Friday, January 29, 2010

Financial Goals: Checking in for 2010, January

For accountability (for us) and hopefully encouragement to anyone whom this might encourage to keep pressing on towards Financial Freedom, I plan to share each month how we're doing with our financial goals. Our overall goals for 2010 are in our "big" Goals for 2010 list. Over the past couple weeks we have been talking and coming up with some bigger goals that I will be sharing later. For now, here's our January progress:

Goal: Cash only for groceries and entertainment/recreation.
This has been a definite success! I did have a little goof-up my second week of shopping when I forgot to go to the bank before I went to the first grocery store, but I'm gonna let that sneak by. Using cash only was very strange at first, but I can certainly see how it keeps you from overspending!

Goal: Stick to budget - less impulse buying.
Hmm... well, this one is going to take some getting used to. Daniel called me this morning to tell me that he spent $20 on new lawn-mower blades. Then he asked which category that stuff comes out of... of course the one that doesn't have any money in right now :) Like I said, we're still learning :) (My first thought was "in JANUARY???" LOL!!!) This is not the end of the earth, we will still be able to eat, wear clothes and sleep in our warm bed :) As for the grocery budget, using cash has really kept me from going over. My weekly grocery budget is $30, and the average per week this month is $30.54.

Goal: Put some money into savings each week.
We put money into savings just the first 2 weeks of January. As it turns out, we were not as close to meeting the insurance deductible for Baby George as I thought, so last week instead of putting the weekly amount into savings, it went into the medical fund to go towards the deductible. This week the paycheck simply was not big enough to get that far in the budget - Daniel took a sick day last Monday, and the rest of the week was extremely slow, so it was a very little paycheck.

And that's our progress and success for January!!

**Weeks like this week, when the paycheck feels so very teeny-tiny, are just reminders of several things:

~To be so very thankful that Daniel has a job. Many, many people that we know personally do not have jobs right now and are searching high and low for one. Daniel's job may not always be booming with 40 hours plus overtime, but we have been and continue to be blessed in that he has a job.

~The importance of an emergency fund/savings account and putting money in it! This one week of "slim pickin's" won't throw us off to the point of having to use from our emergency fund, but there have been times in the past when his work was very slow for multiple weeks and we did have to dip into our emergency fund to pay the bills.**

How are you doing with your financial goals? Still trying to get your head above the water? Perhaps you're DEBT FREE and saving for something specific? I'd love to hear how it's going for you :)

This post is linked to Life As MOM's Frugal Friday.


Cate said... [Reply to comment]

I'm laughing with you about the lawn mower blades--that's hilarious!

We've done well with our financial goals so far, too! Right now we're all set to pay off our medical debt soon (hopefully next month) and we've been putting a good amount of money away towards our down payment fund. Always nice to have your ducks in a row.

Elizabeth said... [Reply to comment]

...I'm not doing as well as you :\ But I'm so happy for you!! WTG!!

Sally said... [Reply to comment]

Sounds like you are budgeting very, very well! My husband, as far as I can tell, is not a budgeter, but then, he is pretty frugal just by nature. Anyway, as far as our financial goals, ahem, uh, we are accumulating debt as we continue on this addition project. Maybe we should call our goals our addition, or something like that. Anyway, I am confident that we will get it paid off, but it won't be this year, that's for sure! On the savings note, I quit saving money by hanging the clothes in the basement. Once the guys took up 1/2 the basement with their stuff (and they're still using it), I couldn't have the kids down there as I hung wash, plus I had to walk and step over and around so much stuff that I just gave up. I'm using the dryer for now. Even on the pretty days because there is so much mud in the yard, and right now there is no direct access to the back yard and I would have to carry the wash baskets, clothes pins, and the kids a long ways to get there.

On the low thermostat front, I am still toughing out the 63-64 degree temperatures of our house. I have been sooooooo COLD these last few weeks I have been seriously tempted to bump it up to 66 or 68. But, I am holding out, and hopefully saving a dime a month, or something like that. I'm sure it's so trivial it's nauseating, but at least I FEEL frugal while I am freezing and shivering, and taking 2-3 times as long to dress the kids with 3 shirts and 2 pair of pants each.

So, there's my non-scientific, not-very-impressive January update. In a nutshell, I'm cold and using the clothes dryer.

Candi said... [Reply to comment]

Great goals. We too are doing the cash for groceries. It was really hard in January and I totally blew it but hopefully I can figure it out and be more strict with myself! Thanks for the encouragement! And glad you're back :)

Michele said... [Reply to comment]

Great job with the goals! We always have little things crop up, too. Just last week we had to buy a monitor. And our computer crashed not once but twice last year! Unfortunately, I do not have a budget category for computer repairs. LOL But I do have a Miscellaneous category so that's where it comes from. Thanks for visiting my blog.

A family at our Wits End... said... [Reply to comment]

Good to hear your update!
Brandon gets paid once a month and we do a monthly "budget meeting" where I (as the family CFO) bring the proposed budget for approval! Brandon lets me know of anything he thinks should be changed and we talk about it before I finalize the budget. Once it has been approved, I move ALL of the money not needed for a regular budget category to savings and write up the cash amounts. Brandon goes to the bank and gets the month's cash. We keep our cash in a coupon file divided by categories. When a category is empty, we stop spending.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

our financial goals may not be normal, but we plan to build a grain bin without a loan and I want to pay off the rest of our medical bills this year.