Sunday, November 2, 2008

Side Bar Goals - Update

I thought I should take a look at the Financial Goals I had set in my sidebar and see how I'm doing on each one. Here were the goals I set:
  • 1. - Be Aware of Financial Dangers (sisters)
  • 2. - Plan Ahead Better (Florida trips)
  • 3. - Start Diet & Exercise Routine
  • 4. - Become Better at Budgeting
  • 5. - Start Next Year's Budget Now
  • 6. - Focus on Finances 1xDay
  • 7. - Sign Up For FPU
  • 8. - Pay Debts At Beginning of Month

1. Be Aware of Financial Dangers (especially hanging out with my sisters) - This one is a little hard to measure, except the part about my sisters. I haven't really gone shopping with my sisters, so in a sense I have avoided that danger. The real test will be to go shopping with them and to be successful (like only buying things on my list). A test of this will be coming up as I always go Christmas shopping with my sisters on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). I enjoy this tradition but will only be successful if I stick to my list and only buy gifts for others (nothing for myself) and stick to my pre-made Christmas budget. So, we'll see.

2. Plan Ahead Better (Florida trips). Well, we do have another trip planned, but this one is for my sister's wedding. We are going in April for a week. We already paid cash ($1,000) for the plane tickets for my family of 5. I have budgeted $2,000 for spending money for the trip. It's a little early to start packing yet, but I will definitely need to plan my clothing early and hopefully avoid the urge to buy all new clothes for the trip!

3. Start Diet and Exercise Routine - nope. Not at all.

4. Become Better At Budgeting - I think I am on my way here (finally). Realizing that I need to use my calendar (as explained in this post) was a huge step forward.

5. Start Next Year's Budget Now - I have done a complete budget for 2009 (which you can view here). I do still need to remember that if something comes up in this month's budget, I might need to remember to add it to next year's budget.

6. Focus on Finances at Least Once A Day - for the most part I have been doing this. I have been posting about every other day. I have been reading the financial carnivals and other pf blogs. I have been checking my on line accounts often.

7. Sign Up For Financial Peace University - done. I am about half way through this class that meets every Tuesday night. I am enjoying the refresher.

8. Pay Debts At The Beginning Of The Month - Well, we have temporarily stopped paying extra on our debts. We are instead putting all the extra cash into savings. The reason for this is that we are nervous about the unstable economy and how it might affect my husband's job. His commissions could be much lower than we have budgeted for and we want to be prepared for that. (And God forbid if there were layoff's at his company!) I do think I could fine tune this plan, though. I don't like having our "extra money" (the money that would have been paid to debt) mixed in with our other savings. The reason is that we sometimes need to take money out of this account for daily living expenses. We put in extra money on high commission months and take out money on low commission months. I feel we could have more control and feel more of a sense of accomplishment if this "extra money" was in a separate account that grew every month (rather than go up and down). So, I need to give this some thought and maybe open another savings account.

So, not a perfect score, but not too bad either.

I think we are at least moving in the right direction. ;)