Wednesday, September 10, 2014
That pesky planning for 2015 finances and goals
Forging ahead I grabbed an extra cup of coffee and went to the library to put in my time sorting, pricing and packing donated books and media items for our next Friends of the Library sale and am happy to note that the one over Labor Day weekend made $5475+ which was a good take. The donations keep coming like a flood though so we are on to preparing for the next one. Then I went out to lunch with a friend as I still needed to go to the grocery store and drugstore on that side of town. Right now I am debating the wisdom of a nap vs. more coffee. Even the dog has decided on an early nap as I messed up her sleep schedule too.
Yesterday I started thinking about next year's finances and family goals. I am trying to cut back in some areas so we can save even more and still travel as much as we want and need to. So far I have eliminated life insurance for me due to my inheritance and not bringing in any income that needs replacing. We will keep hubby's as he is working through 2017 and since he hasn't started receiving his pension the amount I would get as a widow would be smaller than the survivor's share once he is.
I also really looked at my clothing situation and came up with a very short list of things I actually NEED - waterproof walking shoes for winter, replacement running shoes and sandals in the spring and some underwear. I am going to take a sewing with knits Craftsy course so I will be making some items as an interesting challenge and hobby for myself. If I actually limit my shopping to that my clothing budget will be low. Hubby needs to replace much of his wardrobe as he has lost weight he didn't need or want to lose due to a chronic illness and has reconciled to not being able to put it back on in the foreseeable future. He gets the bulk of the clothing budget.
We have to decide what to do about the need for a retaining wall in a hidden area of our yard. I am leaning towards shoring up what is there rather than spending a lot on a new one. I want to spend money on travel - at least 2 visits each to N and S California to see our kids and other family, one trip to NH to see family and a vacation trip to Santa Fe or NYC. Hubby will probably go see his Dad at least 2 additional times so it adds up quickly.
However, I am confident that our gift budget will be much smaller as we have no planned large gifts to family. No planned technology upgrades, no planned home improvements or large repairs and no planned new large health care expenses for us or the dog. There are always unplanned ones though aren't there? So right now our bottom line for next year looks good and planning is all I can do.
Although I won't know what increases we have in health, car and home insurance costs, property taxes, cable fees, etc. until later, I do know they will all go up. Starting to think about where to spend vs. where to save may also help out this last quarter of 2014.
Have you started thinking about your budget or plans for next year? How do you approach it?