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Energy Star

June 13th, 2009 at 05:58 pm

I was reading Woman's Day magazine today and there was an interesting article called "Slash Your Energy Bill". Now, I personally believe we already do everything possible to slash our bill, so I read the article hoping to glean another bit of information.

The article suggested taking a "Home Energy Audit". It took just 5 minutes - once I gathered all the necessary information.

Just visit EnergyStar.gov, click on "Home Energy Audits" and use the "ENERGY STAR Home Energy Yardstick"

The information you need -
Zipcode
Number of people living in the house
Square footage
Number of kwh electricity used for the past 12 months
Cost of electric usage for the past 12 months

I also needed -
Number of gallons of propane delivered in the past 12 months
Cost of propane delivered in the past 12 months.

The results were startling. On a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the best, we rated 3.2! How sad is that??

I will revisit this website in six months and see if we have improved any.

Jump Start Successful

June 11th, 2009 at 04:46 pm

I lost steam in working towards my financial goals - and received a lot of support. So thank you everyone for jump starting me!

Our savings account has stalled at just $1,000 and some change. Now it's time to shift our savings into high gear and convert that baby emergency fund into a fully funded emergency fund.

In playing around with figures tonight, I realized I can reach my goal of $15,000 by the end of 2009 if I put away $2,000 every month. Yes, I could have $15,000 in the bank after seven months!

I should say that $2,000 a month is a lot of money for me. It's still going to be a little tight. And seven months isn't that long - just a little more than 200 days. I can do anything for just 200 days. Right?

So, I'm giving myself seven months to build this emergency fund to $15,000. Just seven months. It's not forever. Just seven months. Then I can move to baby step #4. Just seven months.

Current savings: $1,000
06/30/09 goal: $3,000
07/31/09 goal: $5,000
08/31/09 goal: $7,000
09/30/09 goal: $9,000
10/31/09 goal: $11,000
11/30/09 goal: $13,000
12/31/09 goal: $15,000


Losing steam....

June 10th, 2009 at 05:26 pm

You would think that after spending almost four years paying off all our credit cards and loans, that we would just sail right into building our 3 to 6 month emergency fund. But that's not the case. It seems we have hit the brakes and are losing steam.

Don't misunderstand - we are still debt free and we will NEVER pick up another credit card again.

But we should be using that "debt snowball" to build our emergency fund, and we're not. We went crazy spending cash recently. Spent $2500 on replacement windows. Spent another $2200 on a built-in entertainment center. Gave $700 to our son to help him out. All this in a matter of months!

We have to get back into the Dave Ramsey mindset and build that emergency fund NOW.

If I can just remember WHY I started these Baby Steps in the first place, perhaps I can get my steam back.

Here are some things I am looking forward to when we reach baby step #7 -

... Buying a car with air conditioning (or maybe even a convertible)
... Crocheting for charity using exotic specialty yarns
... Getting a personal trainer and train for a marathon
... Buying a house on the lake
... Taking my kids and grandkids on a cruise
... Hiring people to do the things I don't like to do - mowing the lawns, shoveling the driveways, painting the house, cleaning the gutters, etc.
... Traveling around the U.S.
... Seeing a hockey game from one of the box suites

Yes, there are a lot of things I would love to do in the future. I need to buckle down and get back to saving. NOW.

My Goals for June

June 4th, 2009 at 06:04 pm

My Ten Goals for June 2009


1. Visit with our new financial advisor
2. List 10 items on Craig's List and/or eBay
3. Get two auto insurance quotes to compare to existing policy scheduled to renew July 7th
4. Get lawn chairs for cook-out on the 7th
5. Host cook-out for friends on the 7th
6. Make Father's Day cards for dad and dad-in-law, and maybe hubby too
7. Stain all three decks (right side, back, and left side)
8. Plan menus for the entire month
9. Start a compost bin
10. Avoid the icy cold beverages on sale at the registers when out shopping