2010 Financial Resolutions

It’s a new year and time for some resolutions. My wife and I have decided to go all financial resolutions this year in anticipation for some major debt butt kicking. We obviously want to complete EACH of these resolutions by year end. To be honest with you, I know we can do it. If we don’t, I want each and every one of you to call me a liar at the end of the year. Honestly. Do it.

1. Pay Off the Family Loan

This family loan we have is bugging the hell out of us. We know there’s no interest and we can pay it back at our leisure but it’s just ugly (sorry, couldn’t think of any other word for it). So, we are pledging that it will be completely gone (all $16,500 of it) by the end of 2010.

2. Accumulate No Additional Debt

This is a BIG one and should be on everyones list. One of the first steps in getting out of debt is not adding to it. If you only pay the minimum payments on your debts every month, but also don’t add any additional amount, you are making headway. That’s just my humble opinion.

This one will not be hard for us to complete. However, there are a few things that we would like to still do during the year that may require some planning. For example, my wife wants to take a master’s level class in the summer. We will not be taking out student loans but we will need to sock away some cash for the occasion.

3. Still Enjoy Some Good Old Fashion Relaxation

As you are probably aware, my wife and I want to continue to enjoy some things in life. We don’t want to be couped up in the house every week watching Redbox movies and eating Mac & Cheese non-stop. So, in order to get some relaxation, we want to take a trip to the beach. Mind you, I will be scouring for some amazing deals for the trip. We won’t be just throwing money at this trip. We want to do it frugally.

Actually, we have some family in NC that want to possibly rent a beach house with us. My wife’s family may also join us and it could really help out financially.

4. Relocate From My Job or Find Something Else

Some of you may know this, but others do not. I currently work and live in a different state during the week. I absolutely hate being away from my wife. It’s also a huge financial drain on us. It costs me an additional $400 in rent per month that we could be throwing at debt. Not to mention the added gas, groceries and parking expense.

I am currently in the process of applying for a position in the same company I work for now that is closer to home. It pays about 10% more and I won’t have to pay additional rent. It would help us eliminate that family loan a lot faster!

The hire date for the new job is in March. If I do not get it, I may have to start looking elsewhere for something. It’s just too hard to maintain two separate lives during the week. Even if I have to take less pay, it may be my only option.

5. Stick to the Budget

A big goal that we have in 2010 is sticking to our budget. We are currently using Mvelopes, which allows us both to view the budget when we are apart (it’s online). It’s a cool little program that is based on the envelope system. You place your money in “virtual envelopes” to spend in different categories. It has really helped us stay focused and pay off debt. If you are looking for a budgeting program, I would advise you to at least give them a shot. There is a 30-day trial included.

There really isn’t any way for you to monitor out budget, but I will be forthcoming with you if we get sidetracked from this goal.

Happy New Year! What are you financial goals?

18 thoughts on “2010 Financial Resolutions

  1. Budgets are the New Black

    Those goals sound very doable! We, too, are on are journey out of debt. Ultimately, our goal is not only to live debt-free, but credit-free as well.
    Once upon a time we lived in the DC area… The high cost of living on the East Coast is such a financial drain — especially the commute. I would definitely agree that living and working proximity is a #1 priority. Maintaining two households?? Obviously if you can fix that, you will be amazed at the changes in your life, financially and otherwise. Good luck!
    .-= Budgets are the New Black´s lastest post ..How Much is Your Heating Bill? (And at What Temperature is Your Thermostat Set?) Pray Do Tell. =-.

    1. Adam Post author

      Yeah, living in the DC area can drain your bank account fast! Housing is almost double the price here (compared to when we lived in PA) and yet are salaries aren’t double. Go figure!

  2. Sherry

    I live just south of you in Wmsbg, VA. I appreciate the “multi-state” living & “long distance” marriage. My dh & I did it while we were dating & for the first 2 years of our marriage. The cost of running 2 households just can not be quantified….2 ketchups, 2 sets of kitchen stuff, 2 sets of utilities, etc, 2 everything. I commend you for making the effort to find something closer to home thru your current company.

    We were the “bank” for my husband’s son when he did not qualify for a mortgage…we “bought the house! It created much drama in our life as his son never paid the mortgage on time & we had to front the mortgage each month (>$2K!!). I am in no way implying you are negligent in paying the loan, etc, I’m just saying, it adds a different dimension to the family relationship. It is the elephant that is ALWAYS in the room when you are with your family. As a parent, we were happy to help, as I’m sure most parents would be, if they are able. At the same time, I don’t think anyone has ever “written” the rules for family banking…sooo, like you said, it’s just “ugly”.

