Turning financial dreams into reality
Do you have financial goals for this new year? What about next year? Here are some of the goals John and I have:
- Pay off our son’s braces
- Save for our 2012 family vacation.
- Save cash for another vehicle. We have a minivan and a full size van, both of which have more than 150,000 miles on them. At some point we’d like trade one of our vans for a smaller, more gas-efficient car, but we aren’t going to take on car payments. No way, no how. So that means saving.
- We’d lovelovelove to add a larger dining room onto our house at some point, to fit our growing family when we gather together on the weekends. We don’t want to add to our mortgage to do it. So– yup– there’s more money to save, probably at least $20,000.
- We’re on track to have our home paid off in 7 years, but we’d LOVE to shave a couple years off that. All other goals are going to be more doable without a house payment. So we’ve been playing around with mortgage calculators to see how we could make that a reality. And I’m once again evaluating our grocery budget– looking critically at what we spend and thinking about ways to shave a bit off here and there, so that we can funnel a bit more cash toward our mortgage.
It’s great to have goals. Good goals are at the core of money success. If you’re aiming to get someplace important to you, you’ll be much more likely to have the resolve to make those small daily decision to get you there. You know, to cook dinner instead of ordering takeout, to check the thrift store instead of going to Target for that new shirt, to put off grocery shopping a couple days and instead eat out of your pantry, or to buy a $10 microwave on Craigslist instead of forking over $200 for a new one. You might even decide you can live without a broken gadget rather than buying a new one.
Are you in need of ongoing financial inspiration? One thing I’ve been doing lately is to listen to Dave Ramsey radio. I’ve heard people rave about him for years, but just started listening to his radio program recently. The show offers information and inspiration, whether you’re a 30-something struggling to get out of debt, a newlywed wanting to start life out on a strong financial foundation, or a 50-something scrambling to get retirement money in place.
A book that’s free on amazon today is Saving for Retirement without Living Like a Pauper or Winning the Lottery. I read it a few months ago and found it to have good information.
Another awesome resource for money saving inspiration is the blog Money Saving Mom written by Crystal Paine. She’s always got helpful inspiration on tap. A couple years ago she wrote a review of my book. She has a great series of We Paid Cash posts. And today she shared info about a coupon from Gardens Alive that might be useful as you plan this year’s veggie garden.
And a news bulletin here– I’m so excited about this! I’m currently hard at work writing an e-book designed to give anyone a jump-start into saving money on groceries. This is an easy-peasy beginner’s intro to Family Feasts for $75 a Week, with lots of additional information: menus, recipes, grocery lists, and step-by-step kitchen instructions. Instructions will simply, clearly guide anyone on a one-week kitchen adventure to feed a family of 4-6 for $75 or less. If you’re currently living on more than that, you may think that goal is impossible. Nope. I’ll show you how. You won’t have to spend all day in the kitchen either. And once you’ve successfully done it for a week, you’ll have the skills in your back pocket to call upon at any time. Knowledge is power, folks– AND more money in your bank account. Stay tuned!