Our updated budget goals

The other day, our dishwasher broke. Out of nowhere, the handle wouldn’t close and it turned out to be a complicated fix, so we let our landlords know.

They responded, telling us that it was time to update the dishwasher, and to soon expect new appliances to match. While this will undoubtedly be a nice and cushy change, Chad and I realized that our landlords are making the necessary upgrades to make the house in a more sell-able position.

Sure, it could be a while before our house hits the market. However, there are two main things that could happen when our rented townhome is sold and bought by new owners, when that time comes:

  1. They could want to live here, and we’d have to move out.
  2. They would do market research to see the average rent cost of the area, and our prices would increase. Substantially.

By the time this happens, whether it comes down to option one or two, we want to be ready to do a house search of our own. We’re about 15k short of where we need to be to start thinking about down payments, so some adjustments to our budget have been made.

The Goal? Save $15,000 in 10 or so months.

photography of one us dollar banknotes
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Budget Steps

Here are the various steps we are taking to save that extra money.

1. Reducing Reoccurring Expenses

We took a look into where our money goes each month, and instantly cut out the unnecessary expenses. For example, we both canceled any subscription boxes that we have; I postponed my Stitch Fix and Chad indefinitely cancelled his Bespoke box, saying goodbye until a later date.

2. Introducing Date Day

I’ve talked about this before, but Chad and I introduced Date Day into our routine. The gist: stop eating out once a week, and instead reduce it to once a month, paired with another fun activity. Our first Date Day included hot springs, Mexican food, and a mountain-top concert.

3. Extra Income

Since I stopped doing my last side hustle (freelance writing for a cannabis resource site), I found two more. Though they don’t pay much, I’ve picked up two more freelance writing gigs creating content for a travel website and a men’s grooming site. Chad, too, signed up to be a Chegg engineer tutor and has an interview to be a liquor store stock person once a week (keep your fingers crossed!). Any extra money will go toward our house fund or will make an extra payment for our car loan.

Update: Chad got the job! He’s loving it so far, and it’s all going into savings.

4. Money to Savings

Automatic payments are a blessing, whether they go toward your insurance payment or student loans. Chad and I also have a system in place where every month, we transfer about $800 to our savings account. This way, we’re taking the time to save, automatically. That will add up, with limited extra effort.

shopping business money pay
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5. Credit Card Smarts

Though we primarily use a joint checking account, Chad and I decided to be smart about building credit. He and I both have separate credit card accounts that we’re using once a month in small amounts, and paying off completely.

Chad’s credit card comes with a bunch of extra perks and benefits, so we are using his for our everyday purchases—groceries, gas, etc.—and paying it off in full each month. This way, we’re reaping the rewards of credit while also spending within our means.

There you have it; feel free to leave your two cents of advice in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

13 thoughts on “Our updated budget goals

  1. These are great tips…my wife and I save for 7 years to be able to buy our house, and all these years later it has become a valuable “savings account” for our future…no better long-term investment, and its surprising how many ways there are to set aside a little extra money, as you have shown…bravo and good luck!

      1. When we were planning to buy a house a friend gave us great advice: don’t fear spending a little more than you planned…you will be able to pay for it and if you love it you’ll never look back or regret it…

  2. Sounds like you already have a car payment, but that’s my #1 on how to save money. You can very easily find a cheap reliable car and pay cash for it and only pay liability insurance saving you a ton of money every month. Sure, you may not have all the bells and whistles, but just like a new phone, the one that comes on the market today will be obsolete next year.

    Sounds like you guys have a good plan set up. Hopefully you’ll be home buyers in no time!

    1. I agree; we both used our first cars for years until my jeep had over 400k miles and broke down numerous times. Since we live in the mountains in Colorado, it was in our best interest to invest in a reliable vehicle that had enough bells and whistles to survive our environment. Our payments are manageable, but we are definitely trying to get that paid off and out of the way so it’s no longer on our plate. Can’t wait for that!

      Thank you for reading and for your comment! Very true and helpful for many people.

  3. Wow! I know you two can do it! I wish we could save 800/month. Were lucky to get $2. Lol. Sad but true. The cost of living is nuts! I’m glad Chad got the job and is enjoying it. 🙂

  4. Love your advice on budgeting! Thank you for your insight. I’ll have to implement some of your steps into my own budgeting. Hope you reach your goal!

  5. Very useful tips, Savannah! It is shocking how many things you can cut down without significant affecting your normal life if you take the time to go through your expenses. My husband and I want to save up a bit more this Winter, so I’ll be sure we have a look to these tips while working on it.

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