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Wife to Adam, mommy to Alexa & Adlee Grace, Christ follower, owner at NewSpring Church, lover of Clemson football, and all things monogrammed. Looking for ways to simplify, serve, and teach my girls what life is all about.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Financial Goals 2009

As I look forward to 2009 I can't help but think about the goals I have set for myself. I have several goals for the year...and some of them are relative, and my success will be totally based on how I feel at the end of the year. My financial goals are not. These are very much measurable, and I am very hopeful I will be able to sit before you (I don't typically stand when I blog) next December and tell you I have met all of them. So, in an effort to hold myself accountable, I am using my blog to lay them out.
  1. Get out of debt - I got rid of a bunch of debt in 2008, but I wasn't able to completely get out of debt. I am happy to say that I am no longer adding debt, but due to some circumstances beyond my control I couldn't pay off some of the things I had scheduled.
  2. Give more - One of the things getting out of debt will allow me to do is give more money. I truly believe that I am blessed beyond measure, and as a result the less money I have to give to my debt the more I can give to people who really need it.
  3. Start my emergency fund - I believe everyone should have an emergency fund with at least $1000 for true emergencies. Things like...the engine blows up in my car, or something else I truly can't predict. Beyond the basic emergency fund I also think it's a good idea to have a 6 month or years worth of necessities saved. Let me break that down a little...this type of emergency fund would kick in if I lost my job and was out of work for 6 months, or if Alexa got sick and I had to quit my job. This fund would allow me to pay our bills every month and not go back into debt. Basically to figure out what you need for your fund you would take the monthly expenses you budget for and multiply them by 6 or 12 and that would be your number. I am only hoping to start this fund this year because that is a big chunk of money and it might take a while to build completely.
  4. Save for a down payment - My parents have so graciously let us live here for almost 2 years now, and it has really been great for us. Alexa gets to see Mimi and Pop every day, and I get some much needed help with her. Having said that, I am really ready to have my own space again. Not because there is anything wrong with living here, but because it is just different when you have lived by yourself. I think it will also be nice for me to spend more time alone with her, and for it to be a treat to come to Mimi and Pop's house and spend the night, instead of something she does every day.
Those are my basic financial goals for 2009, and I will keep you updated on a monthly basis as I make progress. I am using Pear Budget to help keep track of my spending. They allow you a 30 day trial, and then it's only $3 a month after that. I am just in the trial period right now, but I plan to use it as much as possible and then evaluate at the end of the trial as to whether or not it was really useful. I also use some of the tools from Joe Sangl's site to put my budget on paper. There are lots of great online resources for budgeting and planning...and I truly believe that having a plan is one of the first steps to achieving your goals. Can't wait to give you an update in a few weeks!! What are you planning financially for 2009?


Our Family said...

It is so important to budget and save money, but also very hard. Most of our "savings" comes out of our account before we ever get our hands on it so that is nice. We are trying hard to stick to a monthly budget this year to save money up for a trip to Disney World!! 11 days into the new year and so far so good! :)

Meredith said...

You are definitely on the right track with these goals, Autumn. I know it's hard, especially as a single mom, but you can do it!