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goals for 2014 - Page 2

post #21 of 34

Our goal in 2014 is to spend as little money as possible.  We've been living off savings and had very little income this year, and next year will be more or less the same.  I'll probably allow a modest family vacation and that's about it.  I've done decently on grocery budget last year, trying to waste less food and shop fewer times.  I'm hoping I'll keep up with the food budget.  What we need to work on are utilities.  We use a lot of hydro and haven't been very good at turning things off.  I'll also try to make more handcrafted gifts instead of store bought ones for birthdays.

post #22 of 34
My goals

1) increase emergency fund/savings 1375/3000$
2) eliminate all cc and dental bill 0/4356$
3) pay down student loan debt by 2500 0/2500 (7300$ total debt as of Jan 2014)

I am handwriting my goals and tracking my monthly progress in a binder as I do better physically writing goals by hand. I hope it will help keep me on track.
post #23 of 34
Thread Starter 

Ilovemybabybird- sounds like you have a good plan! Even though I am using Mint.com to budget now, I still like to write it down. I'm trying to get a folder organized for my goals & homeschool plan. I really like to write lists, but I end up with all these little lists everywhere & have trouble organizing it together! It's not a very effective system:)

post #24 of 34
I use mint.com as well
post #25 of 34
We're doing this save x amount of money per week challenge. If you keep with it, you'll have over $1k by the end of the year.

We anticipate a large tax return and with that we are paying off and down some debt, saving $1k for an emergency fund, and my husband is going to Mexico for a little R&R (he truly deserves it, and a lot of the trip is covered by his dad).

I want to be more financially responsible. I'm an impulse buyer and "need" stuff that I never use and ends up getting thrown away or donated. I'm making it a goal of mine to wait one full pay period before buying anything that isn't a dire need (which if it isn't food, gas, rent, or utilities it *isn't* a need at all wink1.gif). Even spending $1 here, $5 here adds up quickly and much rather keep that in my pocket. My New Year resolution is actually no more coffee shop drinks. We live on a street with 2 Starbucks and 5 mini drive thru stands. It's my one real vice, but it costs so much money. I can make most of it at home.
post #26 of 34

I have used Mint.com on and off for a couple of years. I don't love it. You can't adjust the dates of the financial period to reflect income/expenses that might fall over the end of one month and the beginning of the next, so every month one or more of my bills was "off." It's a small criticism that likely doesn't apply to everyone, but having to mentally make that caveat every month looking at the graphs and charts got annoying. I'm back to paper-and-pencil for now.

 

My goals for 2014, with a couple carried over from 2013:

 

1. Grow more positive in my attitude about money.

 

2. Create a budget along with my husband.

 

3. Pay off the credit card and the car.

 

4. Get some help and make a plan for managing crushing student loan debt. (See? There's that attitude piece! So hard not to feel discouraged about it.)

post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarieHoney View Post
 

I have used Mint.com on and off for a couple of years. I don't love it. You can't adjust the dates of the financial period to reflect income/expenses that might fall over the end of one month and the beginning of the next, so every month one or more of my bills was "off." It's a small criticism that likely doesn't apply to everyone, but having to mentally make that caveat every month looking at the graphs and charts got annoying. I'm back to paper-and-pencil for now.

 

Same here - tracking by calendar month also didn't work well for me - because I get paychecks every other Thursday and not on specific dates each month, my "fiscal month" is often very different than the calendar month. Usually the last check in a month will actually be needed for the next month's bills that are due right away. And I didn't like how you can only view up to the current date - part of financial planning is being able to look a few month's ahead, so that was a major flaw for me. I use an Excel file to track bills now. 

post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarieHoney View Post
 

I have used Mint.com on and off for a couple of years. I don't love it. You can't adjust the dates of the financial period to reflect income/expenses that might fall over the end of one month and the beginning of the next, so every month one or more of my bills was "off." It's a small criticism that likely doesn't apply to everyone, but having to mentally make that caveat every month looking at the graphs and charts got annoying. I'm back to paper-and-pencil for now.

 

My goals for 2014, with a couple carried over from 2013:

 

1. Grow more positive in my attitude about money.

 

2. Create a budget along with my husband.

 

3. Pay off the credit card and the car.

 

4. Get some help and make a plan for managing crushing student loan debt. (See? There's that attitude piece! So hard not to feel discouraged about it.)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchensqueen View Post
 

 

Same here - tracking by calendar month also didn't work well for me - because I get paychecks every other Thursday and not on specific dates each month, my "fiscal month" is often very different than the calendar month. Usually the last check in a month will actually be needed for the next month's bills that are due right away. And I didn't like how you can only view up to the current date - part of financial planning is being able to look a few month's ahead, so that was a major flaw for me. I use an Excel file to track bills now. 

