What is your frugal/financial resolution? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 29 Old 01-08-2013, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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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?


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#2 of 29 Old 01-08-2013, 09:56 AM
 
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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

Dentist $158

Total $8,429

 

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.


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#3 of 29 Old 01-08-2013, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Heh your look much more doable than mine. We have about $18k in debt. That does not count student loans. Those are in the range of $75k. greensad.gif

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#4 of 29 Old 01-08-2013, 01:48 PM
 
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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?
 


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#5 of 29 Old 01-08-2013, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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30yr plan. Woo. Cheapest plan available through our consolidator. Still nearly $400/mo.

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#6 of 29 Old 01-08-2013, 02:38 PM
 
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Were your loans through private companies? Mine were all federal and I only pay $10 per month!
 


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#7 of 29 Old 01-08-2013, 06:46 PM
 
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To live within my means.  Plain and simple upsidedown.gif

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#8 of 29 Old 01-08-2013, 08:01 PM
 
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I set it up to have $100/paycheck (2 per month) put into savings. No easy access. Painless.
 


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#9 of 29 Old 01-08-2013, 11:29 PM
 
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My resolution is to finally get a budget together. Life always seems to get in the way. dizzy.gif  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.

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#10 of 29 Old 01-09-2013, 10:06 AM
 
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Why are you using a consolodation place? It is almost always better to pay the debts yourself.


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#11 of 29 Old 01-09-2013, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Student loan consolidation. Not credit card consolidation. Student loans consolidation got us a 3% interest rate and one payment a month vs 6% and three payments. I agree that CC consolidation is a bad plan.

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#12 of 29 Old 01-12-2013, 01:51 PM
 
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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. 


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#13 of 29 Old 01-12-2013, 06:05 PM
 
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I'm going to do those surveys on the bottom of receipts.... they only take a minute, and someone has to win the $1000, lol

also need to try to keep the debt down. I'm in a cycle of pay down my few little credit cards with my financial aid each semester, then by the end of the semester, I'm using them to float me til the next payment comes in.... sigh....thankfully they've all got very low limits, lol
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#14 of 29 Old 01-12-2013, 06:46 PM
 
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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. :)

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#15 of 29 Old 01-13-2013, 09:44 AM
 
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Our goal is to start retirement savings and save for some of the things that DH finds fun.

He took a new job that has him making significantly more but he's also away from the house more. On a slow week this doesn't really affect us. On busy weeks/jobs he could be in camp and away for three weeks+ or he could just be working hours which mean he never sees the kids. The last couple months he has had really cushy shifts and has been able to see us a lot and also took some time off at Christmas. But with all the work comes his desire to do some more "living" instead of the "living pay to pay" we did the first 8 years of our relationship.

So saving for retirement and then saving for a couple trips a year is our goals.

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#16 of 29 Old 01-13-2013, 10:24 AM
 
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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.


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#17 of 29 Old 01-13-2013, 11:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ashleyhaugh View Post

I'm going to do those surveys on the bottom of receipts.... they only take a minute, and someone has to win the $1000, lol

 

Love this winky.gif

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!

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#18 of 29 Old 01-13-2013, 11:43 AM
 
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To live within our means, like zebra15. Also, to get some money into savings; we don't have any cushion right now.


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#19 of 29 Old 01-13-2013, 07:41 PM
 
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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.


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#20 of 29 Old 01-13-2013, 08:52 PM
 
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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!


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#21 of 29 Old 01-14-2013, 10:23 AM
 
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mine is different since I'm in a pretty good situation now.

I have no debt, and I'm "stuck" with the house I really didn't want but ex can't afford.

 

1. I did the math and I *should* be able to save enough for house #2.  I expect I should have 100K in savings before this happens

I will probably rent out the current house if not able to sell for a wash at that point. Expecting some legal drama from ex. urk.

 

- Need savings for down payment (40K)

- Need savings for repair of both homes (30K)

- Need 6-8m emergency fund (20K)

- Need 3m mortgage of both houses (5K)

- Need tax for both homes (5K)

 

2. I have 45K in savings right now, and this is ~2yrs of savings.

3. REPAIR CREDIT

- Pretty sure I have all my ex's CCs he got in divorce still on my report. so as much as I don't want to look, I need to

- Continue to pay house on time

- Obtain secure credit card and work on buying/paying off (I have one now)

- Keep car with payments and auto pay so never late (check)

 

4. Car situation

- I have a new car but they took out cruise and that pissed me off. Plan is to trade in next summer for VW tiguan or perhaps Fiat 500L

- Keep this car and pay off, put car payment into savings for next ehh...5 years. Pay cash for replacement or second car

- Kids are 9 and 6, so they will be driving shortly after next car is payed off. Thinking I may keep this car for 10ish years and buy a smaller car for kids and myself to use so we have 2.

