I don't know but I sure can hope and work towards a few things.
Be better at working towards financial freedom
Sticking to a budget (hard one for me)
Eating out less (goes hand in hand with sticking to a budget)
Sticking to my portions
Spending more time at home
Looking back at the past year, we've bought a house and incurred a lot of debt buying it, but I know it's worth it. Buying a home to live in is always a win. We paid off a bunch of credit cards and got two new ones with cash back and reward points. Our 401(k)s have had a personal rate of return of over 12% and we each started a Roth IRA. . This year, I'd like to have money in our savings to cover at least 3 months of expenses.
I don't know but I sure can hope and work towards a few things.
It's been awhile since I blogged and since I've been good with my finances. It's time to get back on track. The family came to visit for a total of 6 weeks. In laws for 3, my parents for 4, they overlapped by 10 days.
I'll be back on track with my saving very soon. I've promised myself that I would not purchase any shoes or clothes until I really really needed them. I had spent some money on clothes and shoes 2 weeks ago and told myself that's it for awhile.
It's time to focus on the future and our goals.
The hubby and I opened up IRAs with ING. I'm glad we did, we've been putting that off and thought that we should do it. We did it!
I aloso increased my 401k deduction. That's helped a lot.
We'll be heading out of town for a wedding and it is an unexpected expense. It's ok, it's for a good friend and we haven't seen them in awhile. I was able to get a great deal on a hotel through Friends and Family discount. I had originally boooked a hotel for $229, then one for $179, then one for $159 and then finally settled on one for $59.
Do you think that a 4 year old is too young to get an allowance in exchange for his help aroud the house? Of course for a four year old, that would be cleaning up after himself, putting his dirty clothes in his basket, grabbing his plate/bowl/utensils/placemat for meal time, etc.
He can now count up to 30 and I'd like him to understand how money works. I read somewhere that a good allowance guide is $1 for every year. I'm thinking about it so he understands that we have an unlimited amount of money. I'd like him to understand that he has to save his money if he wants something and he needs to decide what is more important to him, that $2 hot wheel today or the $30 lego set in a few weeks. I think that I'm going to start this this week and let you know how it goes. He's already paid me back this week for something this week that he wanted from the toy store, he had some money stashed away from a few easter eggs. I hope that he learns the value of money early on in life.
I just received some unexpected money from work and we've decided to pay off 3 credit card accounts currently on a debt management plan. Wohoo! That'll be nice to see that we've completed the program and get our credit score up. Plus. The husband and I have opened up ROTH IRA accounts through ING with automatic monthly deductions. I figure it's time to finally do that. We're now in our 30s and I imagine that it will grow and grow over the next 30 years until we're ready to use it.
Last year, we went out to brunch and it came out to about $350 for 4 adults, 1 child and our toddler was free. This year we decided to host easter brunch at home for about 30 people and we spent about $200, most of it was for an 18lb ribeye roast that I turned into prime rib. It was yummy. There was enough for everyone. We also had ham and a bunch of other items plus my sis made a beautiful fruit platter and a coconut tapioca dessert. I made an apple tart. yummy!
Back to our new place, I have been searching for drapes for some time and I finally found some last weekend that would look great in our family/nook/kitchen area. They were too much, it was going to cost $45/panel. I needed 11 panels plus the rods.
DH had mentioned the use of paper blinds for the meantime until we decide what to do. I did a little research and found them for about $5 each. I bought enough to cover all the windows in the house. DH likes them a lot and wouldn't mind having them around for a longer period of time. I spent about $200 for the paper shades instead of spending about $450 + tax for drapes and another 200 or so for rods. i'm keeping my fingers crossed that they don't fall down.
We decided to return a vacuum cleaner to Costco this past weekend. Wohoo, I got $500 back and then turned around to buy items for the house - A cheaper vacuum, stocking up the pantry and a bunch of other stuff we were meaning to pick up. I ended up paying $24 on top of my refund. I felt bad for spending the money but happy that I returned one item and came back with 30 items.
My friend offered to share her big bag of greens and suggested that I pick up some fixings at the cafe. We headed over to the company cafe to pick up some fixings for a salad. I got in line to pay and placed my container on the scale when the cashier asked me if I wanted to guess my total price after tax. She explained that my salad would be free if I guess the salad price after tax within 5 cents. I guessed $1.85 and the total was $1.83. There it is, my free lunch. My friend had some items in the refrigerator for sandwiches and some soup. I had half a sandwich and a small bowl of soup.
So far, I haven't spent any money this morning. I saved $2 b/c my co-worker let me have some of her milk, instead of buying an 16 oz jug of milk I saved $2. I'll have to grab some milk from home.
Lunch will be more of a challenge.
I've decided that I should get $50 a week to spend as I choose, whether it be food, drink or fun. I'm going to take out $50 on Sunday and hope it lasts until the following Saturday.
My sister sent me the link for Prosper. I was intrigued. I thought that I'd give it a try being a lender. I took out half the money out of our ING Account, which wasn't that much to begin with, and placed in a prosper account. Once the money was transferred, I started browsing the loans. I placed a bid and 7 days later I won, I did that a few times and I've lended out all the money that I put in. I received my first payment 2 weeks ago and it feels good to know that I helped someone out and that my $$ is growing a little bit faster than in my savings account.
I found my way here by way of the Personal Finance Advice Page. My sister posted the link on her blog and I began clicking away.
I think it'll be cool to chronicle our journey to financial freedom.
We recently paid of 3 credit card accounts through a credit counseling agency. Wohoo! It felt good. We have 3 more accounts to pay off through them and hopefully we can clear that out in the next three months.
We've just bought our first house and the spending has been out of control, which I prepared for by saving. We're going to be looking at our budget and going to do our best to stick to it.