Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I love my Lists!

Are you a list maker? Do you have lists for everything under the sun? Grocery lists, goals lists, to do lists, dreams lists? I have all of these.

I am a perpetual list maker. I make lists of what is on sale in each grocery store in my area, to take advantage of sale prices and do some stocking up whenever possible. I make lists of books I have read, and would like to read. I have a list for gifts I would like to make and give during the holidays, of places I would like to visit, of chores that must be done today, and even one for blog posts I would like to write.

It seems that as I get older, my memory is not as good as it once was, so I have lists to remind me of important things. These lists are invaluable to me, as they help me to keep my focus on saving, not spending, as I am trying to reform my shop-a-holic ways. I am slowly learning to only purchase what is on the list, and I have a list of things that we are saving for (new flat screen tv, a barbecue, etc.).

Do you make lists and what are they for?

September 2010, Monthly Challenge

I have a list of things that I would like to accomplish, goals, and things to work on. Every month I will be working on several of them at a time, but I will pick one to be my main focus for that month. Any extra money, time and effort I can pour into a project will be put on that month's challenge.

For September I have picked :

Goal #1. Have $800 in e-fund account. DONE (3 year goal is $12,000).

This should be a fairly easy one to accomplish. We already have $600 saved in this account, so finding an additional $200 this month shouldn't be too hard.

If you are a follower of Dave Ramsey, you'll know that Baby Step 1 that he advocates is to have $1000 in an Emergency Fund to get you started. If I can manage to drop an additional $200 into this account in September, then our E-Fund will be at the $1000 mark, surpassing our year end goal.

How can we achieve this:

I have $100 automatically going into this account on the 1st of the month.(100/400)DONE
I can cut back the payment to 0% interest CC by $50. (150/400)DONE
I can try to cut back on monthly expenses like groceries, gas, etc.
I can save up my $5.00 bills.
I can save and roll any pocket change this month.DONE
If I get any contract work this month, I can put 25% of the pay into this account.DONE

Once I have the $1000 threshold for the E-fund, I can redirect the monthly amount toward other savings and debt until year end, giving those a boost.

Do you have any other suggestions of ways to make up this $250 this month?

End of August Update

The summer months are always good ones for us, financially and otherwise. Because of a large contract payment, I am able to catch up on a number of bills that may be lingering, and I have a year's worth of budgeting to do. In the past, there was no budgeting involved. We blew through the money in a couple of months, with nothing (or almost nothing) to show for it, and nothing saved. Thus, our crazy big debts. I crunched the numbers many times this year prior to payment and worked out a plan. It is working much better this way, and although it's not perfect, I do have several pots of money stashed.

Here are our August numbers:

Planned spending - added $50.00
Xmas Fund - added $284.97
Emergency fund - added $254.74
RRSP - added $405
General Savings - $20

$260 paid to Personal Loan
$265 paid to CC with 28% int. rate
$250 paid to CC with 0% int. rate
$204.04 to Auto Loan

I used the HBC card for a $50 purchase that will be paid off by the end of the billing cycle. Our rent, phone/cable/internet, cellphone and pager accounts are all current.

We took a $2500 vacation, had a $900 vehicle repair bill, and an unexpected $300 dental bill for DD1, all of which were paid for in cash.

We had to borrow from our other expenses like groceries and gas/auto amounts, and still have 20 days of our 'monthly cycle' left, but there is still some money in the household account to draw from. I'll just have to be extra diligent with that to see that we don't go over.

We put a total of $1014.71 into our various saving pots this month.
We paid a total of $979.04 toward our debt this month.

So far, we are on track for the year, although I've adjusted some of our yearly goals amounts.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Goals for 2010

I took a very long break from blogging, and now I feel more prepared to try my hand at it again.

I thought I would start out by posting my goals for the year, which were written in late December, 2009. Whenever I get around to learning how to do it, I'd like to put bars on the side to track my progress. However...on to the goals themselves.


1. Have $800 in e-fund account. DONE (3 year goal is $12,000).
2. Have $1800 in RRSP account.
3. To have $1000 buffer in personal chequing account.
4. Have $2000 saved in vacation account. (DONE)
5. Have $1100 in Xmas account.
6. Have $2000 in auto repair/replacement fund.
7. Pay off $1000 of $5600 of credit card debt.
8. Open saving accounts for both children.
9. Stay current on monthly bills.
10.Pay $3500 to lawyer and obtain divorce from ex-spouse.

Other things that I'm working on for the year...
- switching DD's allowance percentage amounts so that 40% is going into long-term savings
- reading 100 books this year
- keeping up with personal budget

So that's all for now. I'll post an update of where we are now in relation to these goals sometime later this week.