Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What to do when all the answers are acceptable

In theory, there should be a pecking order for saving for things, or getting things done, or whatever.  This project is the priority, then this, then this.  Our problem is that the order frequently changes because of something else.  I have been "dinged" for lack of focus, and to some degree....you guys are right.  We do change things around.  But as I have said, I am a planner, and sometimes plans change.

Here is the scenario......I have $300 (or will by the end of the month).  I was hoping to save it for something BIG (like a vacation some day), but it would be more prudent to use it sooner than later.  Here are some of the options, in no particular order:

1)  Emergency fund.  Amazingly, the washing machine was $301 to fix, which we took out of the EF.  We could plop it right back, and we would be less than $200 from our goal of getting the EF to $2,000.  In this scenario, all we are doing is replacing what we took for a household repair.

2)  The deck.  We have estimated that the deck will cost $1200-$1300 to resurface (including the dumpster).  We have $650 in GC from point programs (hopefully a little more by the time the project commences).  As of right now, we would need $600-$700 to finish the project.  $300 would cover half of what we need to save.  We have until at least March before this project will start.

3)  Gas tap.  Now that we know that there is a 4-6 wait to hook up to the gas line, we decided it would be better to do the tap BEFORE the hot water boiler completely dies.  As someone pointed out, they may only do the taps until a certain date (due to weather).  Need to call on that.  The tap is going to be about $400.  The $300 would cover 3/4, and with October's 3 pay checks, we could take the other $100 from that (instead of using it elsewhere), and cover the cost.  We don't know when the boiler will be replaced at this point.  We would like to do it on our terms (aka, before it is completely dead), but that also means going $5-$7k further in debt.

Those are the top three RESPONSIBLE contenders.  Other ideas were tossed around.  Throw the whole thing to debt (which is still responsible, but less effective compared to the above scenarios).  Use it to freshen up the Living Room and Playroom (paint, supplies, new blinds, and maybe some storage!!).....while that would be FUN, it is a want, not a need.  Save toward furniture....each time we sit down, it is getting worse.  I found a set on line that is similar to what we were looking at....and it is $800 for the set.  We have to go look at it....it could be junk.  But if it isn't, then at least we have a less expensive option when the day comes.

Other ideas....savings for cat expenses for next year (vet, food, etc).  Put aside for taxes (I am convinced that we are going to owe, even with the changes we have made to the withholdings).  Or maybe we just blow the whole thing!!!  HAHAHA.

I know what we are thinking.....just curious what you think. 


  1. I definitely wouldn't spend it on a want, when there are things you NEED. I'd say EF, or if you have to, gas tap. Why the extra $5-7K of debt? Is that how much it costs to replace?! Ouch!!

  2. Agree with Carla. I'd put it in the EF, that way you have it available to cover a variety of expenses that might come up.

  3. Personally I would put it toward the gas tap. You know that you will have the expense sooner rather than later probably so best to be prepared especially since there is a wait to have it done. I would get it done so that you don't have to worry about it.

  4. I'd say put it towards the tap, too. It's a known expense coming up and that will cover most of it. It is so hard to plan when other things keep getting in the way, isn't it? I always plan and it always gets changed.

  5. It is so hard when you have extra money and debt. You can never feel really comfortable spending on a want. But guess what? This is your life. I do not ask permission where to spend my money. You will do the right thing for you.

  6. All of the choices are hard and I agree with Kim(OMW) that in the end it is your choice. I always look at this way which one is less likely to keep me up at night and go that way. Personally I would say the tap since that seems to be the first thing hanging over your head.

    But again I am only giving my .02 since in the end we all make the choices best for our families and ourselves.

    Let us know what you decide

  7. I'm with Kim on this one. It sucks when you have any extra money, but you have debt, and you never feel using the money is adequate enough, regardless what you do, because there's other good options there as well. I'd say do the gas tap, especially if you will have to do it sooner rather than later because of weather issues. If an emergency does come up, at least the gas tap wont be something you will need to worry about.

  8. I'm agreeing on the gas tap. I know how freaking COLD it gets in Alabama when the heat is out...I imagine further north it would be terribly worse.

  9. I dunno if you have "float" but that's what I'd use it for. It's like extra cash cushioning that's not really an emergency fund.I like float. I also like coke floats...