My 2010 resolutions for my work with Lori:
1. Create, track and stick with a monthly budget for the entire year.
This has been difficult to complete because of all of the uncertainty surrounding school and a new job, but we have a draft budget now and it will be ready to use for January. As with many resolutions, it seems the challenge is not starting the new activity, but sticking with it. So I will help Lori set aside time each month for a brief review of the prior month’s ‘results’ and suggest that she see if she might find an accountability partner to continue the monthly reviews when our work together has ended. I do plan on offering to meet with Lori at the end of the year as a follow-up, but monthly reviews are important in establishing new spending and budgeting habits.
2. Make sure Lori is prepared financially for moving to her own place.
To that end, she should review credit reports and correct and enhance wherever possible by 6/1/2010.
She should also establish monthly savings target and begin automated transfer of funds on each payday. This will not only serve as an emergency reserve but it will enhance her credit worthiness and financial profile when submitting rental applications. I would like to find $50-75 each month, but we will need to see the exact take home amount first.
Also, she should establish monthly savings and overall target for security deposit by 8/1/09. Though this will be an estimate, Lori has done some research on rents in the area she is interested in and I am comfortable estimating a monthly rent of around $850. Assuming Lori will be required to provide a one month security deposit, plus one month of rent due at signing, plus credit check and rental application fees, I am using an estimate of $1800. That means we need to have Lori start saving $225/mo.
3. End 2010 feeling good about her financial condition and confident that she has the knowledge and skills she needs to continue to build upon the solid financial base she has created this year.