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Viewing the 'Goals' Category

must...stop...spending...

December 23rd, 2005 at 05:23 pm

Once I get on a spending roll, I find it really hard to stop. Let's take the holidays, for example. I bought most of my gifts two months ago. Everyone is getting more gifts than they need. I know my family is going to yell at me for spending too much (though I didn't, of course, because I get good deals). Yet I can't seem to stop browsing the web for new deals...thinking about other things I "need" to purchase (for myself)...contemplating after-Christmas sales....buying beverages in the cafeteria that I don't need to drink...etc. The gluttony of the holiday season is invading my every thought process. I just ordered chocolates for SO because I feel guilty about not being with him on New Years. Silly! Like he needs chocolates! Like I need to feel guilty! We are rolling in sweets at our house as it is (sweets we prepared, of course).

I'm fiddling around with some goals for January...like eating out of the pantry to drop our grocery bill a bit, tracking all dining out spending (mine, and his when I'm with him, anyway), and throwing as much money as possible into my emergency fund. I am putting off the car fix until January (who gets their car fixed the week of Christmas? I realized that was ridiculous). So I have that to take care of as well. The car hasn't been driven since December 12. It is interesting living without it when it is still sitting in the driveway, perfectly driveable, apart from it being a cancer machine.

2006 Financial Goals

December 19th, 2005 at 08:12 pm

1. Pay off smaller college loan by August 2006 (current payoff balance=$1528).

2. Pay $250+ to other college loan each month, after smaller loan is paid off.

3. Save 20-25% of my salary:
- save $525 for holiday gifts
- put $500+ into family savings fund
- put $1500+ into Roth IRA
- put $1500+ into emergency savings
- continue to contribute 6% to 401k (company match)

4. Have $1000 in emergency fund by March 2006.

5. Continue to look for a better-paying job that utilizes my skills.

stricter budget?

September 13th, 2005 at 06:10 pm

I need to get really strict with myself about my budget. I never follow what I set. I manage to justify every expenditure no matter if it is in the budget or not. What I do now is a good way to keep track of what bills I have yet to pay, and how overbudget I can go, yet still pay my credit card but...that's not healthy.

I am craving chocolate and would probably go to the store if I had any cash my wallet. I have spent it all on interview parking this week, though. I suppose that is a good thing. I would ordinarily have some chocolate in my desk drawer, but last week a coworker told me that my boss went through my (locked) desk drawers while I was out. She was supposedly looking for "something" but did not tell me about it. I noticed that things were misplaced. Apparently after rifling through my things, my boss then went to my coworker and told her that I am such a packrat, and that I have a ton of candy in my drawers (I had half a bag of mint patties). That made me SO angry that I emptied out all of my desk drawers, took nearly all of the personal items off of my desk, and brought it all home. I would bet money that my boss went back into my desk drawers after I left for the day, looking for my candy. I feel so violated. I know it is every employer's right to go through employee desks...but she could have at least told me about it. Or had the decency not to go blabbing about my desk to everyone else. On the bright side, my desk is very clean and clutter-free now.

Sent off two thank you cards to interviewers today. I really hope something pans out.

Things I have left to pay for this month:
- massage tomorrow
- cell phone bill
- eye appt copay
- gasoline
- maybe a few groceries
- car insurance
- rent
- credit card bill

I am definitely not going to make my September goals. Due to my bloated credit card bill, I could only pay $50 to my college loan, $25 to emergency fund, and $25 to family fund. The only item I succeeded in completing was the $75 to the Christmas gift fund. This is what happens when I spend too much time shopping for beads and books!

pleasant trip

August 31st, 2005 at 07:11 pm

August 26 Spending
$21 gasoline
$11 lunch for two
$500 credit card payments
$25 emergency fund
$25 family savings fund
$50 Roth IRA

TOTAL: $632

August 27 Spending
$0

August 28 Spending
$0

August 29 Spending
$7 beads

August 30 Spending
$10 lunch for two

August 31 Spending
$0

What a nice visit to my parents' house. We came back with the kitty so now we have a furry buddy to play with! He is the sweetest little thing, and hardly made a peep all the way home. My mom gave us all the necessary items for him, so we are set for a while. She also gave me a bunch of stuff for my new cake decorating hobby, and I'm really excited about that. I bought more beading supplies at half off the regular price, so I'm going to start fiddling with that again. Band starts up next week. Looks like hobby season has arrived! My mom gave me $60, completely unnecessary, but I have to pick up a bunch of things for my sister's dorm room this week, so it will be helpful.

