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View Full Version : 2012 Financial Goals--How Are You Doing?



Kat
3-27-12, 7:34am
Since the first quarter of the year is almost over, I thought I would check in to see how everyone is doing.

We have completely re-vamped our goals as we are considering instead a huge push to pay off our house (finally got DH on board!). We are also thinking about waiting a couple of years before trying to have another baby. My goals were:

1. Beef up emergency fund (by at least $1000--maybe $2500)
2. Put $1200 into kid's college fund by August (her first bday)
3. Save $1500 for spare bedroom conversion (play room/reading nook for mom and dad)
4. Fence in back yard (also for the kiddo--we live near an ally and a busy street) and spring for a landscaper (maybe $3500?)
5. Save up for sunroom re-do (there is a whole in the ceiling--eek!)--maybe $3000 including a nice chair for DH?
6. Start replacing car fund money (which we took out to pay unexpected medical bills). We are $3800 behind (but we have until May of 2015 to get caught back up)
7. Start saving for a second baby (we will need around $5000 for medical bills and maternity leave--learned the hard way this time around!)

They are now:

1. Beef up emergency fund (by at least $1000--maybe $2500)
2. Save $600 to buy meat from a farmer
3. Save $500 for DHs birthday gift (June)
4. Get "gazelle intense" about paying off the house in the next 2-3 years (it will be very easy to save for kid's college at that time)

Thanks to our tax return, we can cross #1 and #2. I have $260 saved for DH's birthday gift and will keep working on that here and there over the next couple of months. So #4 is where we are at. We are in the process of looking at our budget and lining up some more contract work for me. I am excited about this but also nervous for some reason. We owe about 44,000 on the house, and I feel so overwhelmed by that amount.

How are you all faring?

cattledog
3-27-12, 2:46pm
My 2012 goal was to track expenses a little better, particularly the one-off items.

I've been doing pretty well on that front. However, things have changed a bit since January. I left my job to stay home w/my DD. That resulted in a 50+% paycut. We are OK, because we always lived on one income, but it does mean that I have to be extra vigilant about tracking. I don't want to have to dip into any of our savings!

Before I left my job, I made a budget that went out about three years. I'm kind of a planner, LOL! I think I might have to revisit the budget in a few months. We are spending a lot less money that I thought we would, mostly in the areas of groceries, gas and eating out.

Kat
3-28-12, 6:35pm
That is great, cattledog! Sounds like you made a great choice for your family and are doing very well. :) Thanks for sharing your update! I get so motivated reading about what others are doing!

militaryman
3-30-12, 10:47am
Goals for 2012 :
1. Pay off HELOC which was used to buy 2011 Hyudai and 2011 Yaris
2. Beef up Home Maintenance -- Emergency fund by about $3k
3. Try to trickle cash into Safe (literal) and reach a couple thousand by years end
Progress :
1. After all of tax refund was applied to balance we are on track to have loan paid off if we can put $1000 a month towards it for the rest of year which is what we did in the first three months, so should be doable --- 2013 goal in this category will be to continue saving at $1k per month and replace DW car at 2013 end and try to only borrow enough to payoff in 2014.
2. 2011 moved 10k home maintenance fund into about 10 stocks (about a 15% return so far and hopefully will not need to touch this $$ ) Rebuilding easily available Emergency funds by putting $$ in savings (currently $1500 ) would like to reach 3-4K by years end ---
3. Added another $100 the other day to safe and now have $700 -- hope to be able to put 100 a month in safe and have over $1500 by end of 2012 -- Why I do this I do not know other than it gives me an additional sense of security to have a wad of "slop money" sitting around.

lhamo
3-30-12, 8:30pm
Mine were:

1. Increase retirement savings to new maximums -- DONE
2. Beef up insurance -- not done
3. Set up will and trust -- not done (I know, I know....)
4. Save $1200/month in addition to retirement/college contributions -- technically not done, because we funded our 2011 Roth contributions with money from monthly savings ($6200 total, so not shabby). Roth contributions can be withdrawn without penalty, so if I fudge my logic a bit that should cover that one
5. Continue tracking spending and adjusting to align spending with values -- doing. Did an "austerity buget" exercise this week and found we could probably manage on just my salary (while continuing to contribute max to retirement for me) should DH decide to quit or take a lower paying position. Would require some major adjustments, including a change of schooling for kids, but we could do it if needed. Good to know.

lhamo

OK, so after I posted this this morning I spent some time doing the following:

1. Emailed local insurance agent to ask for quotes on life insurance for me, and also see what is available in terms of insurance for our apartment/umbrella liability policies.

2. Organized paperwork and found the email for the lawyer I had a referral for who handles US/China will and trust issues -- will discuss getting in touch with her to set up a plan with DH when he gets home tonight.

3. Filed pending insurance and reimbursement claims -- should get about $850 back from that (had large reimbursements pending for eye care for me and the kids, also DH but he hasn't given me his receipts yet)

Thanks for the kick in the pants! Glad I got some of this stuff moving....

Florence
3-30-12, 11:05pm
1. Continue to maximize DH's 403b retirement account. In progress.
2. Save for a golf cart so that I can get around our 4 acre property. Done because we had an unexpected windfall.
3. Double our charitable giving this year. We are on target with this.
4. Save $550 per paycheck for our HIPA fund (Homeowner's Association maintenance fee, Homeowner's Insurance, Property taxes, and Auto insurance). On target with this.

jennipurrr
3-31-12, 12:17pm
The biggie goal for me is making extra payments to the mortgage. In January we were only able to make a partial extra payment, but in Feb and March we hit the goal. Right now the balance is where 11 more extra payments gets it to zero...so I am trying to use that as motivation to stay on course!

Florence
3-31-12, 2:26pm
The biggie goal for me is making extra payments to the mortgage. In January we were only able to make a partial extra payment, but in Feb and March we hit the goal. Right now the balance is where 11 more extra payments gets it to zero...so I am trying to use that as motivation to stay on course!

WooHoo!! We paid our mortgage off early and what a blessed relief that was!! Good going!! You can do it!!

rosarugosa
4-1-12, 8:59am
Thanks for this thread guys. My 2012 goals were pretty vague, so I'm tweaking them and trying to set something that's a little more of a "stretch goal" for us. That sort of thing motivates me, although I have a harder time getting DH on board. He doesn't work against me, but doesn't seem to understand why I would want to make things more challenging for us when not absolutely necessary. To me that's what makes it feel like a game though; it makes it more fun! ;)
We don't have any debt and are mortgage-free since last year, so our goals are related to savings and completing the last few major home-improvement projects. We're incurring some substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses this year, which makes it a little more challenging (and that's with good health insurance, I shudder to think what our circumstances would be without it).

Mighty Frugal
4-1-12, 3:07pm
Ours were:

to reach a new maximum in liquid savings before dh loses his job (July 2nd)-done!

Investigate cheaper insurance (house/car)-not done

Investigate cheaper cable-not done

Max out TFSA-done

Plan and pay for summer trip before the summer-done

lhamo
11-1-12, 2:53am
(BUMP)

Only a couple of months left in 2012 -- how is everybody doing? Feel free to contribute even if you didn't post on the original threads (haven't found the first one yet)

We're doing ok on the savings/investment front, but STILL haven't dealt with insurance or wills/trust. GULP! Suze Orman would have my hide. Need to raise it with DH again.

I DID put in a query with my HR person to see if it is possible to increase my life insurance amount by paying extra myself. Haven't heard back on that yet.

lhamo

iris lily
11-1-12, 3:42am
(BUMP)

... but STILL haven't dealt with insurance or wills/trust. ...
lhamo

Oh the will. hum. well. Still we don't have one. Yes I KNOW it is stupid and what a nightmare if both DH and I died, a nightmare for family.

Amusingly enough, a few weeks ago our attorney who completed a draft for us ten years ago wrote to us saying that he didn't have a copy of the signed will. I told him--um. We never signed it. We were still tweaking it. For ten years! We are completely ridiculous.

Perhaps that will be my one new years vow, get get the damned will completed.

lhamo
11-1-12, 5:57am
Thanks for making me feel better, IL. Problem with us is it would be a TRUE nightmare for our families -- two minor kids, property owned in Beijing under my CHINESE name, significant assets that would need to be moved somehow eventually. My sister lurks here and she's probably gaping in horror just about now imagining how awful it would be to try to work through all that.

Problem is every time I bring it up with DH he flips out -- doesn't want to confront the issue/our mortality, doesn't want to pick guardians, discussion of how to deal with/divide assets puts him on edge, etc. etc. Aaaagh! He is totally a head in the sand type. But in the interests of our kids and our family members I really should have insisted we settle this long ago. Time for another one of those difficult conversations....

lhamo

cattledog
11-1-12, 10:11am
We still don't have a will/trust either. We never bothered when we were married because everything was held jointly w/right of survivorship. Plus we named each other as beneficiaires on each others' retirement plans. We still don't have a guardian for our kid. We need to get on that. I'm not sure who we would ask yet. I always think about it when DH and I are in a car without our kid. If we get in an accident, what a mess it will be for people to try to figure out!

Does anyone have any recommendations on how to find an estate lawyer?

shadowmoss
11-1-12, 10:31am
Literally on the eve of heading down here to Honduras I signed my first-ever will. I figured if something happened to me I wanted my Mom to have less to worry about. So, amazingly I'm good there.

I'm looking towards January 1 to make my resolultions for next year, so I need to do some clearing out of loose ends for the next couple of months.

Spartana
11-1-12, 4:23pm
I don't really have any financial goals at this time however my sister and I are, once again, talking about buying a place together. I had posted a thread in "housing" earlier this year when we started talking about so maybe I'll find that and review the posts. I have a fairly large amount of cash from selling my house last spring in regular old savings - earning about 1% interest - and need to either invest it somewhere that pays a higher yield (any suggestions? I don't do stocks or mutual funds so not many choices besides bonds) or make the decision to buy another place on my own or with my sister. Will probably have to make that decision soon as she's getting ready to put her (tiny 600 sf or less) place on the market and wants something bigger before the prices get too high here - they are going up.

Spartana
11-1-12, 4:28pm
Thanks for making me feel better, IL. Problem with us is it would be a TRUE nightmare for our families -- two minor kids, property owned in Beijing under my CHINESE name, significant assets that would need to be moved somehow eventually. My sister lurks here and she's probably gaping in horror just about now imagining how awful it would be to try to work through all that.

Problem is every time I bring it up with DH he flips out -- doesn't want to confront the issue/our mortality, doesn't want to pick guardians, discussion of how to deal with/divide assets puts him on edge, etc. etc. Aaaagh! He is totally a head in the sand type. But in the interests of our kids and our family members I really should have insisted we settle this long ago. Time for another one of those difficult conversations....

lhamo

I know I mentioned this before but you can get your own will even if DH isn't on board yet. It will at least give you some sort of control over what you want and, in the event you and DH pass away at the same time, your desires for guardianship and inheritence will be known (and probably adhered too) even if dh's aren't.

I have a will, a medical and financial power of attorney and a living will draw up. You don't need a lawyer or estate attorney as you can do it easily yourself with docuiments you find online. A Revocable Living Trust is more difficult to do yourself but well worth the cost if you have property or assets that would go thru probate if you died.