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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Aligning Goals with Reality

Well we are two months into the New Year. Still early, yet 1/6th done. Trends are appearing. The rush and promise of the New Year feels quaint, while new visions of tax rebate check...sorry stimulus checks, dance in your heads. The big question is how is it going? Especially Budget and Goal-wise.

I firmly believe a good plan executed is far superior to an excellent plan in a drawer, but even better is the adequate plan that fully recognizes that the battle plan needs to be fluid. I like to do a look every two months at my goals to see if they are still on track, are achievable and even make sense given whatever has gone on.

This is so important for your finacial goals and budgets. Did you really think you would spend $14 a month on eating out when you had been spending $100? And now you are spending $125, because you also cut the grocery money in half!

So time to breakout the old checkbook and write yourself a check...a reality check. Grab two months worth of data, one month is too short due to ninja bills that can creep up, and do a line by line check of the budget. Check reality vs actual, then rebalance. Once that is done take a whack at your annual goals. Does the reality check mean your a bit behind, if you can catch up do, if not reset! Perhaps you are that rare bird that under-estimated where you would be right now. Sorry no points for lay-ups...push it out!

The idea is to have goals the stretch you but don't break you! Celebrate your wins analyze your losses to see where next time you can improve. Do this and you will be amazed at what you can do!

How are has your first 1/6th gone? Need to readjust?


Seeking Financial Camelot said...

Reality bites sometimes, doesn't it? So far my first 1/6 hasn't been going too bad actually. It will be the summer months I will need to be really on top of my game.

I developed an electronic envelope system I am hoping will work. Hiding money in quicken ghost accounts. I will move to savings in ING if I accumulate anything worth moving that way, but this keeps my entertainment, personal care and household money in the checking account which creates a buffer to prevent overdraft AND allows me to get the cash if we want to go have a lil fun.

Im really afraid that when it gets warm my husbands handiness around the house will blow the budget if I do not plan in advance. My plan is to have a ghost account with as much saved as the credit line on his HomeDepot card. Whaddya think?

RacerX said...

Welcome Camelot! - I like the Electronic Envelop idea! Great implementation of Quicken. We are an analog Envelope family and it has saved us big $ so far. Probably $1000 in Groceries alone.

Why not just kill the HD card? that way you won't overspend. Pay cash for each project, allocate x amount per month, then thats it.

Thanks for visiting!

Sharon said...

I am now going to set goals each month, instead of for the whole year. It will be easier for me to be accountable. I like your every two month plan to check up on things. And it's so true to not cut too deeply. As in a diet, if you starve yourself, you are bound to binge...

RacerX said...

Good for you Sharon...you are really doing well! Keep up the great work and thanks for visiting!

Fiscal Musings said...

I've got a pretty simple plan and I'm on track. I put more cash in an investment than I originally thought I would, but it happens.

RacerX said...

That's great Fiscal You are doing very well congrats!

Thanks for visiting!

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