Tag Archives: Building Wealth

Small Signs Point to Spring

Vintage-Winter-Birds-Image-GraphicsFairy-1024x392In our northern location, one of the few birds that sticks around are cardinals.  In the past week, despite the 10 degree F temperatures, I have heard Mr. Cardinal singing.  I think he was singing “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”  Works on the ladies every time!

The other sign of spring was I caught Mr. Saver looking out of the sunroom window at his raised garden beds, with thoughts of “doing something different” out there this year.

We decided that when we work through our budget this Saturday night we will take a good look about whether our finances are ready for spring as well.

Areas where our budget is ready for spring, and beyond:

  • We have summer vacation expenses covered
  • We have kid’s summer activities and camps covered

Areas that need attention soon:

  • We have a wedding to attend and need to set aside some gift money for that
  • We have no money set aside for gardening, and it is always more than we expect
  • We have no money set aside for Mom/Daughter summer fun.  This is to cover things like going to a local summer festival, American Girl sales, rummages, lunch out, taking a friend to the movies.
  • May need to revisit the clothing budgets and see if they are ready for spring

Vintage-Daffodil-Picture-GraphicsFairy-543x1024It has been so cold this week that we have barely spent any money from our weekly budget other than buying fruits and veggies, and a few gallons of gas until I got too cold waiting for the tank to fill!  We will re-route our weekly money towards some of these happy spring expenses.

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Hocus Pocus! Change My Finances!

imagesIf you want to cast some ‘presto-chango’ style magic over your money situation, the best solution I know is to set specific, measurable goals.  Alas, this is not as quick as pulling a rabbit out of a top-hat, but it is more reliable!  If you have a partner, setting goals together and having a weekly budget meeting is essential to keeping everyone focused and ‘gazelle intense’, as Dave Ramsey would say.

In May my husband and I were ready to set some new financial goals which I wrote about in “What’s All the Saving For, Anyway?”  I would like to give you an update on how things are going.

Goal 1: Increase cash savings 30% by the end of the year.  To date we have increased our savings by 10% and are one-third of the way to meeting the goal.  This goal seems attainable as long as there are no major setbacks.  We have been gazelle intense about meal planning and only eating out when we are really going to appreciate the experience.

Goal 2: Fund each of our Roth IRAs up to the maximum, if possible.  The maximum contribution we can make to the Roth IRA is $11,000 total for two people ($5,500 each).  We have deposited $3,000 so far.  We have until March 2014 to make contributions.   Will we get to  $11,000? Probably not because we are pushing harder on goal 1.  That said, we don’t want to overlook this fantastic saving vehicle for US residents.

Assessment: nothing motivates like having the numbers right there in front of you.  Our best shot at meeting our goals will be continuing to meal plan, and monitoring our weekly budget together throughout the week.  We know that when we let go of budgeting and meal planning, it costs us an additional $100 – $200 per week.

In the words of Gordon Gekko in Wall Street: “You done good, but you gotta keep doing good. I showed you how the game works, now school’s out… Go to work.”

Family Finance – Debt Free Anniversary

French-Roses-GraphicsFairy2pkToday is a special day in our family – it’s our 2 year debt-free anniversary.  We track the date in our calendar to remember the day we put away our last debt – our home – and pledged to do whatever we can to never borrow again.

While we certainly fought hard to get there by doing things like dropping cable, eating at home, and taking a part time job, one particular thing was the key to making it all happen.   The key was working together on setting financial goals and tracking the goals weekly together.   Working in total partnership with your spouse or life partner is like giving your finances a triple espresso every single day.  Working together gives you the focus, energy and accountability you need to keep chipping away at the goal.  Accomplishing huge financial feats is possible, but you have to both be pulling on the same end of the rope.

I will look forward to sharing this journey with you in posts to come… but today, we are off to celebrate as a family!