Tags Posts tagged with "2011 Goals"

2011 Goals

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Not gonna happen.

I know, I know… It’s pathetic to be giving up on it after just one week but the goal of spending less than $1500 for the entire month isn’t possible anymore.

A couple of annual business expenses that I’d totally forgotten about happen to come due in February.

Further, I just received a bill for roughly $200 from the dentist for a cleaning that I had done in January. Remind me to say “No” to the x-rays next time…

We dropped our dental insurance last year as we we’d been paying out more in premiums for years than our bills would have cost if we’d paid out of pocket.

It’s times like these where it feels like a bad decision but, mathematically, it was sound.

I only wish we could do the same for our medical insurance but that’s a whole other issue…

Combined — plus the routine monthly utility and mortgage expenses — well, I’m going to exceed the $1500 ceiling in no time so here’s the new goal…

It’s actually a tangent of the original goal — I’d wanted to spent less than $1500 so I could pay down my credit card debt at a more robust pace. Well, the new goal is to have one of the remaining credit card balances paid off by month’s end.

That exceeds the original goal and, yeah, I might need to “borrow” a bit from savings to do it but it’ll be the right move in the long run.

Just like dropping our dental insurance was…

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Okay, so it’s not really an ambitious goal since February is the shortest month of the year but I’m going to try to get through it by spending less than $1500 total.

Of late, I’ve been spending a lot more than that with unfortunate ease so, while kinda lame in the fact that it’s just 28 days, it’s time to sew my wallet shut…for four weeks.

Now, just because it’s only a four week effort doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy or even happen.

February is freakin’ cold.

Cold weather means high utility bills.

Of course, it’s January’s weather that dictates the bill paid in February but, well, January’s freakin’ cold too.

On the postive side of this extra lame monthly goal is the fact that, if I’m moderately successful, my debt repayment goals will most surely happen.

At least for four weeks…

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Late last week, I mentioned that I was back in the red…and that I was going to get going on doing something about it.

Well, I’ve started.

I dug into the PIAC archives to dig up the progress chart that I used the last time I was in debt and quickly realized that it kinda sucked.

Sure, it got the job done but this time I think I’m going to take a different approach.

Back then, it was more of a schedule than anything else where I had it all planned out from day one right to the last penny owed.

This time, I’m going to make it more of a journal rather than a schedule. I plan on trying to pay back $2900 per month towards debt.

Lofty goal — and one that I’m not certain I can consistantly make — but if I do manage, well, I’ll be debt free again by the end of the year.

Here’s the chart (which you may want to enlarge):

Simply put, I’ve got three cards carrying balances right now.

The Capital One account, which is actually my wife’s, is the 0% offer that we used to partially finance the renovation. The offer expires in April and we’re a bit behind in our original plan to pay it off before paying any finance charges.

The Chase account is another 0% percent offer that I took advantage of just last month. That offer expires in October of 2011.

The last account is my Bank of America Business account. This is the card that I use to make all of my business related purchases — and will continue to use. Once I get it back down to a zero balance, I shouldn’t have any trouble keeping it there on a month-to-month basis.

For the time being, I’m not pre-populating finance charges (they’ll be entered manually along the way) and I’m not even attempting to calculate minimum payments ahead of time either. In the end, they’re pocket change when compared to everything else…

If all goes as I hope, I’ll be debt free in October. I don’t expect it to work out quite that well but that’s why I’ve given myself a two-month cushion.

Now, eager to get started, I’ve just gotta wait until I get paid later this week to start seeing a dent in the numbers…

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Go hard or go home.

In high school, the football locker room had that painted on the the wall just above the door in huge royal blue letters.

The track team, of which I was a member, used the same locker room in the Spring (though we still called it the football locker room).

We always thought the saying was a little goofy as every one of us distance runners would have much preferred to “go home” over running 5-10 miles after school, you know, “for fun”.

Must be a football thing…

Anyway, I know it’s supposed to be a big motivational thing so I’m gonna use it here as one of those sports cliches — except for paying down debt.

Back in my “in the red” days, I was somehow able to scrounge together roughly $2000 per month to put towards debt repayment. Even during my anti-PMI campaign, I was tossing nearly $1000 extra towards my mortage each month too.

Yeah, I went big.

And it paid off.

Balances fell faster than I’d ever thought possible and I managed to stick with it (or stay motivated) long enough to get myself in the black.

How’d I do it?

Not sure.

I’m still in awe of how much money I was able to come up with during that time to pay down the debt.

I do know, though, how I was able to stay on track.

I had a HUGE chart that I updated each and every day to keep on top of my progress. Keeping such close track (and not wanting to wait months to make updates) lead me to start making weekly payments on things. Weekly payments led to balances falling rapidly. Rapidly falling balances led to more updates needed on the chart.

Dare I say it, It was almost fun to keep track of my debt reduction since there were so many opportunities to make updates.

Well, I’m back in the red again — and without much of a game plan — so guess what I’m doing?

Yep, resurrecting “the chart”.

I’m still trying to find the old beast in my archives so I can copy it exactly — and then improve on it — but I plan to get it back up and running and to get the carefully orchestrated weekly payments started up before the end of the weekend.

I’m shootin’ for $2500 payments per month in 2011… Even with another smurfling on the way in April, I think I can be in the black by December.

We’ll see…

This’ll be my financial goal for 2011.

Can You Dig It?


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