Monday, January 23, 2012


This post is also appropriate for

I try to keep my blog posts written specifically for each blog, but it doesn't always work that way.

I am currently reading the book "Does this make my assets look fat?" It's a woman's guide to financial understandings. From little things like budgets and shopping to the big topics like stocks and bonds. It's a GREAT book. i checked it out at our local library. I encourage you to do the same.

one of the things that really stuck out in my head was the whole GOALS chapter. I understand goals, but i've never sat down with a pen and paper and prayerfully considered what my short, mid and long term goals are. I mean sure, I have blogged about my financial goals for this year but I haven't looked at the BIGGEST picture. So I started doing that this weekend.

Short term goals: These are to be completed within 2 months and 1 year.

Mid goals: 2-6 years. Something you expect to happen in the "next few years."

Long term goals: these may be a lifelong process. An example would be contributing to a 401k or an IRA. this is not something that can just be completed one day soon.

It makes you think--what would you REALLY like to see happen this year? in 5 years? in 30 years?

I've started my list... not complete yet but here's what I have so far.

Short term goals:
Pay off my car (next few months)
Pay off credit cards (next 3 months max.)
Save 2 months worth of bills

Mid goals:
Pay off student loans (not much in there, but I need to do it)
Have 10,000 in savings
Contribute to IRA faithfully (max it every year-$6,000)
Pay cash for a new car in about 4 years(if mine lasts til then)

Long term goals:
Buy a house (with at least 30% down)
Have a GOOD retirement saved up!

Some of these may seem silly, or seem like they aren't "goal" worthy, but to me these are the things that keep me from spending when i want to. These goals keep me in "check". Dave Ramsey always says that you HAVE to see milestones along the way. That's why he says you pay off your smallest debt first. That way you see the progress and can get excited about it.

So there ya have it... my goals.

What are yours?

Monday, January 16, 2012

How are you gonna save up that money?

So, it's time to ask yourself the question you have been avoiding--how are you going to save up that money?

We've talked about saving money, living on less, getting rid of things that we do NOT need to survive. Getting rid of items we don't wear, use, cook with, watch,read, listen to, etc.

But how are you REALLY going to save up money?

Realisticially--Seriously--in all actuality--ultimately--however you want to word it, how are you going to get there?

I have another blog where i give lots of tips for this. Check it out HERE if you haven't already.

But let's get down to it... if you really want to save up money ($500, $1000, $1500, etc) how do you plan to do it? If you are struggling to make ends meet already, how do you SAVE up money that you do NOT have?

That's a question that financial bloggers address a LOT (keep in mind i am so NOT a financial blogger). Money shows, books, Dave Ramsey and people like him address this issue a lot. And some of what they say is very relevant to most people's lives. But some just straight over my head. For example, you will hear them say a lot "dip into your 401k," or "cash in the cd and repurchase at 1.4%"... HUH? What are you talking about, dude? I just want to know how to save up some money.

So, i had to come up with these on my own. It's not earth shattering by any means. It's simply some steps to help you save up to whatever amount it is that you are trying to reach.

1. HAVE A YARD SALE. so simple. Get rid of that crap in your house and gain some extra dough. Simple as that.Put the cash you make aside.

2. Sell the better items on ebay. Not much of a fee for listing and if they are good, vintage, type items you will get more for them online.

3. Raise deductibles on your insurance. This is so handy IF you do it for a short amount of time. Raise them up, and let's say you save $100 a month. Well your budget is already used to spending that amount so when you get paid each month, transfer $100 (the amount you saved by raising your deductibles) to savings. That alone will save you $1200 a year.

4. Change your cell phone plan. If you have a back up phone that will save you money to use (ex: it doesn't need a data plan), switch to THAT phone for a few months and put the difference in savings.

5. Clip coupons. Read more about that HER

6. Don't go out to eat. It's so simple. I had a gift card to use this weekend but let me just give you a quick run down.
2 glasses of tea
1/2 chicken salad sandwhich
1/2 turkey sandwhich
1/2 bowl of potato soup
1/2 ceasar salad
TOTAL: $21.62

My cost if I had made this at home:
Well, I already had the potatoes, I already had bread, go buy some turkey meat for 3 bucks, chicken salad from the deli 3 bucks, caesar salad in a bag 2 bucks, tea bags already had. So it would have cost me nearly NOTHING to have this meal at home AND I would have been able to have this meal every day for a week if I bought the items to make it at home. So silly.

If you are trying to save money then do NOT go out to eat.

7. Car pool. If you can. I realize this is one of those "REALLY???" kinda statements but let me explain. If I have to be at work ALL day for meetings and i know i'm not going anywhere...why wouldn't I have my husband drop me off and pick me up?Just saying'... the savings ads up.

What about you? What are some ways that you can think of to save money?????

Friday, January 13, 2012

Started out this year pretty good...

So far this year I am feeling good about the steps I have taken to live on less.

First of all, i spent a LOT of time cleaning out my closet. And when I talk about my closet, well, you'd have to see it to believe it. It's probably bigger than my bedroom. It is MASSIVE. It holds a LOT of items in it and so many of them I do NOT need. So, I started out on a cleaning spree.

I made a pile of items to donate, a pile to take to consignment, a pile for my sister (so jealous she can wear my skinny clothes and shes 11 years older than me), AND a pile of things to give to a friend.

It was a good feeling watching those piles stack up and knowing that those items were going AWAY for GOOD!

My closet is becoming less cluttered which means that I am less stressed because I am not looking at it every day thinking "sigh--I need to clean this out". Which means that I am in a better mood, which means that my family is happier, which means that I feel better. It's CRAZY the chain of events that can happen simply from getting rid of some things that you do NOT need.

It's so nice.

I still have more to do. I have some attachments to clothes that is just plain silly. I hate to see them go, but i can't wear them. BUT, with this "Diet plan" i'm on I keep thinking that they may fit one day which would make me sad if I had gotten rid of them. We women--we are really something, aren't we?? :)

So I feel good. i am living on less. I am saving money. I am making the most out of what I have. I feel great. (except for this stomach flu I have had... oh dear Lord. It's been awful.)

Happy New Year. xoxo