Elliebelly's Goals 2008

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ellie377
Posts: 148
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Little Victories

Postby ellie377 » Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:06 pm

1. I spent less than my budgeted amount at the grocery store this week and stuck to my list.
2. Paid off a credit card this week and scheduled remaining 2 payments for another.
3. Started planning for next year's saving/spending plans
4 including asking spouse a few key questions about what he wants.
This a victory because it takes a long, long time to get answers. Although I generally know the direction of his answers concerning money, the specific answers are interesting and useful.

ellie377
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Beyond debt

Postby ellie377 » Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:03 pm

At the beginning of the year, I naively thought that we'd have more money swishing around when my debt got paid off. I'm dim, I forgot that I got into debt by overspending and undersaving. Big chunks of money I used to spend is being channeled into savings and other goals that aren't as visible or as instantly gratifying.

Two thoughts:

1. I have to plan for impulse spending so there's money available to meet opportunity occasionally.
I'm not ready to plan for every expense yet, but I know myself well enough now that these "impulses" come up regularly. ( Sandi K., I am paying attention.) Budgeting for impulse seems ironic and well, I need to practice sticking to a set cash only budget on impulse items every day, every time.

2. Unless there's a true emergency, minimum payments or even payment plans need to become history. I've got to change my mindset of "affording" things months into the future. Old debts, especially if I can get a low interest rate, tend to get stretched out much longer than they should and become a low priority-almost invisible but regular expense.

ellie377
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:13 am
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end of summer update

Postby ellie377 » Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:16 pm

2008 Goals
Since August 3rd (my personal goals)
1. Personal Debt paid off 2236 (net change -$64)
2. Personal Savings 65/1000 (net +$22)
3. Increase 401k funding 3%/max (no change)

since july 17th (joint goals with husband)
4. EF house savings 2380/5000 (net change +$920)
5. Mortgage 35,125/25,000 (net change -$3220)

August was a good month, no emergencies. Joint goals on track. It was also a month of weddings, showers, and parties and I admittedly spent more on gifts than I could afford. Summer is over and while I'm close (2 more payments) to reaching the originial goal of paying off old cc debt that had been kicking around for several years, I regrettably haven't kicked the credit habit yet.

ellie377
Posts: 148
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Changing over to cash

Postby ellie377 » Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:15 am

The last two weeks I've made an effort to switch to cash instead of debit or credit for most purchases.
I'm still working out how much to carry around. I'm trying for a base amount (gas, groceries, $10-20 walk around $ ) plus a weekly budget I write out for other irregular items: school supplies, haircuts, stamps, etc.
I purposely left my wallet at home the past two weeekends when travelling to husband's races to try to break my "killing time" spending habits.

Big test will be this weekend when I travel with a friend to my folk's house this weekend. I know she's probably going to be a big spender as a first time to the area tourist and just being around her while she shops her way up coast is going to be a factor. I'm going to plan in some Christmas/gift shopping but
it's the eating out, the coffee breaks, the snacks that I'm worried about with her along.
As host, I know I like to amp up the treats, but be selective.

ellie377
Posts: 148
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little victories

Postby ellie377 » Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:32 pm

1. I officially hit my goal today of paying off old credit card debts. I was so determined apparently that I accidently scheduled to pay the final amount twice today. Oops.

2. I am down to one department store card debt and it is significant that I am not rolling it over to a low interest offer (with a 3% fee) to pay off over the next year as I have in the past. I am going to get out of the habit of having a carryover balance and pay it off asap.

Daedala
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Re: little victories

Postby Daedala » Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:48 pm

ellie377 wrote:1. I officially hit my goal today of paying off old credit card debts. I was so determined apparently that I accidently scheduled to pay the final amount twice today. Oops.


Hooray!

ellie377
Posts: 148
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Trying to end the "kill time" spend

Postby ellie377 » Tue Sep 23, 2008 5:25 pm

I'm not one of the ladies who lunch, but I am certainly familiar with the concept of spending to kill time:
movies, magazines, newspapers, coffee, food. Most of my spending this past week fell into that category. Passive stuff. Quick fixes. Small spends. I need to find something fresh for my brain and body this week that's not going to derail my budget.

peachy
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Postby peachy » Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:41 pm

My suggestion is to read a book, if you like reading.
I just started reading The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet and I cannot put it down. It definitely passes the time.

