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Saving Goals and Thinking About Housework

June 3rd, 2017 at 01:11 pm

My DH and I both get $200 each month for spending money. For me it covers tithe/offering/clothes/computer/phone, etc. For him it covers phone/computer/clothes/electronics/boat/tv/items he just wants to buy to resell/his soda habit, etc.

As part of this negotiation, it was agreed that whatever "funny money" (his term for my snowflakes) I bring in are to be added to my spending money. If he ever actually sells anything he bought with his spending money, he also gets to keep it.

So .. $160 of my SM goes to tithe/offering. That leaves me with $40/month to decide what to do with it.

I have a lot of categories I put the money into - phone replacement, computer replacement, Entertainment/Eating Out (when done by ourselves, otherwise it goes under date night), Nails, Clothing, Phone farm, Home Gym, and Gifts.

I've been reading CCF and MEC posts about their big savings goals and have been doing some thinking.

I would really like to have more money being socked away for retirement. Currently I have it where we set aside the same amount for each of us - mine in a work IRA, and DH's in a yet to be opened IRA.

What we're putting in to each is not even enough to 1/2 fully fund. (esp for DH since he is 50 and is eligible for catch up.)

The only way we'd be able to fully fund two IRA's would be to get rid of the cats and two vehicles. Probably the money we currently set aside/spend for those numerous categories would do it. (Car Maintenance, Car taxes/registration, Car replacement, Vet fund, Food for cats, Food/medical for non-cats, fund for catifying living room ....)

That's not going to happen, so on to more realistic ideas. Smile

So ... since it can't really be done with our shared budget, and I'm probably more likely to need lots of money for retirement (for a number of reasons) .. I've decided to set one major saving goal to be fully funding my ROTH.

This will be done with my "funny money."

The $40 will go to phone (10)/computer(10)/clothing(10)/(5)gifts/(5)Entertainment.

The funny money will be 50 / 50. 50% goes to the ROTH goal, 50% goes to other categories.

I'm also adding a category - Housekeeper. I'd like to hire someone 3 or 4 x a year to come in and do the deep cleaning stuff like windows, oven, fridge ...

If I somehow manage to fully fund the ROTH, then the 50% will be put aside for an investing fund. When that gets to $3k I'll put it into a Vanguard index fund.

Besides my current "funny money" schemes, I am debating about doing online tutoring via VIPkid. 10 hours a week could net $800/month+ pre-tax. 30% would be set aside for taxes. 35% to the family budget, and 35% for my saving goals.

Before I could do that though, I feel like I need to get a good cleaning/maintenance system established. So when I suddenly have ten hours less a week to do whatever, the house doesn't fall apart.

I've been looking at/reading about the SHE system (Sidetracked Home Executive.) I like some of their ideas, but am going to adapt them a bit. Smile

I plan on doing a point system. Each job is worth so many points. Both DH and I need to complete a minimum amount of points each week. However, if we make more than the minimum, the person with the most points gets to decide whether we eat a homemade meal (on their night) or go out to eat at their choice of restaurant. Plus another benefit which would motivate my DH. Smile

Small jobs are ones that take 15 minutes or less - worth 1 point. Medium jobs take 30 minutes or less and are worth 2 points. Large jobs are ones that take an hour or less and are worth 3 points. X-Large jobs are ones that take two+ hours and are worth 4 points.

A small job would be wiping the counters in the upstairs kitchen and bathroom. Or sweeping the upstairs. Or 15 minutes of general pickup and put away.

A medium job would be trimming the bushes. Or doing something like changing the car oil. Or mopping the upstairs. Or 30 minutes of decluttering an area. Or updating the budget.

A large job might be washing a car - inside/out. Cleaning 4 litterboxes (dump and rinse.) Or an hour of decluttering. Or going to a physical therapy appointment.

An extra-large job would be mowing, or shoveling snow, or cleaning the gutters, or shampooing the carpets, or two hours of decluttering.

Each type of job will go on a color coded index card. The cards will be kept in a file box. It will be divided into sections. One for DH only tasks (divided into the 4 categories). One for me only tasks divided into the 4 categories). One for Anyone tasks divided into the 4 categories). And then a completed section where the cards that were finished go (one for each of us.)

On each card will be a description of the task, its point value and a space to pencil the date completed and by whom. There also will be a note on it saying how often it should be done (like gutter cleaning, 2 x a year?)

On Sunday night we can each pick out which cards we think we will do for the coming week.

We both will also have basic routine cards - i.e.
the least to do on a daily basis. For example - In shared living spaces, pick up our own stuff - don't leave things on the counter/floor/door that don't belong there. 10 minutes of general pickup. DH - Scoop one litterbox in the basement. Me - Scoop all the litterboxes upstairs. Dishes go in the kitchen. Trash goes in a trash can. etc.

If we work together on a job ( like we both spend an hour working on the boxes in the basement) we both get the points for the job.

I still have to present this to DH ... so we'll see if this gets past the thinking/planning stage. Smile I'm hoping the allure of eating out plus the other will be enough ...

13 Responses to “Saving Goals and Thinking About Housework”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    A thought on the cleaning. It could feel very overwhelming to add ALL the required tasks right away. You might start with the simple ones first. Kind of like baby steps. It takes awhile to build new habits, so starting with a couple first might help. I do like your idea, I hope it works out for you!

    And more to retirement is never a bad thing. Smile

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Thanks CCF- You're right - I should probably just pick out the ones most needed right now. Decluttering and yard work ...

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    Sounds like a great place to start.

  4. Laura S. Says:

    Thanks for mentioning VIP KID. I am going to look into it myself. I too need to save more for retirement. I also need to tackle my student loans much more aggressively.

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    No problem! If you get hired on before I do, I'll use you as my referer. Smile

  6. scottish girl Says:

    Good plan for the cleaning. I agree: small jobs first. Once you've started decluttering it'll make other jobs easier (less time looking for stuff etc)

  7. Carol Says:

    Reading and following "fly lady" can be helpful. You don't need to buy the stuff. She is all about baby steps.

  8. creditcardfree Says:

    @Carol, I'm considering starting Fly Lady. I take it you have had experience?

  9. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    SG - Yep - like in our living room - before I can vacuum it, I need to gather all the boxes and break them down. I also need to move the boxes for the shelving units I need to put together to another room. Then I can vacuum. Smile
    In the laundry room there is clutter everywhere. So before it can be cleaned, the clutter needs to go.

    Carol - I have tried Fly Lady before ... The emails were overwhelming to me. I do still try to keep the kitchen sink shiny before I go to bed. Smile

  10. rob62521 Says:

    Small jobs first is a good plan. Like small savings first so you can get used to it. I hope you can get your retirement account fully funded. It sounds like you know what to do and that's good.

    I don't use a cleaning plan and when I was working I didn't. I tried to keep a bit of a schedule, but didn't make it so tough I couldn't handle it. Different jobs like decluttering were when I had the time and probably should have been done before that, but I did the best I could. I have a drawer I need to tackle and I'm already dreading it, but that is my goal for today.

  11. VS_ozgirl Says:

    FrugalTexan I loved your idea with the SHE system! As a kinda domestically challenged woman (especially while studying) this is most helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Carol Says:

    @CCF...I learned some good habits from fly lady.So I am glad I learned about her. It was a few years ago. The website seems much more professional now. But take what you like. It is funny how the clean sink can stay with you--halleluiea!

  13. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I know what to do - it's actually doing it that's my problem. Smile
    VS - I'm glad you got something from my ramblings. Smile

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