Financial Goals Updated

As I mentioned in a previous post, Derek and I have made some financial goals for our family this year. One of the ways I was going to directly help was keeping an eye on the food budget.

January’s goal was to spend $125 less on groceries/eating out a month (compared to 2010 monthly average).

Before I give you the results, here are a few “happennings” concerning eating during the month:

Derek’s birthday dinner, cookie cake for $24.95 (yes, I could have made one, no it would not have been as good), ladies night out for me, kids eat free night at BBQ place, Ben & Jerry’s dessert trip, Double Dip trip for dessert, coffee and breakfast for a friend, several meatless nights, bought diapers and wipes (yes, that’s included in this budget for us), several impromptu visits to CVS for gatorade due to the flu, and we ate out on several occasions.

So…how did we do……..(drum roll here people, work with me)

January 2011 food groceries / eating out budget was $328.35 less than our 2010 monthly average! Yeah for us!

What was the key to our success you might ask? Well, let me tell you. I ignored looks from my husband when I knew he wanted to go out to eat. No, seriously, I think it was our meal planning and cooking some meals ahead of time. It’s always easy to go out to eat when nothing is prepared at home. But if there is a casserole already sitting in the fridge, we’re more likely to go home and eat it.

I used this little form to keep track of all the food purchases. The form actually has 2 months on it. I cut off the top section to keep in my wallet for January and will use the bottom section for February.

It helped me keep a constant watch on what we were spending.

Here’s a peek at our January form filled out.

Thank goodness my birthday is today, February 1st. Just in time for our food budget to be huge. We are going to eat like kings tonight. Who cares if we have beans and toast the rest of the month. OK, maybe not but it’s fun to dream.

Now onto our February goals.

1) February’s goal is to spend $175 less on groceries/eating out a month (compared to 2010 monthly average).

Yes, we were very successful in January, but anything can happen and I’d still like to consider $175 a big achievement in the end.

2) February house goal: anything we buy for the house (decorations or furniture) has to come from money we earned by selling items on craigslist or ebay.

We have several items in our house which I’ve wanted to get rid of and replace for a long time. Sometimes it’s hard to justify getting a new lamp when the one you have works just fine. This goal could be a total disaster but I think it’s worth a shot. Don’t worry, I bought a gallon of paint last weekend so we would at least have a project to work on while we figure out this whole craigslist game.

So that’s what’s new with us in the goals department.

How are you doing with your 2011 goals?

7 thoughts on “Financial Goals Updated

  1. Wow – GREAT JOB! Not only is eating out less good for the budget, it’s good for your health! Well done. One of the things I’ve done lately is skipped the family pack of boneless chicken breasts ($30) for a family pack of leg quarters ($6) or drumsticks. Even boneless/skinless thighs are way cheaper. Chicken is CRAZY expensive here. Besides, there bone-in chicken typically lends a lot more flavor to a dish.

    By the way, it’s -24 F here this morning, with a windchill of -40, at which point the F and C scales are equal. :o) Brrrrrrrrrr…

    And a VERY Happy Birthday to you, Dear Friend!! xoxoxo

  2. WOW!! This is amazing! A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!! Going out to eat blows the budget every time. I never thought to note the savings instead of the spending–so smart and much more positive!! I love to go out to eat so this really speaks to me!!

  3. I almost forgot–Happy Birthday!! I hope it’s a great day for you!

    (BTW – My birthday was last week and the only thing I wanted was to go out to eat. I’m simple and consistent, right? I didn’t have to feel guilty about going out, though!)

  4. Way to go Jen!! That is some seriously saving. Good luck with Goal #2, it sounds pretty fun. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  5. Happy Birthday!! I actually love idea #2- I wonder if I could actually do that. I was doing good at selling stuff on ebay for awhile.

  6. Happy Birthday Jen!! Enjoy your well deserved birthday dinner…you’ve worked hard for it;o)

  7. Well unfortunately we are going to have to put going out to eat off since we have been frozen in by the snowpocalypse. It’s no 2 feet of snow that’s projected for Chicago and places north we had a good dose of freezing rain and the temperature has been below freezing all day.

    The kids were off school yesterday and they’ve already cancelled classes for tomorrow.

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