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Big Changes ‘Round Here: 2011 Financial Goals

  December 19

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Hubs and I live a pretty simple lifestyle, but it’s about to get simpler. Good ol’ 2011 will bring some challenges, but we’ve had a lot of family meetings lately on how we’re going to deal with those challenges.

One of my biggest goals for 2011 is to build an emergency fund.  And, of course- having savings is not the same as having an emergency fund. The catch is that I am going to have some more bills next year as my student loan re-payments will begin in January, even though I’ll still be in school (due to being enrolled in only 3 credits and already using up my “grace period” when I graduated early from college).

So, how does a student who is still writing a thesis pay back loans? Simple. I just work harder. I’ve already requested more hours at my job, and I think they will be granted. I also edit personal statements for students hoping to gain entry to college/graduate school/medical school/etc. on the side. I’ve had a lot of success with this lately – congrats to all those students who snagged some competitive admissions this year. (If you, your child, or someone you know is interested in this service, simply e-mail me at [email protected])

Here are a few of the ways that I’m hoping to cut down on costs next year:

1. I posted on Craigslist to rent out my guest room. I have had zero bites (except creepy spammers) so I am not sure this will work out. Instead of renting it out for a year, I just asked for a short term 5 month lease. This will cover me until I graduate and will allow me not to be “stuck” if the roommate situation turns out badly. I just keep hoping someone will e-mail me and say “Hi! I’m Sarah! I love HGTV and pink spray paint too!” but so far I’ve only got “Hi… call me. Xoxo, Creepy Spammer.
2. Majorly scale back on groceries. We already scaled back a lot this year by going several weeks without eating out. We have slipped on this lately (we get tired of doing dishes every night!) but are back on track. I’m currently trying to focus on purchasing meals, instead of throwing things in the basket that look good….. like oreos… and gushers…. and chips…. mmmmm 

3. Clean, clean, and do some more cleaning. We still have boxes from moving in together. We have lots of stuff. I hate stuff. I already sold many of my clothes to consignment stores and on ebay this year, but there is more. It’s time to face the music. I want this house clean and by clean I mean crazy-minimalist-I-sold-most-of-my-stuff-clean. 

4. Sell tv, cut off cable. I went an entire year of grad school looking forward to dinnertime where I would sit with my microwave meal and watch a 30 minute episode of some favorite show on my computer. Now, I am spoiled with my husband’s mega-tv. It sucks up my time, and let’s face it – I have a lot of work to do. This is very contingent on my roommate, however, as I have advertised shared use of the tv as a perk of living here. 

5. And the big one, sell hubby’s car.
Why the heck are we taking these extreme measures to save some cash next year? Actually… because of some pretty spectacular news… The hubs got into a very cool MPH/MD program, and he’s going away to school. It’s time for us to switch with me working and him schooling – except there is a smidge of an overlap and some plane flights to pay for so we can still see each other.
Please keep your fingers crossed for us as we take this major step in our lives and in our marriage. We know that things are going to get pretty tight around here, but they will be worth it in the long run….
….and trust me, no amount of salary or income 10 years into the future is going to change the ways of this Budget Blonde. As you can imagine, hubs’ medical school loans will dwarf mine many times over. We’ve estimated that if we’re good and continue to live well below our means that it will take us 12-15 years to pay off that school debt when he’s all said and done. We very much envision our future in a modest home (with modest vintage/garage saled/crafted items inside) with modest cars doing exactly what we love. 
We’re crazy excited/nervous/worried about these big changes. Please join us on what’s sure to be a bumpy ride!
Images from here, here, here, and here.
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9 responses to “Big Changes ‘Round Here: 2011 Financial Goals

  1. Ohmygosh Congrats to the hubs! and These sound like some really good ideas for budgeting — I can’t wait to see/read more as time progresses! If you need grocery help — i’m your girl! I’ve actually started a series of half-finished posts on grocery budgeting and meal ideas and such… I’m really excited about them!

    Fingers are crossed! <3 You can totally do this =)

    xoXOxo
    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  2. Congrats sweetie! What program did he get into? I worked at Emory’s School of Public Health and I knew a couple of MD/MPH students. They always seemed ridiculously smart.

  3. Congrats to both of you! That’s really exciting news. =)

    If you come up with any good grocery saving tips, I’d love to hear them. I’m trying to majorly cut back on expenses as well. I have done the no tv thing, though; I didn’t bother buying a new one when I moved, and I’m contemplating a Netflix subscription, but so far doing without isn’t too bad!

  4. Reading your post really took me back in a time our lives early on. YEP we did all just about the same things. I worked while my husband went to pharmacy school. To think of what we lived off of, and ate, really those are some fond memories indeed. Yes it does take a long time to pay off student loans, but you do it eventually. Best of 2011, it really sounds exciting, and challenging, but that is the fun part!

  5. That’s amazing news!! A little sacrafice now will be well worth it in the long run!! Just think, you could one day open a big pink store filled with vintage furniture and teach your customers a thing or two about history! 😉

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