Mar 31 2008

End-of-March update and goals for April


April showersAt the beginning of March, my husband and I laid out a few goals for the month. Here’s a recap, and how it went for us:

Use credit cards for gas only. We ended up not using our credit cards at all, and put gas on our debit cards instead, since there was no “hold” on our cards. This is the first time we haven’t used our credit cards um…probably since we first got them a few years ago. I do think we spent less than normally, and I don’t plan to use our credit cards again for the foreseeable future.

Determine how much money we will truly need in our emergency fund. We originally thought it would be about $10,800 for six months worth of expenses, and for now, that’s still going to be the goal number. Of course, we’ll have to revisit that number from time to time, as our rent,car things, and insurance expenses change.

Using our ING account more. We haven’t made the switch to using it as our primary bank, and I’m not sure if we’re going to do that now. Our emergency fund is there, but we’re still using our brick and mortar bank to pay most bills and for our checking account. (By the way, if you’re interested in opening an ING account, please let me know! When your first deposit is $250, you get $25 and I get $10).

We were saving for a new laptop, but now we won’t need to. Shane fixed it quite cheaply, hooray!

I’m pleased with our progress for March. We put $861into our emergency fund. Also, we had accumulated $342 in snowflakes in March.

Goals for April

  • Find new sources of snowflakes, and try to accumulate at least $250 in extra money to put toward savings
  • Put at least $1,000 into emergency savings this month
  • Don’t use credit cards at all

That’s all I can think of for now. Three cheers for the almost-arrival of April!

(Photo credit: John Doyle, who submitted this photo to the BBC)

Mar 29 2008

‘When the funds are low, and the debts are high’: A lovely poem


I was a cross-country and track runner in high school, and I memorized an inspirational poem called "Don’t Quit."

On those endless runs in the middle of nowhere, I would recite it over and over in my head.

When it was 95 degrees and there was not a breeze to be found along that corn-lined road in rural Indiana, that poem kept my thoughts cool.

When it was 4 degrees and 7 a.m. and I was competing in my first 5k, the poem kept me moving.

I’m not a runner anymore, but I was thinking about the poem again recently, and thought it might inspire those of us who are paying off debt or saving money.

Here’s a link to a sweet video version of the poem, and I’ve pasted the full text below. Hope you like it!

Don’t Quit — Author unknown

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit!

Life is queer with its twists and its turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When they might have won, had they stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victors cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit!

(Photo credit: Jacob Garcia)

Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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