So, it is that time of year again. Time to take a good long look at your financial picture during what we affectionately call “The Family Financial Summit”. I will admit that this is not the best way to spend a few evenings, but it is necessary. We always do it at the end of the year because my husband has normally received his annual salary adjustment, so it is perfect timing to take a look at everything.
To start, we pull out our prior year’s budget formand adjust our monthly income. Then, we go through and re-analyze what we paid for groceries, utilities, mortgage (etc) and make the necessary adjustments. Once the mandatory items are done, we make our “wish list” of things we hope to do during 2011. For us, these include:
- Saving for a family vacation
- Allowing date night one night a month
- Additional discretionary spending
- Starting back up with college savings
- Opening a Roth IRA
While we didn’t have the best time “spending” so much money, I will admit that it feels good to decide where our money goes every month and not let it tell us where it MUST go. If you are new to budgeting and need some financial guidance, you are in luck! Starting Monday, January 3rd, we are launching the very first Penny Pinchin’ Mom Debt Free / Savings Challenge!!
The goal of the challenge is simple — help those of you in debt to eliminate /reduce what you owe. If you have no debt, we’ll work on helping you achieve a goal of at least 3 – 6 months of income saved in an emergency fund. Come back on Monday and I’ll share all of the details. I am really excited to see how much debt all of you can eliminate by December 31, 2011 — when it’ll be time for your annual Family Financial Summit.