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Archive for December, 2007

2008 Goals

December 28th, 2007 at 09:13 pm

I have been reading everyone else's goals and decided I should post my own. I am putting this a little higher than I might be able to reach, but they are still within the do-able range.

1. Pay off both loans by the end of June. This is the most important goal. I cannot work on the others until this is done. The sooner the loans are gone the better.

2. Work on full emergency fund with a goal of $1500 by the end of the year. We have a mini emergency fund already. This will start us on the road to $10,000 in savings.

3. Start a new home fund with a goal of $1500 by the end of the year. This hardly seems like enough to even deal with, but we have to start somewhere. We are in no rush to move but want to get an account started nevertheless.

4. Start saving for another vehicle. We will not be in need of one for several years. Our eventual goal is to pay for our next vehicle in cash. For now the 2008 goal is $1600.

We plan to free up a bit more fun money in the coming months. We do plan to stick to our frugal ways to accomplish our goals though. I will be looking for ways to trim the budget back a more. I am excited about the financial goals for 2008 and am sure we can reach them and hopefully surpass them!

Updated Totals

December 28th, 2007 at 01:50 am

I have updated the debt totals now that both payments have cleared. I am happy to see the totals well under $5000. In the past six months we have paid off $3200+ in debt. This may not seem like much but considering we are a one income family I think we have made good progress. It may be slow, but we are making definite progress. I was a little discouraged but now I feel a bit more encouraged. The end is definitely in sight!

Temporary Part-time Job

December 18th, 2007 at 07:58 pm

I got a call from the college I used to work at. They are looking for a computer teacher a few hours a day for five weeks. I will be teaching basic computer to some city employees. It might be a bit challenging as the skill level will vary widely. I am not exactly thrilled about braving the cold every morning, but I am excited about the extra money to put toward our debts. I am waiting to hear exactly how much I will get paid, but every bit will help us reach our goal.

Quiet on the Home Front

December 16th, 2007 at 02:58 pm

I have not posted much this month mainly due to a lack of anything to post about finance-wise. My only spending this week was at the grocery store for perishable items - milk, vegetables, etc. I am sticking with my plan of eating out of the freezer/pantry. I even managed to do that with the food for our church's Christmas party tonight. I had a large bag of chips leftover from another party. I made dip using spices I already have and a purchased carton of sour cream. I am also putting together a big tray of cookies since I overbaked this holiday season.

Tomorrow I will be making payments on the loans. We should be able to get those well under $5K. I need to start thinking seriously about goals for 2008. I did finally get Quicken loaded and am looking forward to using it to track spending in the coming months.

What I Wish I Had Known When I Was Working

December 14th, 2007 at 04:07 pm

I have been a housewife for almost 6 years. Sunday will be my "I quit my job" anniversary. Due to extreme stress, I quit very suddenly and without any planning. My dh and I quickly went from a two income household to a one income household. The sad and good thing is that we have not once missed my income. I was not making a large amount of money, but at the time I thought we needed that income to survive and keep up our paycheck to paycheck life.

I wish I had known that we could have saved 80% of my income. I know that I needed part of it for clothing, transportation, and a few other working life necessities, but the remainder was all extra moeny. I wish I had known that part of my income could have gone toward saving for a new house. I could have been contributing to a 401K. I could have been setting aside money for a vehicle purchase. I think of all the interest I paid in as interest that I could have been earning.

Hindsight, of course, is 20/20. I can see now that I should have spent my five years of married/working life saving money. It would make life now easier than it is. Looking to the future I can see that it now makes me more careful with money. The things I did not do are now things I want to do. Rather than being careless with money in the present, I try to be careful with it so that my future is better than my past. I believe that mistakes are only truly bad if I do not learn from them. I cannot change the past, but I can and will definitely do something about tomorrow.

Spending

December 11th, 2007 at 08:48 pm

Well I will learn to go to the doctor sooner. My bill (meds & all) was only about $50. He said that I was very close to developing pneumonia, which would not have been a good way to celebrate the holiday season. I am feeling a little better although I am still being lazy.

The spending comes in with my need for new printer cartidges. I did get refurbished ones and clicked through MyPoints. I am also going to go ahead and other tax software so we can get those done at the beginning of January. My car needs a tune up, but dh can do that himself so it will only cost parts - paid for out of our car repair fund.

Hopefully the rest of the month will be less spendy, but I will not hold my breath. On a positive note, dh will get his bonus on this week's check. Even with the extra spending, we will have $300+ extra to put toward the loans.

Still Sick & Other Things

December 6th, 2007 at 07:11 pm

I am still a bit under the weather. Yesterday I felt okay, but this morning I woke up with a sore throat again and a low fever. I may end up at the doctor after all.

I have had several no spend days, but I have not been keeping track of them. Today was not one as I finished my Christmas shopping with an iTunes card for my mom and a few stocking stuffers. I also took the youngest furry child to vet to be fixed. I am still waiting on a call from them to let me know how she is doing.

I am anxious to find out how much dh's Christmas work bonus will be, but I have to be patient until Monday. I am hoping to pay another big chunk on the debts this month.

I am thinking about using Quicken to track our expenses next year. It seems that several people here use it and like it. I would like to be able to get a yearly total for our spending categories. I have a previous version that I have never installed. Is there any reason to get the updated version each year or will I be fine with what I have?

Trying to Avoid the Doctor

December 2nd, 2007 at 03:05 pm

I have been sick for about a week now with what I am calling a bad cold. Most of the people I was around Thanksgiving were sick. I feel too bad to go to the doctor and have no interest in sitting in a room with fellow sick people for an hour or so. I had plenty of OTC medicine from sales. Dh did stop and buy me some cough medicine last night for about $3. I am planning an extra lazy day today. I think rest will be as much help as the medicine.