2018 Resolution Reevaluation – June Edition

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It’s been a little over five months since we rang in the New Year with confetti and champagne, and it’s time, once again, to discuss the resolutions we made at that time. How are your resolutions treating you? Have you lost that weight, paid off that debt, stuck to that budget, or achieved whatever other goals you may have set? Are you still working on your resolutions, or have you abandoned them completely?

In place of a resolution, Justin and I set a goal for ourselves back at the beginning of December. Our goal: to pay off our debt completely. Of course, it’s going to take us longer than just this year to get that done, but we are making great progress, despite a few hurdles here and there. It hasn’t been easy, quite the opposite in fact, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and intend to see it through.

Tip: Interested in setting goals for your own financial success? Grab my 5-Day Achieving Goals Course. It’s FREE and you can find it HERE.

Our Budget

We’ve managed to create a budget each and every month. As I’ve mentioned before, I love the EveryDollar app because it allows me to simply carry last month’s budget into this month. The previous month is zeroed out, and we start fresh with only the amount we have in savings carried over to the current month. I love having the fresh start because it means that we aren’t struggling to deal with all of the things that happened in the previous month.

For the most part, we have fallen into a pattern and are aware how much money we need for each category of the budget to get us through each month. We only had a couple of weeks in which money needed to be transferred from one category (typically “eating out”) to another (normally “groceries”), but we’ve been able to adjust as necessary. I’ve set our monthly payments for utilities, phone, internet, and debt payments on automatic withdrawal, which has taken the stress out of worrying about missed payments. Honestly, when we do what we know we are supposed to, the budget pretty much runs itself.

We did make a slight change in our goals about halfway through May, which means that we haven’t paid any additional debts off completely. We’d paid off a large chunk of a credit card balance, but when we switched our goal, the remaining money went to partially pay off a car we want to sell. The girls are a little disappointed that we haven’t had another movie night to celebrate paying off a debt, but we are looking forward to another celebration before the summer ends.

Budget Curveballs

The last three months have thrown us some budget curveballs, the biggest of which was an expensive car repair which drained a portion of our emergency savings fund. It was really tempting to use the credit card to pay for that expense rather than tapping into the savings fund we worked so hard to put together, but in the end, we both agreed that adding to our debt would be a step in the wrong direction. I thought it would be hard to see the emergency savings fund disappear, and yet, it actually doesn’t feel like a step backward. Despite the fact that it may delay our debt payoff plan a little longer, we held our ground and that feels like a win in my book.

I wrote a bit about the graduation party we hosted for Justin back at the beginning of May. While we had a wonderful time, it cost a little more than we intended it to. We don’t regret it at all, but it was a curveball our budget wasn’t quite ready for and took a bit of adjustment. Going forward we are going to plan a little more thoroughly when we intend to host a gathering that large.

Finally, we’ve been dealing with sickness in our home, and I had to take a couple days off of work, which resulted in one smaller paycheck. Once again, we were able to make it work in the budget, but it meant letting go of some of the “fun money” in order to pay for the necessities.

Still, we were able to manage it all without adding to the credit card debt, and that’s a big success for us!

Our Goals Going Forward

Over the next few months, we are going to focus heavily on replacing the money in our emergency fund and getting back on track with our debt paydown. Our goal is to have one car paid off by the end of August and to turn around and sell it privately as soon as that’s the case. Not only will it free up the car payment itself, but it will allow us to take it off of insurance which is also a huge chunk of money each month.

Planning for Summer Incidentals

As far as summer break goes, I think it’s safe to say that it will be harder to keep from spending our money, rather than using it to pay down debt. To counteract that in our budget, I’ve added an additional line item for the purpose of covering “summer incidentals”. Justin will be home with the girls for the summer, so that will save us money on gas which will allow us to redirect that into the summer fund.

Additionally, as many teachers do, Justin receives a small stipend at the end of the school year and that “unexpected money” will be added to the summer fun fund. Hopefully, with those small adjustments, we will be able to keep the budget on track despite all of the fun we will be having.

Upcoming Vacation

I’m also heading out with my parents and siblings to a family reunion at the end of the month and I am planning on only spending what I have in cash, already saved for the trip. I anticipate it will be a challenge not to whip out a credit card just for the fun of it, but I’m looking forward to proving to myself that it’s possible. (More on that to come.)

It’s All About Endurance

We knew that maintaining a budget and achieving our financial goals was going to be a long process, and yet, so totally worth it in the end. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it takes a lot of determination and constant discussion about how we can do it better in the upcoming months.

How about you? Do you need to revisit your goals this month? Is it time to set a new one or create a plan of action to actually achieve the milestone? Wherever you might be with regard to your goals, keep in mind that it’s never too late to start fresh.

Have a wonderful day!

Tip: Interested in setting goals for your own financial success? Grab my 5-Day Achieving Goals Course. It’s FREE and you can find it HERE.