The past couple of years have been touch and go. There have been many transitions: having children, moving three times (including the current impending move back to Hershey), changing jobs, and all of the shifts that occur in the wake of those things. With major transitions life can get a bit chaotic, and for years it’s felt like we have been finding different ways to survive. We’ve just been trying to make the right choice for the next couple of years; not knowing how long we will be in the next place. With this next one we are determined to approach everything with INTENTIONALITY and LONGEVITY in mind. So, what does that look like?
We will be buying a house, so how do we do that with intentionality? For us it looks like this: does the house accommodate our family, including family that may visit? Will our kids be able to thrive long term there? School district? Land? Can we eliminate the burden of a mortgage in the next couple of years by spending our money correctly? And so on.
In recent months life has allowed for us to make major shifts in how we spend out money on a weekly/monthly basis as well. The kids are getting “easier” to manage which has allowed us to do things like meal plan/prep for the week. That has allowed us to save $50-$75 per week. That’s a minimum of $2,600 a year of savings by being intentional with our time and resources. What does THAT look like? It means sitting down on Saturday evening/Sunday morning and coming up with meals, and a list of groceries that we need for the week. We go shopping as a family, and we show our kids how to shop (they LOVE it). They carry baskets, have micro lists and help us get the things we need. We stick to the list and we do not deviate from it. Our weekly grocery budget is between $150-$200 (depending on whether of not we need dog food which is at least another $30-40, laundry detergent, etc.) and the kids know this as well. They help me with the self check out, and at the end we look at the total and I show them how we did.
We go out to eat/order in once a month (avg. savings of $120/month).
We stopped drinking sweet beverages (soda mostly and small savings, but huge health benefits).
We have found different ways to enjoy our time together that doesn’t cost money: going to the library, walking on the dirt roads, going to local parks, going for bike rides, etc. We did a lot of this before, but also found excuses to go to places like Amazeum more frequently than we needed. It alllll adds up.
The reason behind cutting out excessive spending is two-fold. We found that as we save more we are able to do two things: use our resources to help other people, and put more towards being financially independent at an earlier age. So, as we move forward into this next stage we want to move forward with intentionality, knowing that we only get 14-16 more summers with our children before they are “adults”. The time we have is precious, so how do we want to spend it? Our resources are what they are, how do we want to spend/use them?
We also want to keep in mind that this next phase is one to be made with the “long run” in mind. How do we do this well? So well that we are able to watch our children flourish and grow in the same place for the rest of their childhood. In a house that can contain every memory we make within its walls. Using practices that honor our time, our resources, and the people around us. Longevity sets us up for this.
In the days that come things will get more and more chaotic as we pack up our lives one more time. It will exhaust us, irritate us, maybe even scare us. But as we go through each day with intentionality, and keep the goal in mind, we will allow room for the long term plan to be accomplished (longevity). Each day (intentionality) for future days (longevity).
May you find ways in your life, and each passing day, to walk and act with intention.