Saturday, November 14, 2009

Get Your Finances In Line In 2009: October Recap

Quick recap since we're already halfway through the month of November. I don't have time for many details, but since nobody (but me) cares about these posts anyway, it's no big deal, right?

We just barely missed the 70% mark this month for our FFEF. I just do mean JUST. But that's okay. We had some other things come up, so all is well. :)

November is proving to be pretty profitable so far. And by 'profitable', I don't actually mean we're making any more money. Just that things are falling into line properly. So hopefully I'll have some fun things to report in next month's finance recap.

We're still trying to figure out exactly how much to budget for our trip to Texas. I have a particular amount in mind, but I think I may save a bit extra to be on the safe side. Does anyone have any recommendations on the amount?

Here are some details to help you out:

-6 people (but only 5 requiring daily nourishment 3x a day - 2 adults, 3 toddlers)
-2 hotel stays en route and 4 nights hotel stays while in TX
-gas from IN to TX
-a few sightseeing things (we plan to go to San Antonio and probably a few other places along the way)
-misc. (because you know there's always something)

I'd really appreciate any insight anyone has on this topic. I've had a hard time gauging this because we've only taken one vacation since we've been married and it was just my husband and me. Plus, that was our "honeymoon" vacation, so we splurged a bit. But isn't that what vacation is for? :)


REVISED GOAL #1: Save up and pay CASH for our trip to Texas next March. ---- 35% completed ----

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. ---- 69.9% completed!! ----

Goal #3: Save for my husband to get a "new" (that means used) car. ---- Still on hold. No major issues with the car at this time. ----

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.

Goal #7: Establish a will and testament. ---- I admit it. I am a total failure in this department. ----

Goal #8: Get disability insurance for both my husband and me. ---- I mention this to my husband occasionally. He seems to think it's like a one-page worksheet that I can fill out for him. Not so much. I'm blaming this one not being done on him. :) ----


P.S. The birds have not eaten me! (Yet.)


katherine said...

with four little ones, shouldn't your will be goal #1? (i say this having just finalized our wills so we certainly weren't ahead of the game...). its really not too tough. you can buy the forms to do it yourself fairly cheap.

Amie said...

How far away from San Antonio will you actually be? Are you planning on only doing free things? Are you going to be in SA for the day or spending the night there? You & your camera will have a blast on the Riverwalk. :)

Gretchen said...

Hey I called Amica Mutual (recommended by Clark Howard) and they are mailing me a packet to fill out for disability insurance. Ryan has disability at work but that is only if he gets disabled *at work*. So we will see how much it is. I will let you know if you are interested.

Susan said...

I love reading your posts and I'm in Texas if you need any Texas/Oklahoma recommendations!

Brooklyn said...

I think your doinq awesome with your goals. Keep posting them!!!!

Anonymous said...

Here's how things work for our family of 7 when we take a trip to Florida. I know Texas is further but this may give you an ideal.

We stay somewhere in ATL on the way down--it takes us 2 full days to get to Orlando and then 2 full days to get back home--staying somewhere in Tenn.

Hotels-I think you could get one for around $65 a night. That seems to be the going rate for just about anywhere-with the exception of major cities. We have traveled alot over the years and my husband travels for work. We took one trip for 2 weeks to Florida. It worked out to be 17 days on the road with the kids--all 5 of them. and we lived to talk about it. :O)

Our gas to Florida is around $250 -$275 for the whole trip--including any driving around to see things once you get there.

Food: we always pack food for the road and eat at rest stops. Some of our best times have been at rest stops. Picture--2 adults and 5 kids doing jumping jacks and running the kids crazy before getting back in the van for another 5 hours. Fun times! My oldest kids look back and laugh at this stuff. They love it.

We have a timeshare(it's paid for) for the places we stay in. I know Dave Ramsey is against this. But-it is very conveinent for us. We have 2 full bedrooms,sometimes 3. 2 full bathrooms. Full kitchen--saves us money rather than eating out everyday for 3 meals times 7 people. And a washer/dryer to wash clothes in. I'm sure I could just figure out how to do meals in an hotel--I have done this before-it's not pretty and wears on a Momma fast! So it works out well for us to stay in out resort.

Look into the passport science program. Google it. If you can't find it let me know.

Here's how it works. You buy a membership to a science center-it must be at least 90 miles away from your home-not sure why.

Then you can go to any participating science or children's museum for FREE anywhere in the USA!!

Last year we paid $90 for a family membership at the Science center in Louisville. Then went to at least 5 other science centers-one including the ones in Chicago--for FREE. Well worth it. There are some on the list for Indiana you can get into for free. They are an hour of so drive time but worth it for a trip out with the kids.

Well, I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. We have travled a bit--it has been a blessing we don't take it for granted. Be glad to help!

Take care,