I’m not going to call it a resolution because I never seem to follow-through with those. Yes, I need to eat better and exercise more, but I need to do that every day of the year, not just at the beginning of January. Yes, I need to clean-up my clutter and organize my papers, but that’s a given and certainly not something I should have to resolve to do just because it’s January. We do, however, desperately need a savings plan. It can’t just be a resolution, it needs to be a real solution and since January 1 is also our first pay period of the year, it seems like as good as time as any. Therefore, we have come-up with a solution that we hope we can stick with and make work for us. Based loosely on Mary Hunt’s “Freedom Account” (read more from her here, check-out her website here and get her books from the library) we’ve decided to start a house repair fund, a car repair fund, a gift giving fund and a vacation fund. We’re trying to sock-away $100.00 each month into the house and car repair funds, $30.00 in the gift fund and $60.00 in our vacation fund. That way if/when something needs to be repaired, we’ll be ready instead of being forced to use a credit card or our meager savings. When gift-giving time rolls around, we won’t be cutting our groceries short to buy a gift to prove our love with tangible offerings. Hopefully, we’ll be able to take a trip and not worry about where the money is going to come from. No, it won’t be a $2,000.00 cruise but even a weekend get-a-way is a welcome break.
I’m hoping that by putting our new solution into practice, we’ll harvest the benefits, even though it means making sacrifices along the way. $290.00 a month is a lot of money to us and that means no more spur-of-the-moment pizza delivery, no more whim purchases (not that we make a lot of those anyway) and no more nickel and diming by the kids. Another practice we’re implementing is taking cash to the grocery instead of using our debit card. That way I’m forced to stick to my budget and if it means putting something back, then it gets put back. The grocery tends to be a big source of leakage for us when it comes to wasted money. This year we’re going to make a concerted effort to know where our money’s going and be accountable. Everything’s going up, despite what the media says about inflation, and our wages have stayed flat. Therefore, if we’re going to get a raise this year, it’s going to have to come from within.
What New Year’s solutions have you come up with? Let me know!