Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Monthly Finacial Check-up-January Update

I have been inspired by Crystal at Money Saving Mom to publish our financial goals. As you might recall from our Financial Goals 2009 post, one of our goals was to pay off my husband's student loan incurred when he got his Master's degree. Our plan was to do that in 6-8 weeks, but we just couldn't wait. I sent the payment today!

We are now going to concentrate on building a 3-6 month emergency fund. We hope to have this in place by summer (at least a 3-month by then).

Another goal was to get our home ready to sell--just in case there is any improvement in the real estate market. We would like to sell and downsize to a home that we can afford easily on my husband's salary alone. We have purchased some supplies to start remodeling a few things in the house and we should start a project this weekend. I will follow with pictures of our master bedroom as we fix it up.

We would like to follow the Dave Ramsey rule of a house payment that is no more that 1/4 of our take home pay. Our current home fits that ratio with a dual income, but we really want it to fit the ratio for one-income. Reading Crystal's post about 100% down kind of gets me thinking that perhaps we could actually pay cash for the next house!

Other goals include increasing charitable giving and retirement contributions--both of which will be in place by the summer.

I am also planning on taking a good look at our budget to see if there are some things we could adjust to make sure we are truly living on only one income. Currently, most of my paycheck goes to savings (that we have been using to pay down chunks of debt). I still keep out enough to pay for my gasoline, a few groceries, and occasionally I have to pay a bill or two.

I have just started a 6-week Pantry Challenge where I am trying to spend only $10-$15/week on groceries for the next 6 weeks. Read more about that HERE.

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