Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Exploring Goals: 1-4

A full list of goals can be found here.

Instead of making 1 huge post with the why/how's for each goal, I decided to break it down into 4's. Here's the first four:

1. Drop debt by $6,500. Stretch goal, down by $7000 (or $500 extra in snowflakes)
Why: Continued efforts to get out of debt. The number ($6.5k) has been scheduled on my blue book as part of regular payments, so it is the minimum I should be able to pay, assuming I can meet all of my snowballs.
How: I can achieve this goal without any extra assistance (PT job money or extras), but it does assume things will go fairly smooth for the whole year. The snowball payments will be treated as a regular payment, so I am not given any room to slack off.

2. Save $1000 for vacations in April and/or June
Why: Even though I am still not sure what I want to do for vacations this year, I am just gonna go ahead and prep for it anyway. The past 2 years I've taken vacations around April and June, so I'll plan for both. $1000 is still a very small budget (considering plane tickets/parking consume 85% of that amount), I think $1000 is a good starting point.
How: Mostly the extra check from the 3-paycheck months, which occur around April/Jun. Also: Part-time job money.

3. Increase car savings account by another $2000, stretch of $2600... Not counting any possible bonus!
Why: I would love to buy a car, but I am not setting my hopes up. I have a goal to buy a car by early/mid 2014, so 2013 should help me finance it. Adding $2k means I'd have a minimum of $4,000 in the bank for a down payment. Also: Not counting bonus. Bonuses can be added to this car account, but will not count for it. I guess I like a challenge?
How: No idea yet. I think mostly from part-time job or extra savings I manage to find...

4. Keep track of expenses (extra and regular) for at least 10 months
Why: I had zero control and no records of what became of most of my part time job money, or all the money funnelled to my parents, or got lost getting Murphy out the door. There were several 2wk periods where I saw none of my grocery/personal budget because it was spent elsewhere, and that has to stop. I need accountability!
How: Thursday posts before a new paycheck arrives to detail all purchases made from paycheck Friday to the Thursday before the next check (14 days).


  1. We want to be more accountable with our finances too next year. We've been doing pretty well in the last few months but it takes an effort to get my husband on the same page with me.

  2. Tracking expenses in Excel is what saved me. Seeing the spending there on one sheet is very helpful, with details of where exactly the money went! Good luck with your goals.

  3. I think #4 will help with all of the other goals! It was a complete pain to get set up in Excel, but now it's super easy for me to add things, run reports, etc.

  4. I have a spreadsheet for my general/budget overview, but I'd be afraid of breaking it down to details. How do you guys do it?