Sunday, February 1, 2009

How Did I Do in January?

January is finally over! It seemed like a really long month, because I actually started tracking my expenses on Dec. 29. How did I do on my 2009 goals?
Financial:
  • Track spending with YNAB weekly. I love using YNAB. I've been updating almost every day. It just takes a few minutes. As I suspected, I don't really budget accurately. I went over budget by $299, I tend to be too optimistic about the expenses. YNAB will help me become more realistic. I also started putting money each month in irregular expense accounts which will help with unexpected expenses.
  • Begin sinking fund account. I'm getting 5% interest at my credit union. I just had $5.14 credited to my account!
  • Pay off $6000 in credit cards by July 1. I was only able to pay $600 instead to the scheduled $900 because of the plumbing expense. So I am -$300, so far.
  • Save emergency fund of $3600 by Dec 31. I put $80 into my EF for a balance of $930. This amount will go up to $600/month in Sept.

Personal

  • Work out or walk (1 mile) 2x week. I rejoined the gym for a 6-week strength training class. For the last two weeks, I went to class 2x/week. The walking has not been going well. I want to step the aerobic workout.
  • Walk Gretsky every day. I missed 3 days out of 31--90%.
  • Do Flylady routines. Not doing great with all the routines. The sink is going OK.
  • Bible study. I signed up for a group Bible study that starts next Friday. I'm excited!
  • Learn something new. I may be going overboard here. I joined the local astronomy club two weeks ago. I'm starting a Master Gardener class on Tuesday. Tonight, I went to a support group called DivorceCare for people who are separated or divorcing. I'll keep you all updated on these in the coming weeks.
  • Compost bin/garden. On hold
  • Monthly house project. I put up curtains on two basement windows. Still need to buy tension rods for the other two. Did not get the chairs recovered.

I'm a little disappointed that I won't be able to make my July 1 payoff goal, but I'm modifying the payoff goal to July 31, 2009. I'm still optimistic!

It's time for "The Office". DS is a big fan and I'm becoming a fan so that we can enjoy watching it together.

14 comments:

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-very well done indeed, really hope you can do the July payoff, even if it is towards the end!!

Shtinkykat said...

Wow, you're ambitious with your personal goal of learning something new. Learning a new skill throughout your life is such a wonderful thing. I hope it enriches your life. :-D

Miss M said...

It took me a long time to develop a budget that worked. I would be too optimistic about costs or totally forget expenses that come up once a year. Even now budgeting is an on-going process. Good luck with all your goals!

author@ptgbook.org said...

Probably the easiest goal to achieve is learning something new. It seems this can be combined with some of your others goals. For example, I cannot imagine that you will fail to learn something new when you attend the Bible study class.

I don't know if you believe the Bible is true or you want to study it just for general interest, but if you believe it is true, I would suggest that if you want to make the most of your Bible studies that you study the Bible with an attitude of being willing to believe what God says, even if it is suprising. As I point out in my blog, we need God's help to understand the Bible accurately, and God helps those who are willing to believe Him. You may notice in any discussions of topics in your Bible class that not everyone is willing to believe what the Bible actually says.

RTC said...

@Sharon Rose and kat
Thank you for your good wishes. You both are doing great so far this year!
@ Miss M
It's good to hear that budgeting
is a process that I can get better at. (Sorry, bad grammar)
@ptg
I do believe that the Bible is God's word and that we need His help to understand it. How wonderful that He gives us glimpses of himself! My desire is to love God and to know Him better.

Sharon said...

I think you did great..just listing goals is a huge accomplishment!

What is YNAB?

jpkittie said...

that is not bad at all - you have a great start for your year. Be proud!!!

RTC said...

Thanks, Sharon and jpkittie. Listing and checking goals does help keep me on track.
YNAB is "You Need a Budget", budgeting software that provides a little more structure in tracking spending for me. I found that when I used an Excel spreadsheet, I overspent and did not prepare for irregular expenses. I'm finding YNAB helpful. Some people don't need the extra accountability, but I think I do.

444 said...

You are doing a great job with the emergency fund and the credit card payments.

I only got as far as shining my sink with the Flylady. LOL

I don't use YNAB but I use Mint.com and I really love it. There's no escaping the scrutiny of every penny I spend.

Francois Viljoen said...

Hey RTC

I love popping into your blog every now and then.

You always surprise me with a cool post about your progress and a little something about your life goals too. :)

I think you're doing very well, and you're being realistic and honest with yourself (e.g. that you are using YNAB to improve your budget).

Well done and good luck for July. :)

RTC said...

@444
My sink isn't even perfect, but it is better than it was :). I tried Mint because I heard good things. The problem was that they didn't have my bank listed. I thought I would compare Mint and YNAB. I'm glad that Mint is working for you.
Seeing thing in black and white (or other cool colors) helps!
@Francois
Thanks for stopping by! How was surfing? No injuries?

Finally Frugal said...

I LOVE The Office! Also, love your January update; I'll be rooting for you, as you pay off that debt. . .you seem to be well on your way to getting out from under that credit card forever. . .!

Shopping Ethically said...

I am so impressed!
It sounds like you're really putting yourself out there to pursue things that will enrich your life-yay, you!

Your dog walking record is an inspiration to dog owners everywhere :)

hey, and your budgeting progress isn't too shabby either.

RTC said...

Thanks for the good wishes, Finally Frugal and Shopping Ethically. I'm glad to hear that you are both Office fans.