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All Things Financial for 2018

    • 2257 posts
    December 28, 2017 3:31 AM PST
    Early Happy New Year!! 2018 - A new year and time to make a fresh start on all things financial. Instead of financial resolutions which tend to be more restrictive and something that I will do or I will not do; I hope to focus more on financial intentions and give myself some grace in knowing it is okay if I complete the task or if I do not.

    My financial intentions for the next year are as follows:

    1. Refrain from adding any new debt.

    2. Continue paying extra, when possible, toward the principal balance on my automobile.

    3. Set aside monthly payments for those expenses that come payable quarterly, twice a year, once a year. Use the same process in saving for 2018 Christmas.

    4. Add some money to savings each month. No matter how small the amount, just save something.

    5. Increase my awareness of how “small” amounts of money misspent tend to impact my financial bottom line in a “big” way.

    I am ready to get started with this new year and the new opportunities and the new problems it will bring. All bills due January 1st through January 15th were paid electronically this morning. Here I go, off and running!
    • 1125 posts
    December 28, 2017 9:03 AM PST
    Happy 2018! Good thread. Thanks for starting it.

    My financial intentions:
    1) No new debt
    2) keep credit cards paid off every 2 weeks and roll the "rewards" dollars right back into the card
    3) donate 100$/month to charity or friends in need
    4) Pay for the foundation of my new home to be completed
    5) Continue to keep a budget log every month
    6) Cut the food budget by cutting back on convenience foods and food waste

    That said...I had candy for breakfast but it was a gift!
    • 3840 posts
    December 28, 2017 9:47 AM PST
    good plans

    similar goals

    find more work to help pay bills and pay down debt.
    hopefully no new debt

    use up items in the house for hobbies
    complete painting and other home renos
    • 2275 posts
    December 28, 2017 11:06 AM PST
    My financial goals are to:
    Keep spending low
    Save as much as possible
    Keep putting 75 a month each towards the grandbabies college funds
    Put money in our savings account to pay for a travel trailer.
    Keep the credit cards paid off
    • 1491 posts
    December 28, 2017 11:55 AM PST
    Our plans are the same (continue paying down the mortgage, our only debt). In addition we need to start making some financial moves as we prepare for retirement because we have a lot of money in tax deferred accounts. Jill
    • 1402 posts
    January 1, 2018 6:26 PM PST
    It will be very much the same as everyone here. With medical/dental being a lot of $, I'll need to save for those. My list includes:

    1) I bought ETF shares for passive income.
    2) I will buy some stock and if it does well, cash it out to buy tires for my car next year.
    3) Keep food costs to a minimum and use swagbucks for target gift cards for food.
    4) Get free bagels every month or so from the shop.
    5) Keep trying to pay extra on mortgage and DS1 school loan every month.
    6)Keep trying to sell items on ebay.
    7)Try to get/find more work if MD allows it. If not. I'll do it anyway.
    • 1125 posts
    January 2, 2018 8:06 AM PST
    I got started on my budget stuff already. I found a vintage "bills and things" folder with 13 pockets at a thrift store. It had been 5$ but the "blue tags" (which it was) were 50cents the day I found it so I got it. It's cheaper and more fun than a regular folder. I made a budget sheet for January and stuck it in the first folder section. Didn't spend on the 1st and will pay off my online credit card bill today.
    • 2257 posts
    January 12, 2018 3:22 AM PST
    One financial month of 2018 down, eleven more to go. The last half of January’s bills were paid electronically this morning. My semi-annual auto insurance premium was a special expense this month. Just groceries, gas and small incidental items (hopefully) for the remainder of January. I am trying to be more intentional about all spending this year with a special emphasis on the “little” things.
    • 2257 posts
    February 1, 2018 7:49 AM PST
    Moving on to the financial matters of the second month of the year. The budget is completed and all bills due February 1-15 were sent out electronically this morning. I had to cut back in some areas to cover the huge electric bill for this month, but so goes life. We all do what we have to do and make the best of what we have. Hoping your month is getting off to a good start.
    • 3840 posts
    February 6, 2018 10:17 AM PST
    nothing too exciting paying the bills and the surprises. need to catch up on things too.
    • 2257 posts
    February 15, 2018 9:56 AM PST
    All bills for the second half of February were paid electronically this morning. On the not so bright side, there will be very little to add to savings this month. Moving on... Now it is time to begin planning for March. Thank goodness there are no “special” payments due in the month of March, and I am hopeful the electric bill will get back to normal. Just the regular groceries, gas, and small miscellaneous expenses for the remainder of February, I hope. Fingers crossed!

    This post was edited by Luckee08 at February 15, 2018 9:57 AM PST
    • 1402 posts
    February 16, 2018 12:33 AM PST
    Been working more to have some savings ... I hope to have some this month.

    I decided I am NOT visiting the doctor every month to pay a $40 copay and then bloodwork on top. It's getting to be excessive with how they want me there all the time. They must love my insurance. I do not.

