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Goals for 2013

January 18th, 2013 at 08:36 am

It is a little late, but the following are my goals for the year:

Get total in savings to $10,000.

Save a cushion in Checking account of $3,000.

Eat out no more than 5 times a month (that includes lunch).

Save all loose change towards my Disney Graduation Vacation in 2014.

Paint house.

Get house organized.

Grow my gemstone business.

I believe these are realistic goals. I am also going to post these goals in my side bar.

Counting Change towards Vacation

December 12th, 2012 at 08:08 am

The jar that has all the change I keep for my Disney Vacation in 2014 was almost full. So last night I started rolling the coins. My husband wanted to know why I didn't just take it to the coin machine at the credit union. I actually like to roll my own coins. So that's what I did for about an hour last night. I came up with $35 in change! That does not count the coins that did not make up full rolls. I need $2 more in quarters to have another roll. I plan to make a deposit into my ING account next week. So hopefully I will have $45 just from my change to put in that account. My plan is to deposit my change once a month into my Disney Fund. We probably won't go until December 2014. So that gives me two full years to save. If I do this on a monthly basis, I should have enough money by then to have a really nice vacation. Whenever I break any dollar and get change back, I automatically put it aside for my change jar. It's amazing how fast it adds up. And I don't even miss the change!

Just Thinking

December 10th, 2012 at 02:39 pm

Last night I could not get to sleep because I kept thinking about the financial goals I want to make for next year. I'm excited because I want to try some new things. Right now I do have an emergency fund. But it only has $25 in it. But I do have money in other accounts. I am, however, going to set specific money aside that will be exclusively for my emergency fund.

After looking at my remaining classes, I will probably graduate in either the spring or fall of 2014. So close! Then I will have my Bachelor's degree in Accounting. I plan to celebrate my graduation in Orlando, Fl. I want to go to Disney World and Universal Studios. So as an added incentive to study hard, I have been saving all of my change. When the jar is full, I plan to cash it in and transfer it to an account I have at ING that is labeled exclusively for Disney World 2014! It's never too early to start saving!

Tried New Recipe

February 20th, 2012 at 07:25 pm

I worked for about 4 hours today. DH was home from work today. So we spent the afternoon together. I love spending time with him during the day during the week. Our goal is to one day both work from home together.

I tried a new recipe today. I made mini chicken pot pies. They were pretty good! The recipe is so easy. I cooked chicken breasts. Once the chicken was done, I shredded it. I also seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, and herbs de provence. Then I mixed it with 1 can cream of chicken soup. You can add peas and carrots but I did not have any. Take a muffin pan and spray with non stick spray. Open a can of biscuits. Put one uncooked biscuit at the bottom of each muffin can. Press each biscuit down and at least half way up each individual muffin can. Put the chicken/cream of chicken mixture in each biscuit. I topped each with a little shredded cheddar cheese. I cooked it for about 15/20 minutes. It was so good!

DH and I have eaten out way too much in the past. I am changing that. Plus it is not healthy to eat fast food all the time. So I am trying to come up with quick and creative recipes to cook on week nights. I do love the traditional dinner and usually try to cook a good meal on Sundays. We are also going to start eating together at the table. We don't have any kids yet so it is easy for us to just plop down in front of the tv with dinner. But that is a habit i want to change too. When I was growing up my parents always ate breakfast together every morning before the kids got up. We always had a family dinner in the evenings at the dinner table. Those are traditions I want my husband and I to have together too, especially after we have kids. Breakfast every morning may be a little harder. But maybe we can aim to have breakfast together at least one morning during the week and on the weekends.

Another great thing about meals at home: we save a lot of money. That's always good!

Starting Over

February 18th, 2012 at 07:53 pm

I started blogging last year but stopped due to distractions. The distractions had nothing to do with money but with life in general. I started college again full time. So that just about zapped up all the free time I have. But I am still very interested in my family's financial health. So I want to try to blog again to keep me on track with my goals. So here I go, starting over again with my blogging! :-)

Depositing Change

June 21st, 2011 at 06:30 am

Last night I went through my purse and found over $6.00 in change. So I rolled up what I could and plan to deposit it into my personal Money Market account later on this week. My DH and I have one joint Money Market and I have a personal Money Market. He has Pension, 401k and an IRA. So I decided to have a personal Money Market as well as my IRA at Vanguard. Plus I kind of view my Money Market as my own personal emergency fund too.

DH gets an extra paycheck in July and I really want to put all of it in our Money Market account. I'm not sure if it is going to work out. We keep getting unexpected expenses. Plus our car is STILL in the shop and the mechanic will not call us back! I feel like going to his shop and just picking up our car. I will NOT use him again!

