I love dreaming about a day when we are debt free. We currently put nearly 50% of our income towards debt-repayment with the hope of being debt free as quickly as possible. We cut expenses in nearly every way possible. On our recent road trip, I welcomed Jarrod into this dream and asked what 5 things he'd do once we are debt free. I'm talking small changes - not purchase a home, get a new car, etc.
Here's my list:
1. Hire a cleaning person - Because I work outside the home and we have 2 cats and a dog, our house is always messy. We have Johnston Family Cleaning Nights, but time at home as a family is very precious. I'd love to have someone come every 2 weeks or so to really do deep cleaning.
2. Give more - I'd love to be able to purchase fantastic "just because" gifts for friends and family. I see the perfect gift and take a picture with my phone to text to my friends because that's about the best I can do. I'd love to be able to make the purchase and give fantastic gifts whenever I want to. I'd also love to be able to pay for someone's meal, leave big tips, and have people over to eat more without worrying about the cost.
3. Increase the decorating budget - I love decorating blogs, crafting, and making our home look beautiful. Unfortunately, that's an area of the budget that is very slim. I have dreams of redecorating our office, building a desk, and making more curtains for our home. Someday!
4. Taking classes - I'd love to take a photography class to learn more about how to effectively use our DSLR. I have read a lot online, but would love some hands-on tutoring. I'd also enjoy a cake-decorating class or two!
5. Regular pampering - Who doesn't want to be pampered? Getting nice haircuts, pedicures, massages, etc. is an easy expense to cut. When we're debt free, I'd like to increase my superfluous spending budget in order to get a massage or pedicure every once and a while. And my eye-brows waxed! What a luxury that would be!
1. Increase the eating out budget - Jarrod wants to be able to eat out at a fancy restaurant one a month or so. Right now our budget doesn't allow for us to eat out much at all, let alone at a nice restaurant. We don't mind eating at home, but Jarrod would love to try some really nice restaurants!
2. Increase our grocery budget - Along the same lines, Jarrod wants to be able to cook some more complicated things - fish, meats, etc. Things we cut out because they are too expensive.
3. Replacing cookware - We've piecemealed our kitchen pots and pans. Most of it is left over from Jarrod's bachelor days and it desperately needs to be replaced.
4. Increasing our blow money - We currently each receive $40 or so each month. We spend that on eating lunch out at work occasionally, clothes, and other personal incidentals. It doesn't leave much room for saving for bigger purchases. With a little more room in the budget, we could spend more money on fun things for ourselves.
5. Gibson SG Guitar Cherry Red to match the '67 SG Bass - Jarrod has been talking about this guitar for years. He has guitars and frankly, I don't know what makes this guitar better than any of the others except it will match the bass...but you can't play a bass and a guitar at the same time... but, that's what he wants and someday that will be what he gets!
What would you do if you have an increase in your expendable income?