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Thinking to 2011...

November 7th, 2010 at 08:06 am

I was reminded yesterday that with the Target card, Target will donate 1% to the school of our choice. (I don't expect it to add up to much - but every penny helps!)

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It's been a weekend on the more relaxing side. Phew!

Dh had planned to do some location scouting for a film project he is working on. (Wanted to take pictures of the family cabin and a nearby lake and waterfall). He was going to run up there during the week, and I said, "Um, why don't we all go?" Hello? A hike would be nice. I have never seen this waterfall though I have heard about it.

Unfortunately, today is rain rain rain. So I suppose we will postpone.

We'd also been wanting to go to the Aerospace museum, but will get far more money's worth on a clear day (lots of outside exhibits and a cool playground).

So this weekend is full of cooking, working out, napping, board games, etc.

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We had a soccer game yesterday and it was downright warm outside. It was nice to bask in the sun a bit and wear our flip flops. The house was getting on the warm side yesterday. Heat is NOT on the horizon. Usually the *challenge* begins, for us, around Halloween and if we are lucky (or tough) we can make it to Thanksgiving without running the heat. But, it's November 7 and the house has yet to drop below 70F degrees.

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AS far as 2011?

With our tax refund (due to large medical expenses), it looks like we may hit $25k cash by year-end. (I've been spinning my wheels around $20k-ish for most of the last 2 years - building up cash being my primary goal = and putting LOTS of cash to this goal).

I hesitate to speak it, because the last 18 months or so have been rife with emergencies and surprises.

But, I can also be optimistic.

The $25k breaks down as follows:

$5k cash efund
$10k cash ROTH efund (for catastrophe)
$3k medical deductible (will be spent, unfortunately)
$7k mid-term cash savings (replacement vehicles and home maintenance, primarily)
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$25k Total

(My goal was $30k, but I officially give up! A loss in retirement benefits means I have to shift priorities away from cash and towards retirement. Which is primarily why I give up altogether. I'd prefer more emergency funds considering the economy, etc.).

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I don't have enough info to finalize any plans, but am tweaking the numbers and thinking I can make it work for 2011:

**Assume no raise
**Assume + $100/month to health insurance
**$1100/month to short-term savings
**$400/month to mid-term savings (cash)
**$600/month to ROTHS (10% gross income)
**Overtime to fund medical deductible for 2012

That's the plan!

When LM was done with preschool, I Changed our short-term cash contributions from $1k to $1200 per month. However, our property taxes and insurances have been decreasing, so I think it is reasonable (though tight) to go with $1100/month. This is for every expense, all year, no matter how big or small, that is just one-time or random.

This way, I can squeeze 10% to retirement, out of the budget. We only went with about 5% this year, with all the events of this year (medical bills and 10% cut in compensation).

I am pleased that I Was still able to get cash to a comfortable level. It's really more cash than we've had since having 2 kids, and it was a hell of a year to make said goal.

I also have a backup plan for 2011. Dh will probably work a bit to help build up cash further, max out the ROTHs, and start paying the mortgage down faster. I really don't need that much to make these goals - a few thousand dollars a year would be a huge help as far as maxing out the ROTHs and having extra for the mortgage.

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