Patrick at Cash Money Life is concurrently starting a new carnival (the Carnival of Financial Goals) and running a giveaway for a new iPod by asking What Is Your Financial Resolution for 2008? Funnily enough, that’s something I was already formulating a post about (and honestly, you’ll see quite a few “goal” oriented posts here in the not too distant future, since I am starting to feel like real progress is being made and can continue to be made with some planning and goal setting) so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and put my thoughts into words. iPods are pretty. And y’all know how much I love carnivals.
The #1 Financial Goal for our family in 2008 is NO MORE CREDIT CARD DEBT. Specifically, my goal is to eliminate the credit card debt by August 2008 so that I will not be charged any more interest on it whatsoever (the 0% interest offer it is under expires in September 2008). So I have 8 months in which to accomplish this goal. But how?
My credit card debt stands right now at $3144.20. August is 9 months away, so splitting that up, I need to pay at least $349.36 (we’ll round that up to $350 for simplicity) per month every month. $200 of that is budgeted in our monthly budget already as my “fixed” minimum payment, so it is the other $150 I need to concern myself with. My goal is to dedicate every bit of alternative income I earn, from selling things, taking surveys, and blog advertising, as well as any other source I can come up with, to reducing this credit card debt. Between those sources, I have in the past few months earned over the $150 threshold. The challenge will be to be able to dedicate all of that money in the next 9 months to debt reduction since I recently lost my contract position that was contributing to our overall budget. So to accomplish my goal, I will have to either increase the alternative income goal per month by another ~$200 at least, or find another contract-type position. I am actively pursuing another contracting option and hope to have positive news on that front soon. I would like to keep all other alternative income focused on debt reduction if possible.
I do think this goal is very acheiveable and realistic. In the past 6 months, since I started this blog, we have eliminated almost an equal amount of credit card debt to what we have left – about $3000. Since that time, advertising on the blog has started to bring in some more revenue which is counteracting the loss of the contracting position for now, and if we can keep up the pace we have set in the past, we stand to eliminate the credit card debt well before our self-imposed deadline. We have kept on track and stuck to our plan and there is no reason to believe we will not be able to continue to do so. We also have an emergency fund of $1000 in place to help if we suffer a minor setback.
So, I feel our goal is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and has a definite timeline. I’ll be posting updates on our goal as part of the general Tell All Tuesday posts as well as some serious mini-celebrating when we cross each $1000 threshold (which hopefully we will do very very soon!)