weebly statistics
Home About Links Contacts Show Show

A New Year and a Financial Fresh Start for 2009!

by Amanda on January 1, 2009
category: Finances

clock_.jpg Happy New Year!

“Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
-    Anne of Green Gables

I am sure by the time you have read this on New Year’s Day that you may have made a mistake or two. It’s okay. But there is still time to work on the year and save us from paying Stupid Tax with our finances. Making some clear financial goals for your family will empower you to feel in control of your money. Money is fluid and needs to be told where to where to go. Otherwise it just runs through your fingers like water.

There are several bloggers who are bold enough to share with the world their financial goals. One of Heather’s goals at Dime Savin’ Diva is opening a Christmas Club Account. 

“Open Christmas Club account for Christmas money. This would be in addition to our savings and debt snowball, and our goal is a minimum of $40 monthly.”

I would love to save all year for Christmas. Rather than squeaking it out of our budget in December. Really, Christmas isn’t a surprise. It comes at the same time every year!

Tiffanie at We Like Money wants to pay off two credit cards and get her total credit card debt under $10,000.  My husband and I paid off our cards in order of the smallest amount up. While we were paying them off I called to have the APR lowered. They weren’t very kind to me and it gave me more motivation to get them out of my life. Paying off credit cards is an awesome goal.

Megan at Counting My Pennies wants to “Save at least half of this year’s “extra” paychecks plus half of any work-related bonus checks.” If you get paid bi-weekly and base your budget on two paychecks a month, then a few months a year you get paid a third time in the month. Saving money from these “extra” checks is a great idea.

Frugal Babe is saving $200 a month into their car savings account. I know this is something that we are going to need to do soon, if I want to buy a Sequoia in cash. How awesome will it be to walk into a dealership with cash in hand and haggle? No arguing over APR rates while hoping you get a good “deal.” Frugal Babe is also saving for solar panels!

I’ve Paid For This Twice Already… is working on Student Loan Debt. She shares some great advice about their efforts, “As long as we keep focused on moving forward.” I agree! We just need to stay focused and moving forward in our goals even if we mess up.

piggy_bank_3.jpg Here are 14 goals that I came up with that may help you pick your financial goals for 2009!

1. Make a plan to pay X amount of dollars per month towards your debt all year. Stick to it!

2. No Insufficient Fund (NSFs) charges for 2009.

3. Start an Education Savings Account (ESA) for each child.

4. Track your spending for 3 months using Quicken or Mint.com.

5. Create a written budget before the 1st of the month and list it in priority order to get paid.

6. Create a Christmas fund and put at least X amount of dollars a month into it.

7. Have a monthly budget meeting with your spouse before the first of the month.

8. Only use a cash system for groceries, dining, and clothing.

9. Change your W-4 if you are expecting a large return, then you can bring more money home each month.

10. Create a Love Folder before the end of March.

11. Read a financial book such as: The Millionaire Next Door, The Wealthy Barber, Richest Man in Babylon, Your Money or Your Life, Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Maker Over or Financial Peace Revisited.

12. Reduce fixed expenses by 10% per month. Look at your mobile phone bill or cable options, shop around insurances, save on electricity in your house by weather stripping, etc.

13. Create a Giving Fund and give to causes that you believe in.

14. Attend Financial Peace University class or a Dave Ramsey Live Event.

Hopefully a few of these will give you a jump-start in your goal planning. My husband and I will be finalizing our goals soon. One of our goals is to finish our last debt item, Sallie Mae. Although, I am not sure she will be completely gone at the end of this year, but we can set a goal to have that debt to a certain number and take chunks off of it. I also have a goal to stick to our cash system and not to slip up with our debit card.

Let’s start 2009 financially fit! It is a new year with no mistakes in it… yet!

Are you setting any financial goals this year?

2 Responses to A New Year and a Financial Fresh Start for 2009!

  • Comment by Dawn
    January 1, 2009 @ 5:44 pm

    Love the ideas.

    We had a Christmas fund all year long in ’08, and it was AWESOME. Actually, it was “gifts” – not just Christmas. In January, we estimated how much we’d spend on each other and all family members for birthdays, mother’s/father’s days, holidays, etc. Then we divided it by 24 and took out that amount each paycheck. We went over a little – unexpected gift needs or postage is hard to plan for – but it was WAY helpful. Always nice to have a little pool of money anytime someone’s b-day rolled around, and especially at Christmas. I recommend this for everyone, because it is totally a stress-reducer!!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Melissa
    January 2, 2009 @ 1:31 am

    2009 is the year of physical improvement for me…my husband has a few other things he’d like to work on this year.

    Money was HUGE for us in 2007 (working for a financial planner at the time really helped), but we have since paid off three credit cards and a car. We have a way to go as far as debt repayment, but we’re not accruing any new debt anymore. :)

    I’d also recommend mvelopes.com if you’re looking for a way to use the envelope system without giving up your debit card and checks. It really helped us to set a budget!

Leave a comment


Blog Ads: