This post is brought to you by The Huntington National Bank and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
About this time last year, we had a big conversation about how our house was becoming way too small for our family. In 2011, we moved into our first home with a 3-month-old baby and 2-year-old twins. Over the years, we added a horse-sized lab mix and another kiddo into the mix. As much as we loved this little house we turned into our home, it was time to look for more space.
Making the decision to take a leap and move is huge. It’s not something you just jump on quickly—there are so many questions that come into play: can we afford more space? How can we budget for more expenses?
We sat on the idea for quite some time before actually moving forward with our plan. Instead of listing the house right away, we took time to finish up some projects to improve the resale value. Painting the kitchen cabinets gave the kitchen a fresh feel, painting the living areas in a more neutral color brightened up the whole space.
Aside from saving for a down payment, we also set aside extra money for a few other aspects of moving that easily can be forgotten about:
- Decorating the new home: more space means more furniture and decorations needed.
- Miscellaneous in-between: moving truck fees, takeout food for open house nights, gas for driving around looking at homes, etc.
- Restocking pantry money: we depleted our pantry when we started packing up to move, so in the new house we had larger than normal grocery trips to stock back up.
With Huntington Bank on my side, saving for big purchases like a home was easier for me. Even though we knew we would be making a decent chunk of money selling in our current market, we wanted to have all bases covered—plus save for any emergencies that could occur.
When we were younger, an emergency fund seemed like such a lofty goal. Since we were living paycheck-to-paycheck, parting with money to save for an emergency seemed impossible. I have always been budget savvy, but once we had the twins I kicked it into full gear. Coupons saved us hundreds of dollars each year and I found other random ways to earn extra money for our family, so we could save more.
One day, I was shopping and someone gave me a business card for baby food testing in the area. Skeptical, I checked out reviews and the website and realized it was legit. Also, this was right around the corner from our house. Gabby was just starting solid foods and she was able to test food 2-3 times a week until she was 3, earning us grocery gift cards.
All of my side hustles allowed us to save more money for emergencies, vacations and more. Now people turn to me for budget help.
Setting up goals or an emergency fund in your Huntington Savings or MMA account is so easy to do and it’s easy to become obsessed with finding new goals to save for. The Savings Goal GetterSM tool on The Hub has your back! Savings Goal Getter gives you the option to set up 10 goals and an emergency fund per account, so dream away! Right now, I have 5 goals: new house décor, emergency fund, spring break 2020, fall back-to-school and treat yourself (haircuts, manicures, clothes for myself).
Designating how much money goes towards each goal is your choice, although the emergency fund will be the top priority. Since we have a lot of money being spent right now with our new house, I have been saving $10 a week. Remember: something is always better than nothing and it will be over $500/year.
If you’re not quite sure what your emergency savings goal should be, Huntington recommends you use the Spend Analysis tool on The Hub. You can see what your expenses are for three months and that should be around the sweet spot for your goal. For us, I aim for two months of our mortgage, just in case something was to happen at Ricky’s job.
In The Hub, be sure to define what an emergency situation is: major car repair bill, higher than expected utility bill, etc. On the Huntington website, they have a great article about getting your finances ready for an emergency. I really loved how they pointed out selling items you aren’t using can really kickstart your savings…I sold so many items before we moved and used the money for things we actually needed.
I am so excited that we found our dream home rather quickly and we’ve been living here for almost a month now. Since our mortgage went up, I have to make sure I stick to my budget and cut out all unnecessary extras. The Hub is becoming my best friend as I watch all of our spending like a hawk!