Inspired by Gail Vaz-Oxlade and I’m uber excited. You see, for years I’ve been watching ‘Til Debt Do Us Part‘ and learning from her money wisdom. I have even had the opportunity to meet Gail Vaz-Oxlade in person at Blissdom Canada one year. She had many of us captivated with her ability to speak, and be heard. She is a fabulous story-teller, and I’m thrilled I had the opportunity.
Now, as part of the PGMom’s program I am taking on the Family Financial Challenge, and if you’ve seen even one episode or read any of her books, you’ll know that what I am about to do is going to take a lot of planning and organization. This could get messy. As much as I try, I am not even close to an organized person. But I can do this…no, I will do this. This Busy Mama has goals and wants and it takes planning to make these things happen. So bring it on Gail (can I call you Gail?) I’m ready for you…. *I hope.
So, you want to do it with me? You have plans and dreams and aspirations, right? Well, come-on and take the Family Financial Challenge! Live on cash for the month of February. Track all of your spending. Make a budget (and it better be realistic) and stick to it. I will take work, but I would love to have you on board!
I will be tracking my success and updating every Monday morning throughout the Month of February…and if it goes well, we just may continue on.
My goal in this challenge is to not only take it through February, but make it become our normal. And to integrate it with my #Purge4Profit goals as well. Some of her advice I’ve already taken and I’m hoping by reading her book, Money Rules and implementing her famous jar system, I’ll be able to hone in my budgeting skills and take full control of our money.
We are already consumer debt free, so it’s kind of like starting from scratch. We are in a building our credit mentality right now, as decisions we made when we were younger came back to bite us in the ….
Here is a list of our families financial goals, in no particular order.
- Save a down payment to purchase a house in the next 24 months. We live in Nova Scotia where the housing market isn’t as crazy as in Toronto or Vancouver. My ideal house runs about $250,000.00 which mean I need to save 5% plus closing costs at the very minimum. 5% is $12,500 plus $5,000 for extra costs and closing costs. To avoid paying CMHC fees, I would need to save a minimum of 20% which is $50,000. (Highly unlikely based on our current income).
- Be able to provide travel for our family once a year. It doesn’t have to be a huge vacation, but I believe in giving my children experiences over material things. And I want them to get to know the world we live in. We haven’t yet been able to do this, and I refuse to go into massive debt doing it. So one trip per year is a big goal of ours. Last summer we went to New Brunswick for 5 days. I got a fantastic package deal on amusement parks, meals and accommodations and we spent less than $1000. It was a blast and the kids speak of it often.
- Start a retirement fund for my hubby and I. We do not have one yet…at all.
- Continue to grow my children’s RESPs. Right now we put $50/month in each childs RESP account. Since we only opened them last year, my eight year old is going to have far less than his 4-year-old brother by the time post secondary education comes around. I would like to boost his account a bit first.
I’m excited to let you know that money-maven Gail Vaz-Oxlade will be participating in a Twitter party on Thursday, February 6 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST with Chatelaine. The hashtag is #SavingMadeSimple and be sure to start thinking now (and write those questions down!) because we’ll have the chance to ask her money questions, and ways to save money or pay down debt!
To learn more about The Gail Way, visit her website gailvazoxlade.com
So watch this spot and check back every Monday for updates!
Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom/mamanP&G. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.