Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 Goals

I guess this is the day that I look forward to all that 2014 has to offer. So maybe yesterday was the day that I was supposed to do this but yesterday was Wicked Wednesday aka quiet day for hung over Sonya.
What do I hope for this year? Peace and prosperity for all of my loved one. And you are one of my loved one. Awwwwww, starting the year all mushy like, aren't I?
Here are a few things I'm working on.
I honestly, don't think that I can tweak the budget anymore. This is where I was last March....
1244 house payment
 190 car insurance
 175 electric and gas
 95 garbage and water
 141 cell 
  30 gym
 400 food
 400 gas for cars
2675 total 
This is where we are now.........
1284 house(our taxes went up AGAIN. Grrrr)
90     car insurance(the kids each pay $45 a month for a total of $180)
175 Gas and electric
125 garbage and water(the water went up again.)
200 cell(this is our only luxury and I'm sticking with it. The kids each pay $50 a month for their part. $300 total)
30   gym membership
500 food(I can't seem to get this lower no matter what I do)
400 gas for cars
 2804 total
I'm really quite happy with this. I would love to shave 10% off of this but it seem unrealistic especially with the area that we live in. Life is just expensive here. I did great getting the car insurance down but then I spent more on the cell phone. The water is crazy money now. We got a $300+ bill in December. The running joke around here is that everyone is going to wash their kids with the water from the sump pump. 
The gym membership keeps Den happy and I don't think that I would get rid of it even if we really hit hard times. He is allowed to bring 2 people in on his pass so its more like 3 for the price of 1. 
I am going to try to save more money. I'm starting on the 52 week challenge again. I'm sad that I didn't complete it last year but SO SO grateful that I had that money to do repairs on the cars.
I also set up a yearly budget for things like birthdays, car repairs, new glasses, car repairs, pool supplies, car repairs. I like to fund these funds and then use as little as possible. Things have changed over the years but I try to get about $8000 in this fund. This was single-handedly the one thing that has kept us out of credit card debt. Will we use that much money-I HOPE NOT. But I'm really bulking up the car fund this year. Probably $2000 to $3000 in there. This is still so much cheaper than car payments. 
I'm going to try to get more free things for Christmas by running more deals. I will also try to find more free money. 
Overall, I'm really happy with our progress. We don't have a lot of debt only the house payment. I'm grateful to my past self for working so hard getting us to this point. And I hope that I continue to say, "thank you Sonya of the past." 
Is there room for improvement? Yes, always. I'm a work in progress.
On a personal note, I would like to get my latest book edited and out. It takes forever to finish one of these damned things. But 530 pages would take anyone a while to finish. It's ok to take your time, Sonya. I seem to have more patience for others than I do myself.
DJ will be going away to college this year so there will be many changes for us. Anna is getting her degree in education so it takes 4 years to get the degree and then they have to spend one semester in the classroom. She is also, talking about staying on for her masters. It looks like she will be able to get it for free. So I'm happy. I know that I talk a lot about what a pain in the ass they are but I am so proud of them. My greatest accomplishment in this life will be my children. I'm so blessed. Please remind me of this the next time they pull a stunt. Say like releasing a rottweiler in the house. 
I truly hope that you stick with me for 2014. Knowing me it will be filled with lots of cuss words, hare-brained adventures, a book or two, and money saving tips. 
Thank you for being my friend,
Sonya Ann


mama .bonnie said...

Have you ever watched the tv show extreme cheapskates? There was a marathon on last night and on one episode they were talking about how much money that person saved by doing what they did. Did you know you can save $20 a month by not using toilet paper? Yep, there was a person who used free newspaper and one who used 'family cloths.' Oh and then there was the lady who got her food from dumpsters. OH and one family takes only baths AND they all use the same tub of water to do this.
Yea, you can bring down some of this BUT do you REALLY want to go to this extreme?

slugmama said...

Hey, besides the cuss words, hare-brained adventures, a book or two and money saving tips, you forgot about "talking dirty and showing Santa in questionable positions/clothing(or was that no clothing?)!

So when are you coming to see me? That should take care of hare-brained adventures for the year, right? ;-)

I have decided that life in the 1st world is too damned expensive! Your budget looks about as bare boned as it can get. Once DJ leaves for school your food will go down, trust me...only if because you won't need to drink as much. hehehe

Are you still going to try to get Xmas paid for with deals in 2014? It might be easier/cheaper just to kill off some know, the ones you don't like and/or the ones leaving you money.

Here's hoping our cars stop screwing us over in 2014!

ND Chic said...

Your budget looks good. How do you pay for other incidentals like gifts or alcohol? You should be proud of your kids. It sounds like they have their heads on their shoulders (where else would they be, but still.).

