My Resolutions: Getting Back On Track

Posted on January 2, 2008 by Melissa 
Filed Under Budgeting, Reflection

Happy New Year 2008!I rarely do resolutions for the new year.  Sure, I think of some of the things I’d like to accomplish going forward but I never formally write them down or even discuss them with others.  This year I felt it was time to put them in writing.  Many of my resolutions are financial and that makes sense after the last few months.

Here are my five resolutions for 2008:

1.  I will track my spending for the months I let slide and I will pick up my normal budget tracking in January.  I need to look at the numbers and see the actual damage from those moving months.  I’m already predicting that the overage in my food budget from eating out all the time will be to blame for busting my budget.  We will see once I crunch the numbers.

2.  I will carefully monitor our budget in the next few months. This will help me get a better a feel of what our expenses really are in the new home.  I have a estimated budget that I developed prior to moving but estimates are not necessarily accurate.  The next few months will give me real figures for electricity, gas, and water and I will adjust the other areas of our budget accordingly to develop an actual working budget for the year.

3.  I will get back to cooking and minimizing my food budget.  No more fast food, period.  I have already started on this resolution and I’m thrilled about it.  We haven’t ordered a pizza or picked up fast food since for a few weeks now.  The first thing I cooked in the new home was the budget breakfast sandwich.  Christmas day was the first day I felt like I was starting to feel comfortable cooking in the new kitchen.  I guess it takes a bit to adjust to the new layout and everything.  I’ve even taken photos from my recent cooking adventures for a slew of new reducipes!  I can’t wait to share them with you!

4.  I will use coupons and start comparison shopping again.  I will get back to my old routine of clipping coupons and comparison shopping.  I will also start basing my meals and household purchases around the sales again in order to maximize my budget.  It won’t feel good to have to toss all the expired coupons from my file but starting fresh can be a good thing.

5.  I will make setting up my office area a priority so that I can comfortably keep track of the household and website.  Right now, the only the kitchen and living room are close to being completely unpacked.  I need to make unpacking my office area a top priority so that I feel like I can resume my old routine with ease.  It’s hard to get back in the saddle when all your things are still in boxes.

So, now that you know my New Year’s resolutions, do you have any financial resolutions that you want to keep in 2008?

Image Source: Clearly Ambiguous

Comments

9 Responses to “My Resolutions: Getting Back On Track”

  1. Lissa on January 2nd, 2008 12:47 pm

    Oh, I’m so glad you have some reducipes to post! I’ve just begun my very own sourdough starter, and today I baked English Muffin bread (it came out SO much better than what I can find in any local bakery), so will be looking for new things to serve with breads. :o)

    As for my financial resolution … I absolutely must stick to my belt-cinching, purse-lightening budget this year. If I do, I will be nearly debt-free by this time in 2009, with a little nest egg set into savings for my home-purchasing fund. And if I can keep the same budget for 2009 (with the current debt-reduction payments all going into the house-buying fund), I’ll be house-hunting in two-year’s time. *backs up a bit* 2010 is a long way away. The resolution is a day-by-day, week-by-week kind of thing. And I KNOW I can do it.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Lynnae @ beingfrugal.net on January 2nd, 2008 1:43 pm

    I have a lot of the same resolutions. The fast food is killing my budget!

  3. Deborah on January 2nd, 2008 9:46 pm

    I want to pay my car off at least six months early. Since I waited until about 6 months ago to start making extra payments, and this resolution only gives me 5 more months to pay off over $3k, it’s going to be a little difficult (over 50% of my salary goes to my student loans – they’re next). But I WILL do it. :)

  4. Jennifer on January 3rd, 2008 9:02 am

    We listed our financial goals in our home management folder, detailed for the next 5 years. But now that I’m reviewing them, they seem unrealistic (Based on Dave Ramsey’s system) so DH & I are going to sit down & revise, along with a practical plan of how they will happen.

  5. » It’s Okay To Ignore Your Problems on Blueprint for Financial Prosperity on January 3rd, 2008 2:01 pm

    [...] spend thousands and thousands of dollars on a whim. However, the crucial part is that she’s now taking steps to resolve it. So, if you ever feel overwhelmed or under-prepared to tackle a problem, consider sitting it on the [...]

  6. neumes on January 6th, 2008 2:05 am

    Basing meals around the weekly store ads works for us. I consider it forced food creativity. It makes deciding what to eat the next week so much easier.

  7. Caryn Verell on January 6th, 2008 2:25 pm

    not eating out saved us over $2000.00 one year. we then were able to not only pay down our incredible debt, but were actuallly able to purchase better cuts of meat etc..at the grocery. we also got better at eating portions and so in the end, we not only saved money, but we ate better and lost weight.

  8. Melissa on January 7th, 2008 6:19 pm

    @Lissa – I’m glad you are excited about the reducipes! I can’t wait to get those going again as well. Wow, you are working on a starter? I have never done that before and I hear it can be tricky. I have also never attempted to make my own English muffins. Do you have a recipe?

    Those are fabulous goals for the years ahead. Long term goals are important but are hard to achieve without smaller goals along the way. It sounds like you have a good plan in place. Good luck!

    @Lynnae – I hear you! My fast food days are dead and buried once again.

    @Deborah – That is an aggressive payment plan and would be well worth it if you could see it through. Is your interest rate higher on your car loan than your student loans? If you are paying more than the minimums on the student loans it might be worth it to cut back on those for a few months in order to help speed the payoff on the car loan. I’m not sure if that is even feasible for your situation but it could help you get that debt off your plate. It’s a wonderful feeling to pay off that car loan.

  9. Melissa on January 7th, 2008 6:30 pm

    @Jennifer – I checked out your blog and saw the home management folder. Awesome idea! How did you end up revising your goals in the end?

    @neumes – Welcome! Forced food creativity, I like that. I also see it as a challenge to maximize my weekly grocery spending by shopping the sales. I just have to be smart in recognizing what’s really a good deal versus what just happens to on sale.

    @Caryn – $2,000? That is impressive! It really shows how much more we pay for convenience, huh? I bet you feel so much better, both physically and mentally, for kicking fast food to the curb.

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