Keepin’ It Real - Setting Financial Goals (Part Two)


Read “Part One” of this blog here

As I’m viewing this additional mortgage payment venture as an extra, like saving for a trip to Paris or a new TV and I need any extra income over an above expenses and my 10% savings to go towards an everyday emergency fund for things like vet bills and braces, I want to squeeze the funds for this out of my variable expenses. I’d like to say I achieved this goal by thriftiness and good planning! So where to begin?

I started by using an online savings goal calculator to determine how much I need to put away to meet my goals. This may seem silly as it’s pretty simple math but there’s something official and inspiring by seeing it there on the screen. Also, the calculator reminded me to look at my savings goal not simply in a monthly framework but also on a daily and weekly format, which is often much more manageable.

For instance, to save the $1560 I need to make that extra mortgage payment in one year, I need to save $4.65 each day and $32.50 a week.

Ok, $32.50 dollars a week. Sounds simple enough, or is it? Like most people, the biggest variable expense I have is groceries. That runs around $1000 a month for me which is $250 a week. Taking nearly $33 out of that budget doesn’t seem like alot but considering how many groceries that buys, we may really feel a pinch. The rest of the household budget, utilities and gas for the old Mama Van are also changeable but less so. I could layer the kids up with Under Armour and sweaters and try to limit unneeded driving but I don’t think that will contribute the full $32.50 I need each week to meet my goal.

The financial gurus say the next step to financial goal planning is to examine your bank statement to find the money pits. I’ve already cut out the Starbucks run in favour of a Tassimo so I can’t pick on the classic coffee expense deamon but on examining my statements, I can see the money suckers fall into two catagories; trips to the drug store and visits to fast food outlets. I do confess to loving the London Drugs and the Shoppers and the Rexall. I’m more of a health nut so I don’t even go there for the actual drugs, I just love the heady combination of magazines and electronics, perfumes and crackers. You’re not much of a health nut with all those fast food expenses, you say, and I say to you, the issue there is poor planning. I live in the country and when we venture to the city, say once a week, the kids get hungry and it ultimately results in a trip to Timmy’s or The Golden Arches .

Good! This looks promising. If I can limit my drugstore addiction ( that sounds just wrong ) and our visits to the burger joints, we may have the start of something here! Gosh, this whole planning thing has some value, kids! Who knew?

This week’s goals:

1) I’m going to institute “non spending days” as my bank statement indicate that I go to the store EVERY DAY! I came across this idea on a money website and I liked the sound of it. I’m going to designate Tuesday, Thursdays and Sundays as nonspending days to see if it has an effect on the budget. This action may close the doors of the Stony Plain Shoppers Drug Mart. I’m sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

2) Like my very planny-planerton best friend, I’m pledging to make sandwiches and Tupperware containers of grapes and carrot sticks for the kids when travelling to reduce visits to fast food restaurants. This may result in my eldest son moving to his grandparents house. I’m sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Wish me luck as this all sounds like it requires alot of planning and foresight and I’m much better at other things like crisis management in response to the lack of planning and perfuse apologizing for the lack of foresight. See you next week!

As the company’s first employee, Jennifer has been a Licensed Mortgage Associate since 2004, but her current role is not focused on mortgages. She is the resident blog writer and…

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