Wednesday, December 29, 2010
New year - big resolutions and changes for our little family!
I will admit that over the past 6 1/2 years of marriage we have not made the best financial decisions and we are paying for them now! We have gulp - almost $45,000 in consumer debt (including our car and student loans) and our goal is to be rid of it all by our 10th wedding anniversary (3.5 years from now). In order to do that we have decided to follow the Dave Ramsey baby steps and I will admit I'm becoming a bit obsessed but I'm ok with it!
So here are our goals for 2011 to help us on our Debt Free Journey!
1) No more eating out. We spend way too much every month on fast food and going out to eat. We now have alloted $125 every month for fun money and any eating out, new clothing purchases, haircuts, etc all need to come out of that money - so as you can imagine that 125 will go quick if we eat out every week. So we've decided that if we stop eating out (at least limit it to once a month) then we'll be able to save so much $$.
2)Going along with number 1 is making a meal plan and STICKING to it! I used to be so good about doing my menu plan monday and I got lazy and stopped - but no more! I will be posting my menus again every monday in order to help hold myself accountable!
3) Attack our first debt. Going by Dave Ramseys debt snowball of getting rid of smallest to largest debt - this first debt will be Stephens Student loans. Only $3500 remaining. We want to have it paid off by the end of the year, I'm sure we can have it paid off by Sept.
4) Spending more time as a family and praying together more often. Since we won't be going out as much this should come easy but I really want us to spend this next year really focusing on each other and strengthening our relationships with God, each other and our children.
5) Stephen and I both want to work on getting healthier. I have about 5-10 lbs I'd like to lose and then work on toning and maintaining that healthier weight. Stephen wants to lose 20-25 more lbs. This means I need to actually use my Wii and all the weightloss games I have because it's worked before and I know it will work again! lol
6) Save for vacations this year. This is going to be harder for us emotionally I think. We are in the mindset that every extra dollar we have we want to put towards our debt but in April we are going to KC to visit Stephens family. His sister is having a baby in March and the baptism is in April and we want to be there but also we have not seen his dad or other sister since Oct 09 and they will be in KC for this big event then. So of course we want to spend as much time as possible with them before they go back to SC. They have not met Parker and Ella was only 2 last time they were with her. Anyway we will be there for probably 5-6 days but that's 5-6 days of food, spending money and extra gas money. I'm thinking we need to save $250-300 for this trip.
And then we really want to be able to go to South Carolina to visit his family in November for Thanksgiving. We are finding it harder to save for this one because we would need $900 just for flight and rental car (or possibly a little less if we drove and stayed in hotels on the way but that's a long time in the car with 2 little kids!) and that's not counting any food/spending money while we're there so we would probably need to save $1200 for this trip. I know that's not a ton of money but towards our debt it really is! The next goal also has a factor on this:
7) Increase our income! I will need 1-2 new daycare kids by August when school starts again but if I can start watching someone sooner like by April or anytime after that, then all that money will be extra - making it easier for us to be able to go to SC in Nov and/or to be able to pay more debt off! I really don't want Stephen to have to get an extra job but there is no opportunity for overtime at Intrust (since he's salary) so I think that even though it would be difficult it would be worth it for a few months to earn extra money. This is obviously something we're still discussing but I'm just putting it out there lol
So there we go - my Goals for 2011. I know it's a lot but I'm so excited to get working on it! I will update monthly on how we're doing on these goals and also add if any new goals arise!