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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

That pesky planning for 2015 finances and goals

Once again my father in law took a sleeping pill and a few hours later got out of bed to use the facilities and fell. He wasn't hurt thank goodness, but had to call for assistance in getting up. So the place he lives had to notify us (on the other side of the country) and that was at 3:30am. I couldn't go back to sleep and am really shattered as the Brits would say.

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?

6 comments:

  1. Julie, I need to start that budget planning sooner rather than later as they say.

    Just curious what you use for waterprooof shoes. I can really only wear clarks and such, and have sensitivity on the tops of my feet, so I have to be cautious.

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    1. I haven't bought the shoes yet and also have tricky feet. I am planning to go to REI and try on lots of waterproof low cut walking and hiking shoes. The problem to solve is that I wear Brooks running shoes for walking in warm weather and my feet freeze and get wet in the winter. I seem right now to only be able to wear Clarks sandals, Naturalizer loafers and Brooks running shoes. It is limiting.

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  2. Coincidentally, we too are repairing a retaining wall. We decided to fix what we have, using the same stones -- much cheaper than all new, and almost as good. We are also planning a trip, but we're going local -- no airplane fares (altho' accommodations seem to get more expensive every year!)

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    1. I wish we could fix our wall the way you are fixing yours. Unfortunately although some granite blocks were used so were railroad ties. The steps were jury rigged and also need new materials. Since we only go down into the woods to spray weeds and pick up branches I am primarily worried about the railroad ties behind our shed. I imagine we will either ignore it or do a small project.

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  3. I'm already thinking about next year.....we're hoping for a good 'saving for retirement' year, but as you say you never know what's going to come up.

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    1. So true - each year brings lots of surprise expenses at least in my life even though I budget for everything that is predictable. That is what savings are for though!

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