Monday, January 2, 2012

The 10%, 10%, 10% and 70% Plan

This year I want to try something radical with my budget.  I want to make my money work for me and my family.  We have some lofty goals as you can tell by the crazy name for my blog.  Unfortunately, it is not possible to ignore smaller needs for my loftier goals.  This fact has me looking for a better plan.

In the past, I would try to put 10% in savings and give 10% to charity.  If I needed something, I could scrimp on other areas of the budget to accommodate the need or withdraw it from our Emergency Fund.  The problem with this is that everything becomes an emergency quick and the Emergency Fund gets depleted quickly.  Perhaps I need to dictate some money towards short term goals such as braces.  Hence, my new plan is hatched.

My new plan

10% - Charity/ Tithing - Non-negotiable.  This amount is actually a little higher because we also give to an organization that provides funds for people in need. 
10% Emergency Fund
10% Short Term goals (braces and vacations)
70% This is what I intend for my family to live on.

The things I will need to cut in order for this to happen.
1. Groceries - I'm currently making simple cleaning products for our home.  I will be using up what is in the freezer.
2. Gas - I will conserve as much as possible. I will try to do my shopping every two weeks and combine trips.
3. Clothing - I will try to make simple outfits for my daughter and check clearance racks for my boys' school needs.  For people wondering about this statement, my daughter will not wear most items, but she loves to pick out fabric.  I do not sew.  This has become a problem.  I am hoping to work on my sewing skills this next year.
4. Kids' Activities - This is an area that I do overspend on.  I am hoping that I can look at their suggestions and pick those activities that reach the children's goals for themselves.  On a personal note, I would like it to be close to home.  I am driving too far for the activities.
5. Eating Out - Cut this as much as possible.  We really do not eat out much.  The problem is that when we have visitors from out of town we tend to go out instead of cooking. 

To some, this budget might seem unreasonable.  I think it could work for us.  We do not have any consumer debt; we just have a business loan and home loan.  Trust me; this will be a challenge for me.  I am hoping that by setting my goals high I might come close to reaching them. 

Signing off for tonight.  I am going to put numbers to my percentages and I will give you an update next month.

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