A New Way to Save
This week our coach, Cori, helped us to set up a new savings account that we will use to save money for a vacation for next year. One of our goals in strengthening our finances is to be able to travel more. We dream of visiting many places all over the world and bringing our girls along so they grow up with global perspectives. The specific savings account that we are using to help us reach this goal is Summit's Certificate Plus. The beauty of this account is that the money you put in cannot be withdrawn for a specific predetermined amount of time. This means that the money we save here will be safely locked away for our vacation no matter what other "needs" arise along the way. Also, unlike a traditional certificate, which is based on a one-time deposit amount, you can continue to add as much money as you want at any point in time. We decided to start out by saving at least the amount of money that we were previously spending each month on mortgage insurance. It may not be a big number off the bat but we are establishing a new habit that will grow over time.
Our other big step this week was to close on our home equity line of credit. As we have mentioned before, we will be using this to pay off our credit card debt as the equity has a much lower interest rate than the credit cards. We plan to aggressively pay off this debt so that it will be completely wiped out. The line of credit also gives us peace of mind and a better option than going back to the credit cards next time a large and unexpected expense comes our way. Our next goal is to use our credit cards as little as possible and to always pay off the balance right away.
Lastly, we survived our first camping trip as a family of FOUR! We weren't quite sure how/if our littles would sleep through the night in a tent all together, but they did great! We had a blast with a group of 25 friends or so. Our girls had so much fun playing with all the other kids, and the adults had a fabulous time hanging out, catching up and being away from the city surrounded by nature. Camping is a beautiful way to connect with nature and family/friends...and it's AFFORDABLE! While we're working on our savings to travel the world, we will soak up all the camping adventures we can for rejuvenating, cost effective family fun.