Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year's Goals

I'm not going to make any resolutions for the New Year, but I decided last night that some well-defined goals could do me some good. So, here's a pair of goals for 2009:

1. Debt Free by our Anniversary
I've been listening a lot to Dave Ramsey on my iPod. Many of you have probably heard of Dave Ramsey and probably have strong feelings one way or the other on him - either you love him or hate him. I happen to be one who loves him. I think he's very intelligent, is a straight talker and honestly wants to help people have a better life.

Anyway, I started listening to Dave Ramsey a few years ago and shortly after Katie and I decided to take the job of caretakers for Bethel College at the Retreat Center on Dewart Lake. That gave us a second income and we decided we were going to get out of debt. Well, we paid off quite a bit of debt, including both of our vehicles, but then we started to flounder a bit. It's been a while since we were serious about getting out of debt and I just think we need to sacrifice for the next few months to finally get debt out of our lives - FOREVER!

So, we've got one small personal loan and my wife's student loan - which is also pretty small - to knock out by May 27. That's just a little less than 5 months. It's going to take some sacrifices - no eating out, no new clothes, no new CDs. The kids are going to have to sacrifice too and we'll cut our grocery budget just as far as we can. I may even try to find a part-time job in the evenings. But, I think it's worth it. Especially in this economy (which I think is probably going to rebound pretty soon), how amazing would it be to not owe money to anybody and have no payments! We're going to find out.

So, if you want to get together with us in the next few months, just plan on eating in or doing something that doesn't cost money. And if we meet our goal, after May 27 we'll have everyone over for a big celebration cookout at our house!!!!

2. Less of Me by our Anniversary
I don't know why I picked our anniversary (May 27) as the date for these goals. I guess it just seemed like a significant day where I could give my wife two very special gifts.

This goal is about weight loss. Since my last race in November, I've been lazy. I've also slipped into some pretty awful eating habits. Last night I stepped on the scale and it said 190. That's not terrible, but it's not where I should be. So, I'm setting a goal to get down to 175 by May 27. Now, that's only 15 pounds, but I've never really set out to lose weight before and it could be tough.

My plan is to cut out all pop, eat smaller portions and get back on the treadmill. If I do those three things consistently over the next few months, I should be able to get to 175. By the way, I haven't been 175 for probably 6 years. So, it may be a challenge.

Please feel free to ask me how I'm doing on these goals and keep me accountable. I'm going to need all the help I can get.


Anonymous said...

Dan and Katie--other than the mortgage on my home, I became debt free last year! Getting rid of credit cards and buying only what you currently have $$ for is the most freeing thing. I applaud you guys for striving for this goal, because I know it isn't easy! YOu guys and the kids will have to come to our house for a FREE dinner soon! :)


Shelley said...

I am so blessed to have married a man who believes in debt-free living and has been living out those beliefs since he graduated high school and began his career 20 years ago. He does not believe you should live within your means, he believes you should live BENEATH your means! That way when hard times hit, you can still afford your life. If it wasn't for his committment to living beneath our means, we would never be able to afford me being a stay-at-home mom to four kids! How blessed I am to be able to stay home, and I know it is because my husband makes smart, Biblical financial decisions. One debt that we do have is our mortgage, which will be paid off in just a few more years. When we built our house almost 11 years ago, we built something we could afford back then on only my husband's income, so that when the babies started coming, our finances could easily handle me quitting teaching and staying home with our kids. I commend you on being a wise husband. Your family will continue to benefit from your smart financial practices!

Anonymous said...

those are some tough goals ... however, i'll bet labeling them as a gift to ur wife will make them easily attainable.