A couple of things this year, however, stopped me from this normal pattern. One: I found my husband's last pay stub for last year in with a pile of paperwork I found in the car (I'd been searching for it), so while I'm still waiting on the "official" paperwork I was still able to get online and do a preliminary tax return (once I cross reference said pay stub with the tax return and make sure everything jives I'll finalize and submit online). So I now have a realistic, and depressing, idea of what our tax return is going to be and I can move forward from there.
So, here's what needs to get done for financial goals for this year.
Financial Goals for 2016:
1. Get first bill paid off for husband's teeth to avoid incurring deferred interest charges and high interest rate (due in April. Tax return just covers this bill plus about 20.00. Thus the "depressing" part).All totaled I have about 9800.00 in residual bills on top of our normal monthly bills and that's after our tax return is applied to the total. This, to put it simply, sucks.
2. Pay off second dental bill for husband's teeth by December to stop from incurring deferred interest charges and high interest rate.
3. Pay off daughter's braces as soon as possible to lose the 15% interest rate on said bill.
4. Pay yearly car insurance for husband's car (due in April/May). This is about 400.00 every year.
5. Pay husband's continuing education and licensing fees, about 400.00. Due in March.
6. Pay vehicle registrations on my car and husband's truck. These are our daily vehicles, so both are needed. Both are due by June. 440.00 about for both vehicles.
7. Pay for son's communication app as soon as possible to load onto his communication device, this will be 300.00.
8. Two winter tires for my car for next winter. I'm estimating about 500.00 to be safe.
And the final goal, which I honestly don't know how to do it right now, but "put money back into savings" has got to go on this list even if it seems like a pipe dream at this point.
Some plans I have to combat this and hopefully see the bright light at the end of the tunnel.
1. Continue to consolidate bills.
I am going to add my cell phone recharge bill (about 30.00 every three months) to my grocery budget. This is going to be stretching my grocery budget something fierce with everything else I have on it, but every little bit counts.2. Cut down grocery budget.
Yes, I'm doing this AFTER I'm putting my cell phone onto the budget too. This is going to be hard, but it's one of the only areas in which I have absolute control, so I'm going to see what I can do to save money in that area.3. Continue to cut back on utilities.
I've started working hard to keep lights off around here when everyone is gone but me. I also turn down the heat and bundle up in a sweater or something to stay warm while I do housework. I make sure to make a nice little nest for our old feline when I do this to help her stay warm and keep her arthritis from bothering her too badly. I have been unplugging TV's, DVD players and the like during the day and once everyone is asleep for the night when possible to stop those items from consuming energy. I also have been trying hard to unplug tablets and my laptop when they are fully charged to stop them from drawing energy when not necessary.4. Until bills are paid for beginning of year (about 900.00 approx), live off pantry and freezer as much as possible. Only pick up bare necessities.
This leads into my "bare essentials" challenge I'm going to be doing around here. I'll be posting up a basic meal "list" that I'll be drawing from during this time to draw my weekly menu plan from (so far I've got breakfasts and lunches done, but dinners are more dependent on what I have for meat, so I'm trying to figure out how to finalize that). This isn't a pantry challenge, really, as it's just necessary to do to save money to pay bills, but I'll be posting up grocery shopping totals and how it's going as it goes on and giving a pantry update to see how my pantry and freezer hold up during this time. It might get interesting, but I see no other way around it. This, honestly, is giving me anxiety as I just got my pantry BACK after living off of it for so long, but at the same time I just plain don't have a choice. And really that's why we have food storage, so best to use it when you need it.So, there you go folks. My goals for this year. Hopefully the Good Lord will help me work all of this out and help me get by.