Layout:
Home > Category: Goals

Viewing the 'Goals' Category

End of March Update

April 4th, 2014 at 02:00 am

While we are averaging $900 per month on the food budget, it was up in March. April will see us focusing once more on keeping this down. I am okay with averaging $900 per month instead of meeting $900 every month but do not want us to start trending up.

Helped the brother out a little but gave more advice than money. His budget was a lot better than I was fearing which was nice.

We are still doing the daily breakfast shakes, have started adding more vegetables to them which is interesting. It helps to cut the sweetness of the fruit (why on earth people sweeten fruit smoothies is beyond me).

I appear to have essentially given up soda, which was more than I was hoping for when I cut back so I will take the victory.

Food budget update and dietary changes

March 8th, 2014 at 02:56 pm

Only spent $736 out of the $900 goal amount in February so doing much better than expected. I am not going to change the goal amount, however, as some months we may have a hard time staying under $900.

We have undergone a major revision to our diet which should be interesting long term. We do breakfast smoothies (plain greek yogurt, a splash of milk, massive quantities of fruit and leafy greens) every weekday morning. I have never eaten this much fruit in my life. I have always been big on veggies but never much cared for eating fruit but even I have been consistent in my breakfast smoothie (helps that I keep changing each day what fruit is in the smoothie). I have been doing them for 2 weeks, hubby has been doing them for 3 weeks.

Another revision I have made is that I am drinking unsweetened tea and water during the workday. So coffee (with its creamer and sugar) is only allowed in the morning (usually half a cup) and is not drank all day either. I think I am going to try giving up buying mountain dew for at home as well as I just ran out earlier this week.

During the transition from eating out a lot to eating almost exclusively at home, I made a lot of sweets, kept mountain dew at home and was willing to make some pretty high fat meals to ease the transition. The key was breaking the eating out habit. But since we are now used to eating at home, I have noticed that the high fat meals are getting rarer, the craving for sweets is diminishing (thank you breakfast smoothie) and we are eating a huge variety of vegetable based dishes (I have never been a bread and pasta fan so veggies tend to dominate in my house).

I think we still have a lot of changes to implement but I think we have made a tremendous amount of progress nonetheless.

Cash Poor at the Moment, 2014 Goals Posted

December 10th, 2013 at 02:45 pm

Between paying off the student loan and paying for the large irregular expenses that come with this particular December, I have an upcoming week (a Mon-Thurs period) where we will have less than $500 cash on hand. Youch. Fortunately after that we will return to normal levels almost immediately afterwards but, until then, I will be watching the cashflow like a hawk.

I am actually starting one of my 2014 Goals early because I have completed my 2013 Goals and because starting this one now will help me afford one of my other 2014 Goals. I am going to start cutting our food budget. We currently spend about $1400. I would like that down to $900 monthly on a regular basis by next December. This is really my only low hanging fruit left. While I can definitely do one month of reduced food spending, its the "on a regular basis" part that will be challenging.

It's my Christmas morning, just setup the student loan payoff!

November 20th, 2013 at 02:27 pm

Its my happy day. I was able to schedule the payoff payment to my student loan to clear on Monday because we were able to peek at the paystub for this Friday's paycheck and its sufficient to allow the payoff. (I only get excited when I am setting up payments, not when they clear. That is because once I have scheduled a payment, I have moved on. Same as when I paid off the last of the credit cards as well.)

My student loan was never huge so you wouldn't think I would be this excited but I am. I have been paying on this loan for 8 years so I am thrilled to have it gone.

When I paid off the credit cards (0% aprs), it was sort of a let down because it just wasn't that big a deal by the time we made the last payment but the sense of victory I feel paying off my student loan is everything I could hope for. Probably because this goal was more in doubt as to whether we could finish it this year with everything else we had going on.

Hurray!

Contemplating 2014 Priorities

October 27th, 2013 at 05:46 pm

So I expect October to end at 82.39% increase in networth YTD (~187k networth). November and December of this year are as planned as they can be given the huge variable of income so I decided to turn to next year's priorities.

The for sure priorities include maxing DH's HSA and 401(k) and my 401(k). I would also like to max both Roths and my HSA. Looking at the yearly total on that amount however, is very intimidating. Especially since I would like to build up our cash reserves as well. That said, despite the scary yearly total, its really not much more than we were able to accomplish this year when you add in the debt payoff we did.

End of August Progress Report

September 3rd, 2013 at 02:00 pm

YTD networth increase: 68.75%

We also broke the six figure mark for the first time in our 11 year work history as of last Friday. I suspect this year will be a fluke and we will reach that number much later in the year for the next couple of years but it was nice for paying things off and ramping up savings.

Otherwise, not much to say. Everything is on autopilot and I will have to wait till the end of the year before deciding what I can and can not accomplish come the beginning of next year or even what I can accomplish this December.

