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Archive for December, 2008

2009 Baby Stepping Goal

December 23rd, 2008 at 03:05 pm

I love this time of year when I can think about our goals for next year and how we can achieve them. I have quite a few large goals for 2009, but in an attempt to not overwhelm myself, I am going to start small.

Our first financial goal is to STICK TO THE WRITTEN budget in January. I want to snowball as much as I can towards our truck payment. Right now the balance is at $2217.38. I hope to have this knocked out by April at the latest.

I know we really have a lot of extra money to throw at our debt if we stick to the budget. We so easily say "Oh we can buy this or that or do this or that now and pay for it next week." No more. 2009 I want to wipe as much debt out as possible.

Just a vent...

December 13th, 2008 at 07:11 am

I remember reading an entry a few weeks ago about frustrations with visiting the "less fortunate" relatives over the holidays and how it made for some uncomfortable moments. I am finding that same situation occurring on a daily basis in my life here and I am frustrated with it. The state that I live in has not had the real estate bubble trouble, we are begging for workers to fill empty job positions, and the local economy seems very sheltered from the nationwide downfall. There have been small bits and pieces of things trickling into our state from "the recession", such as an Office Depot store that was just built and opened in 2007 announcing that they are closing. This type of thing in general seems to be coming from bigger up the chain decisions. I have friends who are out of state who I love dearly, who are hurting because of the economy. I don't want to minimize what they are going through, but I am having a hard time not saying "JUST MOVE!" to some of them. I think when everyone around you in your "circle" is struggling, it is easy to think that the rest of the world is in the same shoes. The media and their constant pounding in our heads about "the recession" adds to this. My bestfriends husband came home with a paycheck for less than $100 this week. That's it! They know there is no work where they are living, and the chances of things picking up anytime soon are very slim. It isn't the "end of the world" everywhere like the media has led us all to believe. So my biggest frustration is why do people allow themselves to just sit and be kicked and kicked and kicked when there are certainly other opportunities out there? I can understand if you have a home you own and can't sell that it can be near impossible to move right now. But I know lots of people who just don't have those strong of roots in a community who seem content to just be "down on their luck" and not do anything to change. If your money isn't enough to pay for bills and necessities- you either have to lower the amount of your bills, or INCREASE INCOME. Seems simple enough to me.

Sigh. Just venting because I can't vent anywhere in real life about this...

No Spend WEEK? My challenge kicks off!

December 8th, 2008 at 07:31 am

Forget about the No Spend Day. I need a No Spend WEEK challenge.

From Monday 12/8 to Monday 12/15 I am resolving to have a no spend week. I am even going to waive grocery shopping day this week in order to make this a TRUE NSW.

We need to be rotating some of the food storage anyway and this challenge will definitely help.

Day One... I'm off!

Friday & sticking to the budget...

December 5th, 2008 at 01:33 pm

We WON in court! Praise God the judge saw the truth. We are still out $600 in lawyer fees, but it was well worth it- as our attorney did a fantastic job defending our case. Having an emergency fund definitely was a good thing to have during this crisis. With it being December, funds are already a bit tight with the holidays- so having a savings to dip into saved us.

The monthly envelopes are filled. Today I did some thrift store shopping. I bought a little tyke riding car, 2 bags of clothing, 2 full abeka curriculum sets, and a few little toys for $20. Yeah! I filled up the truck for $45.00 in gas at $1.36 a gallon and still have money left in that envelope for the rest of the month. I bought a soda out of my blow money. So... So far I am sticking to the budget! Hooooray!

I'm going to try and hold on to my blow money for my upcoming girls weekend surprise trip in January. I don't want to go into debt with that trip at all!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Unexpected Expenses & Update on Us

December 2nd, 2008 at 03:07 pm

We had to hire a lawyer yesterday to the tune of a $600 retainer. Sigh. Court is tomorrow morning and hopefully we walk out of it only owing the lawyer money and not the Plaintiff. Good thing about this: God has been hearing from our family a lot more this week. Trials are never fun, but I do always seem to grow in my faith through them.

Last month we dabbled in the stock market for the first time. Yeah, probably not the best year to try- but it has been fun and a learning tool. We haven't actually lost any money- so that's a plus.

Christmas shopping is pretty much done. I have a few more items to pick up for friends and then I need to take the kids shopping for their "name" that they drew. We cut way back this year- more for simplicity reasons than financial. Each kiddo will receive on big present from mom and dad and then we all drew names for another small gift.

Hubby and I have *I think* decided that our long term goal (5 years? or less) is to have a significant chunk of down payment, if not ALL payment on a piece of land & a new home in another state. We currently have a pretty big amount of equity in this home, so that will help! We do love it here- but we want to be more self reliant- (er. self-sufficient! lol) and the cost of land here probably won't allow us to do so here with our budget. So we are really going to cut back for the next few years and pay off debt faster than ever and get a really good down payment saved up. I am excited about it. I have realtor.com sending me emails when a new property that fits what we are looking for goes on the market. I think getting those updates will definitely keep me motivated. Today at the bank teller window there were cute little stuffed animals that were being sold to benefit a local charity. I had to ask myself "LAND or a Stuffed Animal?" The Land won. Little choices like that will add up big time in the end! Smile

Our December budget is written and the first weeks envelopes are ready to be filled. I hope to do that tonight!

I would like to try and use this blog more for my own accountability as we save towards our new home. I definitely need to pick up the NO SPEND DAYS!