The first quarter of the year has blown by and we’re almost a third finished with the second quarter of 2013. (My, how time flies!) Now’s a great time to check your goals, tweak your budget, and get serious about the rest of the year.

Easier said than done, right?

It doesn’t have to be; there’s over 7 months left of this year and plenty of days to get a budget into shape.

As someone who easily gets side tracked, I know it’s harder to stick with a plan than to actually make the plan. But here’s where persistence pays off: over time, small accomplishments turn into bigger goals and progress builds upon itself.

A few things that work for me and keep me focused:

  1. Track progress. I started using excel to track my progress on paying off some debt. Since I only get paid once a month, I enter the balance of each card monthly when I make a large payment to every card. Over the past three months, I see a steady decrease in total debt. Whoo hoo!
  2. Stick to a monthly budget. If I didn’t know how much money I made or what my expenses were, I’d be in trouble. I stick to a monthly budget, most of the time, giving myself a little wiggle room for surprise expenses.
  3. Don’t get discouraged. Sometimes, set backs happen. Instead of throwing in the towel, I try to regroup and focus on the end goal.
  4. Apply windfalls towards goals. Whether your goal is savings or paying off debt, use those windfalls towards the ultimate goal. Instead of blowing that tax refund on dinners, clothing, and extraneous crap, get that debt paid off or cushion your savings/retirement account. You’d be amazed at how many
    helpful tax calculators you can use to assist you with this.

I’m happy to report that I’ve been making good progress on my goals so far this year. I just need to make sure I don’t fall into a mid-year slump!

Are you making progress on your goals?


  1. It’s been slow this year. I haven’t made much progress, but I’ll keep working on it.

    • @Joe – Sometimes the first quarter of the year can be slow, maybe things will pick up near the middle. So far, I think you’re doing great!

  2. We tried to budget, we really did. However, we ended up off track a bit and plan to pick back up in May. Our goal is to have CC debt paid off by Sept 1 and applied our tax refunds to it. I’ll have to wait until May to see how we’re doing.

    • @Justin – That sometimes happens with budgets – they can get blown off track pretty easily. But, it makes for a great start for a brand new one. 😉

  3. One AHA moment I had recently was how many windfalls I actually have in a year. It’s a lot. Maybe not true windfalls, but money that isn’t part of the day to day routine. Like tax returns, refunds from my flex spending accounts for health and daycare, cash back from my credit card, gifts, etc. For me, it’s thousands of dollars a year that is outside of my normal budget. I think applying all windfalls to a goal will really help make a dent.

    • @First Gen American – I didn’t think of adding in cash back rewards from credit cards or refunds from flex spending accounts, but that’s another terrific way to meet a goal!

  4. Jacob@CashCowCouple Reply

    We sort of budget. We know what we have to spend and we track everything on top of that. It’s more of a mindset these days though, I just rarely spend excess money. I suppose that’s a good thing!

    • You can almost make a game out of saving money. For almost a year I was famous for making $6.00 dinners. Creativity and a good market helped.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.