Posts Tagged ‘Financial Goals’

Hello One & All – Its been ages since I’ve been in the post here, been super busy with work and getting ready for the Holidays!

Our Holiday season was a busy one, and one that closed out with some HUGE financials burdens being laid at our feet – seems to happen every year at that time, I don’t understand it seriously – why does something go wrong with the car at the holidays every damn year!?!?!?!? This year it was a wreck – something happened 5-Days before Christmas and I managed to hit a pole! A totally learner’s permit move, but it happened – ugh – a lady told me that my front drivers side tire didn’t turn right and thus caused me to hit a pole on that side of Bessie (aka our van) – BUT its a pole with a yield sign that EVERY single friggin’ person hits!  Frustrating as Hell!  So I have incurred for this a charge for a tow truck, $65.00, a rental car, cost TBD and a deductible on the car repairs, $250.00 + an Oil Change + a Coolant Flush, cost TBD from the dealership…ugh! And we have one more payment on our trial period for the mortgage to make on the 15th, $860.14.  Ugh someone has decided we’re bleeding money that time of year….happens every damn year and frankly I am sick & tired of it.  Curious who we pissed off in terms of the financial karma’s that has cursed us and caused us to consistently be struggling?!? We do everything we can to make things work – do everything right and inevitably we hit trouble financially ALL the DAMN TIME!

Ok so where does that leave us financially for the New Year? Well currently at a stand still until I know for sure where we are in terms of the cost of the rental car + the oil change and coolant flush from the dealership – I’m waiting on an estimate from the dealership and won’t know how much the rental will be until I turn it in – I got an estimate when I opened the contract, $90.68, but that was for only 4-Days and now I am sitting here on two+ weeks, it’s $21.00/day = roughly $294.00, then there’s taxes + fees, etc…so I am looking at about $350.00…so not happy about this!  Not sure where to go from here…

We are doing something, or more taking on a challenge of sorts – we’ve decided to join the millions doing the 52-Week Savings Challenge and keeping the funds in a jar here at work so we’re less tempted to use it, see the image here

52 Week Money Challenge

I’ve deposited the 1st Week’s Amount into this jar – if all goes well, maybe by the end of the year we’ll have a decent amount of money saved and we can use that money to start our Emergency Funds account! Or even start saving toward a vacation – we haven’t decided exactly how to use that money yet – in fact, we haven’t even discussed it…for now it’s just a matter of budgeting smart so we can make those contributions weekly.

Well enough from me – hope everyone is having a good week! I’ll try to get back in here weekly to bi-weekly to update!

Yesterday I discussed ways to recover from financial debt mis-management and one item that was suggested was to create a Financial Goals Look Book to refer back to when you begin going off of your path, today I am going to create a mock-up of that book here – I realize that the article meant a real-life physical one you could hold in your hand, seeing as how I don’t have the resources to do as such today I am going to put it here.

So Enjoy!

First and Foremost: Paying Off the Car so we can Allocate that Monthly Payment ($336.98) to the Mortgage

Car Paid Off

Second plays off of the above, Financial Stability – I figure once the car is paid off and we can put that money back into the mortgage our finances should semi-stabilize

FinancialStabilityCircle

Then from the above, we can begin to build two separate savings accounts; #1 an Emergency Savings Fund

retirement-emergency-savings

And then maybe simultaneously #2, a Retirement Savings Fund – we’ve started t his with our 8% Merrill Transfers each Week, Now we just have to Stay out of That Account

Retirement Savings

Then somewhere along the line maybe, just maybe we can get and stay Current on All of Our Utilities

articleheaderimg_resources_utilities

And then maybe we can begin putting money aside for some kind of Family Vacation – something we’ve NEVER done outside of traveling to and from Maryland to visit family – I’d love nothing more than to take the kids on a real vacation, to say Disney (cliche I know, but it’s truth!)

Mickey & Minnie Vacation

And them maybe we can begin allocating funds to invest back into our home, there are two things  I’ve love to do more than anything: 1 is to replace the sash’s of two broken windows, and 2 is the replace the flooring in our main living areas from the icky grungy contractor grade carpet and tile we currently have to maybe some Pergo/Laminate Flooring

Pergo Flooring tilt-sash-replacement-window-300x212

And I figure in order to do some of the above we need to either find new jobs or maybe find some extra income – and I can do that by maybe just maybe finding a way to get paid to do book reviews!

Paid Book Reviews

So that’s the basics of my look book as new goals arise  I’ll add them here!

Images Borrowed from:
http://www.fiscallysound.com
http://www.diaryofasahm.com
http://www.paidbookreviews.org
http://www.dhs.state.mn.us
http://www.blog.equifax.com
http://www.annuityguys.com
http://www.earlwood.org
http://www.replacementwindwosadvisor.com
http://www.blogs.newsobserver.com

piggy-bank

I recently read several articles at the beginning of the year that talked about ways to make 2014 your best year financially and I honestly thought to myself “Well there you go, a way to help guide your path to financial security”  -well I am certainly hopeful this will be the case because I cannot even begin to fathom continuing on my path of living paycheck-to-paycheck and constantly being behind the 8-Ball so to speak.

