I wanted to put into writing what our financial goals are for 2009. This will help me to be more accountable for my decisions and my plan is to do an update each month of our progress. Here goes...
Grocery Expenses - My goal is to stay with my $50.00 per week budget that I set for myself toward the end of 2008. This gives me a total of $2,600 for the whole year. I looked at Quicken for the past several years and here are my totals for past spending:
$3,757.93 (no kids)
$2,673.78 (my son was born in August, we lived with the in laws for 6 months of 2005)
$5,476.44 (my daughter was born in September)
As you can see, only spending $2,600 for the year will cut my grocery expenses by more than 1/2 from last year. This will really help us reach our goals!
Savings - We have been putting away about 10% of our income for quite awhile. Much of this is going into retirement accounts we also have a couple of CD's. We do not have an emergency fund per say. So here is what I would like to do:
Emergency Fund - I would like to have $1,000 in a savings account by the end of 2009. I will set up a payroll deduction from my paycheck for $38.50 each pay period to accomplish this (I get paid bi-weekly, so this will be deposited 26 times for a total of $1,001 by the end of the year).
Car Savings - Eventually I am going to need a new car. I drive a 1986 Jetta. Let's face it, the thing isn't going to last forever! I would like to pay cash for our next vehicle. We started an account last year with good intentions and have put a very small amount into it - only $60.00. My goal is to get it up to $2,500 by the end of the year. That won't buy a new car or even a great used car, but it will be a great start. I haven't decided on an exact plan for this - but I am working on it.
Christmas Fund - This is something I have never done successfully, but would like to start this year. I will set aside $20.00 per pay period from my paycheck to go directly to a separate savings account. This will give me $520.00 to spend for Christmas next year - which I'll also use to cover a nice meal if necessary.
Money/Cash Management - One thing that we have done that I think has contributed to our sometimes overspending is our credit card. We have a card that we use for most everything that we pay off each month. We earn rewards points which we cash in for gift cards on a regular basis. I love this, but I think that we spend more because we are using a credit card vs. cash. I would like to start using the cash envelope system for the following categories:
I will still use the credit card for gas a few automatic payments that we have set up and continue to pay it off each month. We will earn much less in rewards, but I think we will also spend much less in these categories.
Medical/Credit Card/Mortgage Debt - we will just keep plugging away, making sure to make as much more than the minimum payments that we can afford.
So that's the plan. I know that we can accomplish this. It feels good to have everything in writing and to know that I can take steps right away to get this started (set up payroll deduction, etc.). I am excited to see our progress and to share it with my readers!
Free Baby Stuff for Expecting Mothers
2 hours ago