Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wednesday Tip Day---Replaced with....3 goal posts at once!

I missed last week's post because.......................well, life happens!

Today, I'm going to focus on three of the goals I am working on in my life right now.

1. Continue on our path to eliminate debt.
2. Improve Organization in relationship to all aspects of our life.
3. Create and follow a better schedule to maximize "work" time, so we can better enjoy "play" time.
We have set out to eliminate debt.
In April of 2009 we officially set out to pay off all debt.  Up until that point we had stopped using credit cards but had not set up an official budget or plan.  We set up a budget and an official plan and have continued to update it as things change and evolve.  Our general plan has stayed the same, but we have modified the details as necessary.  Constantly re-evaluating any plan helps to keep it manageable.
We will track our progress basing our goals off of our current standing.  In other words all debt we currently have will be considered 100% of our debt even though we actually made some progress in 2009.  We are essentially resetting our progress measures.  We have an Emergency Fund set aside and at this time have no plans to contribute further to that fund.
1.  Continue to pay off credit card debt focusing on one card at a time.  We currently take any extra income and put it all toward this goal.  I am setting a goal to payoff all credit card debt by January 1, 2011.

2. Pay off Auto Loan by May 2010.  We have set ourselves up so that this should be easily accomplished.  This will mean that in May we will own two cars completely.  We will then take about 1/3 of our current car payments and put that money into a savings account for car repairs and/or a new car when the time comes.  One car is older and we hope to drive it as long as possible, but you never know when it might quit, so we want to have some savings to deal with anything that might come up.   We hope to increase the contributions to this savings account once our Credit Card Debt has been dealt with.
3. Research options for Health Insurance.  We are currently covered under a plan that will no longer be available to us as of this fall, so we need to start researching our best options for coverage and cost.
4. Explore opportunities to earn extra income.  Any extra income will help to reduce our debt faster. (Is that obvious? *smile*)
Improve Organization and Time Management
(I decided these two go hand in hand so here they are together.)

Many people would tell you that I am a very organized person.  Would you believe I was sent to the Caribbean at the age of 8 as a mother's helper for my 2yo cousin and to help my aunt organize the home office?!  However, I feel that there is still a lot of improvement to be made in this area.
1. Focus on better time management and better organization of my time.  This is the area in which I hope to improve the most.  I don't need to be perfect, simply improved.  I need to organize things so that there is less last minute running around, less last minute doing.
2.  Improve Menu Planning.  I need to get more variety into the menu and plan further in advance to make sure that I have any ingredients that we do not normally have on hand.
3.  Keep home filing in better order.  My "to be filed" file is too often neglected.
4.  Organize housework in such a fashion that it does not pile up/back up as often.  Every time we do a major house cleaning I say to myself, "Now, I just need to do a little every day to stay on top of this" and I never keep to that.  The end result is another major cleaning day which usually happens on a weekend day and takes away from time we could be spending doing other family activities.  I really hope to get a little done each night after the kids go to bed, so we can better enjoy our weekends.

Those are the major organizational and time management tasks I am working on, but I am certain there are a million other little things that will arise on a daily basis.  Ultimately, I hope to be organized enough to take on any task that comes up, planned or unplanned.

Check back next wednesday for my plans to achieve my healthier lifestyle goals, but in the meantime you can leave me a comment with your goals/plans or with any suggestions.


Jennifer said...

Sounds like you have a great plan. We are striving to be debt free (again) except for the house by the end of the year as well. Now if only everything in our house would stop breaking we would make more progress. Good luck!

Noelle said...

There's always something, right?
I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that our older car keeps on chugging along and once in awhile I hear my washing machine making funny noises while it's running, so I'm keeping fingers crossed for that, too.