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What Are You Saving For, Besides Retirement?

May 12, 2010 · 27 comments

in Life

I am not a big spender.  If you know me, you know that my clothes are basic, my vehicle is utilitarian, and my furniture is functional.  Image is just not my ‘thing’.  (If anything, I should probably spend a little more on some of these things…)

Part of why I am so cost-conscious is that ‘things’ were never a priority to me.  Paying for school, having enough money to stay home with the kids, driving a reliable car, etc were my priorities.  I am glad that I have always been a minimalist of sorts, because it makes saving  easier.  I am not tempted by things in the stores, and shopping does not pull me out of a bad mood.  If anything, it makes me crabby.

Photo taken of a Panda Bear on our trip to Washington Zoo

Besides retirement and college, what I am saving for now is ‘experiences’.   I want to be able to have the money to travel to places we have not seen before and do things we have not done.    With each college information packet I get in the mail for my son, I am reminded that he is getting older and won’t be living at home a whole lot longer.  I only have two years left where he will be available to go on family vacations with us.  Then I go the next step further…four years after that, he will be graduated from college and  may end up living in another part of the country.  (Especially given the economy in Michigan.)

So while the kids are all living here, my plan is to put any extra money aside toward traveling.   For me, some of my best memories of childhood are from vacations at our family cottage.   I do not have a cottage, but  hopefully the time we have spent together on family trips and experiencing new things will provide my kids with great memories.  I know these vacations are expensive, but we have loved every single vacation we have taken as a family so far.  Therefore, the money spent has been more than worth it.  Sure, I could save more for a million different things, but I only have a limited window of opportunity left to enjoy my family as a whole, and I am going to make the most of it.

So, what are you saving for?  Besides financial independence/retirement, is there something you would really like to do or have?  Please share!

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

The Wealth Artisan May 12, 2010 at 10:13 am

Great work on identifying the important things in life. My wife and I are people watchers, observers. We enjoy going to the mall and see what people do; it’s not because we are nosey, we just find it fascinating.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen people carting a monstrous TV out of the local best buy grinning ear to ear. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they are happy, but for the $2,000 they could have not only have watched the same shows on their “old (maybe 2 years?)” TV, but they could have enjoyed a really nice family vacation. Now, they will have a bigger & thinner TV, a TV in the garbage, and more time away from the family. some may argue that TV time is family time, but no one is paying attention to one another.

I know $2,000.00 doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you plan well enough, $2,000.00 can do a lot more than one would think! I attribute a lot of this to “keeping up with the joneses” and I think as the economy continues to deteriorate, people will wake up from their commercial induced trance. Family values are making a comeback, and it makes us happy to see, because for a while it looked like “every man for himself.”

Thanks
Timothy
Wealth Artisan Team Member
http://WealthArtisan.com

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Kris May 12, 2010 at 10:48 am

@Wealth Artisan – Oh the mall is a fascinating place, as is the grocery store. (Except I am nosy 🙂 )

There are a lot of choices that people make in their spending that make me cringe. However, the reverse happened to me recently when someone was talking about spending too much money on trips (they don’t know me very well). I explained my reasons for frequent vacations, but I could tell they thought I was insane.

My two crutches- vacations and books. Sometimes I combine the two!

Thanks for commenting!

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Mike - Saving Money Today May 12, 2010 at 10:13 am

For me it’s all about financial freedom to do what I want without having to worry about how I’m going to pay for it. Travel is definitely on the list. My wife has relatives in Italy she hasn’t met before and there are plenty of places I’d love to see. I also want to give my kids a good head start in life. They’re still little but getting bigger by the day!

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Kris May 12, 2010 at 10:55 am

Mike, I would love to be at the point of being able to do what I want without worrying about how to pay for it. However, I do recognize I am putting that day off further because of my travel plans. Travel didn’t really matter much to me when the kids were younger. But, as they got older, there were so many things I wanted to share with them that I became an addict. Keep in mind, I scour for deals and try to make these trips as inexpensive as possible. But, not to the point where I suffer during my week off! I would love to go to Italy. Someday…

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Young Mogul May 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm

When I started reading your post about being a Minimalist at heart and not really caring about the “things” society values, I thought I was reading my own story. Right now, I am attempting to make enough money and save enough money for the day I have kids. I don’t want to have to work such a hectic schedule and be able to have more time with my kids, just like you stated.

