Ok, my Christmas shopping is done!
And I did not fall prey to any of the promotions in my inbox.
I've been thinking a lot about what my financial goals for 2009 will be (as well as personal goals).
We're hoping to move out of this studio apartment into something larger.
I'd like to buy a home by the middle of 2010 or the start of 2011.
I plan to take a trip for my 2009 birthday.
We might get a pet!
I may start my job search, or at least seek opportunities to expand on my skills and increase my income.
I am interested in teaching.
So, all of those will be factors in my financial planning.
Also, some other observations:
I'm getting tired of tracking every last receipt. It's become second-nature, but I am thinking about using one of the online cashflow programs. The software may also alert me to budget shortfalls, spending patterns and ways to save more money that I am missing just keeping my rudimentary spreadsheet.
I never stick to my budget categories, so I may chuck them. Ok, so you know from my monthly reports that I always go over my food budget and usually over my clothing budget. But, most months, I don't spend more that I have left over after saving money in my e-fund and 401k and paying bills, so maybe I'll allow the money allocations to be more fluid. So long as I don't spend more than I have left over, it shouldn't matter what I spent it on.
I have some BIG items that I want to save for. That means maximizing income, because there's just nowhere to reasonable slash spending. That means I have to stop being lazy about pursuing those opportunities.
Sorry, this is more me thinking out loud than anything, but, as we approach 2009, now is a great time to think about how you'd like to hit the ground running financially in 2009.
What are you planning for or what would you like to do that you aren't doing now?