Prior to this year we didn't have any financial goals other than a goal to pay off our one and only credit card. Our first CC bill that we didn't pay in full was back in Aug 2008. $1000 balance turned into $2000 which turned in to $20,000 (5.24% APR) at its peak. All along we kept saying, "Our goal is to pay off our debt." We were young with no direction, scared/embarrassed to ask for help, and had no idea what we were doing.
Hubby does not have much involvement in our finances. He admits he is horrible with money and wants no involvement. He gets a weekly cash allowance (given to him weekly so he doesn't blow it all at once) and sticks to that amount. He is a happy man and we no longer argue about misc credit/debit purchases.
We started 2013 with $18,000 in CC debt. We ended 2013 with $10,000 in debt. Writing that down make me feel so proud. I didn't think to set any 2013 goals - wish I would have. We also have a personal loan of $3915 at 0% (no other terms).
Our 2014 goals:
1.) CC debt free at the end of May (this will be a stretch but very possible with a few small windfalls headed our way)
2.) Pay off personal loan at the end of August
3.) Pay for Christmas using our SF
(A Christmas SF was the first SF I ever had back before I knew what a SF was. As a teenager I would put $25 a month in an envelope and buy my family gifts with that money in December. I was so proud of myself for thinking of this and never felt guilty spending that money. I stopped doing this at some point so using a SF to pay for Christmas gifts this year will feel like I've come full circle.)
4.) Have 1.5 months worth of income saved in an EF by the end of 2014.
------ EDIT 02/18/2014 ------
I wanted to modify my 2014 Financial Goals with firm numbers:
1.) CC payoff by end of May '14
2.) PL payoff by end of Aug '14
3.) $825 in Christmas Sinking Fund at beginning of December '14
4.) Save $10K in EF by end of '14
5.) Save $725 for medical expenses (might be able to defer amount to 2015 when FSA will be fully funded again - it's a unique situation)
Welcome to the forums!
Congrats on eliminating $8k in CC debt in 2013! That’s fantastic!
Those are good goals. Good call in making your goals specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time sensitive.
I know it is a long list and you took a look but consider the other tips in this thread: Tips to Save Money
Yes, eating out can be a big expense. Buying groceries in bulk and cooking/eating at home is a good idea.
1. What kind of income(s) do you guys have? In other words what is your total monthly income after taxes?
2. What are your total monthly expenses?
3. Perhaps Hubby could postpone any future vacation until you guys pay off your debts?
4. What are your long-term financial goals? Do you want to buy a house? Have kids? What are you investing in for retirement?