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Making Progress

December 29th, 2010 at 07:01 am

2010 was a crazy year, but not too much to complain about financially.

I've already discussed the goals I met (or didn't meet) and will probably look at the year more in depth after the 31st passes.

But, I suppose this is my official "met my 2010 goals" post.

Financial Goals:

$11k to cash savings
$4080 to ROTHs.

I was unexpectedly able to make my ROTH goal by 12/31. Will do the last transfer when I get paid tomorrow. May have dh run to the bank to me just to get that taken care of.

Basically, put $1k per month to savings, and expected a $3k overtime bonus. With dh's surgery, I think I only got $2500 in overtime pay, but was able to work it out. Had some interest and credit card bonuses, etc. About $15k saved for the year, total.

For the big picture, I achieved my $15k emergency fund goal. Cash is at about $25k today. I give up on $30k. Seems the best I can do at the moment. Dh may get a job this year and if so, we would get this bugger to $30k finally! Impossible on one income, I suppose.

Anyway, I saved a TON to cash, but we also had a lot of expenses. When I look at it all it makes my head hurt. Vet bills, dental bills, home maintenance, medical bills. etc. We plan so hard for these things, and yet seem to spend it as fast as we save it. I am trying to save up for car replacements. Thankfully I expect our cars to last MANY more years...

By the same token, since we were flush with cash, we admittedly took on some long put off purchases. Which just compounded everything.

For 2011?

On the horizon I know we will need to spend $500-ish on some home maintenance, but I think we just need a "no spend" year. Though I Can't help the "emergencies" or things breaking. *sigh* But cutting the discretionary spending will help. It's hard to imagine anything to want for after 2010.

In other financial doings, my retirement balance sits at $98k. What a milestone, huh? If the stock market can behave a few months - will pass the six figure mark.

I am expecting a $1500 tax refund, and can make it $2k if I put $2k into my regular IRA. I am tempted, because it would officially put us at $10k (MAX) for the 2011 calendar year.

I suppose I won't decide until after my surgery - see what the cash situation is. I think it would be smarter to put to cash, but it is tempting. (Tax refund is due to medical deductions - so that is something. May be the same situation for next year).

The mortgage will also tempt me. I think we will get the balance down to about $202k this year. I am tempted to put the payroll tax holiday towards the mortgage and get closer to $200k this year. It's psychological, but I suppose 2011 is shaping up to be an interesting year in reaching these sorts of milestones. A $200k mortgage balance will mean we have paid the first $100k of our home off. Big Grin

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Financial Goals for 2011:

I put them on my sidebar - but here it is.

$8k to cash savings
$8k to ROTHs

I am putting $625/month to ROTHs and expect to hit $8k total with credit card rewards. Is 10% of my expected income.

$5k to cash yearly seems ample for long term savings (car replacement, home maintenance, etc.). Medical deductible is $3k and I know it will be spent next month so have to replace it again. (I can hope not to spend it in 2012??? But as long as dh has MRIs, will burn through the deductible quickly - so may be more years. My surgery isn't even the half of it!).

Any windfall or extra money would go first to maxing out ROTHs and then to paying down mortgage. I don't have any other financial goals - nothing else important on the horizon. Retirement, mortgage, retirement, mortgage...

With the payroll tax holiday, I don't feel the rush for dh to bring in some extra income. I suppose that and knowing we get to keep our low tax rates a couple of more years. But, I may encourage dh as far as mortgage paydown. He doesn't seem that excited about retirement savings (maybe because he has been "retired" for a decade?) but he seems to feel much more passion about paying off this house. SO, I may encourage him to find some work this year to pay down the mortgage a bit. I think it just depends on the motivating factor, somewhat. So, I will play the mortgage card during the next school year. As much as we don't *need* the income this year maybe, the longer we put off the inevitable the harder it will be. I just don't foresee making our aggressive savings goals in our current one-income situation. We both have higher long-term expectations. To pay off our mortgage in the next decade, for one.

1 Responses to “Making Progress”

  1. scfr Says:

    Given all you've been through in 2010 (and I know I've missed quite a bit of it by not reading the blogs daily), you've done great financially.

    Sounds like a good plan to let any income your husband brings in go to paying down the mortgage, if that is his priority, since the other goals are covered by your income.

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