Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 Frugal and Financial Goals

I was terrible at staying on top of my 2016 Goals, so I hope to be better in 2017.  I really liked the way I had set up the 2016 Goals because they were broken down by "Goals" and "To Do's" but then I almost never looked at them again so I won't go into as much detail this year in this post.

What I'd like to do is, at the beginning of each month, re-read this list and assign myself specific goals from the list with, then, specific to-do's. And then report on my progress on that every month's end.

I'm awesome at planning things,  not so much at actually following through with them, though.  This year has got to be different.  I'll be turning 50 so it's time for me to act like a grown-up!

General Finances
  1. Continue to track all expenses in my spreadsheets
  2. Report all expenses on the blog, daily (for accountability and a kick in the pants to perhaps spend less!)
  3. Keep to a $50 a week grocery budget (avoid stocking up on items until I have actually ran out of them).
  4. Overall FOOD expenses budget to be $5,300 including ordering in.
  5. Continue reporting on Food Waste every Friday. No excuses.
  6. Avoid ordering in during the week by making a menu after looking at what I have in the fridge. 
  7. Continue to try to purchase as many items from the thrift store as possible
  8. Calculate our bare bone budget and see if we do have 12 months' worth.
  9. Then separate it from our other savings, maybe put it in a CD that is FDIC insured.
  10. Increase our emergency savings by $2,000.
  11. Calculate our Net Worth
  12. Create spreadsheet to calculate our Personal Savings Rate in 2017
  13. Set up an automatic transfer of Greg's raise equivalent to Savings each time he gets paid
  14. Keep the same extra mortgage payment to principal
  15. At the end of the first week of the following month, transfer leftover money from budget (if any) into savings
  16. Make a budget for trip to France and stick to it
  17. Apply any bonus to our mortgage
  18. Schedule maintenance checks for all 3 vehicles
  19. Get the shower leak fixed
  20. Rebuild the front porch or tear it down
  21. Identify faulty electrical outlets and call Duke Energy HomeWire to schedule someone to replace them
  22. Reduce Christmas expenses:
    1. gifts (give the kids advance notice)
    2. food for buffet
  23. Repaint master bathroom's ceiling with mildew resistant paint
  24. Repaint kitchen cabinets
  25. Repaint master bedroom
  26. Remove Greg's line from our AT&T plan
  27. Gardening: budget of $50 for the year and mostly to make new bins (reuse what we already have)
  28. Car insurance: see if should drop collision on SUV and truck and the consequences of this (i.e. can we keep road assistance coverage?)
  29. Put money aside corresponding to our son's chore earnings since the last time I calculated his total (in his savings account)
  30. Continue to earn "snowflakes" and track them all year
  31. Budget a donation amount and research the charities

  1. Open the latest statements (put reminder on calendar to do this every quarter)
  2. Update the big picture matrix and share it with Greg
  3. Note which funds are underperforming and make changes if necessary
  4. Rebalance investments so we don't have 100% stocks
  5. Make sure to discuss with Greg the assignment of the money in our investment account that "is just sitting there" and follow up with him
  6. Read Kiplinger Magazine
  7. Read The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing
  8. Refer to my 2016 goals for my ideas if I run out of things to do!
  1. Continue to contribute the maximum to Greg's Roth 401(k)
  2. Make sure we contributed to IRAs for 2016 (see if we qualify first!)
  3. Contribute to IRAs for 2017 (same thing)
  4. Roll over Greg's old 401(k)
  5. Investigate my IRA's performance and see if I need and can change fund allocation
  6. Examine current 401(k) fund allocation and readjust if necessary
  7. Make note of when stock options are vesting in 2017 and put detailed alerts in the calendar
  • Start gathering the 2016 tax paperwork in one folder (print them as they come in)
  • Continue tracking Greg's paychecks in my 2017 spreadsheet every 2 weeks
  • Continue tracking all FSA expenses separately to assess whether we should increase the fund the following year (this will be the 2nd year that we rolled over money so we might lose it if we roll over into 2018 again? Need to check)
I think that's quite enough as for now :)


  1. I am definitely going to keep better track of how much of my $300 monthly household budget is actually going to food, instead of gifts, parking, kitty litter, TP, you get the picture. I already have a brand new composition book that will be perfect for the job.

    1. Woohoo! New composition book! Wait $300 a month is all you spend on ALL of this?!

  2. Excellent goals, Nathalie! Well thought out, too. And you have planned how to implement your goals. I think you'll do well this year. :)

    I can't believe Susan manages on such a low budget for all household expenditures!

    1. Thanks again, Bless. I probably should try to accomplish as many things as possible in the earlier part of the year when I still feel somewhat motivated because past history shows that fall/winter is definitely a downtime for me.

      I really need to tighten my own budget a lot more if Susan only spends $300 a month on all household expenditures! That's amazing! I know she said she makes all her own cleaning products and uses vinegar for pretty much everything. Come to think of it, I don't buy a ton of cleaning products, but I do buy a lot of cat litter!

  3. I try my best, but sometimes I need to take funds from "gas and maintenance" or "savings" to make it through. That is why I need to start writing everything down. Our "savings" is really a holding area. We basically don't have any kind of real savings to speak of. There is always something that comes up that uses up those resources. I tried opening up another savings account this past summer. I wanted my "holding area" as well as an account that gave me more interest if I didn't touch it. It didn't work. I really need to revamp my whole budget by WRITING THINGS DOWN. Other changes to the household include the loss of income from my son and his GF. They moved out into their own place on New Year's Eve. And all costs surrounding energy are going up this January.....heating by natural gas, the price of fuel, and electric charges are ALL going up. But with only two of us living here now, I should be able to save in some areas as well. By the way, both cats will be leaving here shortly to go live with their more cat litter.


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