Goals for August:
$150 to emergency fund: not quite - only $50
$50 to family fund: CHECK
$100 to Roth IRA: CHECK
$100 to Christmas gift fund: Put $125 in!
$100 to smaller college loan (twice the payment due): CHECK
get my car fixed (the main part, anyway): CHECK

GOALS FOR SEPTEMBER:
Pay off current American Express=$138, charge no more.
$100 to smaller college loan.
$50 each to Roth IRA, family savings, and emergency savings.
$75 to Christmas fund.
Keep spending at less than income. (sounds so easy, wish it was!)

curtains

July 29th, 2005 at 02:23 pm

What did I just say about needing to stay out of the stores? I stopped by JcPenney last night because they were having a big sale (as always) and I knew they had lots of curtains. I bought some for our bedroom. I'm still not sure if they are perfect or not; I'll have to live with them for a few days to see. They were half price, though. I also bought a skirt at half price, which I'm wearing today, and I've already received one compliment on it. Smile

In any case, I spent about $70 yesterday. I made a dessert last night for a dinner party we're going to tonight. BF is going out of town for the weekend, so assuming I stay out of the stores and keep myself busy at home, it should be a no-spend weekend. Today is payday, so I put $75 in savings and $25 to my Roth. The prescription still isn't ready and probably won't be until next week, so that goes into August's budget, along with my car repair. All I have left to spend on this month is rent.

I put 17% of my salary into savings & retirement this month. I think I've been calculating my "percent of income spent" wrong, because I'm counting things twice on my spreadsheet (once in the category, and again in the credit card part if it was charged). If I'm looking at it right now, in July I spent 81% of my income and put 17% toward savings, so that makes for a total of 98% used. Not bad. I had a lot of cash flow this month, though, with an extra paycheck and my rent deposit returned (and no rent paid in July). Next month will be tighter. Time to batten down the hatches!

Goals for August:
$150 to emergency fund
$50 to family fund
$100 to Roth IRA
$100 to Christmas gift fund
$100 to smaller college loan (twice the payment due)
get my car fixed (the main part, anyway)

one more for today

July 25th, 2005 at 08:34 pm

Just a few things:

1 - I just found out that I'm not gong to get comp time at work anymore. Before, if I had to come in early or stay late for a meeting, I got that amount of time to use as I wished (like personal time or vacation time). I'm salaried, so I don't get paid time and half for that time. Now, I'm not going to get it at all. I'm just going to be expected to do whatever these people ask me to do. Did I mention that I'll never get an increase in vacation time, either? That even if I'm here for 30 years, I'll leave with the same two weeks I started with? I'm putting my job search into overdrive. This place is NUTS.

2 - I sold another book on half.com - only $3 total, but it's better than nothing.

3 - I really am proud of paying off all my credit cards in full. My current debt (college loans) now stands at just under $15,000 (if I paid it off today). I really wanted to get under that amount, and I'm under it now! Yay!

rest of 2005 goals

July 13th, 2005 at 03:21 pm

1. Pay off other credit card fully in July, so I have no more credit card debt. Only charge onto cards what I can pay off each month, not more. Preferably pay everything in cash instead of using cards.

2. Have a total of $1400 in emergency savings by the end of December.

3. Have a total of $1400 in Roth IRA by the end of December.

4. Save $25 a paycheck toward savings fund for family member.

5. Pay $100 a month to smallest college loan.

6. Keep an eye on electricity consumption, and install programmable set-back thermostat to help with that.

long term goals

July 11th, 2005 at 01:40 pm

baselle said: What's your big goal? What's inspiring you to save money?

and I've been thinking about that ever since.

