Saturday, February 23, 2013

Financial Goals Update

I've been debating whether or not to write this post. I know a lot of people, including some of my readers, are struggling financially right now. The last thing I want is for someone to think I'm rubbing it in as to our financial situation, that I'm bragging about where we are. If it comes across that way, I am so sorry, I don't mean for it to. I've had a couple people who read the blog ask how we're doing on our goals, and that's what prompted me to write this after all.

Here are the goals we set back in August, and where we stand with them:

#1: Have our car loan paid off by Thanksgiving
We accomplished this one with a week or so to spare. For awhile it wasn't looking like we'd be able to as we had to replace our whole water softener system. We weren't expecting that, so we had to take out a loan for about $3,000 in order to get one. We paid off both loans, and were debt free (minus the mortgage) by Thanksgiving.

#2: Save up and purchase (in cash) a new camera by December 31st
In November I wrote a post on why we weren't buying the camera. The need for a new mattress was a much higher priority, and we thought we'd push the camera purchase back until January. However, we were blessed and received our camera as a Christmas gift instead. So technically we didn't complete this one, but can still cross it off.

#3: Have $10,000 in our savings account by July 1st.
This was a huge goal that we were nervous about even trying to achieve. With all the things listed above that we had to purchase unexpectedly, then our dishwasher was dying and needed replacing, and then the space heater in the finished portion of our basement died, we were losing hope.

On Wednesday of this past week, not only were we able to complete this goal, but we surpassed it. Four and a half months early.

We are feeling completely and utterly blessed right now. When we look at our budget and how much money we've really brought in, the numbers do not make sense at all.

Wednesday night I was feeling a little lost; we've been working so hard to get these goals accomplished, that now that they were finished, I told Pete we had to set new goals. Here they are:

#1: When the rest of our tax refund came in, take part of it and buy Shawna a new laptop
My laptop has suffered a lot of abuse over the past 5 years by children. It overheats and shuts down every time to you try to upload, download, or watch a video. The screen blacks out every few minutes, it doesn't charge well, and when it does, it won't hold it longer than 10 minutes, and half of the USB ports no longer work.

We set this goal Wednesday, and the rest of our taxes came in this week. We just happened to find a great sale on a laptop this morning, ordered it, and it will be here in the next week or so.

#2: Have $17,000 in our savings account by July 1st.
I have little faith that this one can get accomplished; Pete thinks we can have it done early. He's so optimistic :)

The reason we want this amount is because our van is going to need to be replaced soon. It passed inspection just fine, but it's starting to rust/rot on the bottom, and it's getting very sluggish. We're planning on trading it in and getting a newer one (still used, not brand new!) this summer. Having that amount in our savings will allow us to pay cash for a nicer vehicle that will last us quite a few years, and still have a nice amount in our account.

Our ultimate goal is to have $15,000 in the account as an emergency fund; that amount is the approximate equivalent to 6 months living expenses for our family. Once that goal is accomplished, we'll move on to saving for retirement and the kids' college education.

For a refresher, check out my original post on the importance of having financial goals and how to stay on track with them here.

Have you accomplished any of your financial goals lately?

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