Hi there! I hope everyone had lovely Christmas - we did! But I'm already thinking about putting all the decorations away - I'm really not a Grinch...really! I just feel claustrophobic with so much stuff in a small space. It feels messy to me. I want to start organizing and getting ready for what will be a fabulous New Year (I always have such hope)! I'm working on tweaking our budget for next year and setting some goals - financial and personal. I thought I'd list my financial goals for 2009 (it's never too early to start thinking about what you want to accomplish next year).
My top 5 are:
- Build our Emergency Fund (for unexpected events like job loss, car problems, furnace goes out - that kind of thing) to 6 months. We currently have two months saved. - Dave Ramsey advises you pay the minimum on consumer debt until you have $1,000 saved - that's your baby emergency fund. Then you start tackling your consumer debt. Once that is payed off, you concentrate on building a full emergency fund that's 3-6 months of basic living expenses. In talking to our mortgage broker about refinancing, I happened to mention that we don't really have anyone to rely on if my husband loses his job - both sets of our parents have passed away. We do have a cousin we could ask for help in case of a dire emergency but honestly, everyone always comes to us if they need something so unless we have a pretty substantial savings account there really isn't anyone who could help us out financially.
- Save for a minor bathroom remodel - we're pretty sure we'll be selling this house next year and there are a few things that need to be done. We did one bathroom a few years ago, this year we'll tackle one more and the other we'll probably just have to leave as is.
- Save for 1 week at Savannah College of Art & Design Summer session for daughter. This is the college our daughter really wants to go to and it would be a wonderful opportunity for her to attend a summer session.
- Make & Stick to a budget - I make one every month but I have a really hard time sticking to it! If I actually was able to stick to a budget I might be able to get goals 1-3 accomplished. I'm thinking I might post either weekly or monthly how I'm doing. I need help with motivation!!
- Give more - Being honest here - if I didn't always buy so much "stuff" for the house or crafts we would have more money to donate. So I some how have to find a happy medium because we really would like to give more - not just of our time but of our money. Every day you hear about how the food pantries don't have enough to feed people and how organizations don't have enough funds to do their good work. Yet, I have to have beautiful surroundings and I have to be able to express my creativity, so there's the rub. How to do it all on a limited budget. I'm hoping that the magic word here is budget!
What financial goals are you working toward in 2009?