I've never been one to make a resolution on New Year's Day, because that just seems to be inviting failure. However, this year, I'd like to create a list of goals so that when 2010 rolls around I can look back and really measure my progress.
Now that my credit card debt is paid off, my financial goals revolve around keeping to a frugal budget and saving a nest egg for the 2009-2010 academic year, when I won't be able to work full time due to school obligations.
So, here goes:
- Use the cash-envelope system for my 'fun money' and 'grocery money' in the zero-based budget; hopefully this will allow me to stay within my allotted amounts, as these two areas have been challenging for me in 2008.
- Engage in a modified 'Compact' to only buy used items. A reader suggested that I give myself three 'freebies', an idea that I like. However, I think I'll double that to six 'free' new items that I can purchase throughout the year. I'll continue to buy new items in the personal hygiene categories as well as for true needs that I'm unable to find used. I'm hoping that this goal will help me curb my desire for new shoes and clothes (of which I have more than enough already). Also, I'm giving myself permission to purchase new gifts for birthdays and other events (for other people) since my busy life doesn't allow for much creative crafting at this point.
- Increase my 'Internship Year' savings account from $365 to $4,500 by September of 2009, at which time I'll need to work less than full time. This money will help 'bridge the gap' during my internship year.
- Send 15% of my gross salary (from the day job) to my 403(b) account, at least until September of 2009. This will lower my tax liability as well as take advantage of currently low stock prices.