Friday, October 15, 2010

70 Days left until Christmas

This is the first year that we have fully gotten behind the idea of having a debt-free Christmas. We really tried last year, but with some unexpected and costly vehicle repairs that were needed, we had to borrow money from family to make it through the holidays. We didn't go overboard or anything, but without the financial help, we wouldn't have been able to have a special meal or gifts to open for the kids.

Seeing that Christmas is on December 25th every year, I knew that we needed to have a gameplan for 2010. It gave me a full 47 weeks or so to meet my savings goal of $1100 before December 1st. That translates into a measly $23.41 per week to save, or $100 per month (for only 11 months). That shouldn't be too hard, should it? Even for someone with a highly variable income like myself, it seems more than reasonable.

Fast forward to May 2010. We'll feeling the pinch of my business not yet having secured our largest yearly contract. In years past, it would have not only been secured at this point in the year, but it would have already been paid. June goes by. July shows up. The contract has been secured for another two years, but payment has yet to arrive. Serious worry starts to set in, as we are having trouble paying bills. We are behind in everything. Christmas savings? How can we save for Christmas when we don't even know if we can continue to live in our apartment. We are very, very close to the edge. AGAIN.

Second week of July, the contract is finally paid. After getting caught up with bills, and making sure we have rent money for a year and tax liabilities set aside, we started working on our goals. From July to present, we have put aside $685.59, including the meagre interest that was paid into the account.

Over the next 8 weeks (although I'm really aiming for 3), I need to put another $414.51 into the account to meet this goal. I already aim to put 10% of earned income into planned spending categories, so this certainly helps. I must keep my focus!

My post it note on the computer desk reminds me daily that I have tasks to complete by month's end. This helps me keep focus. What methods do you use to stay focused on monthly goals?

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