Hi all! I have been absent from MDC for a while but I really could use some motivation with not spending and saving.
a. I'm a SAHM of one 19-month-old precious little girl. We are planning on TTC by July so we really want to get our finances in order.
b. We are pretty lucky in that we have no debt aside from our mortgage. We are both pretty careful spenders for the most part, but our savings the past few months has been eaten away by things like emergency surgery for DH, new tires, A/C breakdown, pest control visits, etc. All necessary (to us) stuff, but it seems like it all came at once, around Christmas no less, so that made it worse. Our savings account was about halved during this time, and b/c of the stress we got used to eating out instead of cooking at home. I finally got us out of that rut a few weeks ago, and we've been eating at home every day, with about one meal a week eaten out. We do pretty well financially and are able to keep our heads above water, but we aren't able to save a lot, mainly b/c of our spending habits not being as good as they could be (though still not terrible...just definitely room for improvement). So basically, my goals are:
1. Rebuild our savings***
2. Open a Roth IRA for me (hubby already has one), and regularly contribute to them both, no matter how small the amount.
3. Finish setting up life insurance for me (already in process). Hubby already has life insurance.
4. Write up a will.
5. Start a college savings acct. for DD. She has a savings acct but I want a few more hundred dollars in there before we actually open a 529.
c. Some of these will be easy. The life insurance for me is already in progress. Writing a will won't actually be hard; I just need to sit down with our soon-to-be lawyer friend and get it done.
Our daughter's 529 will likely have to wait to be opened until her birthday when we get some more cash flow coming in specifically for her. I can also empty her incredibly heavy piggy bank at the grocery store one of these days to the coinstar and make a deposit to her savings. Also, several relatives have already opened 529 accounts for her so this is not terribly high priority atm, but I still want to do it.
***My main priority is rebuilding savings. There are a few things we can do to facilitate that: sell our third car (2001 Celica, anyone?). Sell my unused saddle (expensive Stubben, I am hoping to get a few hundred dollars at least). Perhaps start selling unwanted things on ebay? But most of all, to avoid the slow trickling down of our savings again, we need to change our habits. I have started clipping coupons and have done a meal plan for about a month now, and I'm getting better at working cooking into our day. We could do better on energy use, like turning lights off when we leave a room. We aren't to the point that we need to cut entertainment yet, but I'm open to closing our Netflix account and trying to downgrade our cell phone plans if necessary. So anyway, I guess I'll make one of those little calendar thingies like everyone else! I can tell already this is going to be great for accountability.
1. Paid mortgage. I overspent by about $7 while shopping . My husband got me a gift certificate to a store for my b-day, and they wouldn't let me put $.75 on my debit (tax), they only charge $5 and up. So...I overspent. Cooked dinner. Exercised. Bought a tea for $1.17 . Need to make my own tea.
2. I spent a fair bit of money at Home Depot today for the house, BUT it was all on a Christmas giftcard, so I'm not counting it. Also bought shoes at Target from a b-day giftcard (also not counted), and used a coupon. Cooked dinner. Exercised. Bought another tea . I also cancelled two magazines I was getting on Kindle after subscribing to a trial period. I forgot to cancel them so they started charging me...not a lot, but every bit counts!
3. Didn't spend any money from our account, but did spend from a gift card (Home Depot again, we are in the middle of a few projects). Husband did some budgeted spending at Target. Cooked dinner and exercised.
4. Paid off credit card from my birthday money (we pay off in full every month). We will not be spending any other money today.
I'm excited to be here!
Edited by alicewyf - 3/4/11 at 10:13am