MAIN GOAL:
1 - Have enough saved to move out of state comfortably, without racking up debt. I would have moved away two years ago, but I didn't have anything saved, and my parents flat-out refused to help me. That just made me more determined to do it myself without help from anyone. I can't even find a new job here, so I'm worried that I will have a really hard time finding work anywhere. Thus, I want a financial cushion.

OTHER BIG GOALS:
1 - Have money for a downpayment on a car. Preferably $5000, but I know that will be difficult.
2 - Save for retirement by socking away money every month and knowing my investments.
3 - Pay off my college loans.
4 - Buy a house, and have enough of a cushion to support that huge investment.

What's really inpiring me to save money is my desire to not be poor or credit-reliant because of a big blow to my finances (like a giant car repair, coming up soon). I don't want to be one of those people who are one paycheck away from being homeless, and I have lived far too close to that for too long.

More short term goals coming soon...

2005 goals

July 6th, 2005 at 06:20 pm

It's the middle of the year already - how the heck did that happen?!?! I went back to last December and pulled up my Goals for 2005. They were:


-pay off credit card in January. like, after the first payday in January.
This didn't happen, but I paid it off this month (so only half a year late)

-start a Roth IRA in January and contribute to it every month.
Started the Roth in February. Contributed in March and April. May and June hiccups, now I'm contributing again.

- sock at least $5 per pay period away in my emergency fund. ($5 is for really bad months...otherwise I want it to be much, much higher than that)
January, February, March, and April were pretty good. I had a road block in May and June but am contributing again.

- pay off my car insurance in February. try to be frugal about the wedding I will be going to.
Paid off my car insurance in April. Then I switched to a much lower rate in June. I was actually really frugal with the wedding.

- pay off one college loan in March.
Paid it off in March!

- increase payments on the other two loans starting in April.
I couldn't do it in April, May, or June. July will be different.

- fully pay car insurance premium in June, without going so broke that I have to put groceries on the credit card.
Since I changed insurance carriers, this didn't work. It's a monthly automatic draft now.

- keep spending to 100% of what I make each month...not more.
And I TOTALLY sucked at this. The only month I did that in was June, and that's only because I didn't have to pay rent on an apartment.

So, I have a lot to think about. What are my goals for the remainder of 2005?

June was a mess

July 1st, 2005 at 01:36 pm

Groceries: $165 paid by me (total spent, $240)
Paid to Credit Cards: $443
ATM (cash): $100
Eating Out: $115 paid by me, no idea what total spent was
"Extras": $418
Target/Walmart: $121 paid by me (total spent approximately $430)

The only thing under budget was gasoline at $74.

Nothing to savings. Nothing to Roth IRA.

135% of income spent.

YIKES!

I also had to pay rent on my old place today. I'm locked in a lease, and I gave my landlord the requisit 2 months notice (which would be July 31), but he had been looking for a renter for July 1. He had over 50 phone calls in June and did not select a renter. I'm a bit miffed about this. It would have been nice to be getting my deposit back now instead of paying out. But, oh well, I'll never be paying that much for rent again.

Today, more shopping coming up. We're going to look at furniture and such with BF's parents. I'm not thrilled about the expenditure....my credit card bill for July is already over $300. It's really hard to keep BF (and his parents) reigned in and not spend a lot.

July goals:
-Keep grocery expeditures at a reasonable level (preferable no more than $160 total)
-Keep eating out bill at $30 paid by me (unrealistic, maybe, but we'll see)
-Keep Target expenditures at $40
-Keep ATM at $60
-Put $150 toward savings and $150 toward Roth IRA

This weekend will consist of moving heavy stuff up stairs. Enjoy the 4th holiday, USA-ers!

putt-putting car

June 23rd, 2005 at 04:20 pm

My car has recently decided to begin resembling a lawnmower in sound. It's loud enough that people stare as I drive by them. I'm not quite sure what it is, and I really don't have the time to be dragging it around to repair shops. I have yet to find a trustworthy mechanic in this city. Everywhere I go, they want to replace the serpentine belt, flush the transmission, flush the power steering, replace the air filter, etc etc etc. I know enough now to know that is bogus. My serpentine belt cannot possibly need to be replaced every three months.

