I’ve started a little tradition here at KOAB of outlining our financial goals for each month. I am a big believer in having written goals.
For me, putting pen to paper — or fingers to keyboard — helps focus my scattered-brain tendencies. It also keeps me accountable to something other than my sleep-deprived whims, and it allows me to measure our progress in a simple and transparent way.
So, let’s see how we did in November and set some goals for the last month of 2010.
Goal #1: $400 Food Budget for November
We nearly made it — spending just $402.57. Actually, we spent about $100 more than that, but it was for our Thanksgiving drive to Houston, so I took that money from our vacation fund.
Our coop has switched to monthly ordering, which is both good and bad. The bad for me means I need to be extra careful because I can easily blow through $100 or more in one order. I avoided the temptation by just skipping last month’s order, but we are running low on Bamba and Bisli, so I’m going to need to make sure to allocate some money for the KC Kosher Coop.
(That reminds me: I have a post coming up about how to balance stockpiling with day-to-day food needs, so stay tuned for that.)
My goal for our food spending in December is $450, which covers groceries, household and baby supplies, and any bulk orders from the Coop.
With out-of-town guests coming (Yay for Saba & Grandma!) and some more-festive-than-normal Chanukah meals planned, I’ll need to be extra careful. Hopefully those deep pantry shelves will come to my rescue!
Goal #2: Freezer Cooking
Last month I set a goal of restocking our freezer with easy meals and quick breakfasts. *Hangs head in shame.*
Let’s just say that this goal is getting recycled for the December’s list. I did do a mini-stock-up last month of baking supplies, which were at their buy-now price for much of November. I’ve got plenty of pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and flour, so now I just need to find a good sale on extra-time-in-the-day.
Goal #3: Reorganizing the Kitchen
I told you last month that I was working to reorganize our pantry and cupboards to make them more functional. I was optimistic that I’d finish by the end of the month and be able to do a little before-and-after reveal for my bloggy friends. Well, I did make a lot of progress, but I’m still not quite done.
One thing I have decided to do is spend a little money — which you know I avoid at all costs! After chasing my tail for less costly options, we finally agreed to pull some cash out of “home maintenance sink fund” to pay a pro to convert our two lower cupboards from black-hole-shelves into rolling drawers. When you only have six cupboards all together, using each one of them to their maximum efficiency is essential.
The project should be finished tomorrow, and then I “just” have to restore order. Ha! Remember this picture of my kitchen? Yeah, let’s just say that it doesn’t look like that now!
Goal #4: Year-in-Review
My last goal for December is to get all of our financial documents in order and do an official year-in-review. Part of this will entail getting our receipts and invoices organized for our accountant.
But mostly, I plan to look back on the goals we set for 2010 and mark our progress toward each of them. Then I will put together a “report” so my husband and I can assess how we did — and where we can do better next year. I already know that we fell short in retirement savings, since our “above the green line” months were few and far between this year.
What about you? What are your priorities — financial or otherwise — for this month? Will you be setting goals (or making resolutions) for 2011?