    I will check the end of the month's savings and see what can go towards principal of mortgage. I haven't been putting extra towards it due to medical expenses.
    • 2257 posts
    March 1, 2018 11:24 AM PST
    How can it already be the third month of this year? It seems we just got started with the new year. Any how, it’s time to get bills paid for the first half of March so they were transmitted electronically by my bank’s bill pay service this morning. I am beginning to feel a little bit of financial anxiety for some reason. Normally when I feel this way, something major is about to go wrong that will cost extra $$$. I hope and pray not, but we will see. No special bills this month (PTL), but taxes come up in April. They are still undone at this point, but I need to get by butt in gear and get it done. I won’t file before April 15, however, because I always have to pay. No fun!
    • 2257 posts
    March 15, 2018 8:24 AM PDT
    The month of March is being checked off financially for the most part today. I paid the last half of this month’s bills electronically this morning and feel thankful to have that done. After my Sam’s Club and Lowe’s shops today, the only other expenditures for the remaining two weeks in month should be small incidentals, gas and groceries. Hopefully things go as planned, but who knows. How is your month progressing financially?
    • 3840 posts
    March 18, 2018 12:40 PM PDT
    yep in process to move cc debt too cheaper options. hopefully no more surprises.. got the usual bills which all have gone up due to increases. now gas is going up over 6 bucks a gallon. so really just trying to make payments and hit the sales as much as possible plus free or low cost fun for spring break.
    • 2275 posts
    March 21, 2018 4:08 PM PDT
    I just paid off the credit cards and boy did it feel good. I also made our first trailer payment. I am keeping the spending as low as possible.
    • 2257 posts
    March 29, 2018 6:39 AM PDT
    The April budget has been finalized and all bills for the first half of the month were sent out electronically this morning. Funds were set aside for the tax payment to be sent on or before April 17. Ugh! I will be playing catch-up with the monthly amount I was supposed to set aside to cover non-recurring bills that come due quarterly, bi-annually, or annually. I got behind with that the last couple of months, unfortunately, and have to get back on track. Keeping up the financial fight!
    • 3840 posts
    March 31, 2018 9:50 AM PDT
    that is great lifeofriley. paying the usual bills and working with the bank to get line of credit limit up to move cc debt there where interest is so cheap,
    • 2257 posts
    April 13, 2018 9:31 AM PDT
    Bills that are due the last half of April were sent electronically this morning. Happy to have the financial necessities for this month done, including the dreaded tax payment. I went ahead and sent that in a few days ahead of the April 17th deadline. Just gas, groceries and small items that may come up for the remaining two weeks and couple of days left in April (I hope). The months are really zipping by, and we will be at the half-way mark for 2018 before we know it. Time to begin working on the May budget.
    • 2257 posts
    May 1, 2018 7:54 AM PDT
    So begins month #5 of 2018. Where is the this year going? My budget for May has been completed, and I paid all the bills due between May 1 and May 15 electronically this morning. PTL my electric bill has dropped dramatically. So thankful. Hoping, and fingers crossed, for no “unexpected” expenses this month. Praying that any surplus funds can be put towards the car note. Keeping things moving!
    • 2257 posts
    May 15, 2018 6:50 AM PDT
    Hello to everyone reading. Won’t you join this thread and post your financial activities? The thread continues to get views, so it would be great if you would join me in posting. Honestly, posting here really does help me to keep being accountable to myself financially. In the past, I tended to spend lots of money unnecessarily on things that I wanted, but did not need. These unnecessary purchases were often put on credit cards. Not good! Being a part of this community has put me on a more positive path to try and make more intentional decisions about my finances and try to get rid of debt. I am still a work in progress in some respects, but so much better than before. So far, so good about not creating new debt and seriously trying to pay off what I owe. I sent out the rest of May’s expenses electronically this morning, and it’s great to have this month done except for a few budgeted necessities. I have begun getting ready for the June budget by jotting down what I anticipate will be coming up. I will transfer everything to the budget binder as the remainder of the month’s statements come in. I hope everyone is having a good financial month.
    • 1451 posts
    May 15, 2018 9:16 AM PDT
    Medical and some plans are off. Good insurance but still.

    Lucklee, that need or want list is a killing me. I have lost some weight and my summer clothing is big on me. Still wearable but I want to spend spend spend on new. Holding off for now.
    • 3840 posts
    May 15, 2018 9:46 AM PDT
    well we just plug away paying bills. redid line of credit for lower interest and move debt on it. not a frugal time of year with kids activities. and we need to get some home repairs done.
    • 2257 posts
    May 16, 2018 5:54 AM PDT
    map578 and marthamfi, thanks for posting. map, I can relate about wanting to spend on summer clothing, I want to update and refresh my wardrobe, too, but I put the brakes on that thought. May save and take in some sales near the end of the season.
    • 932 posts
    May 16, 2018 6:31 AM PDT
    I usually don't post on this because things have gone from bad to worse and it is quite overwhelming at times. The other person in the house is going through his "I am getting older and I want to do this before..... fill in the blank." I understand his feelings but.... Anyway, on the positive side have withdrawn from the essential oils program and will just send money directly to the missionary in question - when we have the funds. They are kind people and understand. Also stopped an automatic monthly deduction for another charity for the time being.

    We had made ministry trip nonrefundable reservations earlier in the year so are trying to find ways to keep costs down. I don't expect Mother's Day gifts from the kids but said if they insisted I would rather have grocery store gift cards instead of flowers or the like.

    Day to day trying to stretch anywhere and everywhere possible even if it doesn't seem like much.