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Budgeting at the Ranch

December 1, 2009

Have you started figuring out your budget and goals for 2010? Now is the time to start looking at 2009 and planning for 2010. I took a 4 part series offered by my company through MetLife called RetireWise and I am glad that I did. Although it was hard to hear some of the areas that I have ignored for too long and that I’m going to have to work hard to catch-up I at least have some goals and tools to use for planning.

If given the opportunity to take a class like this – it is well worth your time. One thing that I did learn is that your Emergency Fund is not 6 months worth of wages but 6 months of your expenses. Now I am in the process of reviewing our expenses and seeing how much we can actually put away a month to fund this emergency fund. I’ve set-up the Orange ING Savings account which has a higher than normal interest rate for this account. I will have it directly deposited into this account.

I’m a little depressed about the situation with our car and not nowing right now what we will be able to do to get her fixed. This was not a planned budgeted item and after clearing out what little emergency fund I had left to cover the truck and the tree trimming makes this even more depressing.

Lois over at Walking on Sunshine had a wonderful quote by Mother Teresa:

“I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle…
but sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much.”

I feel the same way right now – I’m just not sure I can handle much more. I’m the type of person that I worry and want to get things taken care of right away and not have to wait or depend on someone else. I think that is what I hate the most is having to wait on someone else to get around to working on my estimate and claim on my car. Patience is a virtue but not mine!

I’m trying to be as positive as possible, I just hate having to wait wait wait!

Back to the budget – I’m working through all the areas and re-evaluating our insurance policies, re-distributing my 401K – per the tools used it said I should be a mix of 60% stocks and 40% bonds so I did a redistribution. I am still trying to find out more on how Bear’s is distributed.

Now, if you work and your company has a 401k program with matching dollars be sure that you are taking full advantage of this program by contributing the max to get the maximum match.
My company matches up to 6% so I invest 6% and my company matches with another 6%. This means that in addition to my Pension, 12% is also being added to my 401K each month.

I’m also looking to sell some items on Ebay to put into our Emergency Fund. There are a few items I’ve gleened out of my horse equipment that I will be putting on Ebay along with some other items that I believe will sell. I’ve also got some items that I’ll put on Craigslist. I’m also putting items on Freecycle to just find a new home for them. I’m getting a jump start to the new year so to speak.

So, if you have started planning for 2010, I would love to hear what your are doing!


One Response to Budgeting at the Ranch

  1. Jennifer on December 3, 2009 at 1:37 am

    Sorry you are having a rough time. You know we are in the same boat as far as retirement. We don't have much, and just do the bare minimum. It has to change soon or I know we will regret it later.

    I have never budgeted for the whole year before, but I am contemplating doing it. It seems to work well for you and I would love to hear more details.

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