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Maintaining Motivation on a Big Financial Goal

This is a guest post from Jackie Beck, who writes at MoneyCrush. She writes about things like Straying from the Path of Intention to Impulse, Saving Money with Meal Planning, and Don’t Forget the Third Option. Do you have any big financial goals? If so, chances are reaching them may seem impossible at times. Maybe you even feel like giving up now and then. Those kinds of feelings are only natural, but in order to reach our goals, we have to keep going. And that requires maintaining motivation. My husband and I are working on a big financial goal right now: paying off our house. We want to be completely debt free, and we’ve been working on that last step for a while now. As of the day I wrote this, we were down to owing $83,687.18. (Yes, I know the exact balance, and that’s part of the trick to maintaining momentum.) You see, when you’re reaching for a big goal, you’ve got to track your progress. And you’ve got to feel like you’re making progress. Now I happen to be the kind of person who gets excited at sending even an extra dollar to our mortgage. If I’d sent … Read more

My Personal Goals Update

Jaime at Eventual Millionaire posted her update on the goals she made for 2010 in this post.  That reminded me of the goals I made at the beginning of the year. 2010 Goals 1. Eat out no more than 3 times a week. As I mentioned in our food budget, in 2009, I was eating off of value menus every day for lunch and my husband and I ate fast food or at restaurants 3-5 evenings of the week. Since January 1, 2010, I have successfully started bringing my own lunch (have only eaten out 3 lunches all year) and we eat out about 2 times a week. It’s shaved our food budget from $600 a month to less than $400 a month. 2. Visit my remaining high school friends as I promised. My two remaining friends from high school live 3 hours and 4 hours away from my home and I had been procrastinating on actually visiting (I dislike driving). My husband and I took off on Easter weekend Friday and visited one of my friends until Saturday and the other all day Sunday. It was great! 3. Lose 20 pounds by our annual vacation. I am totally failing at … Read more

What are we Saving For?

Hubby and I have one life goal – to be happy. That led us to our main financial goal – early retirement. We are not those people who define themselves through their career. We don’t think retirement would be boring. We have no problem thinking of ways to fill in our spare time. A happy retirement to us is when we can do what we want with our day without worrying if we can afford it. Luckily, the things we want are cheap, so this is attainable. Hubby wants to watch tv, board game, video game, participate in Curling, continue being a sports official, vacation, and play Magic: The Gathering till the wee hours of the morning. I want to hang out with friends even more, have more potlucks, have more movie nights, take a few vacations a year, volunteer even more with dogs, deliver food for Meals on Wheels, and get involved in a couple of hiking groups. And these are just the ideas we can spout off in a few minutes…talk with us for an hour or two and you’d be amazed what we could come up with to fill those “lonely” days…ahhhh… To get back to it, … Read more

How We Chose to Budget in the Fun Stuff

As my last post explained, we do make it a priority to have fun now while saving for our future.  My husband and I actually went back and forth on this for a couple of years since I felt we should save everything we possibly could, but he thought we should be able to live a little too. He was right, but we had to find a way that could make us both happy.  He asked me what I was worried about, and I realized that I just wanted all our bases covered.  I wasn’t pissed that we spent money, I was worried we weren’t saving enough. We started a plan that would make us both happy. We sat down one Saturday evening and wrote out our big life goals.  We then broke those into financial goals that could be achieved with our combined $78,000 income before taxes.  We set target amounts for each goal.  That sheet looked something like this in a couple of hours: Targets: Mortgage – Continue overpaying $160 a month. Tax and Insurance Account – $400 a month since we don’t escrow and this would cover taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and our CPA. 401k – Continue contributing 6% of my … Read more