2014 Goals Review

by Mrs Money

Happy New Year!!  I cannot believe it is 2015. I feel like I just wrote our 2014 goals!  For the past few years (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.) I have made and updated our financial and life goals here on my site.  I’d like to review our 2014 goals and see how we did!  Here are our goals, and how we measured up.

I’d like to get $5,000 paid down on the principal of our mortgage.  SUCCESS!  We actually paid off $5105.29 this year!  I didn’t make any huge extra principal payments- we refinanced last summer and went with a 20 year mortgage and because of that a lot more of our payment is going toward principal versus interest because of amortization.  Every month I do add a little bit extra to our normal payment so we are chipping away at the principal.  

Replace the back roof. FAIL.  This is a good thing, though!  We had a roofer come out and he determined that the roof is actually in pretty good shape and didn’t need replacing.  Great news for our budget.  

Replace 3 front windows. FAIL. This never happened.  Honestly, I wish Mr. Money was much better about this stuff and could do it all on his own.  I worry too much about this crap! 

I need to set up a Christmas savings account so that I’m not stressing about money in December again next year. FAIL. Hah.  The other day I mentioned to Mr. Money that I needed to start this NOW for next year and he was like “You say this every year!”  I’m wondering if it would be easier for me to have a Christmas envelope and just put cash in it every time Mr. Money gets paid.  I think I may try that versus opening up a new savings account.

I’d like to get pregnant in 2014!  FAIL. This we really didn’t have that much control over.  

Save more money in general and be more aware of where our money goes.  SUCCESS! I’d say we did a pretty good job of this!

I think goals are always good to have as they help keep you focused and on track.  Mr. Money and I sat down the other day and talked about our goals and where we’d like to see ourselves in a few years.  I’m excited about the future!

How did you do with your 2014 Goals?

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Preparing for the future – saving tips to keep your budget healthy and avoid costly payday loans

by Mrs Money

The global economy has been in turmoil in recent years but as things start to slowly recover, now could be a great time to improve your personal finances too. Whether you’re in debt or not, it’s never too late to start afresh and plan for the future, so take a look at these top savings tips that will help keep your budget healthy and save your resorting to payday loans.

Cut back on non-essentials

In life, we all have things we need to pay, such as rent, council tax and utility bills, as well as things we don’t need to pay, such as gym membership, digital TV subscriptions and regular cappuccinos. While it’s important to have a work/life balance, cutting down on non-essentials could help put some extra money in your pocket, which is always beneficial. If you find it hard to avoid the things you like, simply set yourself a budget for luxuries and try not to go over it.

Be a smarter supermarket shopper

Do you spend a fortune on the weekly shop? If so it could be time to become a smarter supermarket shopper. There are many ways to reduce your bill including buying home brands, looking for special offers and checking out price comparison apps and websites for the best deals.  As many supermarkets put high-priced goods at eye level, try looking high and low for more reasonable priced products and don’t be put off by cheap packaging because what’s inside can taste just as nice as well-wrapped goods.

Download money-saving apps

If you’ve a smartphone or tablet, why not download one of the many money-saving apps available these days? Whilst Mysupermarket allows you to create a list of groceries then work out where it will be cheapest to buy them, Kabbee compares taxi-prices in London, if you’re ever visiting the capital. Moreover, there’s Zwallet, a mobile wallet, which lets you keep loyalty cards on your phone, as well as Ticketysplit, which will ensure you find the cheapest train journey around – even if it means making several shorter journeys. Throw Whatsapp into the mix, which is designed to save text-loving people a ton of cash, and you can start to see the benefits.

Download savings apps

As well as apps specifically created to save you money, you can also download applications that will help you keep track of your bank accounts and savings, including LearnVest, Personal Capital and BillGuard. What’s more, apps such as Mint will also connect all your accounts and categorise your transactions, allowing you to see exactly what you’re spending and where. All information is displayed in lovely graphs and charts, helping you to understand your finances in a clear and concise way. As if that’s not good enough, SaveUp will even reward you for saving and will enter you into a host of prize draws, if you meet your goals.

Saving for the future is easier than you might think, so it’s certainly worth taking these pointers on board and giving it a try.

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