—Part 1—A three part post
Stating goals and getting into the plan to achieve first goal.
Our major goals for 2014 are:
1—my last year working (financial preparedness)
2—preparing to become pregnant (emotional, financial and so on)
3—get married in a state that it is legal (for tax purposes)
4—final yr of home repairs (need vs. want)
First things first—getting our finances in order for both the pregnancy and one less income. I have a spread sheet with our budget and all its predictable variables. We are looking at decreasing our expenses and increasing Duste’s income. Both very important!
Decrease expenses—always a goal of mine!
We have gone to great lengths to decrease our grocery expense. We are now spending no more than $25wk for the first 3wks of the month and no more than $200 the last week of each month. With comparative pricing Wal-Mart offers and wonderful apps available we are able to stretch every dollar. For the first 3wks of the month I rarely buy anything that we don’t have a price match for. When we do the big shopping trip we stock up on marked down meat, something our Wal-Mart does on Sunday Mornings, canned goods and other things we use throughout the month. (Oatmeal, cereal, almond milk and healthcare goods)
I also call the phone company and cable company to get introductory rates for their services. They will do this for a year at a time. (Once I get the higher bill I make a point to call again!) I typically save at least half if not more so it is well worth the time to call.
Credit Card Payments—yes, credit cards are the devil but sometimes you have to use them. Recently we had to replace both our laptop and tablet. I got an awesome deal picking one from the sale category and qualified for an allowance towards a tablet. With this awesome deal I got 18months same as cash when I used my Dell Account. We decided to take advantage of this and I came up with a repayment plan so we would get it repaid well before we are charged any interest. Yay!! I love it when I can take advantage of these offers and they don’t take advantage of me!
I hate debt but when life happens it makes me feel better to have a spreadsheet and be more in control of these things hanging over my head! We will be back to being debt free at least by Sept15Th! However, we will still have a house payment. Although we did refinance for a 15yr loan we are making a goal of paying at least, if not more, one extra house payment a year when we get our tax refund. But, because of needing to make some home repairs we decided to wait until 2016 to start this.
By making all these changes and staying the course it will insure I will be able to stop working the end of this year. Paying down/off our debt will also help us qualify for financing when it comes time for me to get pregnant. (Yes, same sex couples have to go well above and beyond to have a child of their own)