Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thinking about what comes next...

I have been thinking about some goals and I find it hard for me to put myself out there and write about it.  I really am interested in finances but I feel like it is almost taboo to talk about.  I have always been very practical, but I feel like I have really been sharpening my frugal skills the past couple of years.  In my opinion there is a big difference between being frugal and being cheap.  To me cheapness means that you save money at any cost without concern for yourself, others or what is right.  Frugality is a based on not being wasteful and watching for deals.  It is cheap, and extremely disgusting, to share dental floss like on the show extreme cheapskates.  It is frugal to get dental floss for free or next to nothing by cutting a coupon and pairing with a store sale. 
My frugality allows me to help others in many ways.  First and foremost I am able to share the items that I get for little or nothing with those in need.  I don't extreme coupon.  I believe in everything in moderation.  Secondly, I am able to increase my giving to charity because frugality frees up money in my budget.  I am frugal where it makes sense, but I am a very generous person.  I always tip at least 15% in a restaurant, usually more like 20% and on occasion more than 20%.  I give in many ways and to various causes.  I feel that I can't really get specific because I am not sure who reads my blog and I really don't want to put it all out there. 
We have started taking a vacation every year and I feel good about that.  It is important to have balance.  To me, meal planning and pairing coupons with a store sale equates to less money needed in the budget for groceries, which frees up money for other, more fun things!

Onto the goals:
1.  Enjoy the holidays relaxing with friends and family.

2.  FINALLY open a Roth IRA for myself before the end of the year.  We are in our 40's and have been saving for retirement for over 20 years, but have never used a Roth.  I know, it's crazy!  I have already put the money away to max it out for the year, I just need to go online and open one.  This will be on top of the other things we have already be doing to save for retirement.

3.  Plan what I need for Christmas breakfast, look for deals and get the food shopping done.  We host breakfast every year for anywhere from 15 to 25 people.  It started when our kids were toddlers and didn't want to leave their new toys Christmas morning.  We figured if we cooked a great breakfast family would come to us and they now look forward to it every year.  Fried eggs, scrambled eggs, omelets, ham, toast, homemade Belgian waffles, potatoes, cinnamon rolls, juice, and coffee are on the menu every year with a few other things that change from year to year.  We have a lot of counter space and we set up stations.  One person makes toast, one runs the waffle maker, one fries ham, etc.  It works out really well. 

4.  Go over my budget for 2014.  I have had it setup for about 2 months.  I just need to revisit it to see what needs tweaked.  I automated all of my bills a couple of years ago, so it is important to know what day each bill will be withdrawn from my checking so there is always enough money in the account to cover it.

5.  Finish my Christmas shopping.  What's left is mostly purchasing a few gift cards and then we need to wrap.  We cut way back this year.  We are not exchanging with the in-laws this year.  We are splitting the cost of our vacation house for next summer and that's that.  Also, we are not exchanging with my parents.  Instead we gave money to the school I teach at for gifts for students that are in need.  Much better than exchanging with each other.

I have been thinking a great deal about my goals for 2014, but am not ready to post yet.  That will be coming soon.  We have some big ticket items that we need to take care of and we don't want to incur any debt to do it.  New carpeting is at the bottom of that last and I don't know if we will be able to do that as we have too many other important things to pay for.  We will see.  Also, my oldest will be a senior next school year.  That means college costs are looming on the horizon for us!

1 comment:

  1. I love this because I have gotten off track in the millions of big things that I have to do for the small things that I feel like have to be taken care of. This week I made a list of the things that had to be done this week and a list of the things that would be good to get done. I got lots of things checked off but it also let me know that I could go exercise today because I only had three things left to do which I could do on Friday. It is nice to get a handle on things and I need to open a Roth too. Now that we are down to one income, it is hard to find the money to put in it but I know that it will be worthwhile and we need to get the 529 set up for our son. I guess I should add those to things that need to happen next week since we don't have that much time left in the year. UGH! Thanks for the post!!!