Monday, January 14, 2013

My top 5 Finance New Years Resolutions

Yup, I've got to do it. I know it's a little late but I'm sharing them with you now... One year I decided not to set any goals or create lists and while at first it was a great feeling- no pressure and no "crap I messed up on my goal" attitude... that soon faded because without direction and a plan, it's really doesn't matter where you are going. 

Not this year! We (my family) have a lot to accomplish and sometimes we may have extra lofty goals but this is when I'm reminded of the quote, 

"Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."

I'll be sooo happy to "land on the moon" by accomplishing this entire list by year end but if somehow it trickles over into 2014 I won't be let down too much!

First, let me explain what WILL happen this year for sure.

1) We will have baby #4 in June

2) We will need a new car to fit the whole family

3)We will have owned/lived in our tiny condo for 2 years come September 2013

4) My husband will have finished all the schooling necessary to sit for his CPA exam

5)We will still be paying down debt on previous student loans

Family Goals associated with these events,

1) Save $$ for the medical expenses by June

2) Save $$ for study materials and CPA exam

3) Sell Condo by October 2012
(We must live here until then so we don't take a huge hit on "income" taxes)

4) Pay off a lot of student debt by September
(yes there is a set number- but we'll leave that between my husband and I) 

5) Use income from condo sale to completely payoff the rest of student debt!! YAY!

6) Buy a new home!! :) 
(Must get the home loan before an auto loan- if we are super on top of it, we'll be able to pay cash for a car but if not, Home loan comes first so we don't mess up our chances for qualifying)

7) Get a van
(Somehow we are going to make it a couple of months after the baby is born before getting the van...??? **Not sure how just yet**)

8) Go to Disneyland to celebrate freedom from Student Debt! 
(Merry Christmas to us this year!??)

About the only thing that is not a REQUIREMENT on this list is going to Disneyland. So maybe these aren't goals as much as they are events that (in my mind) WILL happen this year. 

Of course, we can continue to live in our tiny condo for longer and not buy a home this year but I feel like with our growing family it is necessary to move into a good neighborhood, have space and really get settled into life more. And, of course, we want to celebrate once we have moved past this "debt and tiny condo" stage of life!

SO... for my own personal goals, I need to do certain things to help make all the above possible! 
With my husband studying for the CPA and taking his last school course, life for him is going to be extra busy. With all the money we have to save for the test, baby, car, and home on top of paying off debt, it will take A LOT OF DISCIPLINE on both my husband and I as well as support from our children. I've learned that life can feel a bit crabby when you feel so tight in all areas so I need to plan ways to make it more enjoyable and turn it into a real learning experience for us all. 
My goals will contribute to this as much as possible.

My personal goals are:

Yes, I have gotten out of the CASH ONLY system for a while now because of our online bank PerkStreet (we love it) and it's benefits. BUT as Dave Ramsey has said, when using a card(Debit or Credit) you are much more likely to overspend by A LOT. It's TRUE! So I'll be making a new MLBB Cash Clutch for myself and sticking to it! The bills will all be on auto-pay so cash will just cover groceries, dining, and blow money(when we get it). 

Then I won't be tempted to buy everything in the grocery store! I was taught growing up that you should avoid bad situations all together- you know, make the decision to not have to make the decision between good and bad- funny how that so applies to this situation. Grocery stores are set up to get you to buy, buy, buy. It takes lots of self control, which I have most of the time, to not buy extras but being pregnant throws this all out of whack, lol. So I will avoid avoid avoid!
We need to eat more fresh food anyway!
**Bountiful Baskets is a food co-op with many locations, check to see if there is one close to you! I compared prices to my grocery store and it was a 50% savings just last week :)

3) Cook more
Yeah that goes right along with Bountiful Baskets. When you cook at home you will save lots of $$ on food and have more family time as well. I've been noticing that buying frozen meals is almost as expensive as just going to a fast food place too. 

4) Go to the park at least once a week
I'm not going to lie, this may be the hard part for me. With 3 kids(5 and under) and pregnant, it's a bit hard to tote around the kids everyday and often times I just don't want to. I let many household chores be my excuse for not getting out more too. But ONCE a week won't kill me right? lol. 
Hopefully we'll get to the park more than that after building the habit. 

5) De-clutter our home
This is simple- for my sanity through September, I will NEED to do this. We are crammed into this little 1105 square foot condo with not much space BUT we have got to make it functional a bit longer. An attic space will be added, bins will be sorted through, amount of toys cut in half(hopefully), and old clothing no longer needed donated. Less stuff = Less clutter!

I know that was quite long but, now ya know where I am and where I am headed! :) 
I'll try and share what really works for us and even what didn't too. :) 

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