Friday, December 26, 2008

What Are Your Top 5 Financial Goals for 2009?

~Dave Ramsey

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!!

  5. 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?


GlorV1 said...

Manuela, on January 31st., I sit at the kitchen table with pad and pen and make my list of things to do for 2009. I pretty much am thinking on it right now, but I have most of my do's in my mind. I cross them off as I do them throughout the year. I'll post my to do list on January 31. Have a great year Manuela, be healthy, wealthy, and wise. Most of all, be happy.

shauna said...


I think your goal of giving more in 2009 is wonderful. I too, have tons of craft/quilting stuff, but have found a wonderful way to donate some of my finish products. Check out, which supports Love Without Boundaries, an organization thats helps orphans in China.
Blessings to you in the new year.

momstheword said...

We are trying to figure it out. We have some home repair work to do. But I'd like to put some more money in savings and wonder if we should try and put some money toward the principal of our mortgage. We also have a son in college. So we're still trying to figure it all out!

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries® said...

What a motivating and honest post Manuela. Thank you for putting our minds to work rethinking how we can better use our finances. You've got me thinking and planning too!
P.S. I really like Dave Ramsay too!

M.L. @ The House of Whimsy said...

Great inspiration! Hope you had a Merry Christmas.

Lady Katherine said...

Manuela, you have me thinking and thinking, what was your email about? lol The New Year, I hope to finish my remodel. Make more gifts than buying, whether its Birthdays or Christmas. Save, add to the emergency fund, for more months. Pray my children, will continue to work, so they do not eat up my emergency fund. lol and hope they can get the first step of an emergency fund. Here to a better New Year! Cheers

Lady Katherine said...

I have a friend who is a doctor wife, and their grandaughter went to the college, your daughter wants to go and they all say it was the best thing she could have ever done. For it a great college.

Terri Steffes said...

I am going to have to ponder this one a bit, but I thank you for getting me started on thinking about my financial goals. I think one should be to build an emergency fund and another should be to pay off a couple of credit cards!

Salmagundi said...

Thanks for getting us started to think about 2009 and our money!! Frugality is the word here since we are retired and live on Social Security. We have a sufficient savings, but still work hard to live on our SS. Sally

morninglorycottage said...

I just wanted to say what an inspiration you are to me. You're the one who got me interested in Dave Ramsey to begin with. I bought his book after reading about him in your first blog. I also ordered his high school curriculum for our homeschool. We've all enjoyed it. With all that said to get our emergency fund up and running is our top priority, plus saving for the summer months when I don't get paid. Thanks for also inspiring me to go back and read all my Tightwad Gazettes. I have gotten pretty careless over the last several years about our finances. Just felt like there was too much going on in our life to worry about it. I will be getting back on track this year. Thank you again and happy New Year.

morninglorycottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Your financial goals for the coming year are very inspiring!! I, too, am hoping to do some cutting back in a few areas so as to build our emergency fund and to increase our ability to help others.

Unknown said...

Hi, good tips. And i will share a secret with you. I have already put all my Christmas away. i get the same way as you, and a little help with But i feel so good afterwards. I think i relieve stress when i clean. OK< I just wanted my house back to normal.... mishelle.

Debbie J said...

Your list sounds like a winner to me. I'd like to get an emergency fund, redo a bathroom, work on debt, and give more. Thankfully, all our kiddos are out of college. The last one just finished in December, 08.

Ally's Corner said...

All my Christmas stuff will come down today.
I sat down two days ago and redid my vision board. I have it in front of my computer so I can see it every day.
I put on the board everything I would like to see happen in my life in the New Year.
Last year I was able to pay off some debt and clean and organize my house. Both of those were on my vision board.
Some of the things I have this year is. Pay off a credit card, learn how to sew, learn more about the Bible.
About the Emergency Fund and this is for everyone, if you are starting to save for this you need at least a year.
When my husband lost his job in March 08 it took him 8 months to find another one. This new job is $33,000 less than what his was making. We lived off of our retirement those 8 months and still have to use the retirement it to make up the difference.

Free Art Printables said...

I love Dave! I want to start saving to have our roof redone and be able to pay cash for all of the kids programs this year. I am picking up some extra work to do that..I would like to donate more too......

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Those sound like some wonderful goals. I am always trying to think of new ways to save. I think my worse spending habits are at the grocery store....I plan on eating healthier this year, so I hope that will also mean saving some money...

