Hi mamas! I would love to join this thread!
a. Who you are
My name's Sabrina, I'm a registered midwife mama to three gorgeous children (son age 2, and daughters age 5 and 7). We are a single income family while my husband is pursuing a Masters in Education (which of course costs money) and what once seemed like a reasonable income has been stretched pretty thin. We need to be more conscious if we're not going to live from month to month and are going to be able to actually accomplish our goals!
b. Where you are going (your financial goals)
1) Finish paying down credit cards (have paid 3000 of 7800 thus far) and not continue to charge on them.
2) Save emergency fund of $2000 (my personal comfort level until we have credit line paid off).
3) Pay taxes in full in April (I'm self-employed) and have them saved for each year to avoid interest and penalties.
4) Pay off car in 3 years or less instead of 5 (we have always had paid-off cars but recently had to finance a used vehicle when we didn't have the cash when our van finally died and I can't stand the payment!).
5) Pay off student line of credit (large amount and fairly high interest IMO at 6.5%).
6) Save up to pay cash for home addition within 5 years (sunroom, two beds, one bath and new siding on the whole house... oh my!).
c. How you plan to get there
1) Detailed budget each month (I get paid monthly, on the 1st) with cash "envelopes" for food, gas and miscellaneous. I have serious debit card issues!
2) Decrease food budget as much as possible. My son and I are strict gluten and dairy free, and the whole family eats primarily whole, unprocessed and local foods so meal planning, bulk shopping and home cooking are key.
3) Make as many homemade Christmas gifts as possible, which will save money and be fun to do with the kids! Also stay within budget for all holiday-related spending (stockings, tree/decor, extra food). I get so carried away every year...
4) Sell things of value that are currently being stored in our basement. Such a waste! Also, make a few pieces of children's clothing to sell on consignment at two local shops for extra/spending money (have materials already).
I'll start tracking tomorrow! :)