Sunday, January 6, 2008

Financial Goals 2008

We have discussed our categories and I thought I would post a few here:
Home - within home it will include all things pertaining to HOME. I have taken a sheet and broke down mini categories within HOME such as mortgage, insurance, repairs, heat/gas/garbage, taxes, and a separate account for items that we want for our home such as new furniture, appliances, etc.
Cars - since we owe nothing on any of our vehicles we want to set up a fund to replace these vehicles. We are choosing to use an ING account. Also I set up the same sort of mini categories such as oil/gas, repair, tires, insurance, tags, insurance deductible, maintenance
Food - this includes our grocery bills plus eating out. In 2008 we are purposing to not eat out as much as in the past. Also I am planning my menus and meals plus using coupons to extend this budget.
Savings - this is one huge group but I have broken it down into small mini categories again like the previous areas. We will have three in high school next year. I have taken all the expenses that I know will exist and have multiplied it by three and have a figure of what our great expenses will be such as class rings, letter jackets, yearbooks, football camps, choir expenses, etc. We will then begin to take a certain amount out of our monthly budget and apply it to a savings account so that the fund are there when the request is made.
Within this group we have also added the church trips that will arise with the three younger children. For instance we know that this summer two of our boys will be going to Beach Camp with our youth. Next year all three will attend. This year it will take around 600.00 for both boys to attend. We are saving up for that. Having three children so close in age really adds up in big money when they get older and have activities to attend or church functions. This year we spent 150.00 on yearbooks. Sure I could just buy one yearbook but, you know I am frugal to a point....each child should be able to have their own yearbook to look back over and have friends sign at the end of the year.
That is it for now. I have things to do!

Crystal at Biblicalwomanhood and Money Saving Mom is hosting a Financial Shape in 2008 Challenge. This is a year-long campaign to encourage families to live on less than they make and take personal responsibility for their finances.

Seven years ago we committed to being debt free after seeing Dave Ramsey in Oklahoma City. We cut up our credit cards and proceeded to have a gazelle intensity to pay off debt. The Lord certainly blessed us along the way and currently we only owe on our home. It has been a struggle and hardship at times. My husband works so hard. He takes every opportunity afforded to law enforcement to work overtime and extra jobs. We sock that money away in various areas for savings and goals we are working towards. Our teenagers have learned very valuable lessons ...patience, gratitude for what they do have, frugality, and the sense that it is okay if you do not have the latest and greatest gadget RIGHT NOW. They have learned what it takes to run a home and how important it to distinguish between needs and wants.

The first part of the challenge is getting a working budget together. While we have had great success at paying off our debt and living within our means, we have not yet gotten the written budget down to a science nor working the envelope system as much as we could. These are two goals that we really want to achieve this year.

We are going to sit down and work on this as a couple this week. I will be updating as soon as I have the categories in place. I wanted to go ahead and make a post pointing to Crystal's challenge as a way of our commitment.

One quick note I want to add. We divide our house payment amount by 12. Each month I apply this amount to the principal of our mortgage. If you do this each month, after the end of one year you will have made an extra payment to your mortgage thereby cutting precious time off your loan.

Finally, I have one more financial goal this year: get a handle on the CVS/Walgreen way of saving money for our family. Each time I have tried to use coupons at our local Walgreens they never understand and I never get the savings that many post about on Crystal's blog.

I am looking forward to this challenge and being a faithful steward with the resources the Lord has provided for us.

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