The first article I read was The 7-Habits of Highly Frugal People and the original can be found here

To Summarize the author’s points:

  1. Be Proactive – adopt the “I can” or “I will” mentality, take that first step by sharing with the people around you your goals of being financially frugal, and listen to yourself, no one knows you better than you.
  2. Begin With the End in Mind – “If you don’t visualize what you want, then you’re at risk of other people and external circumstances influencing your life” you can achieve this by defining your goals both long and short-term and then deciding how you are going to get there.
  3. Put First Things First – “What are the things you find most valuable and worthy to you?” and then recognize the effect your finances have on this and just say no to those things that will set your goals back.
  4. Think Win-Win – “See mutual benefits from all of your interactions” – this plays into the Keeping up with the Smiths mentality we sometimes adopt or when we get jealous of our peers thinking of “why do they go to so a-b-c while I am stuck always doing x-y-z” instead remember that you don’t always know the full story, for all you know they could be in debt up to their ears!  The second part of this though is to think like someone of great wealth – understand the very difference between possessions and net worth, know those things that are collecting wealth vs. those things that are just that THINGS
  5. Communication – “To effectively communicate, you need to first understand” remember that you are not the only person in your life – your decisions affect not just you, but those around you – so you need to communicate your goals and desires and in turn listen to the goals and desires of those around you
  6. Synergize – “Creative Cooperation – working as a team to find new solutions to existing problems” – do you constantly find yourself repeating the same financial mistakes? (um I am guilty of this) Then work with those close to you to find new ways of fixing the mistakes…and maybe even surround yourself with other frugal people.
  7. Sharpen the Saw – there’s four stages to this; Physically – eating better, exercising, maybe building that vegetable garden you always talked about (this will in turn save you money at the grocery store); Emotionally – interacting socially with others will help you build relationships and keep you from feeling isolated; Mentally – exercise your mind by reading and learning all you can about all things finance and/or any topic that interests you; and Spiritually – spend time with nature by taking hikes, meditation, and connecting with your inner spiritual self.

These are just some of the steps you can take to begin thinking differently about your finances.

What changes will you make in 2014 to your finances to become more financially independent?

New Year 20143

 

I hope beyond all hope everyone had a Great Holiday Season! Santa was good to you and yours, and that your New Year Celebrations were everything you hoped they would be!  We spent ours as per usual at home watching Transformers 3 and playing Skip Bo after I did my at home Zumba Workout!

With the New Year comes many thoughts flooding into my head about what I want our finances to look like for 2014, and I can honestly say I have lofty goals and that probably only 10% of them will be met, so here goes, I am posting them here for accountability purposes:

1.  Get Caught up on the Mortgage, we are currently behind once again, owing somewhere around $2,400.00 with another month being due posting 01/15/14…so this is Goal #1.  I haven’t completely figured out yet how we are going to catch up on this – for now I have built into the budget a weekly payment of $225.26 to at least cover the current month.

2.  Get Caught up and PayOff the car loan, we are currently behind once again, owing somewhere around $504.00 with another month being due posting 01/06/14…so again Goal #2 here.  And again I haven’t figured out how to catch up on this until tax time when I plan on using the tax refund to pay the back due balance and then as much as we can towards paying off the loan.  According to my math we owe something like $2,600.00 so I feel this is completely doable! Once the car is paid off we’re going to hold onto it for another year until we receive our refund in 2015 in hopes that without the car payment we can be more consistent with making our mortgage/utility payments.

3.  Get Caught Up on All Utilities! – We are once again behind on both the water and electric bills to the tune of about $400.00, so my ultimate goal here is to pay them off – I have worked again into the budget a weekly allotment to pay once utility something every week until tax time when I can zero them out – on the other side of this however is finding ways to lower said utility bills which may be semi-difficult, we’ll see!

4.  Build an Emergency Fund – Be it the monies we have left over at the end of each week, or we find a way to build with separate savings, this is a Necessity to prevent car repairs coming from our general funds – even if I have to split up what’s left in our checking account two ways every week I will find a way to do this!

5.  Start a Christmas 2014 Savings Fund – This will be for our travel and purchase of gifts for next Christmas! I so did NOT like being home alone this year – while our Christmas was nice & quiet with just the four of us, I still prefer the chaos and family time in Maryland! Call me crazy but that’s the way of it…to do this I have built into the budget each week a small amount of money to deposit into our savings account to help fund this account!

So that is the main list of 2014 Financial Goals – while I’d also love to find a way to fund a small vacation for all four of us, I just don’t see that happening right now – it just isn’t in the books.  I said something a couple of weeks ago that if anyone wanted to nominate us for one the Ellen Show “Surprises” I wouldn’t be offended – ugh I would so love some sort of miracle to come into our lives to help us out here!

So what are your 2014 Financial Goals?

Roadsigns for Financial Goals