Thursday, January 20, 2011

Payday & Procrastination

Well, I think we've all figured out that I'm the Queen of Procrastination. Recently I've been perfecting the art of procrastinating about posting on my blog.  But today was payday and it's a day when I try to do some things I've been putting off.  So here I am.

It's late.  I'm tired.  I have a lot going on, both at home and at work.  But I need to get a sense of how I'm doing and to remember that I actually have goals other than getting through the day in one piece.  I have a variety of bills to pay, though I'm not behind on most of them at this point.  But I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and am therefore not paying too many things today.

I am on track with one thing.  I've put away $50 into my TFSA each paycheque so far.  That's good.  I've also kept on track with adding to the Emergency Fund but I'm not giving myself much credit for that because I'm planning on breaking into that money soon to help pay for my daughter's birthday party and dinner.  I realize that birthdays come around with predictable regularity and that they aren't normally considered emergencies (unless you're giving birth while driving to the hospital).

However, after the party was all planned (including guests coming from the States) the money that was expected to cover it suddenly and unexpectedly wasn't there.  A paycheque of a certain regular size has shrunk to pure commission without any warning.  I'm just not going to explain to an 8 year old that she can't have the party we've spent weeks planning with family and friends.  Yes, we'll be tightening our belts somewhat afterwards.  But you can't just cut everything, especially when kids are involved.  And, no, it's not a three ring circus.  It's just at an outside venue because of our constant, ongoing renovations.  And some close friends are coming up from the States.

So, if our financial world is in a bit of upheaval, how am I doing with the non-financial goals I set on January 1st?  The rural house goals are also on hold, but more because of the state of the roads than anything else.  It is winter, and we do travel through 2 mountain passes to get to the house.

That leaves 2 physical goals.  The first was to go out to exercise at least 1 x week.  The second was to exercise at home all the other days.  I'm happy to report that I have, in fact, gone out to exercise at least once (usually twice) each week.  What about at home?  Well, I'm not perfect, but I have managed to exercise at home when I haven't gone out on all but 6 days so far this month and most of the days I missed were during the time we had company staying over.  Not bad.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Goals for 2010 and 2011

Happy New Year!  I'm here, let's see if I can keep it up.  I wanted to take a look at my goals for 2010 and see how I did with them, as well as set out some more goals for 2011.

Here were my goals for 2010, along with how I did:

Financial Goals

Pay down $1,300 directly in credit card debt. Pay down $1,500 in other debt. Pay down $1,080 in regular credit card payments. Total: $3,880. Round up to $3,900. Even with paying down as much and as often as possible, I'm basically $3,000 deeper in credit card debt.  I paid down $1,375 in other debt.  I made almost all the regular credit card payments.
Open a TFSA and put $1,300 into it. I opened an account and put $1,200 into it.
Put a minimum of $520 into the Emergency Fund. I pretty much cleaned out my Emergency Fund when I went to the US for a wedding but there's $1,236.72 in it at the moment.
Put a minimum of $520 into my RRSP. I put $350 into my RRSP.
Keep putting money into my set aside accounts, rural credit union account, etc. I was inconsistent with this, though better than in any recent years.
Keep current on all my bills. Not always.
Come up with $3,000 for Dear Child’s dental surgery. Well, we paid for it although a good chunk of that is the increase on the credit card.
Pay off both Home Depot payment plans on time. Done!

Rural House Goals

Plan out and create a garden in the front of the house (south west side of driveway area). Nope.
Plant lavender border. Nope.
Go to house 2x per month in summer. Nope.
Finish new floor in master bedroom. Nope.

Physical Goals

Get weight down to 120. Nope, still sitting at 132, but some of that is now muscle.  Not all though....
Walk for at least a half hour per day (or use elliptical for same length of time). No way!

So, I won some and I lost some.  What are my goals for 2011?

Financial Goals
  1. Pay off all our outstanding debt.  Not as insane as it sounds, as we are expecting a small inheritance shortly.
  2. Put $1,300 into the TFSA this year.
  3. Increase the Emergency Fund by at least $520.
  4. Put a minimum of $520 into my RRSP.
  5. Put the set-aside money into my accounts regularly.
  6. Get current and stay current on all my bills.

Rural House Goals
  1. Go to the house a minimum of once per month when the weather is decent.
  2. Build the bedframes that have been there for a year now!
  3. Step up the search for land once we have the money for a down payment.

Physical Goals
  1. Go out to exercise at least once a week.
  2. Exercise at home every day that I don't exercise elsewhere.
 Let's see how I do with these goals.  I think I learned some valuable lessons last year and have developed at least somewhat better habits.  I'm also taking better care of myself, which is really just as important as getting my financial life in order.