Now I'm thinking that maybe I should postpone my lofty goal of paying off that college loan at the end of this year, and instead funnel my extra cash into a savings account for a newer car. I could have $2000 saved up by December (more, if I paid the minimum on that loan, but I don't want to do that).

The question is, what kind of car do I get? I want an environmentally friendly one with good gas mileage...that pretty much means a hybrid. It would be nice to have a hybrid SUV so at least one of us had a car that could carry larger things. I trust Ford about as far as I can throw them, though, and I think that's the only option for a hybrid SUV right now!

May Stats

May 31st, 2005 at 02:00 pm

114% of income spent this month. *sigh*

Didn't pay off much on my 0% interest credit card, but I paid off my other one in full.

I switched car insurance companies because it was a $256 yearly discount. whoo hoo!

The massage lady took a significant chunk of money, $190. I'm really glad she didn't call me again this month for another appointment. Once a month max from now on.

Spent what I budgeted on birthday/mother's day/baby gifts!

Earned about $20 on eBay.

I did really great in my "extras" category: only $30. That's a record low! and gasoline, only $57.

My huge budget buster this month was groceries: $265. What the heck? I have never spent that much on groceries in one month!! I really need to make an effort to stick to June's grocery budget.

With any luck, I will be able to move out of my apartment at the end of June. That would save me $160 in June. Overall, this move will save me $145 a month, or $1734 a year. Plus, I will be with the man that I love. I am really happy about that.

June goals:
--Pay off other credit card (again) and stop charging things on it
--Pay $200 to 0% credit card
--Spend no more than $80 on groceries
--Stick to rest of budget
--List more books on half.com
--Clean & donate as much stuff as possible, so I'm hauling less over to the new place!

just say no to cheesecake

May 11th, 2005 at 05:40 pm

I'm eating out tonight for BF's friend's moving-away party. I'm a bit nervous about eating out when I have absolutely no idea how many points things are at the restaurant (no nutrition facts online, either). I've been pretty frugal with my food intake today, though, so I'll have 15 points left over as long as I don't eat anything else until 7:00pm. Yesterday I ate 26 points. Better, but still not perfect. It definitely takes a while to get the hang of this. It's a fine line between eating enough to not get a pounding headache but not so much that I go over in points. Fiber One is the best cereal ever, only 1 point for 1 cup!

Last night's apartment viewing was Flashback To The 1970's. If I was 70's kind of girl, I may have liked it. There's something about puke yellow appliances that makes me not want to cook, though (or even stand in the kitchen, for that matter). I made a couple more appointments for this weekend. I just discovered that my landlord is renting out the main level of my current place. You can hear everything between the apartments...the floor must be an inch thick. Another good reason to get out of dodge, who knows who is going to move in!!

Goal Monitor:
- walk every day with coworker: so far, yes.
- eat out wisely on Wednesday night, and also on Friday night if the plans stay the same: hoping to!
- schedule more apartment viewings: done.
- carpool on Wednesday: didn't work out.
- clean out the Closet of Doom: pending project for this weekend.

spending too much

May 10th, 2005 at 07:12 pm

Yesterday I went to the grocery store after work to pick up some low-fat snacks and free-range eggs. I bought myself a small bouquet of flowers too. I stopped by Walmart to get a couple of things that I couldn't find in the grocery store. Upon arriving home, I discovered I was locked out. To waste time until the keys came home with their captor, I went over to Kmart and perused their herbs. I bought a basil plant and an oregano plant, even though I am trying to grow some from seed (I don't expect them to live, seedlings never grow well for me). I resisted buying takeout, and made pasta after I got in the house. I ate 30 points (tsk tsk! way too much!) and earned two by walking with my coworker.

Grocery Store: $34.35
Walmart: $2.64
Kmart: $4.88

Today I played with my coworker's toddler for 3 hours while she was in a meeting, and we did our walk with his stroller as well. That's got to count for at least 2 points earned. Taco Bell for lunch - $5.

