Category Archives: Completed Goals

#32: Create a Budget

This past weekend we finally got around to creating a budget in Quicken.  We’ve had Quicken for quite some time now, but had never really taken the time to set everything up correctly and actually track our finances.  Here are some easy steps we used to get a budget set up:

1. Load all of our accounts into Quicken (savings, checking, credit cards, 401(k), 403(b), and the 4 CD’s we currently have).  You can also use any of the free online budgeting tools like Mint instead of a for-pay service like Quicken or Microsoft Money.
2. Spend some time crunching numbers on our current spending
3. Decide what the priorities are for spending and saving for the future
4. Set up categories that we wanted our money to be separated into (we have categories like mortgage, utilities, education, car loan, and also some discretionary spending accounts like “Jess’s Fun Money.”).  We felt it was important to have some money to do what we like with, that we don’t have to account to the other person for.  This keeps us on track, but also allows some flexibility

We set ours up as monthly tracking, because this makes the most sense for the way we get paid.  You can also do this daily, weekly, or quarterly as well.  I will probably continue to update the budget weekly, but the categories are set up as virtual “envelopes” with money for the month.

This is hopefully the start of a successful budgeting system for us.  What works for you?

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#66: Hang up all the Art and Photos in the House – Complete!

…and let me tell you what a difference it makes!  My house felt like a home for the first time this weekend.  Joe and I went on a massive cleaning spree before everyone arrived for the party, and we hung up all the rock posters, as well as a lot of other photos we have had framed and sitting on the floor for a long time.  I’m glad I can now actually enjoy our collection!

#12: Host a Holiday Party – Complete!

This past Saturday I completed my goal to host a holiday party! I invited my entire family, as well as Joe’s. We had a blast – there was a ton of food, and a ton of good company. My finalized menu was:

Appetizers:

1. Garlic Dip
2. Bacon Dip
3. Vegetable Tray
4. Fudge (Thanks Grandma!)
5. Pecan Bars
6. Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
7. Beer Bread

Main Course:

1. Honey Glazed Ham
2. Green Bean Casserole
3. Sweet Potatoes
4. Ranch Mashed Potatoes
5. Rolls
6. Salad

Dessert:

1. Gingerbread Cake with Jeweled Lemon Sauce
2. Pecan Fig Pie

After the party and much eating, we played games and talked. We had a great time, and it was well worth the effort. I may make this a yearly tradition at my house.

#92: Start a Blog for this Project

…and one goal down! This will be the official blog for my 101 goals in 1001 days project. I’ve tried to make this site look nice, and spent some time updating things to make it easy for me to write, and for readers to follow along.