Friday, January 21, 2011

2011 Financial Goals

A couple of weeks ago, I shared how my family did on accomplishing our 2010 financial goals.  Now it's time to get into the swing of things with our goals for the new year.

My husband and I have designated this year as "recovery year" financially, so our goals are not too exciting.  After a year in which we had a baby, dealt with an unexpected hospital stay and medical bills, and purchased new computers (more on that later), we have some catching up to do.  Therefore, our main and really only big goal is:

Fully Fund Our 3-Month Emergency Fund - We've planned out our budget for the year, and if we are careful, we should be able to hit this number by the end of the year.  We've come close for several years, but we've always ended up using some of the money.  We'd really like to get this money socked away so that we don't have to touch it except for a true emergency.

Also, once again I've designated some "frugal goals," ways I plan to save money in the new year to help accomplish our main goal:

Stick closely to our budget and cover incidental expenses - My husband and I are pretty good at sticking to a budget - I mean, I do write a frugal blog!  But like everyone else, we have our weaknesses, and of course unexpected expenses always come up.  In the past, we have sometimes gone over our budget in certain categories, which in turn eats up money saved for other things.  This year, I think I have set a realistic and workable budget, and I am determined for us to adhere to it.  That way, the money set aside for things such as car repairs is there when we need it, and we don't have to touch our savings.

Stick to a $300 grocery budget - I worked on this last year and came pretty close.  According to my Pear Budget year in review, I averaged $303/month.  However, it varied somewhat, as high as $331 and as low as $250.  This partially had to do with my pregnancy and having a new baby; I wasn't as strict with myself as I had planned.  This year, however, I'd like to stay within $300 every month, including months with holidays and events. 

Keep excellent track of our spending - Sometimes the only reason I'd go a little over budget in a spending category is that I hadn't kept up with all my receipts and thought there was more left in the budget than there was.  Now that I have a portable computer of my own, I have no excuse for not keeping exactly up to date with entering my receipts in Pear Budget.

Like I said, our goals this year are pretty back-to-the-basics.  I dream of some day being able to save for a more "fun" and interesting goal, but for now I am just grateful that we are able to live under our income and that we have what we need.

Do have any financial or "frugal" goals you'd like to share?

Check out more frugal tips at Frugal Fridays.

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