Crystal over at MoneySavingMom hosts a monthly finance post with links to TONS of blogger's financial updates. I followed along last year and read a few people's stories, but this year I've decided to join in the fun! "Get Your Finances In Line In 2009" is the official headline this year. So be prepared for a monthly update here on Todays Daily Dose!
As I blogged a few weeks ago, we JUST became DEBT FREE last month!!!!!! We are SO excited to actually own our van and have our schooling paid for! But now comes the hard part: staying motivated.
However, in order to do that, I've joined Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class at one of the local churches in town. I've been wanting to go to a FPU class since we first heard about Dave Ramsey, but we never really got around to it. Due to my husband's sleep/work schedule, I'm the only one attending, but hey - one is better than none, right?
Last night was our first class. We have 12 weeks to follow and I'm very excited to see the progress the class (and our family) will make in these next 12 weeks! I know I've talked about Dave Ramsey PLENTY on this blog, but in case you're a newbie or haven't been paying attention, I'll go over his baby steps to become and stay debt-free:
1. $1000 Emergency Fund in the bank
2. Pay off all debt using the debt snowball.
3. 3-6 Emergency Fund in the bank
4. Invest 15% into retirement funding.
5. Plan and save for kids' college.
6. Pay off mortgage early.
7. Build wealth and GIVE!
Right now, we've just completed Baby Step 2 and are working on BS3. HOWEVER....
We also wanted to reward ourselves for all of our hard work (literally), so we're going on our first ever vacation in June! I'm SOOOO beyond excited about this as we have been married over 5 years now and have never gone on vacation. We are not - I repeat, NOT - taking our children, so it should be a fun trip for the two of us. Our destination has been chosen, but it's a surprise to my husband. And even though he never reads my blog, I'm going to keep it a surprise from you too.....just in case. :)
Since we've never been on vacation before (and haven't been to this location before), we weren't really sure what to plan for the amount of money we should spend. We don't want to be unwise and go overboard, but we also don't want to be saying, "Oh, well that's $15/person. Maybe we should skip that one," just because we didn't plan well enough. I think we've settled on a reasonable amount that should work out just fine. And if all else fails, we've got our credit cards. JUST KIDDING, DAVE RAMSEY FANS! We will NOT be paying for our vacation with CREDIT CARDS.
Our goals for this year were somewhat hard to calculate since I recently started a business and have no idea what sort of income to expect from that this year. Nevertheless, we don't believe in living without goals, so we made some anyway. We'll see how things go. These goals are not necessarily in order, but somewhat:
Goal #1: Pay CASH for our 5-day vacation to *SURPRISE*! :)
Goal #2: Fully fund our 6 month emergency fund and put into a money market account to be left UNTOUCHED unless there is an actual emergency.
Goal #3: Save for my husband to get a new (that means "used") car.
Goal #4: Raise retirement contributions to 12% (with a 4% match).
Goal #5: Open a money market account for each of our children.
Goal #6: Begin paying extra principal on our mortgage.
I am excited to see where 2009 takes us financially! And if you want check out Dave Ramsey, you will NOT regret it! :)
For more "Get Your Finances In Line In 2009" posts, check out the Mr. Linky at the bottom of Crystal's post.