I got stuck in traffic the other day while waiting for the football game traffic to die down. I was so happy I had my book. :)

ellie377
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Random

Postby ellie377 » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:13 pm

Thank you for the excellent suggestion, peachy. I went to the library and got a stack of books to keep in my car for when I need reading material to pass the time. Will put your book on my reading list.

At $1.50 on the newsstand, the New York Times daily is no longer pocket change, it's a luxury item.

I'm getting Quicken for my birthday this month.

Debt progress on hold for a while as taxes, car and house repairs take priority this month.
Owe $1600 to credit cards still. I'm going to sing when it is finally at z-e-r-o.

I am much more generous with gifts and my charities when I use my credit card. It shouldn't surprise me really. In my case, I'm still not conscious of how much that I'm spending when I use credit. I've got to find a way to budget for these areas. Right now, that budget is zero and that's not realistic.

Keep my money notebook of daily expenses under my husband's on the nightstand. We both keep track now. Today was the first day in 3 weeks that I spent zero. My husband's usually is zero.

ellie377
Posts: 148
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October Goals Update

Postby ellie377 » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:40 pm

2008 Goals
1. Pay off credit card & department store debt $1100 (I hate this so much!)
2. Personal savings ($100/$1000)
3. 401k fully funded (currently only 5% for match)
4. EF (2752/5000)
5. Mortgage ($32,928/ goal $25,000)

We discussed stashing more cash instead of paying down the mortgage and decided to stick with our current plan for now. Ditto for paying down debt.

We save 6 cents by paying cash for gas instead of debit or credit. Using cash for gas means we both need to get cash more often and that's a habit I need to work on. Tomorrow I'm going to be getting cash for us both (gas, groceries, etc).

Started my holiday gift list on the fridge to get started. Until my credit cards get paid off, I keep reminding myself that I have no budget for holiday gifts. This weekend I'm going to look through closets and storage for gifts that I have already bought (and forgot about) and see what that brings.

ellie377
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:13 am
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Xmas finds

Postby ellie377 » Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:31 am

I'm partway through my search for misplaced presents and other potential gift items and am amazed at the good stuff I've tucked away. I've been pulling it into the dining room and calling it the holiday store. There's some potential careful regifting I can see too. And a box for the Goodwill store. This makes me happy.

In my quest to go debt free this fall I'm trying to anticipate as many costs as I can, especially the wants versus needs categories. Spending on the wants before I've got the needs covered is my downfall: gifts! nieces and nephews! coffee and the paper!.

Putting in my wallet only that day's cash is very helpful and makes tracking at the end of the day much easier. I may try making a list of NEEDs and keeping it in my wallet. I think if I've got a cell phone and just travelling back and forth from work I can eliminate carrying my debit card this fall.

ellie377
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:13 am
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Little Victories

Postby ellie377 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:23 pm

1. I finally gave myself a set weekly allowance: $40
2. I have been cash only for the past two weeks as a result, plus gas & grocery limits kept. Yay!
3. I have been only putting in my wallet cash for that day's needs.
4. So far, good balance of needs & wants for my cash. I felt like I could say yes to things I really wanted with confidence. And vice versa (no buying junk from co-worker's kid, etc)
5. My husband won $500 for a placing in a marathon Columbus Day weekend. Nice bonus for all those months of training.

I can't believe it has taken this long to give myself a cash allowance. I can actually plan! Trying to whittle down debt I cut back on savings and any kind of money for myself and that backfired on me. It created more debt!

Sam
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Postby Sam » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:52 pm

Good job Ellie, don't be too hard on your self, it takes time to change habits.
Sam

http://adventures-of-sam.blogspot.com
(Follow Sam's financial and real estate adventures.)

ellie377
Posts: 148
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Lobster dinner

Postby ellie377 » Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:42 am

I feel bad for Maine fisherman, but took advantage of cheap lobster this week. Boiled lobster dinner for two with baked potates and homemade biscuits set us back $10.

peachy
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Postby peachy » Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:30 pm

Only 10 dollars? Wow. I wish I could find a meal like that around here for 10 bucks.

The holiday store is a cute idea too. Good for you.


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