Re-commit and start your money goals: Keeping yourself in check, and on track

Curbing the impulse to shop is not easy.

But if you have a solid goal in mind, and are tracking expenses each day in line with the budget you’ve created from your net monthly pay, it will be easier.

Just think, every time you bring out your credit card to buy a Starbucks latte: “Could this money be going to my Paris fund instead?

And if you really want to get out of debt, but don’t know how, where or when to start… it will always be on your mind, robbing you of precious sanity and sleep.

What I noticed, when I was getting out of debt, is that when I had a plan set in place, and I knew my debt number as well as what I had to do to eliminate my debt, I slept better at night.

It really is a weight off your shoulders if you just KNOW, rather than staying in denial and getting stressed out.

I slipped a lot when I was getting out of debt, and I still make financial mistakes now.

It’s all part of the learning process. It does not make you a horrible person if you genuinely made a mistake, just as long as you pick yourself up and do better the next time.

Celebrate every triumph, and accept every little setback as part of the process, and take pleasure in the progress you are making.

It’s the only way you’ll get to the end.

The journey doesn’t really end…

Now you have the tools and the know-how to continue making smart money decisions, by completing these three money goals:

A) Save 3-6 months of Emergency Savings for just in case.

This money is not to be touched for any reason whatsoever.

It should go into a high interest savings account where you can withdraw the money quickly.

This is emergency money for your living expenses, NOT your budget amounts.

The only categories covered are: Housing & Utilities, Food, Transportation and Incidentals.

The barest of the bare minimum, because if you hit this fund, you are in money crisis mode.

B) Contribute regularly to your retirement plan

Either with your company, or a 401k or Roth IRA on your own.

You should contribute regularly, even if it’s only $50 a month. $50 a month for 25 years compounding at 6% interest can turn into $34,823!

(This calculator is called a Compounding Interest Calculator is available online and also included in my FB Budgeting Sheet, where all the proceeds for all of 2010 will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation).

If you are lost, set up and appointment and ask your company’s financial advisor or HR rep for more info, or just browse these wonderful PF blogs online.

C) Enjoy your money and debt-free status but stay alert!

Be careful about racking up any more debt in the future on your credit cards or lines of credit.

I would even go so far as to suggest you consider other money-saving measures, such as:

  • Buying secondhand clothing – it really isn’t that icky, when you think of it as “vintage”
  • Buying a car that is at least 3 years old, because it is at its cheapest by then
  • Not buying a home where the mortgage is larger than you can handle, factoring in maintenance & other costs

There are lots of other tips online on many helpful & free blogs on how to save money, such as waiting for sales, using coupons, discounts and many more.

Good luck in 2010!

This post originally appeared as a guest post on The Chic Life.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.