Year Ahead Planning and Budgeting Starts Now

by Pat Chiappa on

Mark and I generally check in every few months to see where we are on our goals.  I  know it sounds like serious business, and it is, but we always turn it into a party.  Our check-in generally take place outside on a chaise, or the beach, or inside by the fireplace and it always features food and drinks.  Last week we realized we needed to check in on our travel budget as we were planning a short trip up to Lake Tahoe the following week and then had plans for a longer trip at the end of the year to the central coast: Big Sur, Santa Barbara and/or San Luis Obispo.

We pulled out our Year Ahead book and went to the ‘Travel’ page we created last New Years Day.  We wanted to be realistic (and honest) so we took a look at our year-to-date spending budget for travel to see 1) if we could take that Big Sur trip and if so, 2) how long we could go for.

As it turns out, we have about $1,100 left in our travel budget for the year and we have a couple of options.  We could move some of the money into our 2012 travel. We could shorten our upcoming trip so we have enough for another short weekend away before the end of the year.  We could move part of the money into the ‘Things to Do’ budget and get some massages. We could also move the money into any other budget, including savings, but decided against that.

We had hoped to go to Maui this year but it wasn’t in the budget (we bought bikes instead)  So since we didn’t take a ‘big trip’ this year,  we decided to keep the extra money in our travel budget.  So now comes the fun part of planning a week long road trip down the central coast in December.

We make goals and implement them. We create budgets and follow them. Sure, we mess up sometimes, but we always find a way to balance it all out.

The new year will be here before you know it – so get ready to start your Year Ahead planning – and yes, that includes budgeting.

Photo of Palomarin trail in Pt. Reyes

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

carrie November 9, 2011 at

I am SO inspired by you and your husband for your dedication to budgeting and planning your life by setting goals and (usually) achieving them. Slowly but surely we are trying to do the same. Thanks for proving it really CAN be done!!!

Pat Chiappa November 11, 2011 at

thanks for the kind words Carrie – I love that you are inspired by Mark and I. I so respect and admire your willingness to look at your financial future (which is sometimes scary!) and not stick your head in the sand. I appreciate how hard it is for young families, especially in these trying times.

Acknowledging that sometimes you are ‘picking the grapes’ and at other times ‘drinking the wine’ is a way to get through the challenging times in ones financial life.

You are right though – it REALLY can be done! Keep up the good work Carrie!

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