Sonya Ann said...

Mama-I will not be using family cloths. EWWWWWWWWWW!
I'm thinking maybe my budget is good! I'm not doing any of those crazy things. I think Den would be worried that if I watched the show I would try some of those things. Good thing we don't have cable.

Sonya Ann said...

sluggy-I'm glad that seeing Santa porn is on your mind. I will try to keep you happy in 2014!
I would love to come see you it won't be for a while though. Two kids in college will be a crusher!
Hahahaha I will probably drink more when he leaves because there will be no reason to keep any sort of control.
I like your idea of knocking people off to knock gifts off the list! Brilliant.
Cars are scary and I just got a recall notice on my van. I need to take it in cuz it says that something could rust and cause an accident. It said it would be making an odd noise if there was a problem and it is doing that. My fear is we would be down to 1 car then and that doesn't seem like very good odds with the way that we are going.

Jane said...

Thanks for being my friend too Sonya Ann...honestly, if it weren't for you folks I don't know how I would get through each day. Ok, enough with the mushy stuff :) Let's all start cursing!!

MiserlyMac said...

I admire you so much! I want to lower the food bills this year but don't know if I can really can. It is so expensive here. I am gonna try. You inspire me to financial greatness!

Donna said...

I wonder how much it would cost just to use buckets of cat litter? Would keep the water bills down if you didn't have to flush as often.
My DF grew up in Alaska towns and villages where they used "honey buckets" because there was no running water. The scent of Pine-Sol reminds him of the bathrooms of his youth because they'd pour some of the cleaner in there to keep the smell down. Lovely.
I think your frugal fu is awesome, by the way. Maybe you should teach a class and charge for it; that could bring in enough to start a bail fund for DJ when he heads off to college.

McVal said...

lol! I was wondering if you'd bring up the Rottweiler!!

I am impressed! With Robb's end of the year bonus, we are now solvent again... It's been a rough year. DIL was really draining us and still is, but now we can handle it a little better. I've got a 2.5 year plan and we will be out of debt except for the house and maybe a car payment as I don't know if our existing cars will last that long.

You've inspired me! I will STICK to my plan!!!

lifeisfullofsunnydays said...

Your budget looks very good. I hate that bills just seem to keep going up and up each year. Hopefully you won't have to get to extremes to keep your budget in check. ;)

Sonya Ann said...

ND Chic-I save out tax return and any other little bits and pieces for things like birthdays, anniversaries, pool supplies, clothes, Dr. I will never save enough for alcohol. LOL

Sonya Ann said...

Jane-I feel so bad for you. Den and I were talking about you. We both are sorry you are going through this but it seems as if he would just be a drain on you. The sun will rise again, my friend.

Sonya Ann said...

MiserlyMac-Well thank you for the nod but I think that I can do better. I just need to tighten the belt a bit more. But I'm not making homemade TP or reusing dental floss. LOL

Sonya Ann said...

McVal-I am so so proud of you!!!!! It is so hard to actually come up with a plan. It's one thing to say it, it is another to do it. I know that you can! We used to have a ton of debt and then I heard someone on a talk show ask someone where they would be in 5 years. I realized that we would be in the same mess if not worse off. That scared me enough to change it. That is also how I got the courage to start writing books, I just jumped in and did it. Now I just need to get started on the diet and I will be happy with Sonya.

Sonya Ann said...

lifeisfullofsummydays-I think my family prays that I won't go to extremes either. I have been told that I am scary at times.
Thank you for thinking that the budget looks good. Most of it is the necessities. I hope and pray it stays like that.

Sonya Ann said...

Donna-I think you would scare my family to no end if they heard you say that. They would be worried that I would be fighting the cat's for use of the pan.
I will never look at Pine-sol the same way.

Jenny Woolf said...

You've done SO well! Your blog's always fun to read as well as being useful and full of information. Maybe your next project should be writing math textbooks, and making THEM fun. A wicked Wednesday section in my maths book would have suited me just fine when I was at school

Sonya Ann said...

Jenny Woolf-WOW that was quite a compliment coming from someone so accomplished! I'm walking on air.
I don't think that what I write is appropriate for a 1st grader, 2nd grade would be fine though.

Frances said...

It sounds like you have your budget perfectly tuned for your family.

You might drink more when DJ goes to college, but you will eat less, so your food budget WILL go down. :-)

Sonya Ann said...

Frances-I will just use the money that I save to buy alcohol!

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

I hope 2014 proves to be a very good year for you and yours!

Sonya Ann said...

Jerry E Beuterbaugh-Thank you so much and back at ya!