2017 Goals

Okay, okay okay. So we’re a little late to the game. We’ve thought of our goals as the new year was approaching but we’ve never published it. Suffice to say, I believe that if we are not held accountable those goals are just dreams flying away in dream land.

We really want 2017 to be very simple, very uncomplicated. As much as we strive to become minimalists (we’ve been on this journey since 2005) the path to simplicity is what we are taking. This includes simplifying how we manage our finances.

In the past, I’ve tracked our money (unsuccessfully) in different ways – excel, online budget tools, YNAB, etc but what really helped us is having a budget on paper.

Moving on to our goals…

  • BUDGET – we will be budgetting WEEKLY instead of monthly. Monthly budgeting just confuses the crap out of me. I’d make a monthly budget and have to figure out how to break it down week per week. So I’ve decided to toss the idea of monthly budget and budget based on our pay periods – which happen every Friday.
  • SAVING GOAL – We have used some of our baby emergency funds in 2016 and want to replenish those as quickly as possible. We have about $500 in our BEF right now and have about $500 to save.
  • CASH – This year, we are going to stick to cash envelopes. This really helps us keep our discretionary spending. This is also necessary to make our savings method work.
  • SAVINGS METHOD – In 2017, we will be saving SOMETHING everyday. This will be possible by
    • Saving coins. We never user coins to pay for things, so any coins left over will be going to the savings jar.
    • Saving $1 bills. When I am out shopping, I always use $5/$10/$20’s etc so that I come home with $1 bills. This makes us save faster than I thought we would.
    • If I really really really wanted to buy something but resisted and put it down, I am moving that money I would have spent to savings. I played this game in the past when I was knee deep in crafty spending. I was able to save hundreds in a short period of time.
  • DEBT REPAYMENT – After we have finished our baby emergency fund, we will be going into our debt snowball. I’m due in May 2017, so we might be a little on the conservative side, but we hope to pay off my Smart Car and our 3 smallest debts on top of that. I shouldn’t owe any extra this tax year so I am hoping that any refunds I might get would be applied towards the outstanding tax debt I am still working on paying down.

**non financial goals**

  • MENU PLAN AND EAT IN MORE -looking back at the past few month, we’ve eaten out ALOT. Most of it was because of my pregnancy cravings, but eating out is such a huge expense in our books. I know how to cook and cook well for us, I just need to get back into the habit of planning, shopping and cooking.
  • SIMPLIFYING – Like I’ve mentioned earlier, we are really trying to live a much simpler life. The focus now is purging alot of our things (we still have tons to go through) try our best not to accumulate and spend more and just what we have.
    • Part of me just wants to get rid of everything ASAP because looking at all this clutter and wasted money makes me feel ill. But part of me wants to recoup some money to apply towards debt. We’ll see how I feel when I get closer to my due date.
  • MOVE OUT – This has been something that we have been thinking as a family. We would love to own our own home, but we wanted to be in a better financial situation before we do so. Our rent on our current condo isn’t too much considering we live in the San Francisco Bay Area but somehow, I want to have a home to call our own. Our eldest will be going to high school in the 2017-18 school year, so we have a lot to consider. If she gets into the charter school she’s been praying for, we may stay here a little longer. If not, we may move back in with our in laws until baby #4 is a little bigger and I wouldn’t need *as much* help with child care.
  • SELL SELL SELL. I want to sell as much as I can and try to be consistent with it. I’ve successfully sold 3 of my purses on eBAY and know I can do much more IF I committed the time to do it.
  • DOCUMENT – I want to restart filming my planning and budgeting process on youtube. I’m starting to see a lot more ladies record how they budget and this makes me excited! It’s something I’ve always wanted to do for the longest time.

So there you have it! Mr. Spidey is on board with everything we’ve listed and it’s just a matter of finding the right balance, method and mentality to tackle it all.

 

where we are & how we got here

  • 2005 – purchased our home before the housing crisis. The mortgage we signed up for was way beyond what we could actually afford & forced at least one of us to have two full time jobs just to make ends meet
  • 2011 – we found out we were pregnant!
  • 2012 – that pregnancy turned out to be a high risk pregnancy which resulted in having our child born way too early at 24 weeks.
    • 2011 – Finances started to become really tight and we were struggling to make ends meet. Some bills were paid, some weren’t. We defaulted on our $380 HOA payments. This is when we first heard about Dave Ramsey & the baby step principles. We came up with the plan but never fell through – Projected debt free date at that time was 2015.
    • January 2012 – Ms. Kitty was going through high risk pregnancy & began bed rest. No working, but luckily was covered under disability. Mr. Spidey was still working two full time jobs.
    • February 2012 – our baby was born & became a long term president in the NICU. Ms. Kitty still had hours and was still on disability. THis is when her depression started.
    • April 2012 – We knew that forclosure on our home was inevitable, so we started looking for homes to rent around our area. We found a home that fit our needs, but living in the SFBayArea, rent was still pretty steep – we moved in anyways.
    • July 2012 – Mr. Spidey quit his day job but stayed at his graveyard job.
    • August 2012 – Ms. Kitty started to go back to work on an adjusted schedule as all her hours have been depleted. Spider baby was still in the NICU.
    • September 2012 – We found out we were pregnant with another child! SpiderBaby finally came home….. for 7 days and then grew his wings and flew to heaven. This is when Ms. Kitty’s depression became severe. Ms. Kitty had to go back on bed rest for her new pregnancy & couldn’t work. Because she had no more hours, we relied on disability income + Mr. Spidey’s income.
    • December 2012 – rent was starting to become a burden, but moving into our parents wasn’t an option. We began looking for cheaper alternatives.
    • January 2013 – we started the year fresh and found an apartment in an ideal location for our tween daughter to continue school & rent was affordable. Affordable enough that Ms. Kitty’s single paycheck would cover rent & utilities. We started to move in.
    • February 2013 – Kitty Baby was born!
    • 2013 – 2016 : We tried to budget here and there, but could never get it right. We were still living paycheck to paycheck despite the “decent” amount of cash we were bringing in. We found holes in our income & depression led to impulsive spending to fill a void.
    • September 2016: This is when we had one last wake up call. We had no emergency fund, we had no cash reserve & all bills felt like they were all urgent. Despite having two full time incomes coming in, it still felt really tight. We also wanted to move out of our humble apartment where neighbors were becoming a nuisance & unhealthy to our family. Although it would be ideal to purchase a home, we have no reserves and our credit is shot. We sat down and recalculated all of our debt and our expenses and then vowed to go into a financial freedom journey. Our current debt is $58,000 with a projected debt free date of November 2018.