This is what our household looked like last night:
We are not big partiers, even though New Year’s is a favorite of mine. I love the fresh start and the new beginning.
Unfortunately today, I have not really taken advantage of it. I am still in my pjs and guess I am just slow to get 2015 started. Don’t think today has been a total waste. I did cook a nice, homemade lunch for the family before Hubs headed off to work. I also got my first nap of 2015 out of the way. Most importantly, though, I updated the pages on this blog and think I have finalized my resolutions for the year.
Without further ado, here they are:
$435 into miscellaneous savings accounts*
$300 into emergency fund*
10 No spend days
Use cash only
Snowball and get 2 students loans wiped out
One Date night this month
Run at least 35 miles
Start muscle strengthening workouts
Yoga at least 3 times a week
Each more veggies (at least 1 at lunch and 1 at dinner)
No more pop!
Drink at least 5 cups of water a day
Recreation (Things I like to do)
Blog 5 times a week
Read at least 1 book a month
Start a cleaning routine
Paint last set of cabinets*
Vacuum at least once a week
Complete one large home cleaning task a month
*Each goal with an ‘*’ is most likely going to change each month or will become a new challenge once it gets completed.
Now for a bit of a breakdown of our financial goals (I will focus on breaking down a different area for the next couple of days):
For the first goal of $435 into miscellaneous savings accounts, here is how it looks:
$95 into a savings account for Labor Day travels. We are thinking about traveling out to see some of Hubs’ family for Labor Day. This would include a hotel stay for 1 or 2 nights, along with gas, and food on the road. I do not know if it will happen. If we decide not to travel, then the money will be moved to somewhere that it is needed. Once September arrives, we will reevaluate if we are going to make this a yearly trip. If so, then I will adjust the amount for a full year’s worth of savings instead of just 9 months worth of savings.
$50 into a savings account for Thanksgiving travel. We are celebrating Thanksgiving with Hubs’ family this year, and in the past it is has been hosted by his sister in Chicago. We are not sure of the arrangements for this coming year, as we have offered to host it if anyone is interested. If we end up not traveling, and we get to host it, then this will go to buying food for the holiday.
$50 for Christmas. We are not traveling for Christmas this year, as we will celebrate it here with my family. This means that we will not need to set aside as much as we did this past year. I do believe $600 by December should be plenty to be able to buy gifts for everyone on our list.
$10 a month for classroom expenses. Classroom expenses seem to always show up at the beginning of the year, the end of the year, and randomly throughout the year. I think $10 a month will be enough to cover costs throughout the school year (along with money we get from the PTO and our building budget… assuming we get to keep our building budget.)
$75 a month for a consignment sale. I will actually save $125 this month and $75 next month for the consignment sale at the end of February. Unfortunately because Miss C is getting older, clothes are not sold in cute little outfits. We have to buy tops and bottoms separately which end up adding up. We will continue to keep these costs to a minimum by buying at the consignment sales. After the sale at the end of February, I will lower this amount to $50 a month. Then we will have the fall consignment sale to save up for. It will become a regular savings process in our world.
$75 a month for a lawn mower. We will save this for about 4 months. Hopefully we will get to buy a lawn mower in April. Ours is on it’s last leg, and it is a beast to use. It was free when we got it and has lasted for 2 summers, so we aren’t complaining at all! Once we buy the lawn mower, I think I will put this money aside for a dishwasher, as that is going to be the next appliance we would like to update.
$60 a month for dog expenses. Dogs need vaccinations and monthly medication (all dogs, not just our two highly special dogs). I like to set aside some money, so when vaccinations come due or we need a refill of heartworm protection, it is not a surprise.
$50 for car tags. I have been doing this forever. Our tags are due in July. The first year we were married, I was not ready. It was an unexpected expense (unexpected due to me not being prepared). It is more than we need at this point, but I want to keep this amount the same for when we get a new vehicle and the price increases.
$15 for Miss C’s birthday. By October there will be $150 which should be no problem at all for a 3rd birthday!
*Another one that I did not add is $450 a month for a car down payment. I did not add this, as I am treating it like a bill. It automatically comes out of our checking account and is deposited into a savings account. I don’t even want to see the money, so I am not tempted to spend it.
Because of the tv debacle, I know we are going to use some of our emergency fund money. In all honesty, $300 this month into this account is going to be a stretch. In our budget, I have $280 budgeted to go in there, so the other money will have to be scraped from somewhere else. My semi-long term goal is to get our emergency fund up to $1,000 by the end of March and then up to $2,000 by the end of the year. I sure hope that can happen!
When I think about only putting away $300 into our emergency fund, I get a little depressed. I feel like we should be able to put more than that away. But if I take a step back and add up how much we are saving all together (just in separate accounts to keep it easy to see), we are actually saving $1,185 in January. That is not a number to be depressed about!
10 No spend days. I think this will be pretty easy. My hardest part with this is tracking it. I need to get on the ball with tracking things. At least I have my beautiful new planner to help out with that! I want to see if we can get 10 true no-spend days. In the past I have let days that I paid bills count as no-spend days, but I don’t want that this time around. I really want true no-spend days.
Track spending. Again, this is a goal that has shown up often and one that I fail at every time. I really would like to track not only spending this year, but savings. I want to see what I managed to save with coupons, sales, etc. I don’t have a specific goal for how much I want to save, but I would like some baseline data to get me started so I can make a goal.
As far as tracking spending, this is just something I am going to have to force myself to do until it becomes a habit. I am not sure how I want to track it yet, but I really want to see where our money goes each month.
Use cash only. I did not do as well with this one this past year, and I can tell, as we do not have as much change in our change jar as we have in the past. I have gotten very lazy with just paying with our debit card for groceries. We will continue to pay for gas with our debit cards, as I refuse to either unload my child to run into the gas station to pay with cash or leave her in the car as I run in. It’s just not ok in my book. Groceries have gotten expensive lately, so it is going to be tough keeping our grocery budget in check so I can use cash only, but we will definitely try our hardest.
We should be able to get our first student loan paid off in May this year and our second paid off in September! I can’t believe we are so close to getting more debt wiped out! Right now we are paying double on our lowest balance, and we plan to snowball that to our other loan. Being able to see that we are making headway and are closing in on being debt-free really gives me the encouragement to work hard and get it done!
Wish me luck this year! I have some lofty goals (as always)!
What are your financial goals for 2015?