I’m not usually one for making yearly resolutions, but Robert and I are certainly no strangers to setting goals (and usually failing to achieve half of them). For a while I was setting seasonal goals, as our enormous To Do List was discouragingly slow-going, but we never successfully completed any of those lists. Then we set “short term” goals for house projects, which I suppose you could say has been a little more realistic. It helps a bit in
We’ll continue to chip away at that list, and I’ve set some additional budgeting goals for 2013.
- Pay down debt (credit cards, mortgage/car loans)
- Refinance house
- Build savings accounts
These budgeting goals kind of go hand in hand, if you consider the fact that paying down debt will reduce monthly payments and allow us to contribute more money to savings each month. Refinancing the house should do the same thing by lowering our monthly mortgage payment (or at least lowering the interest rate over the life of the loan, which will save us money in the long run).
Happily I’ll be able to tackle part of the first bullet point this week, and we’re looking into our options the second. A few weeks ago I asked on Twitter if anyone would be interested in a post/series about our experience with refinancing, so I’m drafting that as well.
I suppose you could say the third point is an on-going goal. I have an IRA that my parents set up when I was in high school & a 401k through work, Robert has a 401k through his work, and we each do our best to contribute to our savings accounts with each paycheck. There have been some setbacks to our savings over the years, and the internet has a funny way of peer pressuring us to buy more, renovate more, etc. This year I’m challenging us to be more diligent about contributing to our savings/emergency fund, which will force us to be smarter about which house projects we tackle. I guess we’ll see how things shake out, considering that a lot of the things we have planned tend to be big-ticket projects. Robert and I have done our best to keep things budget-friendly. Completion of our guest bathroom, for example, is estimated around $1,500, and that includes a lot of the components we already purchased.
With any luck these goals will snowball into the rest of our 5(?) Year Plan.
I’ll leave you with these poor quality iPhone photos of the fridge surround we’re building. So far it has cost around $130 for the cabinet grade plywood, paint, screws, etc. We still need to buy one or two sample size containers of paint for the back of the shelves, and some trim pieces.
Hope you all had a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year’s!