Monday, March 29, 2010

Credit Card Debt Gone!

And it "only" took 33 months to pay it off :(. $13,700 of debt divided by 33 months--that's an average of $415/month. I'm really glad to be done with this debt. I had no idea when I was charging on the credit cards that it would be this difficult to pay them off. Never again!
I still have the car loan to go ($2300) before I'm free of non-mortgage debt. I'm going to take a break for April, then starting in May, try to pay off the car in three months. With pay from the summer job, that should be possible.
It really hasn't sunk in yet that I finally paid this debt. I think I'll stare at the sidebar for a while!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

One Month Later ...

Because of computer problems, it's been almost a month since my last post. I've been able to read other blogs for 5-10 minutes at a time, but if I would try to comment or post, my computer would freeze. No fun.
Quick update on my goals:
1. Pay off credit card ($1125) by March 31. (I think this will be possible with income tax refund and $$ from 2nd job)
2. Pay off car by Oct. 31. On track
3. Save a one-month buffer.($2500) (Emergency fund took a hit because of $700 car repair. Will rebuild with $$ from FSA.)
4. Get a part-time summer job. Got it! This will really help pay off the car and save the buffer.
1. Establish a daily exercise routine. (Not going well. 2x a week instead of daily.
2. Lose 15 pounds by June 1 (3 pounds/month) Lost 3 lbs then gained it back
3. Volunteer 30 hours with Master Gardeners by June 1 There are opportunities to volunteer in March.
4. Find a place to serve in church. Not yet.

Since the financial goals are coming along and should be on autopilot as long as I don't increase spending, it's time to refocus on the personal goals for a while.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Menu for Jan 18-24

I forgot to post last week's menus, so I'm recycling some of them and adding a few new ones

navy beans, cornbread

lemon pasta with chicken (Thanks, MoneyFunk, for the idea)

Pepperoni roll log

Taco style lentils and brown rice

scrambled eggs, bacon

cheese burgers


I start teaching two nights this week, so I need fast meals or ones that I can prepare in advance.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Goals for 2010, Part 3

I'm keeping my goals for 2010 simple. I will make small goals each month in each category to keep myself on track.

1. Pay off credit card ($1125) by March 31.

2. Pay off car by Oct. 31.

3. Save a one-month buffer.($2500)

4. Get a part-time summer job.


1. Establish a daily exercise routine.

2. Lose 15 pounds by June 1 (3 pounds/month)

3. Volunteer 30 hours with Master Gardeners by June 1

4. Find a place to serve in church

Monday, January 4, 2010

Menu Plan for Jan 4-10

Since we didn't eat many meals at home last week, I am repeating several meals.

Steak, roasted potatoes


Italian Chicken

Frozen Pizza


Roast beef sandwiches


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Goals for 2010, Part 2

Yesterday's review of my 2009 goals was a little discouraging for me, but I'm looking ahead with optimism. I can learn from my past missteps and keep moving in the right direction, enjoying the journey along the way. This journey is my life, so I'd better be enjoying it!

Lessons I'm learning:

1. I have put several financial right steps in place--a spending plan and tracking, but I still have to pay attention to them. Finances shouldn't take as much energy as in the past; I just need to keep to my routines (eg. menu planning, sinking funds)

2. I should plan to reward myself for met goals.

3. I should evaluate my progress more frequently. (Monthly mini-goals?)

4. Blogging helps keep me accountable.

5. Making separate personal and financial goals is a good idea for me, but I need to limit the number of goals.

I feel better. Now on to 2010!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 Goals, Part I

Before I can look ahead to 2010, I must look back and evaluate my 2009 goals. I've really been dreading doing this. I really dropped the ball on the financial goals. Here goes:

Financial goals

1.Track spending with YNAB weekly (Grade: B+. I really liked keeping track of my income and expenses. I now have realistic numbers for my budget. I lost track one time in the spring, though and couldn't figure out my mistake)
2. Begin sinking fund account. Keep in checking account. (Grade B-. Got off track with my summer pay. I hopefully have corrected this for 2010. )
3. Pay off $6000 in credit cards by Dec 1 (Grade: C-. I owe $1125 on the CC, but $2725 on the car. Since the total $3850 is less than $6000, I'm giving myself a barely passing grade)
4. Save emergency fund of $1600 by Dec 31
(Grade D-. I have $550 in the EF, so I'm less than half way to my goal, and I have less than last year,)

Personal Goals
1. Work out or walk (1 mile) 2x week (Grade: C-) I did really well on this during the spring and summer, but since school started in Sept., I have been a couch potato!


Walk Gretsky every day (Grade: B. Some "walks" were too short)

3. Do Flylady routines (Grade: D. Forgot about these during the summer.)
4. Bible study (Grade: B. I joined two small groups, which I really like. )
5. Learn something new (Grade: B+. I became a Master Gardener this year and have volunteered with them a few times)
6. Compost bin/garden (Grade: C. I started the compost bin and garden, but didn't protect the tomatoes from the deer, so the yield was poor)
7. Monthly house project (Grade: B. Projects completed: paint touch-up in DR and LR, DR curtains and mirror, bathroom repaired and painted, flowers for deck and front porch, landscaping started (1/4 done), refrigerator and range replaced, kitchen cabinet pulls replaced. I didn't complete as many projects as I wanted, but I am very pleased with what's been done.)

Yep, it's as bad as I thought. Overall grade: C-. I'll have to ponder this a little more before I commit to goals for 2010.