 

5. Work on some current home repairs now

- house needs some serious TLC. I don't want to pour money into a home I don't own, however we lived there jointly 3 years, i've been there over 5 myself, and by the time I can buy home #2 it'll be another 4-5 years. Might as well make myself comfortable.

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#22 of 29 Old 01-14-2013, 11:14 AM
 
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I want to get serious about meal planning.  I've totally drifted away from it and we are spending too much, especially on snacks and things.  

I also want to get ahead of the game this year. Debt is no longer a problem but we live paycheque to paycheque and I need to start living within my means and put some money in the bank!  I think an annual budget is going to help with this.


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#23 of 29 Old 01-14-2013, 11:19 AM
 
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Those of you who mentioned meal planning - there are some good threads on this in the Nutrition and Good Eating forum!
 


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#24 of 29 Old 01-18-2013, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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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.

Omg yes. With the arrival of the baby it got way too easy to call my DH and have him bring home takeout. I'm trying to cook/eat at home 6 out if 7 nights. I built in one takeout night/week, because I know there's going to be one day where the schedule goes to hell.

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#25 of 29 Old 01-20-2013, 04:57 PM
 
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This year we are concentrating on living within our means and simple.  Buying second hand etc.  I was doing really well with this and the last July we came into some money and paid off house, car, credit cards, we have a small loan from our remodel but it's under $7,000.  We kind of went spend happy, although we did buy things second hand it was still things we didn't have to have.  So this year I want us to get back to living simple.  


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#26 of 29 Old 01-20-2013, 06:30 PM
 
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We are luckily almost all out of debt except our car loan and mortgage. Car loan will be paid off by the end of summer ($4,000 to go) and just the thought of having an extra $500/month free for something else sounds amazing! I will definetly have to decide ahead of time what to put it towards because I know I will blow through it/waste it if I don't designate it to something. I am so use to scraping by at this point that it will feel so weird not to be counting dimes to see if I can go through the drive through. Plus I won't be pregnant anymore and will be eating waaay less so that will help with the budget as well. Not 'eating for two' will probably give us closer to an extra $700/month that I am not use to.

 

A non-finance goal is to get back to cooking more as well.


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#27 of 29 Old 01-26-2013, 11:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by weliveintheforest View Post

I want to get serious about meal planning.  I've totally drifted away from it and we are spending too much, especially on snacks and things.  

I also want to get ahead of the game this year. Debt is no longer a problem but we live paycheque to paycheque and I need to start living within my means and put some money in the bank!  I think an annual budget is going to help with this.

 

Yes, this is definitely my goal! I was doing so well last Spring, but then I started working a lot (and making more money than usual) over the Summer and early Fall. The extra income and increased work hours led to more eating out, which we have been working to curb. But even though we are back to eating almost all of our meals at home, I could do a much better job of meal planning and shopping frugally at the grocery store. In December we did almost no planned grocery shopping--it was almost all last-minute, what-do-we-need-for-tonight's-meal kinda trips and we went over our grocery budget by $200! Wowzers! That is going to stop right now!

 

In other money goals, we had out savings up to 10k, but then pulled from it to pay off a vacation purchase that a relative of mine is supposed to pay us back for. But I'm not sure how long it will take him to repay us, so I would like to focus on getting our savings back up. I'm shooting for 6 months of expenses by the time the new baby arrives in June. To that end, I have put us on an auto-savings transfer of $300/month.

 

Other than that, we are recently free of credit card debt! Which feels amazing. Planning to keep it that way. I still have some student loans consolidated and on IBR repayment, but we're not planning to get aggressive on that repayment because it's a relatively small amount of debt. Also, if I end up going into teaching there are loan-forgiveness plans that I might look into.


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#28 of 29 Old 01-26-2013, 12:28 PM
 
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We are luckily almost all out of debt except our car loan and mortgage. Car loan will be paid off by the end of summer ($4,000 to go) and just the thought of having an extra $500/month free for something else sounds amazing! I will definetly have to decide ahead of time what to put it towards because I know I will blow through it/waste it if I don't designate it to something. I am so use to scraping by at this point that it will feel so weird not to be counting dimes to see if I can go through the drive through. Plus I won't be pregnant anymore and will be eating waaay less so that will help with the budget as well. Not 'eating for two' will probably give us closer to an extra $700/month that I am not use to.

 

A non-finance goal is to get back to cooking more as well.

 

Congrats for getting so close!  I would really encourage you to put at least some of your current car payment towards a car fund so the next time you need a car you already have money to purchase it with.  That has been *really* nice for us!

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#29 of 29 Old 01-27-2013, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Awesome suggestion. I'm waiting for our tax docs. Then we will know how much we owe and how much I can throw at our credit debt.

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