Friday, April 2, 2010

Finance Fridays: My Financial Goals

Since my original post with the outline of all my goals, my financial goals have evolved a bit. They originally included the following:
  1. Continue budget shopping, using coupons, clearance sales, etc to be able to cut our grocery budget by another $10 over the course of the year.
  2. Save for a new car seat for Monkey Man.
  3. Save for new tires for our car.
  4. Cut out all unnecessary expenses from our budget.

But now, I'd like them to look like this:

  1. Continue using coupons. clearances, sales, etc to cut our grocery budget by another $10 over the course of the year.
  2. Start a savings plan. Specifically to save for new tires, car repairs, a home, and a new car.
  3. Cut out all unnecessary expenses from our budget.
  4. Plan and follow a written budget.
  5. Include my husband in the financial aspect of our lives.

Why the changes? Well, we already purchased a new car seat for our son. It was a necessity. He was very close to the limits on his old car seat and it was just plain uncomfortable for him. I ended up compromising a bit and going with a car seat that was still safe, but wouldn't last as long (height and weight wise) and was cheaper. The one(s) I wanted ranged from $140-$170. They would have let him rear face until about 35 or 40lbs and then lasted him front facing until he was about 5. The one I ended up getting will last him until he's about 3, he'll be able to rear face until he reaches 30lbs, and I only paid about $40 for it using a coupon at Kmart.

Also, I decided that it was impossible to eliminate unnecessary expenses if I didn't know what they were, so I felt that taking steps to create a written budget needed to be added to the list. I've also felt that saving is especially important, so I added that too.

So, I'll be moving forward with my new Financial Goals!

Continue Using Coupons, Clearances, Sales, etc to Cut Our Grocery Bill by Another $10 Over the Course of the Year

Right now I spend anywhere from $30-$50 a week on groceries, depending on what's on sale and what I need to stock up on. That also includes diapers, paper goods, hygiene needs, cleaning products - basically everything to make our household run. In my opinion, this isn't bad. I've known and heard of other people that are spending upwards of $100/week to run their household - and their household is smaller than or the same size as ours. Before we had our son, I really wasn't too worried about staying below a certain number. I bought what we needed. We had two incomes and had plenty. I don't think I ever spent $100 or more, but I was usually between $60-75 for the two of us. My husband was actually surprised to learn how little we were spending considering how much food we have.

Start a Savings Plan

There are many things that we'd like to have that we don't have the money for immediately. Larger things, like a house or bigger car, are not necessary at the moment. We're not at a point in our life where we can settle down with a house or that we need a bigger car. But these are things that we can start saving for. By the time we're ready to buy a house or a bigger car, we most likely won't have enough to pay cash, but we can have a large enough down payment to ensure a better interest rate or enough to bring our monthly payment down.

Specifically, we'd like to save for the following: a house, a bigger car, new tires (will be necessary very soon and our car uses a rare size tire which are expensive), future car repairs.

  1. We were set up with a savings account at our bank. We have the ability to automatically transfer money directly from checking to savings. I'll definitely be utilizing this.
  2. I need to create a budget to figure out exactly how much we CAN save.

Cut Out All Unnecessary Expenses From Our Budget

We don't really have a lot of unnecessary expenses, but I'm sure there are still things we can cut out.

  1. Create a budget to help figure out where are unnecessary expenditures are and where we can cut back.
  2. Track spending for 1 month to help aid in finding unnecessary expenditures.
  3. Eliminate them!

Plan and Follow a Written Budget

Pretty plain and simple. Though in order to create an accurate budget, we need to track every single penny that we spend for at least one month. That way we're not planning on spending less than we should, or more than we need to.

  1. Create a preliminary budget for now.
  2. After tracking expenditures for 1 month, reevaluate and recreate a more concrete budget.

Include My Husband in the Financial Aspect of Our Lives

This might seem a little silly, but there are some things in my financial history that I'm not so proud of that I've avoided telling him. It's not that he's not good with money, but he just trusts me to do it. He doesn't ask many questions and that's okay. But I'd hate for something to happen to me and have him not know what's going on with our finances. If he already knows where we're going and what I do on a regular basis, then that's one less thing that he has to worry about.

Do you have any tips for creating a budget? Any reasons why you thing saving is a necessity? Any finance tips to offer? Email them to and you could be featured in an upcoming post!

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