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2009 Baby Stepping Goal

December 23rd, 2008 at 11:05 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.

No Spend WEEK? My challenge kicks off!

December 8th, 2008 at 03:31 pm

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 09:33 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 11:07 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!

Payday

October 31st, 2008 at 02:47 pm

The bills are paid for this week. Yesterday we had to shuffle a little bit of money from savings into a "fix the toilets" this weekend fund. I totally forgot to include that in our written budget. Ooops. We still were able to throw some extra money towards our Suburban payment thanks to a refunded escrow check that arrived in the mail. The Suburban is our current debt snowball now and it is at $3496.26. We are knocking it out! Smile

Spent on Paper... Before the Check...10/31/08

October 30th, 2008 at 03:14 pm

150 6 Month Emergency Fund

61 1000 Baby Emergency Fund

125 Food/Household

50 Slush fund

10 Hubby Food

9 Kids Art Classes

12 Truck payment (current debt snowball)

50 American Express CC

50 Bank of America CC

75 Water

80 Home Phone & Internet

100 Electric

150 Natural Gas

125 Cell

25 Hubby Blow $ for November

25 Wife Blow $ for November

40 Kids Allowance for November

50 Thrift Stores for November

20 Tools Fund

7/11/08 Budget/Savings

July 11th, 2008 at 10:27 pm

10% Give
6% Retirement
5% ING 6 Month Emergency Savings
3% Vehicle Savings
3% ING Appliance Savings
3% ING Vacation Savings

1/4 Mortgage Payment Saved for August
50 Put in Slush Fund for non monthly expenses

75 Food/Household
50 Home Improvement
100 HSBC CC
80 Water/Sewer/Garbage
300 2 Plane Tickets
190 Vehicle Insurance (Quarterly)
165 Student Loan
10 DH food money

I haven't always been consistent at funding the slush fund. I know I should be as it sure makes it easier when the annual life insurance policy comes due. I can just write the check and not think twice about how I am needing to come up with that extra money that month. So I tallied up all the nonmonthly expenses we have in one year and divided by 12. I figure if I stash $50 a week into a slush account, we will be set. I just need to actually DO it now! Smile

Budget & Savings 7/03/08

July 3rd, 2008 at 03:30 pm

10% Give

6% Retirement
5% 6 Month Emergency Fund
3% New Vehicle Savings Fund
3% Tool Fund for Hubby
3% Slush Fund (for non monthly expenses)

279 Monthly Medical/Dental Insurance

1/4 Mortgage for August Saved
20 Blow Money for DH
20 Blow Money for Me
20 Kids Allowance
10 Food for DH
85 Electric
80 Home Phone/Internet
25 DD Birthday Gift
45 BOA CC
865 Home Improvement