I can't imagine having a toddler. I am so tired after only three hours! I seriously doubt my ability to be a parent with that kind of lame stamina.

I see everyone making goals for the week, so here are mine.
- walk every day with coworker
- eat out wisely on Wednesday night, and also on Friday night if the plans stay the same
- schedule more apartment viewings
- carpool on Wednesday
- clean out the Closet of Doom

revamped budget for May!

May 2nd, 2005 at 03:51 pm

Thanks for the encouragement. I hope things get better, too.

I revamped my May budget, and I hope I can stick to it. Why is it so hard for me to stick to a budget? Should I put my credit card in a bowl of water in the freezer? I pay it off every month (though I am still paying off my 0% card too)....it's just hard not to give in to temptation. Every time I see a friend, it means spending money, and that's frustrating. I'd love to see them without that need to spend. I get the impression that dinner at home is too boring, though. I also have the urge to buy random things, and that brings up my "extras" line. A crafty thing from Michael's, a book, some chocolate...etc.

Yesterday I made a pineapple upside down cake, and it turned out great. Yum! I haven't had one of those in years.

We went to the movie Interpreter last night. It was pretty good. Nicole Kidman is SO thin!! I thought she was going to blow away in the outdoor scenes.

I'm going to the mall with a friend tonight. I'll probably buy my dinner, and maybe a new shirt, if I can find anything that does not resemble lingerie. Of course, it's been spitting hard little rocks of snow from the sky here for the past two days, so my sweaters are still in full rotation. Stick Out Tongue

April stats

April 29th, 2005 at 01:46 pm

The month isn't over yet, but I'm so tired that I'm hopefully going to go home and go to bed and not spend anything tonight. Tomorrow, hopefully more of the same (sleeping, not spending). We might spend $7 at the farmer's market on milk tomorrow, but that's it.

SPENT IN APRIL:

$62.08 groceries (my part), $164 total (BF insisted on paying a lot this month)
$105.31 gasoline
$57.65 eating out (my part), exorbitant total I'm sure but I didn't keep track
$80 ATM
$90 household stuff (including $25 gift card used)
$471.59 credit card payment
$389.27 other (aquarium needs, haircut, climbing shoes, stamps, other small extras)
$75 savings

110% of monthly income spent counting savings, 106% of monthly income spent not counting savings

It's kind of freaky, seeing those amounts added up. The haircut and the climbing shoes really inflated my "other" category.

In May my goal is to spend less than 100% of my income. I am switching car insurance in June (saving about $200 a year) and would like to pay that chunk of money all at once so I will be done for the year. In order to do that, I will have to postpone paying off my credit card in full until July, and I will need to spend less throughout May. I'm concentrating more on the 60% spending plan (found on msn money). I think I can swing it, I just have to be steadfast.

If I could find a lower rent apartment that doesn't have drug dealers on the corner, that would be ideal. It would be nice to save some money in that area. We're looking at two places today and two tomorrow, which will bring our viewed total up to 18. yeah - I'm picky when it comes to living arrangements.

2005

December 12th, 2004 at 10:01 pm

my goals for 2005:

-pay off credit card in January. like, after the first payday in January.
-start a Roth IRA in January and contribute to it every month.
- sock at least $5 per pay period away in my emergency fund. ($5 is for really bad months...otherwise I want it to be much, much higher than that)
- pay off my car insurance in February. try to be frugal about the wedding I will be going to.
- pay off one college loan in March.
- increase payments on the other two loans starting in April.
- fully pay car insurance premium in June, without going so broke that I have to put groceries on the credit card.
- keep spending to 100% of what I make each month...not more.

*whew!*

Frugal Things I Did Today:
- made crockpot soup and homemade bread, thus keeping myself out of the restaurants or the delivery menus
- finished some homemade holiday gifts
- did not go shopping
- wore glasses instead of contacts (hey, this is stretching it, but not only do my eyes appreciate the break, I saved a few drops of saline)


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