What a Long Friday

June 17th, 2011 at 05:39 pm

I am so glad today is over. I'm actually glad this whole week is over. I was dreading this week last Sunday. So now that it is over I can breathe a sigh of relief. I had a lot of extra work this past week. I try to have one or two days off a week. But I worked everyday, all day everyday this week. We are still getting the car worked on. I have no idea how long our car is going to be in the shop. I don't think I will ever use this mechanic again. I'm not even mad about the $700+ that we will have to pay him. My problem is that he does not communicate. He puts in a $150 part charges us $200 for labor and then tells us what he did to the car. He never even asked us if he could put the part in! And then when you call his shop he won't pick up. If he says he'll call you back the next day, he won't call you back for two days! Meanwhile we're calling trying to figure out what's going on! It's so frustrating! What makes it worse is that he is a family friend. I feel like he has taken us for granted. Hopefully we can get through this without it ending on bad terms. But I will never use him again.

DH and I had dinner plans for tonight but they fell through. So we got take out and I am doing laundry at my parents' house. We need to buy a new washer and dryer. I was actually about to start saving for it. This weekend I am thinking about slow cooking bbq pork or slow cooking spaghetti sauce in the crock pot. I'll see what DH wants. He'll probably want spaghetti. We're are supposed to go out to lunch with my Aunt and Uncle on Sunday. I'm really looking forward to that. It's been so long since we've spent some time with them.

Well time to check on laundry...

Car Repairs = $700

June 15th, 2011 at 05:55 pm

Just found out that our car repairs will cost about $700. I'll know for sure tomorrow the final cost. On top of that, my blackberry is broken. Money just keeps flowing out...

Getting Back on My Feet

June 12th, 2011 at 05:05 pm

Well it has been a while since I have posted. A lot has happened since my last post. Back in March I lost a lot of work. It was actually a big chunk of my income. So that set us back. We did have savings to help us. I am so glad that we had savings. Otherwise we would have been in big trouble. On top of living expenses and bills, BOTH of our cars decided to act up! In fact, one of our cars is still in the shop right now. Again, savings is there to save us! But now our savings is super low. I absolutely hate dipping into savings. But it is supposed to be there when you need it.

So the first 6 months of this year has not worked out that great for us. However, I have more work and so my income has gone back up again. That's how it is when you are self-employed. Your income can be REALLY great for a while and then you hit a dry spell. But with the new work I am getting, hopefully I can help my DH rebuild our savings. No matter what though, I am NOT giving up. Dollar by dollar we will build our savings!

It's been a while...

March 2nd, 2011 at 12:42 pm

February was a blur to me. It went by so fast! I did not do well updating my blog during February. Hopefully March will be better. I did calculate my savings for last month. We we able to save a total of $900. I still want to increase that number but I feel good about what we did save. We are going on vacation for 10 days at the end of March. We are paying cash only for this vacation. So no credit will be used. I've been paying our credit card in full every month. So it feels good to not have any credit card debt.

This month we have a little more to save towards vacation. But we will have no problem saving the rest of the money we need. I've been cooking more at home. We've been able to save a lot of money by doing that. And I have "discovered" freezing food. In the past I would cook a good size meal and put leftovers in the refrigerator, hoping to eat it later. Many times we would forget the leftovers. It would eventually get thrown away. But now I've been freezing our leftovers and our freezer is packed! I like that I can come home and warm up food without spending a lot of time preparing it.

Increasing Income

January 30th, 2011 at 01:25 pm

DH has applied for a higher paying position at his job. We really hope he gets it. One of our goals this year is to increase our income. So for him getting a higher paying position is a must! I've checked into doing some freelance work and expanding my business. Also doing some other little projects on the side.

We have been so distracted this month. It has been really hard to blog. But I hope to get back on track in February. We've still been progressively saving. I try to deposit something on a weekly basis. Even if it is just $5, I'm going to make sure I made a deposit. Everything counts. When I didn't have any savings, I decided to save $5 every other week. So every month I saved about $10. I had it automatically taken out of my account and put in my savings account every two weeks. I just forgot about it. A couple of years later, I had a lot of money saved! So saving is saving. Start small and make it automatic. It will grow.

More Snow....Ugh!

January 9th, 2011 at 06:37 pm

Last week was extremely busy for me. I worked everyday last week. I usually try to have one day off during the week. That did not happen last week. This coming week I should have at least one day off on Thursday. But since we are expecting snow/wintry mix tomorrow and Tuesday, I may have more days off than expected. My plan is to work first thing in the morning and hopefully be done with work at around noon. After that, I'm going to make a deposit at the bank and go home. The snow is supposed to start after noon. I do have one customer on Tuesday, but if it snows I'm going to try to push her to Thursday morning. Workwise it is supposed to be a slow week for me. So if it snows and I can't work much, it won't really hurt me.

