In 2008, my goals are going to be focused on building a solid financial foundation.
First of all, setting up a basic emergency fund for, well, emergencies. This is going to be the account we tap if the water heater blows up or the car needs a new whatchamacallit. $1000 ought to do it.
Second goal, I'd like us to pay off all our credit card debt. Right now we're sitting at around $9250 in debt, not counting our mortgage, and I want that number gone. I've signed up with the No Credit Needed network, a network of like minded individuals who have signed up to keep track of their progress. As soon as I can figure out how to get my progress chart over on the sidebar, I'll be tracking my progress on a monthly basis.
Third goal, one of us is in serious need of a new car. Both of ours are on their last legs, so to speak, but while hubster only drives to the bus depot and takes public transport to work, mine is the more serious need. And I'm not necessarily talking about new-new, either. New to me is fine. Probably a year or two old used vehicle would be great. I'm looking for reliability.
If we could end up 2008 with those 3 goals completed, I would be a happy, happy woman.
Now, how am I going to do it? I've been reading personal finance blogs for a few months now and I've picked up loads of tricks. In the coming months I'm going to be putting different parts of our budget under the microscope and finding ways to reduce expenses, increase income, and chisel away at the debt while also putting a little aside on a regular basis for a rainy day. I'll be updating with my progress as well as breaking my goals down into monthly and weekly mini-goals.
For December, the main push is to get through Christmas without adding any more to the credit card debt figure. Not that that's much of an issue. Most of our cards are maxed out. But we're not going to do any Christmas shopping on the cards unless we need to make an online purchase, and the money for that will be taken out of our Christmas budget, not the credit repayment budget.
Meanwhile, the Christmas season is getting filled with events and invitations. I'm trying to balance it out with fun, free activities for the family. The town's tree-lighting ceremony is this weekend, and we can take a thermos of hot chocolate to keep us warm. Then after, we can drive through the neighborhoods and see who has their lights up already.