Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Monthly Financial Goals (and Why They're Important)

One of the big things that people do NOT like to talk about with each other is money.  Heck, finances are linked as one of the leading causes of divorce.

Why is that?  Honestly, I think it's because we have this terrible habit of blaming the other party in a relationship for financial problems and it leads to resentment and in some cases the other party out and out lying about what they are doing financially so they don't have to get into a fight.

This, my friends, is destructive.  And counter productive if you are trying to get out of debt, recover from a financial pitfall or otherwise save money.

There MUST be financial accountability.  Otherwise, everything else you do?  It's going to be for naught.  Both parties, especially in a marriage NEED to know where that couple is standing finances wise or it's going to go badly at one point or another.  Least, that's my belief.

So, I make sure to give my husband a head's up, if nothing else, on where we are financially at all times.  And the last year I've tried really hard to schedule monthly financial "meetings" with him once the kids are in bed or on the weekend before the kids get up and can distract us.  I like mornings better, honestly, because then you don't go to bed with finances on the brain, which leads to, in my case a lot of times, anxiety attacks and not being able to sleep.

See, here's the big thing with finances.  They get away from you if you are not careful.  Especially credit cards (which we are down to two of them, one of which is a huge dental bill that we're getting taken care of for my husband slowly but surely and the other is a card we're paying off).  Sit down, pull out all your bills and list them for a few months.  Yes, it is probably going to be terrifying staring at your debt in plain black and white, but at the same time FACING it will also allow you to start to take control of it.  Before you can get yourself out of trouble, you need to realize you are in trouble to begin with.  The only way to do that is to track it and work out what you can do to get rid of it within your means.

Another thing I started doing was to sit down and start making mini "financial goals" that I want to accomplish that month.  For some odd reason I do better when I have things written down and can cross it off a list.  I mean even if your financial goal is, "Find a way to save five dollars.  Put five dollar bill in jar.  Repeat."  Keep doing that and then as you get better at it increase the amount.  You might be surprised how much money you can save that way.

So, here are my "financial goals" as they sit for this month.  I will get into more detail about some things later, maybe, but this is the "list" of things I want to check off this month.

February Financial Goals:

1.  Recharge cell phone. 

No, I do not have an I-Phone or other super smart phone.  Yup, I have a spiffy phone that needs to be recharged, usually due to my time running out, every three months.  Just to prove that it here you are...

Got it for 24.00 on Amazon (great place to purchase them) and got the case for like 4.00.  It works for what I need it for (mainly the multiple alarm function...I don't know what I'd do without that).   And yes, we're tight enough that I actually have to schedule a 30.00 recharge on my phone.  Sad, but true. 

2.  When tax refund comes in remove at least 80% and put in savings (more on that one later).

3.  Budget for gift and dinner for holidays.  

We have a birthday this month and Valentine's Day, so I'm figuring we're just going to do a "bulk" celebration for both.  It works :).

4.  Save at least 20.00 somewhere!

This one got accomplished already.  I'll share more on that later as well.

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