Tuesday, January 25, 2011

January's 1/12, recap

If you remember, I made only one New Year's resolution this year: to make one resolution each month of the year. For January, I wanted to get our finances back in order. Slowly but surely, that is happening. Here's what my list included for this last month:

1. Gather up all our bills and see who needs to be paid when. Make monthly budget accordingly.
Done, but lemme tell ya--this? Was an eye opener! Ho-ly crap man. I could never understand why our budget said we should be saving something near $900 a month, and yet we always seem to barely scrape by come the thirtieth. So before I made our new budget, I sat down and actually added stuff up. Imagine my surprise when I realized we actually spend $360 a month on groceries and I only had us budgeted for $150! That's over a $200 gap! Or gas--we share a car which means it does get driven more frequently than usual. I had us budgeted for $100 in gas for a month, and we actually use $200 worth. There's another big boo-boo! After all was said and done the "amount left over" column was much more realistic than it has been in budgets past. Had I only accomplished this one item in January, I would have considered the whole month a success.

2. Set up automatic payments through the bank to pay everyone.
Done. This really only applied to our cell phone carrier, but still. Everyone's now set up to be paid from one spot. No more going all over the web to pay bills. And better yet, they’re (almost) all coming out automatically, so no more late fees or worrying about someone not being paid on time.

3. Start setting aside a savings again (even if it's only $50 or $100 a month).
Done(ish). This was the first month we did it; obviously it takes more than one month to make a nest egg. And even though it was hard not to steal $20 here and there for a Friday night movie or a quick dinner out, we left it right where it was. In the savings account. Plus, with the newly redrafted budget, it looks like we'll manage to set aside $300 a month (not including my paychecks) until we get some more things paid off, and it will still leave a small balance in the checking account for unforeseen debits.

4. Consider opening an account at a local bank.
Done. No joke, a few days after I posted my monthly resolutions, they set up a local branch of our online bank! Talk about fortuitous. The only downside? Their tellers don’t actually take deposits like a regular bank, it’s all done through the ATMs. So they don't take rolled coins--of which we have amassed quite a collection. But after nicely asking my dear ol' Ma, she added me to one of her local accounts. And the great thing is it's a national bank, so no matter where the military lands us we'll always have access to them.

So January? So long. Farwell. Auf Wiedersehen. Adieu. I got through my first set of 1/12 Resolutions and I am damn proud of myself.

if this was a movie, this is where we'd insert a montage of me surrounded by piles of bills, knocking them over one by one while "Eye of the Tiger" is playing in the background. we'd end said montage with me raising my arms victoriously over my head and yelling "Adriaaaaaaaan!" oh...wait...that last bit may be from "Rocky..."

Now, onto February...

1 comment:

  1. congratulations on your progress! getting back on track with finances is one of my goals for this year as well, so I know how big of a headache it can be. the important thing is just to cut out the things you don't need in order to get that extra money in savings every month. good luck! :D


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