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All Work and No Goals Make for a Broke Girl

I've been reviewing several personal financial sites lately and I just realized that I don't have any goals. Sure I have goals floating around in my mind about everyday life, but what am I doing for my financial stability? How can I expect to achieve anything if I first haven't set a goal...even if it is small and short-term.

First things first...I opened my bank statement today and headed straight to the "Interest Earned" section. Well, Lordy be, I don't think I will be reaching any goals, not even the smallest inkling of a goal, with the whopping $0.14 I earned for the month of December. That incident caused the "creation" of my first financial goal...to earn more interest than the cost of a piece of peppermint on my hard earned dollars.

Goal #1 - Earn a higher interest rate ~ Accomplished ~
I opened a high yielding online checking account last night to get started. Instead of earning an APR of .21%, my new online checking account is earning 3.92% APR. There were higher yielding accounts available, but the bill pay feature is very important to me and this one seemed to be the best. This will be my first comparison test.

Goal #2 - Pay myself first (10%)
For some reason, this has got to be the hardest financial step of all. It is hard for me to understand "why am I paying myself, when I can't even pay my bills." To accomplish this, I set up an automatic payroll draft straight into my credit union. Once I get the higher yielding account situated, I will have the 10% drafted there instead of the low yielding credit union. I think it's about 1% APR. Currently, I am "paying myself" .7%. Still a long way from 10%, but I will make it. I have to get to a point where I don't miss the money from my paycheck.

Goal #3 - Snowball my credit card debt
I downloaded Dan's Super Snowball Plan and have put it in action. I haven't yet made it to the point of paying off one card and then using that amount towards another credit card. But I'm getting there.

Goal #4 - Minimize my spending
I should have listed this goal as the hardest since I don't think of money as a total amount but more like an instant visual. If I budget $100 to spend on eating out, as long as I don't spend $100 at one sitting, I think I'm doing great. But after they all add up, I have spent well over that $100, probably enough to feed a third world country for a week. Eating out is definitely my biggest weakness. One month, we spent over $800 eating out in one month surpassing my grocery spending by $500.

I know this is only a start, but that's what it takes. You got to start somewhere and I'm definitely starting small, but I'm dreaming big and eventually I will set my goals a little higher. I feel that the goals I have set are at least attainable...and eventually surpassable. (Is that a word?)


Tammy said...

I would love to earn more interest on my bank account, but alas they don't pay you interest on an over draft. LOL! Hope you're well! ~Tammy

Sheryl said...

Hey Tammy,

I was thinking the same thing!! But they do have overdraft protection at no extra charge!



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animecrunchy said...

How about making money from stock market or Forex? i would love to get opportunity in that venture. How about you?

Sheryl said...

I don't have much experience in the stock market...but don't get me wrong, I would love to get involved with that. I learned a lot from a friend. I signed up for an account with www.zecco.com. They have free trades.


TV Brackets said...

I too have done many of the things you have, but I still find myself wondering what is next.
I have less than $1000 in debt and have money invested, but where to go next is a big question for me.

john camuta said...

A good way to curb your spending is to leave your credit card at home and spend cash... that way if you budget $100 for that outing, you'd spend, only $100... not enough to feed an entire third world country for a week :)