After taking a couple of days to relax and and enjoying some time with the family, I’m rested, rejuvenated, and ready to rock. They’ll be no more talk of ‘losing focus‘. Instead, I’m ready to move forward with renewed desire.
Step One: I had a long conversation with my wife – about our finances and my lack of focus. I also asked for her help with my weight loss issues, and she agreed to be supportive and help me when I’m tempted to ‘eat for the sake of eating’. My wife is awesome.
Step Two: I updated my ING Direct Savings Account. I don’t want to feel like I’m padding my statistics. And, the NCN Network Mini-Chart has returned to my sidebar!. In the past, I’ve included every single dime that I had in my checking accounts, saving accounts, and brokerage accounts, when calculating my Non-Retirement Savings. From now on, I’m only going to count the money in my
Step Three: I sat down and revisited my financial goals for 2008. So far, we have fully-funded my Roth IRA for 2008. We need to fully-fund my wife’s Roth IRA for 2008 and my daughter’s ESA and my son’s ESA. I am making monthly pre-tax contributions to my 403b account and my wife’s pension plan. It feels good to know that by the end of 2008, we will have contributed over $30,000 to various retirement and educations savings accounts.
Step Four: I obtained a copy of the latest and greatest version of the You Need A Budget budgeting software. For a long time, I’ve been using the earlier, spreadsheet based version. Now, I’ve upgraded to the YNAB Pro version and I’ll be using it from now on. By the way, Jesse, the creator of the software has asked me to participate in an online ‘webinar’ in August. I’ll have more information about the webinar in coming months – and a review of the Pro version next month.
Step Five: I logged into all of my accounts and updated my Financial Inventory. At first, I created this as a resource that my wife could use, if something were to happen to me. But, now I use it as a reference document for myself, when checking all of my accounts and moving money from one account to another.
Step Six: I spent quiet a bit of time, alone, in prayer, asking for guidance (in a lot of areas of my life). I tend to go through cycles of ‘being up’ and ‘being down’ – and it always feels good just to get away, close the door, and talk to Father.
Step Seven: I went through my Google Reader and unsubscribed to several feeds. I went through my email and deleted several old emails. I went through my bookmarks and deleted several old feeds. I went through the files on my computer and deleted several unnecessary files. In other words, I needed to get rid of a bunch of stuff that was cluttering up my life.
Step Eight: I called my Dad and had a long conversation about retirement, life, money, etc. He reminded me of all of the good things that I’ve done over the past 3+ years – and he encouraged me to continue to move forward. I’ve mentioned it several times before, but I have a super awesome Dad.
Step Nine: I spent several hours with my oldest daughter and my son, just hanging out. We went to the beach, we swam in the pool, we played putt putt. We had a great time. I was reminded, for the one millionth time, how much I love them, and how much I want to bless them. And, when I am being responsible with my finances, I’m setting a good example for them.
Step Ten: I wrote this blog post. I cannot express, adequately, how much this blog and my readers, mean to me. It always helps to have a group of people, in my case, my readers, with whom one can connect.