Monday, January 6, 2014
2014 - Breaking down my goals - Finances
That is immediately what I think when I think about finances.
I am not on a salary but there is not a lot of wiggle room in my finances. Not a lot at all. Money is not the most important thing in my life, but it is a necessary part of my life. I am pretty good with it, but I kind of fly by the seat of my pants with it too. I don't want to do that anymore. I want to be more accountable and a better saver. There are also certain things I would like to do in the upcoming years. One is attend the She Speaks Conference with Proverbs 31 Ministries. THAT takes money. Money that isn't just hanging around. I need to plan for that. Now since I do not know how much this year will cost, I just have to save and if it works it works if it doesn't, it will next year.
The beginning of the year is never a great time for me to think about finances. I feel like I am just coming up for air from "The BIG Spend" aka Christmas and my son's birthday (two days after Christmas). This quickly is followed by "The NEXT Big Spend" aka my husband's birthday. By March I can breathe again. So saving will really have to wait until March at least in a big way. For now it is enough that I can buy our groceries, pay my credit card (don't judge me here, I always put at least $100), and follow the 52 Week Money Challenge. Which brings me to my bite-sized goals.
1 - Track my spending
I am not a big fan of this, but it does work. I plan on writing down EVERY last time that I spend.
2 - 52 Week Money Challenge
I will be following the 52 week money challenge where I put aside a weekly amount of money starting with $1 for week one, $2 for week two and so on. Yes this is a small way of saving, but I haven't really been disciplined so this will have to do. I admire those people who can save well and make their money work for them. I hope that this will be my first step to getting there.
3 - Change in Food Spending
First, discontinue frozen food purchases that go beyond veggies (I find GREAT deals on these), frozen ravioli (I cannot make them as good as the ones I purchase at Fry's for a great price by the way) and my husband's TV dinners for his work lunch (still cheaper than him buying lunch out. This is more of a LONG term goal. There are many items that I can make on my own without buying their frozen counterparts. This will free up my freezer space for taking advantage of great meat department sales (as I do not have a separate freezer) and hopefully save us more money. The first step is to make a list of what I do buy and find recipes for those items instead.
4 - No New Clothes
I should clarify that this is mainly for me. I really do not buy new clothes. I buy thrift store clothes (well except for bras, socks and underwear), and I find great items and great prices, BUT I am currently wildly overweight for my frame at 170 (see weight/fitness) and until I get that in control, I am not buying anything new. I have plenty of clothes now and other than a much needed pair of running shoes (which my son is splitting with me as a Christmas gift), I will wait until I whittle my figure down into the sizes that I still have (in boxes) waiting for me.
5 - Read Financial Books
My first is Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
I have to admit, I am probably dreading this the most. No offense to Mr. Ramsey. I know this will help. I'm just scared. I thought this would be a good way to start though and I will pick future books when I am finished. I have no timeline for this. I just plan on reading it a bite at a time.
So here is where I stand now. Finances are very important and I plan to revisit these goals often to see how things are going.
Do you have any changes in mind for your own financial goals? Has anything special helped you stay on track?