Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year: New Financial Goals

My husband and I have been in some discussions on our financial goals for the next year. I am sure that many of you have been doing the same. As we have talked and prayed not all of our goals are concrete but some are. One, probably the largest, is for us to get out of debt in the next year and a half. He is a college campus minister and has also taken on a part time job to reduce our debt. Since I am a stay-at-home mom I felt like my largest contribution could be reducing our budget with coupons. Using coupons this past year has really been a blessing. In fact, I was able to cut our grocery/household bill from $400 to $260. The money we saved we put towards our debt. Any money I did not spend or was rebated with was put to debt also. When I look back on the year there were some great changes that we made and I am so thankful for the wisdom of others who have been frugal and have used coupons for years. I have learned a lot from them and my perspective is so radically changed because of their influence. Now back to the new year of 2010 and our goal of reducing debt. There are a few things that I want to do to really tighten the belt on our finances and be debt free by May 2011 (a year and a half).

Here are our goals starting in January 2010:

*One is to use the envelope system faithfully in each of our budget categories
(We have tried in the past and have not been faithful)

*Another is to cut our grocery/household budget to $200 or less with coupons.

*A third is to make more food from scratch (specifically breads, muffins, and other things that could be made cheaper than buying, other than getting them free with coupons)

*A fourth is to participate in January in the "Eating From the Pantry Challenge" with Money Saving Mom and Life As A Mom. You can read more about it on their blogs, but the idea is to use up what you already have in your pantry, cupboards, freezer in order to save money and not waste what you already have. This is going to require some creativity but I believe it will be well worth it! There are no hard and fast rules because all of our families have different needs and circumstances so your goals and guidelines my be different.

These are mine:

1)Spend only $20 a week on groceries/household needs. I have done this previously in November to help us pay for a seminary class. You can read the posts on that here,here, here, and here.

2)To use creativity and recipes using mostly what we already have in the freezer and pantry.

3)To put the $120 saved this month toward debt! I have been particularly challenged by Money Saving Mom in this area and you can read about her celebration of her family's goal of paying 100% cash for their home here.

As I have been thinking about the New Year and new goals for our family and me personally I am both excited and nervous. I get mostly nervous about me failing to be honest but I really want to walk by faith and try! I want for all areas of our life to proclaim the name of our Lord and to glorify Him and this also includes our finances. Do you have any New Year Financial goals? I would love to hear about them and to be encouraged by them! Please share them! Looking forward to all the New Year will bring!

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