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I was so delighted with the things you used to decorate. Things that any of us can find AND afford. Attention to detail always makes me smile and I will come back again and again just to see what you have done.
I know I would like you if we met.
Your decorating reflects who you are..and I loved that. S'cuse me. I gotta go back and take another look! :)
Happy New Year!

ShabbyInTheCity said...

I clicked on what I thought was your blog and the other person was telling what all they'd bought...I thought "What has gotten into Manuela???" LOL. Then I looked and I wasn't on your blog at all!
Glad to see you are still controlling the spending :)

Anonymous said...

We are following Dave Ramsey's baby step plan as well.
-pay off one of our debts and drastically reduce the other one
-save up for my home decorating projects
-save up for a new kitchen floor
-save up for Birthday and Christmas presents
-hopefully have a nice down payment for a new car in 2010

akawest said...

Your goals sound great. Mine is to continue not buying anything that I don't really need. It is so easy to buy just for the sake of buying. You see something on sale or purchase something because it strikes your fancy, only to end up with too much stuff. I have been doing very well not doing this. I plan to continue into the new year.

Elizabeth said...

Well, my husband lost his job in September, so it's difficult working on financial goals right now. However...the Economy and our vulnerability within it has me more than a little concerned. I want to build that baby emergency fund and also build up a good system of food storage of the basics that we eat: rice, legumes, pasta, wheat, oil, salt, sugar/honey. Then I want to help out our food bill by growing a large garden this next Spring. We have no consumer debt, but much medical debt, so it would be great to eventually whittle away at that.

Thanks for getting us to think about such an important subject.

God bless,

Marilyn in NM said...

I've been contemplating our goals for 2009 also and I think sticking to my budget is the hardest to accomplish. I write one out monthly, too, and save all receipts and enter them but I'm always way over budget. I need help, too. I really like your idea of posting how you're doing. I also really like Dave Ramsey, and have one of his books. I really like Mary Hunt's books, too. Her Debt Proof Living and Cheapskate Monthly books are really good. She's got a good website, too.
Marilyn in NM

Kathleen Grace said...

First on our financial goals list is a job for hubby! Fortunately we are pretty stable financially and not in trouble, but that can't go on forever. Other than that, we have always been pretty frugal. I would love to find the time to really plant he meals and grocry budget a little more tightly.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hey, that's always a good subject for this time of year. We don't do a real budget (although we should). My hubby is really good with managing the assets, so I rely on him (a former CPA) for that. I always try to be as frugal as possible on purchases, but I'm like you, love to do things around the house & I've always got something in mind that I'd like to do next.

If you have some 2008 before & after projects you'd like to share, be thinking on that. I took a page from your book from last year & am hosting a party on Jan. 7th. HOpe you'll come by!

Lallee said...

I don't have specific plans but my DH and I like everything we hear Dave Ramsey say on TV. I think you've convinced me to order his book. I'd like to be a better steward of money so I can give more.

Storybook Woods said...

Akkkkkkkk, to have a goal ;-p xoxoxox Clarice

Anonymous said...

Hi Manuela, :)
I have lots of things I want to work on this year. Dh has a very modest job, but I don't take this for granted. In this economy having a job is a blessing no matter what.

Some things I hope to do are: track all spending, spend as little as possible, use what I already have at home (all so I can save more and accomplish goals). Our income will be less in 2009 than 2008 so it's important to economize even further.

I'll also be reading extra frugal blogs, books, especially The Tightwad Gazette again (best frugal inspiration ever in my opinion).

Mary said...

Dear Manuela - being older and retired, Bob and I want to stress to all younger couples how very important it is to save diligently for the years ahead. Social Security just isn't anywhere near sufficient - you must have money put away if you intend to have a comfortable life in the 'golden years'. We wish we had been able to save even more so we'd be prepared for what may face us later, especially medical/care issues. As we are both cancer survivors we do not have long term care insurance - far too costly. Also, our AIG stock (Bob worked for them 45 yrs.!) is worthless now and we are too old to expect to see it come back to what it was in our lifetime!

So, like most of us now, the coming year requires a new look at finances and of finding ways to cut expenses. Your many housekeeping ideas are always useful ways to save. As for little treasures for our homes, if we can confine them to inexpensive items which give us enjoyment, yet satisfy our need to be creative, I think we should all include them in the budget! Everyone needs to have a hobby to keep life balanced.

Good luck in the New Year Manuela. Just hope all your goals reach fruition - and knowing you they will.
Our best wishes - stay well (most important) and be happy always.
Hugs - Mary.