Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2011 - A Year in Preview

2010 is behind us and I have yet to talk about it.

Resolutions aren't a bad idea. A little cliche, but not a bad idea. Gyms are probably already filled with well meaning health nuts that will quit in 3 weeks and smokers have that one last cigarette.

I would love to say that this year I'm going to lose weight and get healthy, but I was already doing that last year. That's like saying, "This year, I'm going to have $1,000 in savings" when you already have $800 saved up. It's cheating.

So here's my resolution: Don't sweat the small stuff, you'll get through anything.

This year, we're hopefully going to get our finances in order. For the three years we've been married, we've been hit with financial disaster, year after year.

1st year: Sallie and I move to Myrtle Beach only to both get laid off 5 months later in the same week. We rack up a ton of debt moving back to Missouri and find that the job market has gone to hell. There are a few months where we don't have jobs, where the debt builds some more. We spend every cent we got for our wedding on paying bills. We start to recover toward the end of the year.

2nd year: As we start feeling better about our finances, Sallie gets bounced around between all sorts of shady jobs. We soon find out that companies really don't have to pay you much or play by the rules when the economy is crap. The debt stays stagnant. We aren't able to pay anything off, but even with buying a car and a scooter, we are able to keep it from building much.

3rd year: Because of some shady job Sallie had, we are in financial ruin thanks to some tax issues. After working overtime from January- March, we are able to get a house. We spend the entire tax credit on our taxes and again get to see a large amount of money disappear. Sallie soon falls ill, and we again fall deep into debt.
Even through all of that though, we've had it pretty good. We aren't rich, but well off. Most importantly, we're happy. (For the most part, everyone has a bad day) This is the year to start doing it smart. We're not going to buy stuff we don't need. We're going to kill half of our short term debt. And for every $100 worth of debt we pay, I want to put $50 into savings.

I looked at the budget, and even with the few trips we plan on taking this year, we can make it to happen with money leftover.