Dec 2017 is the last month I’ll be decorating planner inserts for. It’s kinda bittersweet since in 2018, all I’ll have to do is scotch-tape over the holes and re-punch my weeks. I’ve also taped, re-punched, and inserted my January to June 2018 Monthly pages into my Monster Flex.

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I’ve been playing around with organizing my weekly tasks. Some weeks certain categories have more tasks in them than others.

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Setting financial goals is important for many reasons. Some as simple as maintaining a budget so you don’t overspend. Other reasons include saving for specific reasons and goals.

My husband and I have several financial goals:

  1. Save $7,000.00 (minimum) each year for Household needs like homeowner’s insurance, auto insurance for my vehicle, auto insurance for his truck, property taxes, and tag registrations for both vehicles. I keep a list of all the amounts that get paid from this account, so if it starts getting too low we can add more money to the account. This is also the account we put money away in for remodeling and upgrades to the house or saving for our next vehicle.
  2. Fully fund our respective IRAs ($5,500.00 each, $11,000.00 total). This is a non-negotiable for us. We want to retire as soon as we can, and not have to worry about having money for retirement. The savings account we have designated for Retirement funds always has money being automatically deposited in it because we have portions of our paycheck automatically go into this account to save up the $11,000.00. Should we have the fund automatically going into our IRAs, so it earns more compound interest monthly? Probably. But I’m a control freak and am not comfortable with any company (utility or finance) having electronic access to my account that I didn’t authorize. We save up the $11,000.00 and then do once a year deposits.
  3. And go on a nice vacation once a year (minimum $5,000.00 saved). While we were paying off debt, we didn’t take vacations or even days off of for stay-cations. And we burned out bad! The last couple of years, we’ve saved up for one big vacation each year, and were able to pay cash for them. The average cost of our trips have been about $5000.00, but we usually are able to save up any additional needed funds fairly quickly.

We recently fully funded our Emergency Fund, so that Financial Goal has been crossed off the list! Whoo!

As stated in several previous financial blog posts, my husband and I live on one income and bank the other, which is how we are able to save and meet our savings goals. If having multiple savings accounts isn’t feasible for you, go old school and have mason jars or piggy banks for each goal.

To get started, sit down (with your spouse, if married) and discuss what you’d like to see your money put towards. Both of you get a say in this. One person does not get to dominate this. If your Emergency Fund isn’t fully funded, I encourage you to make your Emergency Fund your first savings goal.

Everyone’s savings goals will be different. Some of you are saving up for a house down payment. Others need to think about your next vehicle. Maybe you’ve got a baby on the way and you want to put money aside for diaper or formula emergencies or medical bills. Dream vacation to Fiji or Italy?

Make a plan! Try to allocate money in the budget to your savings goals. Or if you use the cash envelope system, take any leftover money at the end of the month and put it towards your savings goals. That’s what we do with our leftover grocery and house envelopes. All leftover monies go into our House Upgrades envelope. Some months there’s quite a bit of money to move, other months there isn’t.

Communication, dreaming together, making a plan, and finding ways to live below your means make a great start to meet your financial goals.

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Needed to take a break from knitting squares for Eric’s Blanket. Decided to work on a “Me” Project, so I picked up the Mini Skein 10 Stitch Blanket again.

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Camo 10 Stitch Blanket

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In a previous post, Calculating Your Magic Number, I wrote about how my husband and I live on one income and bank the other. We’ve been doing this from the beginning, and it’s become second nature to us.

When it comes to paying off debt, we do a modified snowball method. Minimums are paid from one paycheck, so we stay on course. In the savings account, in the meantime, we save up $5000.00 at a time and throw that chunk at the debt when we have it. This method has worked well for us.

We’re currently, debt-free except for the house, and once the annual savings goals (retirement, travel, and house expenses) are complete, the next $5000.00 saved will be thrown at our mortgage.

Having started our married life by only living on one income and banking the other has allowed us to chip away at financial goals steadily. I encourage everyone to look at your lifestyle and see if it’s possible to cut back enough to do this as well. I have a friend who plans on being a stay at home mom when they start a family. They were barely making on both their incomes. Once they became debt-free, I encouraged her to see if they could work on trying to live on one income NOW before they started a family, because if they can’t do it now, it’ll be much harder once a child is in the picture.

There are multiple resources out there giving advice on how to pay off debt. We did a modified version of the Dave Ramsey system. I recommend it over other systems out there. Modified or not, this system has helped millions of people.

*Not a paid spokesperson or affiliated with Dave Ramsey and Ramsey Solutions in any way.*

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