New Year’s Resolutions: Finances in 2011

Besides losing weight, losing debt is one of the top New Year’s Resolutions. While we’re all feeling so warm and fuzzy about the new year, I’ll let you know what some of my goals are. They are beastly hills to climb but I’m feeling better about the coming year. In fact, I’m more optimistic about this year than I have been going into year’s past. Before it would have been more wishful thinking, but I’m heading into 2011 bullish and with a go-get-em attitude.

So… here are my resolutions and I’d love to hear yours. Along the way, I’m hoping to gain some tips and tricks from other bloggers such as Frugal Zeitgeist, Mom Saving Mom, How I Save Money and more.

  1. Improve My Credit Score: In 2010 I increased my credit score by 30 points to 728.  I’d love to get above 750 in 2011
  2. Pay Off Overdraft Accounts: These are expensive buggars so I’d love to get these to $0 from $7,500
  3. Pay Off Amortized Loan: I have a 60 mo. loan that has 4 months left totaling $2,100
  4. Pay Off Subcontractor Account: $2,200
  5. Pay Off One Credit Card: $12,800
  6. Stay the course on the rest of debt paydown

So, that’s the story and I’m sticking to it.  I’d love to hear what your financial resolutions are and how you are tackling them.

Snowflakes Continue to Pay-off Debt – July Goal Met!

For those of you following my July goals, #2 on my list was to pay-off $8,000 in debt.  I have a Capital One card at 14.9% that I’m attacking with a vengence using the debt snowball method.

On Monday I gave you the debt-busting update where month-to-date I had paid off $6,856.77 … leaving $1,143.23 towards my crazy goal.  I’m happy to report that more of my items sold on Craigslist within the last 48 hours.  Yes, 2 ceiling lights, 2 CD towers and my CompuTrainer…used for indoor cycling/training sold and today I’ll take $1,300.00 to the bank! 

This brings my monthly debt pay-down to $8,156.77.   I have more things on Craigslist and an evening focus group that is estimated to pay $150.00 before the end of the month.  Yippee!

As for the Capital One card?  Applying the $1,300.00 plus tossing in $13.94 for luck, I’ll be down to an even $6,300.00.  I never would have thought I’d be down this much in one month just by focusing on one account at a time.

Call it obsessive compulsive, call it crazy.  I call it paying less interest to da man.

If you are trying to put your financial house in order and need a little inspiration… stay tuned!  There’s plenty of encouragement on budget updates from Kelly and Twiggers, a debt-paydown powerhouse.  There’s plenty to learn from everyone out there… plus get a few cheerleaders to help you along the way.

July Goals: Debt, Snowball, Snowflakes and More…

I was stressed about July before it arrived and am now seven days in feeling equally as stressed.  I wrote my goals out towards the end of June.  I’d like to say that things are going well but suffice to say I’ve spent quite a bit of time – but not money – trying to organize financial matters for a plan of attack to pay off debt.

Here are my July goals:

1.  Let it snow!  I’m putting every cent I can find onto a Capital One card with a balance and a hefty interest rate of 14.90%  In my wildest dreams I’d love to get this paid off this month but those would be dreams with a dash of fantasy.  Needless to say, I’m going to chop, not chip, away at this balance with everything I can find.  Snowflakes a flurry.

2.  Pay-off $8,000 worth of debt.  That’s a tall, tall order but I’m going to try. 

3.  Finish posting items we have for sale on Craigslist.  This includes light fixtures leftover from construction, misc. furniture and even a kitchen sink.  I haven’t had much luck on some items in the past and may have to to go eBay even though I detest having to pay a listing fee and making a trip to the post office to ship things.

4.  Find miscellaneous money sources – online surveys, focus groups and more.  It’s little but it adds up!

5.  Landscaping – with home prices falling, I’m doing my best to help increase the value of our home in case we are forced to sell.  Landscaping can increase your property value by up to 5-20%. Of all home improvements, for every dollar spent it has a recovery rate of 100%-200%.   Best of all, I’m doing all that I can myself rather than paying someone and looking on Craigslist for free or near-free plants.  Plus it keeps me busy rather than fretting on the negative.

6.  Use July as a benchmark to see what we are spending on groceries.  I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t know.

OK, time to get to work.