Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Reality Check-Budget Goals 2016
I've finally separated out planned and budgeted spending for the house, with new monies coming in to determine where I a at in my Budget Goals for 2016 Part 2. You may recall, I set a lofty target, more than likely unachievable target, out of touch with reality target, of $16,500 to cover mini get aways, college savings and current extra curricular activities for DD2, Christmas, and Roth savings. It is not looking pretty. My tally as of September 30 is $3,700. this includes the third paycheck in September, plus the VISA cash back bonus. That leaves three months to save $12,800, or $4,267 per month. Starting this goal when July was already going to be a negative savings month didn't get me off to a good start. I'm hopeful that at least an additional $6,000 can be socked away, but that leaves us still with decisions to make on where to cut. It also means unless something dramatic happens, there will be no winter/spring vacation away. I actually am OK with that. I have some day trips I'd like to do and spend more time on writing and blogging. We also are looking at a driving vacation to Yellowstone next summer, frugally planned of course.
With the foundational stuff now done, we could trade off further cosmetic home updates that we already have set aside in savings to go towards either the college savings or Roth fund. I've already decided to scrape back Christmas by a few hundred, and the weekend get away budget will either be gone, or scaled back drastically, and I think we could find a nice one nighter for very little-the fun is in the planning. It is not all savings doom and gloom. We are net positive, better than the alternative as it was looking in early summer. I will have put away an additional $3,000 in my retirement account over 2015 by years end, plus we maxed out the Roth for 2015 back in April. We got some desperately needed repairs and replacements made on the house, making my outlook and mood so much brighter to be in my own home. I reigned in much of the needless spending on groceries and household, and have gone back to some of my frugal roots, which will position us well for 2017 savings goals. Reducing our grocery and household budget has not diminished our quality of life.
There are a few things I want to buy though in preparation for winter. We need new ice skates-blades and boots have seen their day. I'm looking out for used cross country ski's and snow shoes. With all the upheaval on the new cabin, I'd like my family to be able to use it and enjoy the open spaces around it.I'm dredging the budget to see if there is any other room to cut to find these dollars. While our entertainment budget is relatively small, we could skinny it further, since these items would after all, be entertainment. Do snow shoes count as clothing? I'm off to make myself a home brewed skinny latte, with some PB and J on toast, a good breakfast for pondering over a budget. If you have savings goals, how are your plans going? If like me, you are far from reaching them, are you buckling down harder, accepting it for what it is, or a combination of both?