Credit card debt officially gone, on to the next goal

August 15th, 2013 at 01:32 pm

The final payment posted today which was nice but at the same time anticlimactic since I had scheduled the payment 3 weeks ago.

My last real goal of the year is the student loan and that gets paid in full in November. Since we are using an already earned but not paid till November bonus to pay that, there really isn't much to do in the meantime financially.

So my current area of self improvement is eating healthier, a never ending challenge for me since I love food (both good and bad). As eating healthier tends to result in cheaper groceries and less out to eat, it does have a financial component but that is a side effect, not the end goal.

Finally hit a slowdown

August 1st, 2013 at 01:13 pm

DH's work has cut the overtime. It means a dramatic pay decrease for us and a slow down on goals but that was always temporary money in my mind so no big deal. We do get to sleep in more now. Smile

So the student loan will be paid off in November and the 2013 Roth contributions will moved to the beginning of next year. Credit card payment has been scheduled for early this month so that is completed.

July Update

July 30th, 2013 at 01:06 pm

Current YTD networth increase is 64.63%. Which almost matches last year's total networth increase. I also suspect this will be the last year we increase our networth over this amount given the size of that hurdle from now on. After this year, I suspect that shooting for 50% will be ambitious...

The last credit card payment is scheduled for August.

The first extra payment went to my student loan and now I am waiting to see if they will take the auto debit as well. I think they will but we shall see. They do have a feature that when I am ready to pay in full, so long as I tell them what day I plan to make the payment, they will tell me the total final payment.

Temptation - Do I or Don't I?

July 16th, 2013 at 01:01 pm

Despite the variability in our income, I am pretty good at projecting it out. I have reached the point where I know by December we will have enough to pay the car loan in full. If I do, one of the Roths will need to be funded in the beginning of 2014 instead of December 2013.

The benefit is that a payment of $409 would immediately disappear. Its the last of my non-mortgage debt (come December). The con is that it delays building the EF and delays putting money in the Roth.

Really it doesn't matter tremendously either way. It is more a psychological victory than anything. It would certainly fit with the theme of 2013 as debt payoff year.

On the other hand, I am wondering what I have against saving up cash. This would not be the first time I delayed building a more robust EF (we have a small one built in to the budget already) in order to payoff low interest debt. Maybe I just really hate monthly payments, hmmm... I seem to have no problem saving to retirement accounts so its not that I can't save money.

I do think a part of it is that I like a simple budget and I like seeing big changes quickly. A car loan disappearing and then being able to save up more money quickly just works for me.

I figure I will probably debate it for a little bit and see how I feel come December.

Progress Report

June 2nd, 2013 at 01:22 pm

Our progress is slowing a bit as our summer spending is picking up. Networth increase YTD is 50.7%. Currently looking to pay off the credit cards by September (though we will be cutting that amount in half in June alone) and paying off the student loan by December.

Part of the slow down can also be blamed on the squirreling away of money into our retirement accounts. Our original goal of doubling the amount of money in retirement accounts should be met by October. We have been shooting for 100k in retirement accounts alone for awhile and are on track to meet that by the beginning of December. 2013 Roths and the EF goal will be shifting to the beginning of 2014.

Our first credit card payoff is June 7th with another chunk eliminated on the 14th. Between the two payments, $5k in debt will be wiped out. It will be our first time under $10k since college. I nearly wiped out the student loan first since that actually has interest on it but the credit cards are a bigger psychological victory. Besides, the student loans will be gone shortly thereafter.

Update

May 16th, 2013 at 01:44 pm

Assets
Investments $76,498
Home $200,000
Car $11,000

Debts
Mortgage $112,160
Student Loans $6,859
Credit Cards $8,979
Car Loan $9,213

Networth $150,287

Already posted the above in a forum post so figured I would add it here. YTD networth increase is 46.70%

As I really started investing in a down market, watching the gains from a climbing market seems insane to me. Market gains are contributing almost as much as us at this point.

June begins the elimination of the last of the credit card debt so there isn't too much going on while I wait for that.

Did get the touring bikes though, have already been out on them and am planning an extended ride with picnic this weekend. Its so nice being able to go for bike rides again. We had forgotten how much we enjoy them.

Added a spending goal

April 19th, 2013 at 02:38 pm

Because I don't have enough goals to work on, I am planning on buying DH and I road bikes this year. It's my fault because I mentioned wanting to get road bikes again and DH went and researched the ideal ones for long distance travel (we think of 30 miles as a quick bike ride). Long term its a fairly cheap hobby and we got our use out of our bikes we bought last time (sold them awhile back because they were too small long term and we knew we needed larger frames). Fortunately with all the overtime DH has been working and the raise he got, it won't actually slow our debt payoff.

If you include debt payoff, we are saving 45% of our gross income this year (25% gross to retirement savings). While I would have preferred to wait another year, I think we are doing well even with this big purchase.