Tag: working full time

3 Financial Focuses for 4th Quarter of 2017

3 Financial Focuses for 4th Quarter of 2017

September 7, 2017

Hey Everyone,

It’s coming upon the last quarter of 2017 so this is the time of the year we need to be more financially focused to end the year strong and start 2018 even more financially stable.

Here are 3 financial goals that my husband and I are focusing in the 4th quarter of 2017:

  1. Financial Diligence
    1. What I mean by financial diligence is sticking to the budget. I found a great free budgeting document that allows me to use Excel, and see any adjusted amounts. At first, it was a little time consuming to re-name everything because I did it individually for each page and then, my husband seeing my frustration was like, “What the f**** are you doing? You can just copy and paste the name into the cell you want because those don’t have any formulas.” He then proceeded to take over and finished what I had been slaving over for an hour in 2 minutes. I still say I did most of the work, it still got done.
    2. With all the extra money I will be working during the Federal Open Enrollment (FOE) we cannot just spend the money earned unwisely. We need to be focusing specifically putting that extra money on paying rent ahead. The goal is to pay 4 months of rent ahead in 2018 (January- April), so that during January- April when we get the GI Bill and Tax return we can put it towards the rest of the 2018 rent. That may sound confusing, but my husband is losing his GI Bill in May of 2018, so it will no longer be paying for housing or the last semester of his schooling. We really need to be financially diligent so that when we lose 1/3 of our income it won’t be as much of a blow because we have that covered. Wish us luck on that we will need it for sure.
  2. Work, Work, Work
    1. October 15- December 7 is OEP. That is the time of the year that my job hours jump from 40 hours a week up to about 100 hours. That is some hard earned money for sure. The great thing about my job is that we DO NOT HAVE to take any extra over time (OT) that we don’t want to take, outside of the 6-10 hours mandatory. We even have the freedom to spread out the OT to whenever we want to take it. That is fantastic because I still have my training scheduled on my calendar that is not to be missed.
    2. I am actually limiting myself to about 70.5 hours a week so that I don’t get burned out, can spend some time with my family, and still make some very good money. By the end, I will be totally exhausted and want to sleep for a week, but there are only 2 more years (’17/’18) where I absolutely need to push myself to my limits. I probably still will push myself year after year, so that we get closer to our financial goals.
    3. My husband’s goal is to go to college and get good grades. So far he has a 4.0 GPA, part of the honor society, Dean’s list and even does some tutoring for those struggling in his classes. We really want him to finish school, so to help financially he put in his application at Wal-Mart as a part time courtesy clerk (a.k.a cart pusher) on the weekends. It shouldn’t interfere with his studies. That will help us financially put aside some money for 2018.
  3. Forward Dreaming
    1. We cannot be planning and pushing ourselves to this extreme without some dreams of the future. During this post, it should have given you an idea of what some of our financial dreams are for the future.
      1. End of 2017- 4 months of rent paid for 2018
      2. 2018- Finish College
      3. 2019- Pay off 25,000 in debt and save 8,000 for Dopey Challenge Adventure in January 2020
      4. 2020- Pay off 35,000 in debt
      5. 2025- 30% Down payment on a house

This is going to be one turbulent adventure for sure, glad you came along for the ride.

See you on the other side!

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Managing the Time 

Hey Everyone,

Life is complicated, ever-changing, and just plain busy. Having a full 40 hour work week with ample opportunities for over time (OT) all year-long, a husband in school full-time with a schedule that changes every semester (or two times during the summer months with summer school) and group study sessions, and two young children; life is an unstable mess at any given time. To help keep the sanity and stay somewhat organized during this journey, and not miss an exercise appointment I am going to be using two main sources.

  1. Cozi Image result for cozi

This is such a great site. I cannot talk about all the different resources available enough. Just for FREE!! You got it. FREE. It is the best four letter word that I can use. Not only does it sync across multiple devices, but it can have up to 14 people/pets on one calendar.

Here are some of the additional things that it includes:

Image result for cozi color coding*Color coding- associate a color for a person, or a color for an entire family event so that when you see that color you know it’s for little Johnny.

*meal planning- breakfast, lunch, and snacks are the categories and you can set when you are having those meals. A slight drawback though is that the meals are automatically put to the household color. With that aside, all the family members would need to do is log into the site from a computer device and know what is for dinner on that night.

*recipes- if you are going to be meal planning, it helps if you can have the recipe information at your finger tips. When you make a recipe it asks you where you found the recipe. Being able to copy and paste the link into the recipe slot saves a lot of time and energy searching through Pinterest, or old cookbooks. Speaking of, you can even put in old recipes, it will take a little longer than copy and paste; if it’s important you can do it.

Image result for cozi color coding

*customizable lists- you can make as many lists as you want: chores, grocery, market, even housecleaning. If you are in the process of meal planning and you want to add the ingredients you have the option of adding to “Lists” then decide which list in particular. Easy as a couple clicks.

 

*printing options- if you are the type of person that needs it to be right in front of you in a paper format but have such “chicken scratch” that no one but you can read it, then you can still use Cozi and just print out the different pages you want to see. No matter if it is Weekly/Monthly view, grocery list, chores, menu, or even just one person’s schedule.

These are some of the best features that I have found with using Cozi. I understand that it isn’t for everyone. I could use Google calendar, and outlook calendar, but those are just so boring to me and take up too much of my time to color code, or to meal plan. If those work for you, great keep using. Nothing against them, they are just not for me.

2. Personal calendar

Image result for Creative Year Family Spiral Planner By RecollectionsAnother great resource that I use is this great big monstrosity from Michaels. An 18-month calendar that was $29.99, but because I went and bought it when Michaels was doing a 40% off sale, it was only $17+ tax. That is a steal in my opinion for how long I’m keeping it and what information I put in it so paying $1 a month to use is worth it.

Customizable- my husband does not care and does not want to know what I do during my workouts other than when I have my long runs. Also, there’s no need for him to see my blogging schedule, crafting schedule, or what I’m doing with our boys on our Saturday dates. So, I use my big planner to do more detail work that is individualized to me.

Whew! Now that I have overloaded you with all this exorbitant information and resources, just remember, use what works for you and your family. There is no one size fits all approach. These two resources make sure that my family runs a little more smoothly. A constant line of communication between my husband and myself because we are humans and cannot remember everything.

If you haven’t started or aren’t consistently using a family calendar I urge you to start one for this journey. It will be so much more challenging if you don’t start a reliable schedule.

See you on the other side.