Friday, January 15, 2010

New Year's Goal #1: Start Saving

Happy New Year (plus two weeks) everyone! Two weeks into the new year?! Yikes, you might say that life has derailed my blogging just a bit. December and January are busy months for my family. But, we're in the home stretch of the busy season -- Ella's birthday is in less than two weeks. Once that is past, then I can really focus on the next task -- working towards my goals for 2010!

Along with the new year comes the inevitable new goals for the year. As I've said before, I'm great at making lists and plans, but not always so great at sticking with them. However, I continually have hope that I can and will follow through with such plans.

In the past two weeks, I've been contemplating life and change. I have a HUGE long list of goals that I want to strive for in this new year. Realistically, I know that I won't achieve all that is on my list, but I want to give it a shot. I just might take some cues from an article I read this month in Real Simple -- "9 Secrets of Motivated People" by Lesley Alderman.

My list of goals is still evolving, but one thing that is at the top is the financial goal to start saving money. I've always been a saver, but with one (teacher's) income and a family of four that can sometimes be difficult to do. In addition, my husband and I have recently been making some grandiose plans for our future which will require us to kick the savings up a notch. Ever the helpful big sister, Jessica gifted me with a copy of The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey for Christmas.

As Jessica said when she gave me the book, some people might be offended by a gift of a finance book, but I wasn't. I knew that this book was instrumental in turning around my sister's financial life, so I knew that it was worth a read. I spent the days following Christmas reading it, and I'm glad that I did. I'm still processing it all, but I do feel empowered that my husband and I can reach our financial goals if we really work at it.

In the past year, I've heard many extoll the benefits of using a cash-only system. After seeing the post-Christmas/Birthday Season credit card bill, I decided to give it a whirl. I downloaded the free envelope template from Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs and made myself some cute cash envelopes. Although I've only been doing it for two weeks, I have been far more conscious of the money that I spend. Time will tell if this system works for me and if it will keep more cash in my account.

Happy New Year and good luck on your own goals!

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