2014 Resolutions: Destie

What are your personal finance New Year's resolutions?

Destie and her family.

Happy New Year! In 2014, Marketplace Money will follow a few listeners from around the country who’ve resolved to make over their personal finance lives. We’ll be checking up on their financial New Year’s resolutions periodically throughout the year and see if they're achieving their goals!

Name: Destie
Family: Husband George, son Robert
Location: Bath, Maine
Resolution: “We are really looking to firm up some of our general mechanics of our finances, like readjusting our investment allocation. I think more importantly, handling our general cash flow and getting a better cash-management system and graphing our income and expenses. We’re thinking about doing a cash-only system, so we’re not pulling out that credit card or writing checks.”

The Spragues are happy with their current savings, but Destie did mention she’d like to turn her focus to something else: “I’m more interested in saving, driving down our expenses, and increasing savings so that potentially i could switch over into doing consulting work … it’s a longer term goal and it’s not very motivating in the day-to-day to going out to lunch at work.”

Carmen Says: “In order for us to actually turn our inertia into action, we need that kind of nudge, that little push over the edge, and part of that is really having a motivation that you feel connected to. You want to be a consultant, I would say, when would that happen? How much money would you need in the bank to make it happen? That’s going to be your cash goal.”

“Let’s say it’s $100 a month. Mark on your calendar four years out, take it every 30 days. This is the balance you have to have, one of the exercises I give people: Write down everything you spend. And that simple action will get you to process what you’re spending. You naturally will spend less, because you’re thinking about it .. it’s a way of making those decisions live.”

About the author

Carmen Wong Ulrich is the former host of Marketplace Money, APM’s weekend personal finance program.

Destie and her family.

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