Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Looking Toward 2011

I've crunched some numbers and came up with a game plan for 2011. I want to share part of it here with you. these will likely be our financial goals for the upcoming year. Things I have left out are our regular monthly expenses that include rent, groceries, cable, phone, internet, auto fuel & oil.

This is a wroking list, so if you think I've left something out other than what I've already mentioned above, please leave a comment for me. thanks.

2011 Financial Gameplan:

1. Put $6600 into EEE account. This would be about 3 months worth of expenses.
2. Deposit $3600 in my RRSP.
3. Have $1000 in chequing account as a buffer. This should eliminate bank fees.
4. Deposit $1200 into RESP.
5. Summer and winter vacation; $4000 total needed.
6. Christmas Account, $1500 to be saved.
7. Debt 1: $6900 to be paid off in full.
8. Debt 2: $5330 to be paid in full.
9. Debt 3: $4700 to be paid in full.
10. Debt 4: $3500 to be paid in full.
11. Auto repair account: $1200 to be saved.
12. Auto insurances: $4100 to be saved (2 vehicles).
13. Business Insurance: $900 to be saved.
14. Charitable giving: $250 given for the year.
15. 2010 Income Tax owing: $4500 (approximate)

There are other debts that we will still be dealing with but will not be able to pay off during 2011, so I've not included them. We will however, continue to make payments on them throughout the year.

What have I learned this year?

That with careful planning, we can have the life that we want, as long as we are prepared to give up other things for it. I've learned that having money set aside for lean months is crucial to our financial situation. It's similar to using credit, without the interest rates, and it's our own money!

I've learned that teaching our kids the basics of sound financial planning is important. They won't get that kind of an education from anyone else at this point in their lives. I want them to know this BEFORE they ever get into credit card debt.

I've learned that we could be doing more to beat down our debt monster.

I've learned that when stuff happens, we can go with the flow, as our savings keep me from worrying too much. I know we can weather the storm.

I've learned the importance of having illness & disability insurance on myself. Being self-employed, having this insurance gives me peace of mind that things will be okay if I ever got injured or sick.

Ok readers, give me your thoughts. Am I missing anything crucial in our gameplan? I know planning to payoff $20,430 of debt may seem like a lofty goal, but I know we can (and will) do it. Even with putting aside $12,400 into various savings pots and $11,700 into planned spending, and giving away $250 to charity. Add those numbers together, and we have a working total of $44,780. With a combined gross income of approximately $70,000, this should all be doable. I think.

I hope.
I hope, therefore, I plan.


  1. I'm really impressed with what you plan to accomplish financially this coming year. There are a few things I have questions about though...

    Have you accounted for new clothing, outerwear, footwear for the family, school expenses for any kids still in school, extracurricular activities, entertainment and family outings other than your summer and winter vacations, medical expenses for flu and colds (cough syrup and tylenol can be costly) and other miscellaneous expenses like going out for dinner, ordering prints of all the pictures you take, any household upgrades, saving for a new car purchase (even if it is years away)?

    If you have a gross $70,000 combined income - that equates to a net income of around $50,000. If $44,000 is alotted to savings (and other expenses as listed above) and debt repayment, will the remaining $6000 cover your rent/groceries/utilities/gas/oil for the year?

    Am I missing something? Is there additional income that you haven't included here?

    I love that you put together a financial plan. I made one up too, though my 2011 savings goals are not nearly as big as yours. :)

  2. Hey MM, thanks for chiming in.
    I'll try to answer the best that I can for the questions you have.
    First of all, there is additional income I haven't included, only because it is not guaranteed income. But it will likely be in the neighborhood of about $10,000. I also don't include Child Tax credit, or any of the government bribes, er, rebates that they give out over the year.
    Clothing, outwear and footwear is miraculously small for us, as we buy only at a thrift shop where we get a 50% discount. Most school expenses (like hot lunch days) come out of daughter's allowance.Hubby is only one with a activity that costs money outside of the home, but is included in his free spending money. Tylenol and cough syrup get included into the grocery category. U've probably only spent about $5.00 in the last 2 years on printing pics. No household upgrades as we rent. new vehicle savings is on hold until debt is reduced. The only thing that really strikes me that I should have thought about is dining out, because we do like to do that. A lot.
    the $6000 doesn't cover rent, groceries, gas etc. because that money is set aside seperately when the big contract comes in.
    But you're right, I likely don't have my numbers as well thought out as I would like to have them. I guess I'll be reworking the plan again. thanks.

  3. The budget is ALWAYS a work in progress - even when you're right in the middle of it!

    The challenge is in realizing you need a plan and then creating one - which you've done, and even if it needs tweaking a bit, it's still a good start.

    Good for you for having money set aside from big contracts to cover your monthly basics like rent and food. I didn't realize that. Knowing that, I think your budget plan is pretty cool.

    I wish our clothing/footwear budget was small! With 3 young children who think nothing of sprouting 2 cm in a month, I think this will continue to be a challenge over here for years to come. I shop thrift shops too, but not for everything. I've had a few bad purchases at thrift shops so right now I'm a bit leary of buying from there. After thinking I was getting a great deal on new clothes for one of my kids, it turned out that 2 of the items I bought were not wearable due to waist snaps that wouldn't stay snapped closed... and I'm not crafty enough to figure out how to fix such wardrobe problems... So I wasted $15 that day. That's never a good feeling!!!