I don't, as a rule, make resolutions, but this year I am resolved to pay off the credit debt, come hell or high water.
Did you make any financial or frugal resolutions for you or your family?
Mine is the same as yours!
Here is the list:
Wells Fargo Credit Card $2,196
BoA Credit Card $2,807
Kid's Braces $2,268
*Student Loan $1,000
Additional I would like to pay off, but the above takes priority.
Car loan $10,000
*This is only one of my student loans. The other loans are consolidated and I am on the Income Based Repayment Plan.
If you count my car then it is right there with your 18k. My student loans are 107k! That's why I am on Income Based Repayment. I work for a nonprofit organization so hopefully my student loan debt will get forgiven after 10yrs of on time payments. What student loan payment plan are you on?
My resolution is to finally get a budget together. Life always seems to get in the way. We just got our house refinanced so that was a huge step and just bought a new car (after paying off another). So, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed but DH says it's manageable so that helps. We've been through a busy time with our business and buying and remodeling this house/property over the last two years. Things seem to be settling so I'm going to try to finally get a budget written up that's doable (this has been a resolution for a couple of years though). I'm hoping this will reduce my stress over money/finances.
My husband and I are striving to cut our living expenses down to half of his salary to allow for more aggressive savings and to be more deliberate in using the money we do spend. We've been working towards this idea of "graceful frugality" for several years now, both practically and philosophically speaking, and now seems the perfect time to strive harder as we've killed much of the desires to do the whole Consumer Extraordinaire and keep up with the Jonses thing.
It is also my hope to introduce better financial education to my daughter this year, helping her learn such concepts as true value over price and why we make some of the choices we do as a family. I was recently in a store with her when she asked why I had said no to opening up a credit card and realized as I explained my anti-cc conviction to her that I am not doing as well as I could with this aspect of family frugality and teaching values. It seems almost foolish to strive to model good behavior without providing her with the insight as to why certain choices are being made. Both aspects go hand in hand to provide a full picture.
I'm going to finish off my car loan. I have a car loan and student loan. the car loan is 240/month figure if i get it paid off i could up the payments on the student loan and pay that off by the end of the yr. once they are both paid off I will be able to save for a down payment on a house. :)
Mine is to eat out less. Last semester of our children's school year, we did drive thru often after school, and not even for dinner - just as a snack. That really added up and now we don't have as much to spend for the new year. Our children won't starve if we wait until we get home from school to eat some fruit, carrots, crackers, etc. instead of doing drive thru.
Enter in-store drawings, too - I have won a hibachi grill we take camping and an American Girl doll doing those. Plus a $50 Home Depot card filling out a survey. Not a financial plan, obviously! but fun to occasionally win something.
I haven't completely prioritized my goals yet, but basically here's what I want to do:
* get to a $10k emergency fund by the end of the year - on track if I keep our automatic withdrawal to savings at the same amount all year
* cut back spending (TV, phone, mindless/lazy eating out - have to scrounge around for other stuff) that is not fulfilling so that the four of us can keep taking the fun classes that are fulfilling to us: me - exercise, DH - guitar, DD1 - yoga, DD2 - pottery and music
* keep paying down CC and student loans - I have accepted that this will be a long-term process and try not to stress about that too much. On the plus side, we own our cars outright and plan to run them into the ground.
* finance in cash a summer vacation to see DH's family. I know according to some plans all that fun stuff should be put on hold while we pay stuff off, but although we have read & take inspiration from Dave Ramsey, that's not the way we have decided to do it. It's important that our kids have a close relationship to the relatives who live far away. Considering doing this by train instead of flying!
Also, I saw this on another thread:
http://pinchthisstretchthat.com/52-week-savings-challenge-week-1/ (see the printout for a better explanation)
Basically you save $1 per week, adding $1 for every week that goes by (so $1 in the first week, $52 in the last week) and end up with over $1k at the end of the year. I may try to do this until the end of November as sort of a "Christmas club" savings plan. I would still end up with $1,128, which would more than fund Xmas gifts with some left over for a water park getaway.
Good luck with 2013 goals, everyone!
We have a few:\
* revisit our budget and do better at sticking to it
* eat out less often and cook from the freezer/pantry more. No sense having food in the freezer if you don't use it to lessen weekly grocery shopping.
* In two more months I will be done paying off student loans!!! We have paid $800 - $1300 / month for the past 5 years. We have decided, instead of absorbing that money onto our lives, that we will continue to have that money go out each month. Half into a savings fund to finance a visit to my partners family and half into debt and then savings.
* go slower on the home renovations so as not to wrack up so much debt. We have a lot we need to do, and a lot we want to do to this house. We will stretch it out longer and save as much as possible between projects to reduce debt.
Oooh! What a great idea!
I have three:
1. I want to stop eating out so much. We've been so bad about that this year, while I was pregnant I had absolutely zero interest in cooking-I did sometimes, but we got in the bad habit of eating out a ton. Now that he's born I've kinda gotten my cooking mojo back so I want to get back on track with meal planning and the like.
2. Have a no spend month. I want one month where we have no frivolous spending (only buy the stuff we need, not the stuff we just want).
3. Actually save some money. Between having a baby this year, eating out so much, and buying a used car-we ended up with the same amount in savings as we had last year :(
It's nice to clarify this stuff and actually write it down!