Looking Ahead

I spent a long time last night looking at my monthly tabulation and wall chart, and I have to say, the numbers this month look very promising. Of course, everything can still go to hell in the next nine days, but for right now ACCOUNTING FOR THE UPCOMING INSURANCE, the numbers for November look very good. Not close, not iffy, not promising, very good.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been tracking my earning and spending for eleven months, soon to be a full year. But the numbers are all there in front of me to prove it. I’m excited to share my chart at the end of the year even though it doesn’t look much like the charts in YMOYL. After a couple of months, the examples in YMOYL figure out their business and their spending drops below their income. My chart still ping-pongs back and forth between high and low spending, in part because I was paying off student loans during the first half of the year… and then my income dropped but my spending didn’t drop quite enough to match it. Woops.

But things are still looking up. And with some steady income coming in and debts mostly taken care of (except for the car—which is an ongoing process) I’m ready to start looking ahead to my financial goals in 2014.

If 2013 was the year of debt, then 2014 should be called the year of saving. In the short term, I want to save money for H.’s wedding in a year’s time, so I’m hoping to sock away a couple hundred bucks a month if possible in order to pay for everything associated with the wedding (travel, dress, accommodations, etc.). Medium term, my goal is to save an eight month emergency fund. I’m aiming for about $8,000 based on my average spending over the past year. I don’t expect to save the whole amount in 2014, but who knows? If I were to get a promotion and my spending stayed at current rock-bottom lows, it might be possible. Long term (after the emergency fund), I want to increase my retirement savings. I’m currently saving 2% of each paycheck through work, and I’d like to up my own retirement savings to 10% total (and then further up from there). But for the time being, the emergency fund has to take priority.

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