Last summer, my wife and I celebrated 10 years of marriage. Being a planner type (call it “control freak,” if you will), I was thinking about all the special ways to celebrate the big moment — maybe a trip to Napa Valley or a romantic secluded beach somewhere in Mexico. While both splurges would have been amazing, life graced us with something more important, and maybe more expensive to prioritize.
Last September, our family of four grew to five, and I don’t need to tell you that babies are a pretty big expense. Whether it’s buying baby furniture, making changes to our Arizona home or just adding to our emergency fund, we decided to forgo an extravagant trip and focus on the bigger picture. Instead of traveling, we’re planning to celebrate with a modest staycation.
Even though it was nearly 120 degrees on a daily basis in Phoenix, there were many hotels and resorts in our area offering great deals for us to enjoy — mostly because no one else is crazy enough to come here in the summer. We celebrated with a nice dinner and hung out poolside with our kids and had a great time.
My wife and I have open discussions about our spending plans and our priorities. It is important to communicate, especially when discussing significant topics like finances that often have emotions intertwined. My wife and I value the opportunity to celebrate the past decade, but now in hindsight appreciate being better prepared financially for our new baby.
If you have an upcoming anniversary or vacation, start planning now so you’ll feel financially secure even after the big event:
- Review your budget to ensure you’re spending less than you earn.
- Prioritize your emergency fund so you’re prepared for unexpected costs during big life changes. We recommend saving a minimum of $1,000, and ideally, targeting three to six months’ worth of fixed living expenses.
- Once your emergency fund is well-stocked, save for fun goals like vacations—or staycations.
- Be a good consumer. Negotiate and search for discounts on the fun things you want to do.
Track your spending and set savings goals
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.