 

 

Try YNAB aka You Need A Budget software. It's a pay software BUT if you can find someone who upgraded form the previous edition they are allowed to give their old liscence away free. It does EXACTLY what both of y'all want :)

post #29 of 34

Love seeing where everyone is aiming financially! I'm envious of you ladies saving for down payments, I am eager to own my own home. Someday we will, but for now we're trying to solidify our 6 month emergency fund first.

 

Baby #2 midwife bill - $3800 (ttc soon!)

$150 a month towards a new car

$300 a month into our 6 month emergency fund

Jordanville Seminary course tuition - $2000

 

I enjoy budgeting, and knowing exactly where everything is going, and seeing our emergency fund grow and grow. I've tried Mint and a few others but when I go the handwritten route, I stick to it better. 

post #30 of 34

We've been using EEBA, it's online and a free app on a smartphone. It's been very help in tracking our budget

post #31 of 34

Very inspiring to hear everyone's goals! We are in a crunch this year paying for daycare for two, so we're in a holding pattern of trying not to go deeper into debt :(


Some goals that would help:
1. build back and maintain our $1000 emergency fund

2. Pay down credit card debt (~$2000) and dental bills.

3. start our own health savings fund (change in insurance due to DH's job switch means more out of pocket expenses) - Tax refund will likely get this rolling.

4. stick to budget!! For some reason I find this really hard. I've been using Mint, but since we use a local credit union, downloaded transactions are categorized weirdly. I'll look at some of the options here. The idea of carrying cash around is a bit terrifying for me (in my chronically sleep-deprived state) but I'll give it a look.

post #32 of 34

I read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover in 2011. Since then we have been following the steps listed, with some modifications. I like the "recipe" format of the book: step 1, step 2, etc. I must say, taking control of our finances has been one of the most empowering things I have ever done! It was scary at first to take a close look at everything, because it makes you realize how out of control things are. But, he spells out a nice plan to get yourself started.

 

I have also used Mint for a couple years now, but I also use Penzu. It's really a journal writing site, but I have documented our actual monthly expenditures since 2011. I find this a little easier to look at for older info, but it's probably not the best format for this purpose. The process has prompted us to look very closely at all of our monthly bills. We ditched cable among other things (don't miss it! stream Netflix, etc). We also pretty much stopped using credit cards, even though we were paying off the balance in total every month. We realized that using a credit card still encourages you to spend a little more every month than you actually take in. We do still use bank cards though as this is money we already "have".

 

I'm now actually learning a little about investing in general. It is mystifying and definitely not my area of expertise, but I'm learning little by little! I recommend that people check out the Bogleheads website and books!

post #33 of 34

I've been following a lot of financial threads on these forums and they've been really helpful!

 

We've taken a lot of steps this past year to cut costs. No cable just netflix, we use cleaning rags instead of paper towels, growing a garden, thrift shopping, trying to do some car repairs using youtube videos although sometimes we still had to take it to a mechanic :2whistle. Anyways I keep track of all the monthly bills in a notebook and it has worked great for me for the predictable monthly bills. We don't really have a budget for everything else and I feel like a lot of money is flying away some months, and sometimes I've taken money out of savings to cover unexpected stuff.

 

So here are my goals:

Build our savings/emergency fund (it is looking sad)
Make a budget for all the extra stuff and keep to it!

 

Anyone have any tips on how to keep track of the little extras?

post #34 of 34

For 2014 to start with I need to be more conscious about our spending, making a budget and STICKING to it!! We've had some unexpected medical bills come up quite frequently lately for dd and I need to get a handle on that now that they're starting to come in.

 

My financial goals for 2014:

- Work on paying debts (medical bills and getting some paid down on student loans)

- Replenish our EF that seems to always dwindle once we get it 

- BIG GOAL: Buy a house! This will also be a move for us as well since our area is drastically bad for our family. 

 

To make this happen I need to make a list of the small debts and work up a plan to start paying everything off. I'll be able to budget better once I get final word on what's happening with DH's job (I mentioned on other threads he's trying for a promotion that would up our income but we're unsure yet). The EF I'll continue adding to as I can. For the house and move it's still up in air as to where or how much it's going to cost. We're still doing analysis on this issue. Luckily we have a ton of stuff to sell and I think that plus tax return will give us a nice chunk for dp/savings/whatever. We have 10 acres to sell as well and I really hope it sells. My goal is actually to hopefully sell the property plus tax returns, selling our other stuff (including a couple of larger items), and whatever I can save the next few months too will give us enough to BUY a house outright. This will vary depending on how much we collect and housing costs in the exact area we decide to move but I think it's doable. Actually... being able to do this is going to be a key factor in where to move. I've struggled for so long not much else would be better than having a paid for home even if it isn't quite ideal or needs work. I'm hopeful but we'll see how the year works out.

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