The Needs Improvement List

My budget-analysis for 2010 reveals that I need to improve in the following areas –

I need to spend less money on convenience store items – bottled water, sodas, chips, etc.  When I fill up at the gas station, I almost always grab a snack, too.  This habit is bad for both my waist line and my wallet.  Add this to the top of my 2011 resolutions.

I need to rework my grocery store price book – and spend less on groceries.  My goal is to reduce spending by 10%.

I need to embrace the summer and turn the thermostat up a few degrees.  My electric bill was much higher in the summer months this past year, mainly because I keep the house at “just above freezing”.  Next year, I’m bumping it up by 2 degrees, and I’ll just deal.

I need to never – ever- buy an individual stock.  I rarely write about my investments, because most of them are just boring, mainly index funds and ETFs.  Once every year or so, I get the bug to buy an individual stock.  Inevitably, I lose money.

I need to blog more.  When I’m blogging, I’m more accountable, I spend less, and I save more.

I need to do a better job planning for mid-range expenses.  I’m really good at thinking long-range and short-range, but for those purchases that are 2 to 5 years away, I really need to figure out a better budgeting-procedure.

I need to be more organized.  Before we moved, I had a really neat setup for filing paperwork and keeping up with financial documents.  Now that we’re in the new house, I have a few boxes “here” and a few boxes “there”.  It’s amazing how quickly stuff can pile up.

I need to be consistent with my mortgage-debt reduction.  I’ve really been hit-or-miss when it comes to sending in extra principal payments.  In 2011, I plan to be much more disciplined and focused.