Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Crossing them off the list...

As we're coming to the end of the first "quarter", I decided I should look back on my goals. In part, I want to evaluate where I stand and if I'm on track, but I also realize that some were vague and may need to be tweaked (or possibly dropped all together. Bear with me as I rehash and revise these...

(For a full explanation of each goal, see the link above.)
Accountability: I've been doing pretty well at tracking our savings and our debt payments. It's been a little hard because some of our savings are at Walmart (which is really hard to track). Another big savings area for us is buying second hand and on e-bay. Those don't show up on our savings tab at the right, but I wish I could find a way to include it. So far, though, I'm right on track with my accountability.
Check it twice: I started off doing this and found it wasn't really worth it for me. I've gotten better at separating clothes and drugs, but tracking cleaning supplies and other household goods just got too time consuming. There are far better things to occupy my time. For now, I'll continue to include the majority of those in with my grocery budget.
Putting a Price on it: I sort of forgot about this one (which is why I'm revisiting this). I haven't done this yet, although it will be sort of easy as I continue tracking my E-mealz expenses.
Refi and Refocus: DONE!!!! See this post!
Attack Debt: We've been doing AMAZINGLY WELL on this. While we're not done attacking debt, I can say we're DONE! DONE! DONE! Cutting my school loan in half! Wow, seeing that in writing is almost as amazing as he reality. We've been really going after the debt like crazy people. I think the biggest factor in this has to do with taxes from my business. I had been setting aside the recommended 25% for taxes, but with all my deductions (included horrific legal fees) we owed a LOT less than that. This allowed us to put the remainder of that money on debt. The result... my year end goal came after just 3 short months. Now we're going REALLY bold. Our revised goal is to have my whole school loan gone by the end of September. That would mean that we will be DEBT FREE within 2 years of starting the program. THAT WOULD BE AMAZING!
Cash for Glass: While we did just get 4 more windows installed, finishing off the back facade of the house, we are still working on this one. We'd like finish the house off by doing the front facade this year. It will depend a little on when we finish our debt snowball. Now that we have momentum, I just want to get it done and the windows may have to wait.
Give Back: Okay, I haven't been budgeting $5/month but we are starting to give back. We signed up as a
Partner in Hope and are now budgeting $20 per month for St. Jude's. We've also increased our giving at church. I haven't pursued The Box Project because I don't feel well researched yet, but I think with the new E-mealz focus we will be able to donate a lot to the food pantry.

Real it in!:We are well on track with this. Now that I am using E-mealz for my grocery lists, I don't buy lot of stuff we don't need. I've been stocking up on cleaning supplies, but have cut out a lot of the other fluff spending I used to do just because of the deals.
Use it up, Wear it out, Make Do, or Do without!: I have fully switched to reusable grocery bags. I LOVE THEM! The rest of this is still a work in progress. I'm hoping to move a tub to the upstairs to hold the recycling stuff from the second story in hopes they'll avoid the trash. Again, I'm glad I'm revisiting these so I can put this back in the forefront of my mind.

I'd still like to think through some more things and write more specific, measurable goals, but for now this will help keeps things fresh in my mind.


Tiffany said...

Wow! I hadn't read this blog before but I just went through and read weeks worth of entries. I am impressed by your organization and determination!
Where did you get your grocery bags? I've seen some for sale at Walmart but they don't look like they'd hold much.?.?.

TA-TA said...

Hi, Tiffany! Glad you made your way over here... especially since you're doing FPU also.

I have a collection of bags from about every where. Most run about $0.99 each, but I found Walgreen's ones on sale once. Walmart has 2 different kids. The $0.50 suck. The larger ones are good. Meijer and Walgreen's are better because they have a hard plastic bottom. With the exception of the smaller, cheaper Walmart one, the reusable bags hold a TON more. In fact, yo have to make sure not to put too much in because they get too heavy.

Hope that helps!


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