Resolution: Be Smarter With Money

 After writing my last post “New Year’s Resolutions: Step By Step Guide“, I decided to take each major goal and work through the 7 step process I outlined in it, to show how it works. I hope that by using the guide in the post you can use it in your own life. 

Turn Your Dreams Into Goals

 Cody and I love to travel, eat at interesting restaurants, throw parties, have nice things and go to different entertainment events. We have a lot of things that we want to do and buy in the next few years, so getting smart about our money and being able to do this is important to me.

So that is my over all dream and my goals consist of : (1) keep track of spending, (2) Create a budget and stick with it, (3) Pay off all credit cards , (4) Save for Cody’s 30th Birthday Trip, and (5) Buy a King Size Bed and Furniture.

Plan Backwards From Your End Goals

Keep Track of Spending 

  • Decide which features I want out of a tracking system.

  • Research methods for tracking spending that meet preferred features.

  • Purchase or sign up for method.

  • Import all financial institution information.

  • Categories transactions.

  • Download phone application.

  • Make as much as possible automatic.

  • Decide how often I want to do a financial review to get caught up of spending tracking.

  • Start tracking and select a time you plan on doing so every day or two to make it more of a habit.


Create a budget and stick with it

  • Research how to make a budget

  • Track spending for a month to get a current budget

  • Prioritize spending into three categories: fixed cost, variable cost, optional spending

  • Identify areas where spending can be cut back

  • Identify what needs to be saved for, amount and time frame important.

  • Create new budget with priorities in mind

  • Find suggestions to help us stick with the budget

  • Build budget in tracking system

  • Follow budget for one month and then reevaluate (how close were we to the actual budget, what can we do better next month)

  • Continue to have monthly reviews on one of the first few days of each month to reevaluate plan. 

 Pay off all credit cards

  • Find out total amount due

  • Find out the interest rate on each card

  • Pick a time frame in which to pay them all off, keeping in mind extra monthly payment amount. Keep in mind that bonus are great for this!

  • Pick which card to pay off first.

  • Change the auto-payment amount on that card you want to pay off to your new amount to make it that much easier to pay off.

  • Remember that if you still use the card, the pay off amount will increase.

  • Note: Making extra money or spending less are great ways to get this done.


Save for Cody’s 30th Birthday Trip

  • Decide max budget for trip (can change)

  • Select three trip locations.

  • Price out travel, hotel, entertainment and food for each location (rough estimate ok)

  • Rank location and decide between 3.

  • Research when the best time to book everything is and if there are any packages that could help decrease the price.

  • Build in a little cushion into your trip budget.

  • With a clear number in sight, decide when you will pay for everything and make a budget accordingly.

  • Save, save, save.

  • Enjoy the trip!


 Buy a King Size Bed and Furniture

  • Decide max budget for trip (can change).

  • Decide which features are important in a bed.

  • Pick brand and a few models.

  • Find three stores that sell beds and price out mattress.

  • Select store and model.

  • Research the best time to purchase a mattress.

  • Decide on bed furniture and bedding and price out.

  • Get a total price and build in a little cushion into budget.

  • With a clear number in sight, decide when to purchase the be and furniture and make a budget accordingly.

  • Save, save, save.

  • Enjoy the new bed!


Get Psyched 

This may seem like a hard thing to get psyched about, but thinking about the benefits is the best way to get excited about accomplishing resolutions that involve adult responsibilities.

Test and Tweak

Especially when saving money, it is important to know that your time table might have to change because of unforeseen expenses. Do not beat yourself up if life gets in the way, it will, it always does, just tweak your schedule and move on.

Be Honest With Yourself

I know paying off those credit cards in 2 months sounds nice, but be honest with yourself… is it doable? Making reasonable timeframes for intermediate goals is the best way to accomplish overall resolutions.

Learn From Others

For keeping track of spending and creating and sticking with a budget I plan on doing a lot of research online, as well as asking friends on Facebook. I have also seen some interesting articles on pinterest about paying off credit card debt and I plan on reading them to learn from others. When it comes to Cody’s 30th birthday trip I plan on looking up a bunch of great places and then giving him so great ideas. We have gone on a lot of trips so I know how to save for them, we just need to decide where we are going. When it comes to the bed, Cody’s mom is an interior designer and I plan on asking her where the best place is to purchase a mattress and furniture. The thing to learn from this is you know more experts than you may think. Ask friends and family, their answers (and help) may surprise you!

Spread The Word

With these goals I am going to be using my planner to put reminder on what needs to be done. That way I have both a time frame and a reminder.

So what are you financial goals? What are you spending priorities and how to do you save for those big trips? I would love to hear from you. 

 Articles To Read:

54 Ways to Save Money



One thought on “Resolution: Be Smarter With Money

  1. We’re trying to beef up our savings while still enjoying our upcoming vacations, but we don’t have a clear plan in place. We’re just trying to be more frugal with our everyday expenses.

    But the reason our savings is a bit drained at the moment is that we splurged on a new bed recenlty. Was more than we expected it to be but worth every penny! Excited for you to make your new bed purchase and hope it’s one you both love.

    Good luck with your goals!


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