Friday, October 16, 2009

Falling Short of My Goals

Time seems to be getting away from me. Tomorrow is Friday (well, technically it's already Friday but I haven't been to bed yet, so it doesn't count). Where did the rest of the week go? And how did it get to be the middle of October so fast? The year will be over before I know it and I don't feel like I've accomplished too much.

I set very few financial goals for myself at the end of 2008 and I haven't really looked back at them. Let's see how I'm doing. Just to refresh everybody's memory they were:

1. Pay down a minimum of $6,000 of debt in 2009.
2. Have at least $1,000 in an emergency fund by the end of 2009.
3. Establish an account for "Set Asides" (otherwise known as a Freedom or Escrow Account).
4. Get current and stay current with all the monthly bills.

Have I done any of them?

1. We paid off about $1,800 in debt at Home Depot but have charged about $1,600 more since then. Of course, I had put in a limitation that new debt for the house renos didn't count and about $600 is for our bathroom reno, with the balance for our storage shed. The credit cards are still close to being maxed, if not maxed. Am I going to have a big chunk of money come in with which to pay down debt? No, I had that a couple of months ago and then we had to sink close to $2,500 into the car instead.
2. I have about $130 in my EF right now and I stopped the automatic transfer a few months ago because I was going to switch the bank it was coming out of. Only I never started it up again from the new account.
3. I haven't done a thing about a setaside account.
4. I'm working on getting current again but I was 2 to 3 months behind on most bills as recently as 2 weeks ago.

Clearly, it's not going too well. And I don't know how much I can accomplish in the next 2.5 months. I have to try something though. What actions can I take now?
1. The most important at the moment is having the money in place to pay Home Depot when the 2 payment plans come due. The first one is for $528.44 and is due January 1st. I literally have $0.69 in the Home Depot fund right now. I have 5 paydays between now and the end of the year. I obviously need to transfer $106 each paycheque in order to have enough. Wow. I don't have the date for the other one in front of me right now, so we'll leave that for another time.
2. I have to start up the automated weekly transfers into my ING account from my credit union. I don't think I can go back to $12 per week just at the moment but I think $5 is workable. At least it will be something. And when I'm done with Home Depot I can increase it.
3. I have to set up at least one set-aside account and put money into it once a month. I think it should be for property taxes and that I should deposit $10/month. (Yes, my property taxes for my rural place really are that low.)
4. I have to pay a couple more bills to get current (or closer to current). And I have to pay my Eldest Daughter back the $100 she fronted me for gas money for the trip last Monday. That $100 also gave us enough for a week's worth of gas for the van.

That's 4 simple steps for me to take to get back on track.

1 comment:

Grace. said...

Sigh. I truly empathize with you. I'm afraid to even look at my goals. I, too, picked $6000 as the amount by which to reduce my debts in 2009. But I seriously doubt I've gotten close to that. OTOH, I think blogging about it as we go helps both of us to at least keep the goal in sight.