…the quote I put on this printable really made an impact on my thinking. I found it on Pinterest and I'm not sure if there is credit due – I can't find an "author" persay.
As I've considered the new year and what I can accomplish in the next 360-ish days…I've thought prayerfully, I've thought about how I need to improve and change. The one thing I need the most…discipline. Many of you know me, my artsy fartsy personality and unless I'm moved and motivated to do something –its sometimes hard to light a fire under us creative types. I need a good dose of discipline in every aspect of my life…I know it would make everything go smoother. I know that the Lord is not the God of confusion and He wants me to be disciplined and keep things simple.
I can do this.
I've got to make a plan, take action and I need accountability. Period.
What am I going to do?
Break it up into small chunks and really focus on chipping away at these bits. I think keeping a journal will help trememdously as well. I need constant reminders.
A few goals for me this year- I'll post today about my financial goals and later about family and personal goals. (Remember breaking it up in to pieces ;).
1. Get a handle on my budget– meaning I need to implement the budget I've devised. Starting today–I'm going to the envelope system for monthly expenses (groceries, gas, kids lunch, etc…) and putting away the debit card for good. I know I would spend a ton less unecessary money if I didn't use the debit card and use cash only. My husband is a testament to this already. We don't use credit cards though we do have one (interest free) balance (see number two) due to an unexpected major purchase a couple of years ago.
2. Pay off two nagging debts (small loan and credit card balance) – Number 1 coupled with another surplus in my budget as of June ($340 preschool cost savings after the school semester and Cash will start big school in the fall) should allow me to pay off two debts that would save us over $250 a month.
3. Tithing our full 10% every month. We are so blessed to have a church in which we have a wonderful support system and family. We are also blessed to both have a job and finally be in a financial place to afford to give what we can and should. Though we give weekly, we have been guilty of not keeping up with tithes, coming short and the Lord has put this on my heart to correct this.
…the borrower is slave to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7)
My pastor quotes this passage often. In the past I've felt overwhelmed and defeated at even the thought of really trying to be debt free…but all of a sudden I'm sure the Lord is showing me the way. And guess what– all it takes is a little discipline. I stayed up way too late last night figuring this out, but I'm pretty sure I can pay off all my debts except for our mortgage within the next three years. What?!@#$
Of course, things change, things happen and you know I'm not one for making plans— I let the Good Lord chart my course and I roll with it. But if I'm disciplined, faithful and prayerful about this– I really have NO doubt that God will help me accomplish these goals.
Some of the tools I'm implementing to accomplish my goals–
- A couple of composition books: one for budgeting (I like to handwrite my budget and it's pretty simple-) and one for discipline journal.
- I may give this free software a try too– I've heard a lot of wonderful things about Mvelopes.
- I'll probably make my envelope system cute like this one or possible design a system for my needs
- I'm going to read these books– I've been following Crystal Paine (THE moneysavingmom) for a few years and she is one smart lady. I've already started this one…(a freebie when you buy her new book at Amazon).
- I'll have to start couponing pretty hard again in order to stay within the grocery budget I've set. It will also be important to start meal planning and being more organized in order to do this effectively. I use Passion for Savings and Money Saving Mom as helpers for couponing. I've also learned how to shop pretty effectively without coupons by knowing my local stores.
I'm excited to start this journey. I really feel that God is going to help me accomplish these goals as I show him I can be more disciplined in this area. This will definitely make me proud in one year!
I'd be interested if you have any tips on the envelopes system— or working toward a better budget. I'll post more on my goals for 2012 tomorrow or another day.