    I wish the best for you & your wife. Life is hard enough; but when complicated by debt, it’s almost suffocating. I will continue to follow your journey.

    BTW. my son (not the one w/ the mortgage) lives in the DC area…he has access to alot of info in the job arena…email me if you are interested…

    1. Adam Post author

      Yeah, I hate spending additional money on things that I need up here that we currently have in MD. I am buying paper plates, plastic cups and grocery items that I wouldn’t need to if I were at home.

      The family debt sucks. We hate it so much that we didn’t even ask that family member for a Christmas gift this year. We felt that it would be wrong accepting something when we are indebted to them. Ugh, it’s just ugly!

  3. Stacy

    adam,
    i know you loathe the family loan, but here is something for you to consider. it may be wiser to tackle the car loans first. you said in the past, that the payments were about $250 each. if life happens and one of you loses a job or your wife becomes pregnant, etc. being free of those “real” obligations may be a god send. you could show the family member in writing your plan to pay off the cars and when you expect to begin repayment of their loan. at the rate your going, you could payoff both by the fall and be on your way with the family loan by end of year. just something to consider.

  4. Denise

    I respectfully disagree with Stacy. We owed a family member $1,500 for an unexpected car repair and until we paid them back we felt horrible! Plus we didn’t feel like we could do anything “Fun” while we stilled owed them money. The family member wasn’t watching us or judging us, but we decided against even a weekend getaway until it was paid back. The car loan people could care less, but family comes first…get rid of this emotional debt and then tackle the cars! Good Luck!

    1. Adam Post author

      I’m with you Denise. Although we plan on taking a very small vacation this year, it will bug us doing it knowing that we owe family money. Hopefully by the time we take the vacation, we will have paid the debt down by half and they will notice that we are committed to paying them off.

      Thanks for the comment!

      1. stacy

        adam,
        i guess i’m coming at this with a glass half empty mentality. we had a job loss in 2009 and we wouldn’t have been able to survive if we had car payments. every dime was needed to keep a roof over our heads and the lights on. i completely understand where you are coming from though with wanting the family debt gone. either way, you and your wife are doing a great job.

        1. Adam Post author

          I can see where you are coming from Stacy. We are both in very stable jobs and we feel good enough about our finances to get rid of the family loan first.

          Thanks for you thoughts!

  5. Forest

    I like these goals, very focused and well laid out.

    My goals are a little less solid due to a messy financial state that is quickly coming under control… so maybe I will put down some solid goals in feb.

    Looking forward to following along this year.
    .-= Forest´s lastest post ..Free Coffee Samples =-.

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  7. Ryan @ Planting Dollars

    Best of luck in your goals for 2010, especially moving back home so you can be closer to your wife. I had some friends who went through that same situation and they became a lot happier once they were together more. Even if you don’t get the job you mentioned in your post it might be best to take something nearby even if it pays less simply for the intangible benefits.
    .-= Ryan @ Planting Dollars´s lastest post ..Another Day in Paradise for $5.50 =-.

    1. Adam Post author

      Yeah, if this job interview doesn’t work out, I may be delivering pizzas during the week. Hey, if it means I will be with my wife then I will do it!

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  9. WellHeeled

    Hi Adam! I’m a new reader who was introduced to your blog by Bucksome Boomer.

    Good luck on your resolutions – must be tough to be separated from your family during the week. Best of luck with the job.

  10. Suzanne in Japan

    I am in complete agreement with you about the family debt. When my husband died unexpectedly some years ago, it was an instant reversal of fortune, which left me resorting to what I thought I would never do– borrowing about $5,000 from a family member. Because my husband did not live through the entire month (died on Nov 28th) I had to return his social security disability and retired Army checks. The Army gave his final check to his exwife (he forgot to change the beneficiary). He would have died again had he been aware of this. But that’s how life is sometimes. The unexpected causes us to do the unanticipated. Needless to say, I dug out of that mess as fast as a grieving widow could and I paid it off the first chance I got. Some 15 years later, I still tell that person my appreciation for helping me during my time of need and you know I’m right there to support their kids in anyway I can. So don’t worry about hard feelings now, just look to the future when you can remind them of the time they made a difference in your life. It will put a smile on their face. People give for a reason– it makes them feel good to help and they just want to feel appreciated. So just think of all the kind words you’ll lavish on them one day when it is finally paid and you’re on your feet again. They’ll feel a bit of pride for helping out — surely that and the repayment will be enough.

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