Last week I found $3.00 on the floor at a restaurant. The person behind me thought it was mine. I just picked it up because I wasn't sure if it was mine but it could have been. When I got home I realized that it wasn't mine. So I decided to just include that $3.00 in my weekly personal savings deposit. I'll make that deposit later this week.

I have been cheating all weekend with food. I usually don't snack a lot but this weekend I just snacked. Plus I had a girls night out tonight. We went to the movies and then out to eat. I had pizza and kind of pigged out. Oh well, I'll get back on track tomorrow.

I really need to get back to studying for the real estate state exam. I've been distracted lately. Maybe if I get snowed in I'll be able to do some real studying.

DH and I reached a milestone last week. One of our savings accounts reached the $1,000 mark! So now we are going to view that account as haveing a "zero balance" and we're "starting over" as far as reaching $1,000. I figure each time I reach another $1,000, I'll view that account as having a "zero balance" and I have to reach $1,000 again even if the balance is $12,000 or $13,000. Baby steps! Smile

Right now our retirement accounts are at close to $15,000. We are way behind in our retirement savings. So since DH works at a bank he is going to get one of the Financial Advisors at his job look at our retirement to see if we could make any changes this year. I used to have my series 6 and 63 licenses. So I do know a lot about investing. But they expired a few years ago. So I'm not too proud to ask for help. Plus it was only the 6 and 63.

Well I need to get ready for tomorrow. So I will close this blog entry. I need to some sleep!

2011 Non-Financial Goals

January 2nd, 2011 at 06:53 pm

Non-Financial Goals for 2011

I've posted these in my sidebar also.

[ ] Finish getting Real Estate license. I finished the class and passed the final exam at the end of 2008. I just never took the state exam. So I'm finishing what I started and taking the state exam. I know real estate is not the best field to be in right now. But I just want to finish what I started. So I'm studying so I can pass the state exam.

[ ] Have parents/family over for dinner once every 2 months. I"m a family person. If you don't put forth the effort to keep in touch, you'll lose touch, even with parents/siblings.
___ Jan/Feb ___ Mar/Apr ___ May/June ___ July/Aug ___ Sept/Oct ___ Nov/Dec

[ ] Have a larger gathering of friends once every 3 months (4 gatherings a year). I used to have gatherings all the time but as I got older I kind of stopped. I want to start doing that again.
___ Jan Mar ___ Apr June ___ July Sept ___ Oct Dec

[ ] Finish reading list of books by 12/31/11. (I have a list of 20 to 40 short and long books.) I'm a fast reader, so I don't see a problem reaching this goal.

[ ] Make an official wedding album. We never made a wedding album even though we've been married over 6 years. I always wanted a nice, official wedding album.

[ ] Make photo albums for all loose photos and hang photos throughout house. I want to organize my loose photos. Also I want our house to feel more homey; so I want to hang more photos through the house.

[ ] Get portrait of DH and I done. We haven't had a portrait done of us since we were engaged.

[ ] Lose 5 pounds a month. I'm an ok size now. I want to get more toned/firmer.
___ Jan ___ Feb ___ Mar ___Apr ___ May ___ June ___ July ___ Aug ___ Sept
___ Oct ___ Nov ___ Dec

[ ] Buy new drapes for living room. An investment that will hopefully last a few years.

[ ] Send out written correspondence (card, letter, etc) at least once a month to friend/family. (No electronic correspondence!) I believe corresponding the old fashioned way is slowly becoming a thing of the past. But there's nothing like getting an actual card or letter in the mail. So in an effort to put a more personal touch in my correspondence, I'm going to send a card or hand written letter to a friend or family member once a month.
___ Jan ___ Feb ___ Mar ___Apr ___ May ___ June ___ July ___ Aug ___ Sept
___ Oct ___ Nov ___ Dec

[ ] Learn one new recipe a month. I have tons of cookbooks but tend to cook the same recipes all the time. I would love to copy what was done on that Julie/Julia movie (one recipe a day) but I don't have time. So this is my modified version!
___ Jan ___ Feb ___ Mar ___Apr ___ May ___ June ___ July ___ Aug ___ Sept
___ Oct ___ Nov ___ Dec

[ ] Get library card. I stopped going to the library 4 or 5 years ago. I need to start going back.

[ ] Get passports for DH and I. We would love to go out of the country. We can't go this year but at least we can get our passports!

[ ] Increase volunteer hours in community to 10 15 hours a month.
___ Jan ___ Feb ___ Mar ___Apr ___ May ___ June ___ July ___ Aug ___ Sept
___ Oct ___ Nov ___ Dec
Simply stated, there is more happiness in giving than receiving. I am a firm believer in that!

[ ] Buy a new washer and dryer. We don't have either at the moment Frown

[ ] Make 3 large panels (paint/sew) for decoration in dining room. Just a little project I want to work on Smile