FREE BUDGET WORKSHEET DOWNLOAD!
Enter to win a $50 Gift Card when you sign up for free Passionate Penny Pincher emails!
Has anyone else felt overwhelmed in by all the Christmas crazies, and maybe fallen a bit off the penny-pinched wagon? My husband and I discussed this yesterday, and realized that while we haven't spent horribly out of control, we have failed to keep a tight reign on our finances . . . meaning we're not deciding where our money is going, instead our quick-fixed-wants are running away with our pennies.
So, in 2012 we're setting a few new financial goals. While we stick mostly to a written budget, there's enough wiggle room for us to spend on things that we don't really need, and not always force our money to work towards what we really want. Frequently I've found myself sacrificing what I really want for what I want right now. (EEK!) Here's what I'm planning to do in 2012 to change that:
1) Use cash ONLY for groceries, restaurants, clothing, & any home expenses.
2) Keep a list of EXACTLY what I spend each week at the grocery. I'm pretty good about sticking to my budget, but I'd love to really know how I'm spending (and saving!) each month. To keep myself on track, I'll be sharing my totals for the week as well as all the yearly totals each Friday in my Grocery & Donation Deals post, and I'd love for you to save your totals and share your savings right along with me. I'll also be adding a grocery budget check up once a month, so keep those totals handy to chime in with your deals!
3) Determine our biggest financial goals, and place any extra savings into these funds. Right now here are the specific areas that I'd like to bulk up in 2012:
- Put extra money in our children's college funds.
- Add to our vacation fund.
- Start saving towards a major goal (this one's a biggie . . . I'm too chicken to share it with you guys because I don't really think it'll ever happen, but it's definitely on my list!)
- Continue to save towards retirement.
- Save additional money towards a new car. (We don't need this one right now, but car purchases have a way of sneaking up on everyone, and I'd like to be able to pay cash for when ours does need to be replaced . . . hopefully in three or four more years!)
If you're new to penny-pinching (or even if you've been a bargain shopper for years. . .), your financial goals may look very different than our family's goals. We worked very hard several years ago to pay off our student loans and cars, and fortunately do not have any credit card debt. If you do have any of those on your list, work towards paying off those things first and paying cash only for purchases, and I promise you'll be able to do so much more with your money!
Okie dokie, what are YOUR financial goals for 2012? Take a few minutes today, talk with your loved ones about what changes you'd like to see made in the New Year and write it down on paper, and let's decided together to make 2012 a year to really tackle our financial dreams. I promise (promise!) you can do this, and we'll talk later this week about specific ways to save extra money and make your money work for you in 2012.
Great post! Our financial goal this year is to conitnue saving for retirement & college funds and to also put a large sum towards the principle on our home. We have a longer term goal of paying it off early (hoping for 5 years), so we’re trying to be focused and diligant about working towards that!
That’s a fabulous goal – good luck Willa!
All financial decisions my husband and I make this year will be focused around us buying our first home. We jokingly say since we have been married five years, it is time to grow up and make an adult purchase. We are going to use our stockpile and see how far it can stretch. We are also going to try to save everything we can for a down payment.
Good luck Melanie – how exciting for you guys! 🙂
Becky in AL says
Our goal this year to fully fund our 3 month emergency plan and pay off my hubby’s student loans. It’s a steep order, but we can do it!
Awesome goal Becky! I think one of my favorite days was when we (finally!) paid off my student loans…. all the kids were in the car and we were so stinkin’ excited! 🙂 Good luck…. you can do it!!!!!!
We just got our three month emergency fund so we plan to tile our kitchen and dining room, get bedroom furniture, and increase retirement/savings.
We will be living off our stockpile and what freebies or low cost items I can get for the next year or two. Thank goodness for couponing. Unfortunately, when we built our home almost 6 years ago, we thought our builders were reputable. Fast forward to present, looking at a major foundation repair due to builder negligence with no recourse unless we spend an arm and a leg on lawyers and experts. Needless to say, we will be footing the bill on this high dollar repair. Things will definitely be very hard, but I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for my couponing and the help from the bloggers like you Laurie, things would be way harder.
Bless your heart Mary – I hate that for you! Things like that are so incredibly frustrating, and often happen so often w/ home owner stuff (those kinds of repairs are my least favorite ever to spend on.) Hang in there, and I’ll be hoping your penny pinching takes you far this year! 🙂
We are spending BIG on a renovation now and have plenty of food and clothes so I’m going to do my best to make my Goodwill gift cards stretch and go back to a $70 per week food and clothing budget for my family of five so we can put more towards the house. I’m always thrifty and kept weekly costs around $100 but it’s time to live off our couponing stash for a while and save.
Renovations are huge Catherine! That’s an awesome goal – and I totally think you can do it. Thanks so much for sharing!