Monday, December 23, 2013

2014 BHAG: Finances

Big Hairy Audacious Goal (in case you're new here)

This year I've had a "baby Abe" category on top of my "$12 a day" spending. In 2014 I'll eliminate the extra category and shoot for $15 a day. This is a pretty big goal, remember this year I'm around $14 a day average PLUS the baby Abe category. I don't know how practical the $15 a day will be but it's my goal. I will go about things a bit differently. I'd like to take a $3 a day average and purchase some bulk items at the beginning of the month: toilet paper, laundry detergent, animal food; for example. I know that buying bulk saves money but I'm horrible at doing so. My new game plan for 2014 is to buy some things in bulk at the beginning of each month and use $11 or $12 a day average for the remainder. I'd also like to explore the world of coupons. I don't use coupons. I grab stuff that's on sale while I'm shopping but coupons to me are a ton of extra work that I can't seem to manage. I'm going to try this year...

One of the things I've failed at all along are gifts. I cannot figure out how to work gifts into the daily spending allotment. I don't have a game plan for this dilemma YET but I'm brainstorming.

I am going to up the NO SPENDs from 2 a week (104) to 3 a week (156). I've learned and grown alot with this years NO SPEND challenge. I think I'm ready to up it. In truth the NO SPEND days do save a good deal of money on the piddly stuff you just randomly pick up on a day to day basis. I do like the challenge.

I don't want to borrow, use credit cards, go into overdraft, ect; It's wishful thinking but it's also a new year. I can start fresh with a goal and a plan and see where it takes me. Any credit card use I've done this year has been due to dipped income. My hours go up and down (we're contracted and work depends on what contracts we get). I want to find creative ways to earn extra income; selling stuff around the house/ garage sales, odd jobs. Like with couponing I am not good with the "extra income" aspect of getting out of debt. It's not that I hate working but time management is not a strong point AND what time I do have I wish to be spent with my son. Also we don't pay child care and my husband and I work our schedules around each other.

Something I've struggled with this year is paying bills on time. I'd really like to make this a top priority goal on my list this year. I don't tend to pay things over a month late but a few days to a few weeks late has been pretty regular. Late fees can be small (tend to be small) but paying several things late regularly adds up. (I don't pay credit cards late because that gets messy FAST) And there's the extra stress. When you know there's a past due bill the constant reminder sets over your head like a little black rain cloud and weighs heavily until the payment has been made. I don't need the fees or the stress.

This is my rough financial plan for next year. I'd like to incorporate a credit card reduction/ pay off goal but I can't seem to come up with solid numbers to do so... maybe in a few months I'll be ready to set something down on paper along these lines.

I don't know why but this song just makes me so happy.
Only one more day until Christmas :)


  1. Very cheery Christmas song (Bing still sounds awesome). A suggestion for paying bills on time is to deal with them each payday, whatever is coming due before the following payday gets paid right away. (Having to pay them a few days before due is worth it as it is less stressful.)

  2. I used to do the whole coupon thing. I still spent the same but I had a small stockpile of food as a result. I'd take the coupons to work and use my lunch time once a week to march coupons with sales. After Little R. Came along it was too much work to stop at 3 or 4 stores a week. But sometimes I miss the thrill of getting stuff super cheap.

  3. My only advice on the gifts is to plan ahead. I always seem to spend more on a last minute gift than if I had planned ahead and bought something on sale. I coupon some but I do price matching which saves me a lot if money.

    1. Good advice! I think I'm going to take my "bulk" money ($3 a day for the month) at the beginning of the month and purchase any gifts I'll need that month. This could work... we'll see.