Also, I never want to be stuck in a job I hate because of debt.

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Kris May 12, 2010 at 1:46 pm

@Young Mogul – You are very smart to be planning ahead so well. Also, you will be very well served to not have to work to serve debt. Obviously everyone needs to make some money, but to be able to do it on your own terms, that is a wonderful thing!

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff May 12, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I’m in the same boat. I skip the frequent clothes shopping, salons, lattes, and whatnot so we can retire early and take as many vacations as possible in the meantime. We have a cruise scheduled for this summer and we’re already talking about two cruises next year and a long Vegas weekend.

Since my husband enjoys Curling (the ice sport) and I enjoy the atmosphere, we also want to travel around for Curling Bonspiels (Tournaments)…that’ll take us around Texas, some northern states, and Canada.

My long-term travel plans include an Alaskan cruise and a European cruise/tour. While we are over there, I’d like to visit Ireland.

Yep, memories are priceless in my opinion. I’ll shop around for the best deals, but that’s the only concession we make, lol.

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Kris May 12, 2010 at 10:42 pm

@Budget – I didn’t know Curling was a big sport down in Texas! I have heard that a cruise around the Greek isles is supposed to be wonderful.

I try to get cheap deals also, and tripadvisor.com is a fantastic website when trying to find accomodations. However, I splurge a bit on vacation as I don’t want to stress about the cost of some sunscreen on vacation. Ok, it might eat at me briefly, but I get over it… 🙂

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff May 13, 2010 at 9:52 am

Kris, Curling isn’t a big sport here…in fact, there are only three Curling locations in Texas – Friendswood (Houston), Austin, and San Antonio. My husband drives an hour one-way to get to the Houston Curling Club. He’s just an addict, lol.

Ooh, a cruise around the Greek isles sounds awesome!

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Money Reasons May 12, 2010 at 7:46 pm

My thoughts are exactly as yours (how I dress means nothing to me, and I want to travel and have great vacations w/family). Last year (Nov 2009), we went to Disney (crazy huh)! The place I work at has laidoff well over 60% of the work force since I started, and here I am going of to Disney like I was independently wealthy…

But, I had to! My son was 9, and I wanted him to experience a full week at Disney before he turned double digits! Both he and my daughter had a blast. I had fun to (even though I had the flu the entire time). I would like to go down to Disney again but I would also like to go to Hawaii in 2 years… Decisions, decisions, decisions… 🙂

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Kris May 12, 2010 at 10:29 pm

@Money Reasons- We have been to Disney quite a few times. No matter what, we know we will have a great time there, even if it is a bit chilly. We always stay in a condo right near the parks which is incredibly roomy and quite affordable. Its like a hotel in that there is a pool, free breakfast, etc, but it is a condo complex.

I loved your comment about going on a trip while your job situation is possibly at risk, like you are independently wealthy. We went on vacation 2 weeks after my job assignment ended. I think I said that I was going on a vacation like I was someone who had a job. But, it was one of the best vacations ever!

Hawaii is something I would love to do, as is a cruise to Alaska. I have a lot of saving to do in order to go to either one of those places.

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Money Reasons May 24, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Alaska is another vacation that I would love to go on. I think it would be cool to see the glaciers and go whale watching, not to mention the northern lights (these are harder to see since they are seasonal…)

I was nervous going on vacation when layoffs were happening, but kudos to your for being brave enough to go after your job assignment ended!!!

I’ll have to looking into getting a condo complex next time. It’s got to be cheaper than staying at a Disney resort!

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Kris May 24, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Money Reasons, I would love to see those Northern Lights too. Every once in awhile, I go to the NOAA website to see if there are any unexpected ‘Northern Lights’ to be viewed where we live. ( Really high solar activity = northern lights for me). I saw some about 20 years ago, which you can read about on Thursday. 🙂

We did whale watching in Bar Harbor Maine and it was wonderful. However, I then realized I get sea sick somewhat too. If you are ever looking for somewhere to go on the East Coast, I cannot recommend Bar Harbor enough. There is an island where puffins nest, I think in June, and the whale watch boat goes out there. You have to see them from a distance, but it is still pretty cool.

