Sunday, February 3, 2008

Stage Blue--My Goals

Here are the goals that P and I set for ourselves at our First Friday Financial meeting. I put the goals next to my motivators. Not all motivators have savings goals. They will come more into play when deciding how to spend my money on my budget in Stage Orange.

When you create your goals, don't worry about how you are going to do it, just make goals and then we will figure the rest out, including time lines, later.

* Create a larger emergency fund of 10k & put it in an online savings account to get higher interest and also to make it harder to be tempted to access outside of an emergency
* Purchase life insurance
* Pay down debts using Dave Ramsey's Debt Snowball
* Pay off car
* Pay down the condo to get out from under PMI t
* Pay off the CC (only have new table purchase which is same as cash until Jan 2009--which means that if we don't pay it off by Jan 2009 that we have to back pay interest. We will pay it off well before that to avoid problems, but want to keep the $1200 in our savings account to earn interest until probably December...we will put it with our emergency fund so that we don't touch it)
* After emergency fund is created, we would like to start investing, but that's a long way off so we don't know about the specifics.

* Start a travel fund so that we can visit Europe in 3 years

* Save money for retirement--> P is already doing his 401(k) at 3% salary, which is his company's max match...I won't have mine start until mid March after my probitionary period is up. I would like for us both to have 4 or 5%, but we have to look closer at our budget for that.

* Consider buying more organic food, if it is in the budget. See what other food expenses to cut to make this possible. Also, eat less frozen/prepared food in order to cut down on the salt content. I would like to make a food budget, but P is not on board with this idea. More to come about that later.


SavingDiva said...

Lauren, my food budget was the most important part of my budget. I would spend 25% of my salary on food! It was great to get an idea of how much I can spend...

Lauren said...

Yea! My first comment :)

I'm not fully sure why Pete thinks a food budget is "silly". We have pretty well cut out eating outside the house at night and I think that he figures it's good enough. I'd say that cutting out eating out/take-out has saved us about $100/week already. I'd just like to try to save even more.

Usually we make prepared meals which are much cheaper than eating out, but still between $10-14 for both of us between the main part and a side or two.

Since I do all the cooking anyways, I am thinking about not telling him that we are on a food budget and just cooking less expensive meals. :-P

Canadian Saver said...

I also think this can be an extremely big leak in a budget... Maybe keep track for a month, then see if you think what was spent is a reasonable amount or not...........

I personally spend more on groceries because I rarely eat out anymore. It's all a matter of personal preference.

UrbanFrugal said...

A food budget is important because trying to buy food without any regard as to the amount you spend can be a budget killer. Plus, if you are cooking and trying to eat healthier and avoiding extra sodium in a lot of frozen dinners this will help you in the long run health wise. Coupons on some items will help with your food spending plan.

I read one of your other posts and I am glad to see that I am not the only one who uses a credit card for points and pays the bill in full when it comes.

If you don't want a surprise at the end of the month, check your CC bill every couple of weeks. Or you can try holding off certain purchases until after the billing period to make repayment easier.

ChickCents said...

I win! We have a food budget.

Last night Pete and I talked about why he didn't want to have a food budget. He said it's because he feels like we are doing fine in that area after recently. He's not against trying to keep it to a minimum, but he thought that I wanted to drastically cut back on how much we spend to eat. We decided to estimate $300/month for groceries, which is pretty close to what we spend right now. Also, we each get $100/month for lunches or breakfasts at work. It's offically on the our budget.

Piecake said...

Hi, just checking some of your older posts. Can you describe the Dave Ramsey Debt Snowball?

ChickCents said...

I haven't read Dave Ramsey and these Stages things are mine, not quoting from someone else (but I'm sure it's similar to most ideas out there since they are really all about the same).

I paid off the majority of my debt before I had heard of Dave Ramsey. My sister is a big fan and has told me some. She's following his debt snowball. I don't really understand why he calls it a snowball, but I know that it has to do with paying down your highest interest loans/debts first. I think you are also suppose to try to get your highest interested stuff transfered to as low as you can get.

I hope that helps and thanks for vising my blog!