I set new financial goals at the beginning of 2011, and I will be updating our progress every month. Here is our January wrap-up:
–Husband starts a teaching and/or research job by September. He is still working on finishing up his Ph.D. I don’t expect much progress on this one until the summer. (I don’t have much control over this one, but I plan to help support him so he can do what he needs to do to finish his Ph.D. and find a job.)
–I will bring in at least $6,000 to the family budget. I plan to do this through writing jobs, advertising across my three blogs and perhaps writing an e-book. In January I brought in $202.27 from writing/advertising, so I have accomplished 3.3% of this goal.
–Sell $1,500 worth of “stuff” around the house. We plan to do this by continually decluttering. We will have a garage sale this spring, and I will be selling baby items and outgrown kids’ clothes on eBay and Craig’s List. In January we sold $67, so we have accomplished 4.4% of the goal.
–Keep our emergency fund above $12,000. (I will be posting our plan for this on Friday as part of The Saved Quarter Challenge.) Our savings was at $16,354 on January 1st, and thus far we have not had to dip into it.
–Spend no more than an average of $50 a week on groceries. I am easing myself into this with the 6 week pantry challenge. I took stock of all of our pantry items and realized we have A LOT more than I thought we did. I plan to use the surplus to help me stick to a $50 weekly budget. We are on track with this and are spending just a bit less than $50 a week.
–Spend no more than $25 a week going out to eat. This fall we started going out to eat too frequently. We are committing ourselves to only going out once a week and to spending no more than $25 a week on average. I will report our progress over at my Dining Out Challenge blog. We are also on target with this one, and plan to spend much less than this in February when the budget is beyond tight.
–Spend less than $400 on all gifts this year. This amount will include my three kids’ birthdays, my mom’s birthday, Mother’s Day (for my mom), Father’s Day, and Christmas. We have only spent $15 for gifts thus far.
–Close my eBay business. Now that we have three kids, we no longer have room for mountains of tubs of clothes to sell on eBay. I am finding it difficult to split my time between my eBay store and my blogs. I enjoy writing and would like to continue with the blogs. It seems logical, then, to close the eBay store. This won’t be a quick process though; I have 2,000 eBay items to sell (down from a high of 3,000 before my daughter was born in April) and debt I have to pay off from my poor business planning. I have a little less than 1,700 items in my store now. Starting next month, I will share the percentage of debt I have paid off each month.