Thanks for visiting!!!

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Young Mogul May 13, 2010 at 9:13 am

I am in Arkansas and smoking was banned in 2006. The only exceptions are casinos and other establishments such as Sports Bars, that have the option to opt in or out. I, for one, love it! I have nothing against smokers, but why should those of us who don’t smoke be subjected to second hand smoke?

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Kris May 13, 2010 at 9:45 am

@Young Mogul – I totally agree. I don’t dislike smokers at all. I just hate how I feel after being around cigarette smoke. Thanks for commenting!

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Squirrelers May 16, 2010 at 2:38 am

For me, besides retirement, I think about saving for emergencies and “unexpected” needs, such as possible medical issues that I can’t foresee now. These are the necessities, in my book. Really, what it comes down to is that I don’t want to grow old and be short of money. Rather, I would like to be comfortable. That is a big driver. Retiring as early as possible would be a part of this.

Aside from that, I focus on my family’s needs. My young daughter is a precocious, bright child (not that I’m biased or anything!), and I want the best for her in terms of education, a wedding someday (a LONG time from now!), etc.

Other than that….I have other aspirational money goals. Traveling is a passion, would love to do a lot more. I have hit 47 of the 50 states, and have traveled overseas a few times, but would like to explore a lot more. That’s a motivator. Being able to frequently travel to spend time with family is another motivator. Memories and bonding with family – especially kids – is priceless.

What would be truly great would be to be able to comfortable give as generously as I would like. Helping others truly in need is rewarding for the recipient and can be very much so for the giver too.

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Kris May 16, 2010 at 9:08 am

Squirreler: (I like that name!) Wow, I how great that you have gotten to 47 states already. One of my goals was to do something similar with my kids, but I am running out of time.

If your daughter has a lot of interests, she very well might need the money you have set aside :). I was just thinking about all the basketball camps coming up that the coach requires high school players to go to. That was something I didn’t really expect.

Thank you for the comment.

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Bruce May 21, 2010 at 4:34 am

For me, besides retirement, I think about saving for emergencies and “unexpected” needs, such as possible medical issues that I can’t foresee now. These are the necessities, in my book. Really, what it comes down to is that I don’t want to grow old and be short of money. Rather, I would like to be comfortable. That is a big driver. Retiring as early as possible would be a part of this.

Aside from that, I focus on my family’s needs. My young daughter is a precocious, bright child (not that I’m biased or anything!), and I want the best for her in terms of education, a wedding someday (a LONG time from now!), etc.

Other than that….I have other aspirational money goals. Traveling is a passion, would love to do a lot more. I have hit 47 of the 50 states, and have traveled overseas a few times, but would like to explore a lot more. That’s a motivator. Being able to frequently travel to spend time with family is another motivator. Memories and bonding with family – especially kids – is priceless.

What would be truly great would be to be able to comfortable give as generously as I would like. Helping others truly in need is rewarding for the recipient and can be very much so for the giver too.

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Caitlin Baker July 28, 2010 at 4:38 am

as for my retirement, i plan to retire on an asian country and live a quiet and simple life..`;

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Kris July 28, 2010 at 11:40 am

Caitlin, that sounds wonderful! I hope you attain your dream!!

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Celebrity Gossips Forum : October 25, 2010 at 2:53 am

when i get a retirement, i would like to spend it on a tropical island with a very relaxing atmosphere”`

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Get Happy Life November 2, 2010 at 7:51 pm

I am saving only to be free and buy back my time! If we spend 1/3 of our life in sleeping, and more 1/4 of working, and a few years without memory (the first few years), there is not much time left for the time we can enjoy, right?

Making enough money would let me not work for 30 years, but get out of the so called Rat Race … That would make me really happy

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Kris November 2, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Good points GHL! It would be wonderful to work at what you wanted to, that is for sure. It is so hard to get up day after day to do something you hate.

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Hormone Replacement December 1, 2010 at 1:19 pm

family vacations in a nice tropical country would be very very nice ::~

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Combi Boilers December 21, 2010 at 12:37 pm

when i do get my retirement, i would really love to relax near the beach and enjoy a home on a tropical country *.`

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Lilla Edouard March 29, 2012 at 12:48 pm

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