Most people ring in the end of summer with a day by the pool or campground, but we chose to use a morning at home to do a financial check-up. It’s never a bad time to review your yearly finances, but the unofficial end of summer seems even more timely! The calendar is showing a slow-down to pop-up cookouts, weekend roadtrips, and high gas spending, so we can evaluate where we’re at and what expenses we have coming up.
We also talked about 2016. This year is two-thirds completed so there’s no harm in focusing on big expenditures that will happen in the new year and how we can best budget for them.
Topics we covered:
- Are there any expenses we can cut? Can we rein in spending on groceries, eating out, etc?
- Are we budgeting enough in some categories? (For instance, when I made a 2015 overview budget, I underestimated medical expenses and clothing– these kids don’t stop growing)!
- What plans do we have for the house in 2016? Are the planned renovations the best use of our money and time?
- What charities have we supported this year- what goals do we have for supporting those charities next year?
- Will we replace my minivan in 2016 or should we drive it until it falls apart? (Or maybe both will happen at once?! ;))
- What travel goals do we have for 2016? How much money are we willing to allot for travel?
- How can we be intentional about contributing as much as possible to our Roth IRAs? How much more do we need to contribute this year?
I feel so much better after this conversation! I think it’s so important to “cast a vision” with your spouse so you are both on the same page, but more importantly, so you have peace that you are being good stewards of your finances! We believe that God gives us everything and it’s our job to manage it faithfully. Budgeting is really the ONLY way to do this! You must must must must must have a budget. Got it?
What do you think- Did we forget to cover something? Maybe you had a financial check-up, too?
(This was obviously our conversation as husband and wife, but I think it would work for singles, too)