the lanai/deck, garage, and 3rd bathroom then I’ll look at whatever excess we have and probably put it toward the loans.

Then what?

Well, then we’ll see what happens between now and the end of 2019. Once our Social Security contribution caps out at $132,900 (up from $128,400) we should have a little more money coming in every month. Then we’ll talk again about what to do with any more excess.

Anything else?

Yea.

“Taking a Step Back” is kind of a reminder to myself that any “plan” you have in place isn’t set in stone. It needs to be flexible so you can adapt to whatever new comes your way. However, it’s still a good idea to keep a general plan in place so you don’t stray too far from your original vision.

The other side of this coin is the case where you have too much excess money and you don’t know what to do with it. In that particular case, I think it’s a good idea to just sit back and prioritize your spending again. Do you need more money in a 529? A taxable account? Or do you want to take a small amount and gamble?

Ask yourself, “Where is the most efficient place to put this extra money?” Or maybe have you considering that you may be able to drop down to 0.8 FTE without any significant change in lifestyle?

Don’t lose sight of the forest through the trees.

Life is short. Be Happy.

TL;DR

I think I got a little caught up in home improvement…

… and forgot about my original plan for 2019.

So I’m taking a step back and writing this post to remind myself.

A plan is not set in stone and should be flexible. However, don’t stray too far from your original vision.

Don’t lose sight of the forest through the trees.

Finance Fridays Sensei

-Sensei

Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.

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