Once upon a time, I was a Navy Officer's wife.

Knute (my hubs) and I are still married (happily in our 14th year), but he's been out of the Navy for almost nine years. It was an amazing life, a crazy life, and while I'll always be both proud and grateful for his service, it's nice to be *just* civilians.

One of the social get-togethers we used to attend when Knute was in the fleet was known as a Hail and Farewell; the party would celebrate both the current officer who was moving on to a new billet and the new officer arriving to take the open billet.

While your financial life might not seem like much of a *party*, I like using the idea of a Hail & Farewell to frame up my monthly financial goals.


Well, to be absolutely honest with you, I may do well setting my financial goals each month but I often fall short of achieving them. Life at my house is busy, probably much like your house.

I've learned to see the big picture and not kick myself when I don't get *every* box on my to-do list checked each month; there's always next month and quite frankly, my family, my friends, our church and school, and our community will always be far more important than a line item on my to-do lists.

The Hail & Farewell Review lets me look back and look forward at the same time, meaning I can tweak my goals as needed.

Here's my Hail & Farewell for January & February

January's Goals:


~ Downloading my friend Andrea's spreadsheet for tracking grocery spending and coupon savings from Google Docs.

~ Creating my customized household budget spreadsheet in Google Docs.

~ Forecasting our variable expenses and documenting them in my year-long budget spreadsheet, things like gift purchases, our kids activity fees, vehicle registrations, our two dogs' vet visits, home owner's warranty fees, home owner's association fees, etc.


~ Slaying the paper dragon on my desk and in my file cabinets by pulling last years documents and storing them and shredding the non-essential financial documents and old bills.

~ Creating a portable coupon file folder for my van {primarily for restaurant/fast food and non-grocery retail store coupons}.

February's Goals:

~ My desk and the avalanche of paper. It needs to be dealt with pronto; my hope is that once I get old files pulled, new statements filed, I'll be able to stay on top of the paper dragon on a daily basis. I have a kitchen command center in one of my cabinets where I manage our mail and the kids papers from school and it really does help. *sigh* Paperwork is my least fave task!

~ Portable coupon case for my van and for Knute's car, too. He loves saving on lunch out once a week; I love when he saves, too!

~ Pay off my van early by mid-month! WOOT!

~ Begin attacking our next debt to pay off: oh yes, we have some debts to pay. ;) {I have a separate post about this coming up later this week.}

~ Open a second INGDirect savings account dedicated to saving for gifts at Christmas (we don't overdo gifts with our three kids but it's still a good idea to set $$ aside) as well as birthdays throughout the year.

Those are my biggest goals for February; I suspect I might fall short again only because February - for us Girl Scout Leaders (like *yours truly*) - means COOKIES! I have hundreds upon hundreds of boxes of cookies coming for our Troop and much work to go with them. Thank goodness I have a dedicated Cookie Mom to run the sale!

What are your goals for February? Have a post of financial goals for the month at your blog? Feel free to leave the link in a comment below!

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  1. Heather & Chaos // February 4, 2009 8:18 AM  

    Hey if you are thinking of opening a new account, try etrade savings account before 2/25 (I think). If you open with $1 you'll get $25 after 30 days. Check out: http://alotofsavings.blogspot.com/2009/02/25-bonus-offer-for-etrade-complete.html for more info. Just a thought. ;)

  2. Marianne Thomas // February 4, 2009 9:24 AM  

    Heather: Thanks! I'll definitely look into it and let everyone know what I find for the the best rate/$ incentive to open.


  3. Danielsen5 // February 4, 2009 12:28 PM  

    Just found your blog from a link over at $5 dinners. Imagen my suprise at finding out our husbands have the same first name! I mean it's not like it's Bob or Mike is it? LOL

    Great site and sounds like your area has more exciting deals then our area, but I will keep Krogering!

    Blessings, Beth Ann

  4. Marianne Thomas // February 4, 2009 8:34 PM  

    Danielsen5 Funny! But I should tell you that my hubs real name isn't Knute; it's the name I use for him on my personal blog.


    Still, glad you came over and commented! Hope you'll visit again!