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Archive for November, 2008

How Many Ways Can I Divide A Dime?

November 13th, 2008 at 04:45 pm

Already, like others out there, I'm looking at new financial goals for the new year. I love this fresh start stuff. It always gives me energy. I've tried to involve my spouse in my excitement and my review, but as usual, he lacks interest. I really just want to throw the book at him, but as the good wife, I just smile!

I've been reviewing my (our?) savings over 2008 and realize that I am still all over the place. I mean I've done fairly well, but I had more of a savings PLAN in place for the past year, rather then savings GOALS.

I believe I have 8 payroll savings allotments and 2 bank withdrawals for savings accounts (including retirement accounts). The plan was to consistently save as much money as possible.

In addition to the automatic deposits, I used lots of coupons, shopped at Good Will, stocked up on grocery sale items, took my lunch to work, and avoided shopping and going out to eat as much as possible.

Then, nearly every time I got extra money, say, over $100 or $200, I played with it in my head and on paper, dividing the deposit amount across at least 3 accounts, sometimes more. (My tax refund last year was split between every account I have PLUS I kept an amount for spending.)

It's worked for me...sort of. I mean, I have a good running start on most everything I wanted to fund. So I guess that was my plan AND my goal. But I'm like a juggler with too many balls in the air. Here I am at the end of the year, and I can't scratch anything off the list.

I shouldn't feel disappointed, but in a small way I do. I'm going to look at things with a new eye and narrow my focus...

OCTOBER REVIEW

November 4th, 2008 at 04:38 pm

Received 3 paychecks this month instead of the usual two. Also received $82 in overtime.

Regular household expenses: $3,261
Spending from Freedom Account and cushion:
Paid $475 Home warranty
Paid $410 Car repair
Paid $103 AAA membership
Paid $141 Plumbing repair (leak)
Total spent: $4,164

Notes:
1. Spent $282 on groceries, about $80 over the budget. $200 a month seems to be more and more unreasonable now that I'm at the end of the year, so I think for 2009, I'll do a budget amount by quarter or a semi-annual budget amount and track that instead of a by month figure, since I do a lot of stocking up when things are on sale.
2. Withdrew $550 from Christmas account. Will split with spouse and add to this with paycheck amounts, but don't plan to spend a lot this year.

Total Regular savings (from gross pay): Freedom account, $270. Education account, $300. Christmas $0 (withdrew nearly all). House repair account, $75. Creative ventures, $30. 401K, $339.

Total Regular Savings (from net pay):
Wealth account, $100. Extra mortgage payment account, $80. IRA, $100. the kid's moving-out-on-his-own account $10.
Car account: $100

Extra savings: Wealth account, $100, Cushion in checking account, $150 added.

Too many savings goals. Goal for November is to narrow my focus in my savings goals...at least a little. Also to review 2007 and 2008 total household spending to begin planning household budget for year 2009.