It feels like just yesterday I was blogging about my 2014 financial goals, and here we are, only two months away from 2015! Early November is a great time to re-evaluate your progress, and make a plan to finish the year off strong.
Unfortunately, early fall hasn’t been our best financial moment this year and we’re farther away from meeting our 2014 financial goal than I had hoped to be at this point, so its time to kick it into high gear and finish 2014 with a bang.
We had quite a few financial goals for 2014, split up between two separate lists – our general 2014 New Year Resolutions and my more specific Total Money Makeover year two list.
In my general 2014 New Year’s Resolutions post I had the following goals:
- Continue with the Total Money Makeover (Available on Amazon) Baby Step 2 – we’d like to pay off all debt except student loans & our house in 2014!
- Use Swagbucks to pay for 100% of Christmas 2014
- Use the cash envelope system & auto pay to take care of our household expenses each month
- Increase our family’s bring home pay to gain more traction in our Debt Snowball
But in my more specific Total Money Makeover Year 1 Wrap Up post I also added:
- Suspend all retirement contributions until our debt snowball is finished
- Write a will
- Cut back our cell phone plan once we see the results of our new home phone line
- Consider cutting down TV package to just the basics
- Continue to earn extra income whenever possible
- Research disability insurance
So here we are… 10 months later. We have successfully suspended all retirement contributions, cut back on our cell phone bill, and limited our cable to the smallest package that exists. I’ve continued working extra hours at school to bring in extra income – but I must admit I wish I was taking more time for my online tutoring (check out my referral link – great way to bring in $20/hour from home!) to increase our bring home pay a little more. I researched disability insurance options, but decided to stick with what I have through work at this point. Swagbucks won’t be enough to cover Christmas – but it has allowed a few extra purchases this year, so I’ll just keep plugging away on Swagbucks. (Would you like to be my new referral? LOL) We still haven’t created our will, but we have at least had a few talks with family about our wishes – it’s at least a move in the right direction. Using the cash envelope system and auto payments have been fantastic and one of our greatest successes this year that we will continue long into the future! BUT… we still have $2,142 worth of consumer debt. Our goal was to have that completely paid off, leaving only our mortgage and student loan debt by 2015. Our normal snowball payments will put us on track to only owe $1,084 as of January 1st… so close, yet so far away from our goal! 🙁
That’s where kicking out debt snowball into high gear comes in… I want to pay off that extra $1,084 before New Years SO. BAD. To get us there, I’ve come up with 6 steps to keep us focused & motivated until the remaining debt is gone:
- Create a Debt Countdown Chart to display in our kitchen, providing a constant reminder that we’re almost there
- Place a mason jar on the counter in our kitchen to put any and all “extra” money into and then use that lose change to make additional debt payments
- Find a fall/winter FPU Class in our area – retaking the FPU class last year was pivotal in keeping my motivation going strong – nothing makes you want to pay off debt quite like a room full of people with lots of debt 🙂
- Ramp up my Dave Ramsey radio show listening practices – lately I’ve been listening in the car on my way home from work, but I haven’t been turning his show on in the kitchen when I get home – that laziness ends Monday!
- Listen to my FPU CD’s again – especially while running errands, completing tasks around the house or driving to work in the morning
- Hold more consistent budget meetings with my hubby in the coming 8 weeks to make sure we’re saving every dollar that we can
Will you join me? I know that with a little extra motivation, we can make our 2014 financial goals a reality. There is strength in community – lets encourage each other to live more financially fit lives – cutting out extra expenses that don’t belong in our overall financial goals! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below – let me know what steps you’ll be taking to end 2014 off strong and start 2015 with a fresh financial page!
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