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2010 will be expensive, plus some goals for the year

January 5th, 2010 at 07:42 pm

Hubby and I have been talking, and it seems like 2010 is shaping up to be an expensive year.

We need to buy a new car. We have a crappy 1998 Chrysler we inherited from my dad.(We call it dad's last laugh). The repairs are getting bigger and more frequent, and it's to the point that I feel nervous driving my children around in it because it's only a matter of time before it just quits.

We have a few options for buying a car. We could use our tax refund (usually 10k) plus pay the rest out of savings. (If the car lasts until we get the refund...). We could pay 10k out of savings and finance the rest. We need to really talk about it, what kind of car we want, what to test drive, and how to pay for it. I think we will do new, because we drive cars until they die, so it'd be nice to start with something solid. We also want a hybrid, an electric car, or a Fit, and they are harder to find used.

We need a new cooktop. Two of the four burners on our original 1957 cooktop no longer work and making dinner is now becoming difficult, slow and frustrating. We have talked about new countertops as well, as we have the original 1957 counters and they are not in good shape. They are significantly damaged in several spots and stained all over. Replacing them was on our to-do list when we bought the house. And, what better time than when you have to install a new cooktop anyway? For a cooktop, converting from electric to gas, and for quartz (read:indestructible) countertops, we figure the kitchen will cost us a total of $5k max.

We need to add insulation to the attic, at a bare minimum. I do want to look at having insulation blown in to the exterior walls as well. I haven't researched this as far as cost or if it's a good idea. This would help us meet our green goals and help us save money on heating and cooling.

So that's big stuff. Other than the car, I want to pay for everything out of cashflow, not savings.

As far as my financial goals for 2010:
I don't have the total numbers calculated, but my goals is to put $10,000 in savings, fund the 529s to the tune of $4,000, plus at least $4,000 more into the extra college savings account. I'd also like to put $3,000 to $5,000 into my IRA, and keep adding to the new car fund.

I am on my way to meeting my goal of getting a base level of freelance income, thanks to the gig I just got at my former job. That'll be about $8000 this year if it all works out.

In addition to earning more, I'd like to work on the spending side of our balance sheet, and spend less. We've managed to save in the past without serious cutting, but I think we can do so much better, and probably without any tangible decline in our quality of life. So, if it doesn't feed us, house us or make us happier, it's out.

As far as my personal goals... Number one on the list is to be ORGANIZED and ELIMINATE CLUTTER.

Despite what seem like constant trips to the goodwill drop off, we still have way too much stuff. With two kids under 2, I just don't have time to clean and clear constantly. My solution? Get rid of all but the necessary items so there's less to clean!! We are going to try to go minimalist this year, and add some storage WITH DOORS, so things look clean even when they aren't, and get rid of anything we don't love or that isn't useful.

Number 2 for me is to be healthy and try to do 3, 30-minute workouts a week. To save money, I am just going to DVR workouts from the FitTV station. They look kind of cool.

My hope is that this will lead to 10 pounds of weight loss by the end of the year. I'm not fat, technically. I'm just 20 pound heavier than I was when I got married 8 years ago--and before I had two kids. Luckily I'm tall, so I tend to look lighter than I really am (in clothes...), but I know what I look like under those clothes, and I want that to look better!

I lost 8 pounds this year, despite just having had a baby. I have the gestational diabetes diet to thank for that (silver lining??)

So, 2010 is a tall order, but I'm feeling optimistic.

3 Responses to “2010 will be expensive, plus some goals for the year”

  1. whitestripe Says:

    good goals, kind of similar to ours too (but ours are stretched over 5 years with the new car/renovations thing). we've gotten so far as to decide on the make of car we will buy, eventually (a subaru) but not the model or year yet. we don't want to buy a brand new car, but 2-4 years old is good.

    I'd say your cooktop and benches have had a good run! 1957! holy cow!

  2. boomeyers Says:

    The cooktop reminds me of Craigslist. I wonder if you could find a free or cheap one there and just have some Home Depot stock counters installed or install them yourselves?

    They are looking to get rid of Saturns because they are shutting down that line. I think some other lines are stopping too. Maybe you could get a deal that way!

  3. thriftorama Says:

    I think we have our heart set on a Honda or a Toyota, as ours have rarely required more than an oil change to keep running. No repair bills for me!

    I am going to check out the scratch and dent places for a cooktop. But, if we find one we love at a big box store, I'll just try to wait until one of the appliance sales rolls around to get it, so at least I won't be paying full price.

    I think we are going new and being pretty picky because we are staying in this house as long as possible and we are only planning to do the kitchen once.

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