With my birthday month coming to a close, I've been fortunate to read a number of books lately. Many dealt with China, so my compassion for the poor and homeless has been upped. I plan to bring breakfasts to the two ladies outside my church job each Sunday morning. I am ashamed to say I've never given them a cent. Starting Sunday, I will at least look them in the eye, offer them something yummy, and acknowledge them as the human beings they are. Perhaps I will learn their stories. Perhaps I can help them somehow.
I can't wait for Feb.6, when the Whole Foods Kitchen workshop begins. 3 months of inspired cooking! Can't wait.
And, we are finally jumping on board the Budget Bandwagon. We've done this so many times in the past, and I hope this new reincarnation will be the one for us. It involves snow-balling and sinking funds, and ING for an online bank. I am excited and hopeful. We MUST get out of debt (mostly my school loans) to begin saving more for Retirement. We MUST.
Our first snowball is towards the Visa bill that we've been using while we struggle to pay our quarterly taxes. Beginning in February, we will allocate a monthly amount to that fund so we aren't surprised each quarter and forced to use the Visa for groceries.
Once Visa is payed off we will attack my Sallie Mae loan and then the other school loan. Starting in February, we will dedicate a small portion to an Emergency Fund. When the loans are paid off and the emergency fund has 3-6 months of expenses saved, we will begin investing more into retirement. Then we will get back on the horse for the kids' college funds. They have a decent amount in there already and we are going to put ourselves first, then funnel extra into their accounts. Finally, when all that is said and done, we are going to try and pay off the mortgage early, hopefully in 15 years instead of 30.
Big sigh of relief. It is time to do this. For real. Something about turning 39 definitely made me feel my age, for the first time. I am no longer a young mother. I need to be more responsible and look towards retirement, not be paying off the lattees I had a month ago. Bring it!