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2010 Savings Challenge Update – July 2010

 

How are you doing on your 2010 Financial goals?

Now that my toddler is a toddler I haven’t had the chance to write as much about this as I originally planned in the beginning of the year.   Before I lose track I wanted to quickly post our savings challenge and our update to it.

Check out the category from earlier posts this year.

Our goals that will take most of the year to complete:

1. Note a new situation: Switching our daughter into a different daycare.  We made the decision to switch her to a more expensive daycare that we felt fits our needs and she is so happy and learning so much.

Increase in childcare expenses.

2. Investing: It looks like we will reach about 50% of our goal this year.

3.  Save towards landscaping our front yard.  We need to get a couple estimates to figure out how much we need to save. We plan on doing some of it ourselves and having someone come and help too.

Similar to this post I haven’t had a chance to update  Gardening 2010 as much as I hoped.  The deer ate the square foot garden back in May and my plants are just recovering now.  At least I have some experience from this!

We are having some landscape lighting done later this year and we have planned and budgeted for it.

4.  Pay taxes or save taxes:  We got taxes back!  That has helped out a lot in our saving goals.

5. Save towards remodeling our master bathroom.  Our bathroom is fine for now but it needs some tile work and we’ve thought long and hard and realized that it needs a good makeover and we plan on getting some estimates.

We have enough now in our savings thanks to the taxes (goal 4) we got back and other savings that we can go for this goal this year thanks to cutting back on goal 2 and 3 above.  We just got our first estimate.  Now we have decisions to make.

Goals we are continuing to do successfully:

1.  Continue to pay off credit cards each month!

Of course. Note: Make sure you use your credit cards at least twice each year to avoid any non-usage fees and then PAY them off.  I’ve learned that some of my banks are including this fee now due to the changes of the laws. I have to check each of my cards and make a decision if we want to keep them all.

2.  Try to spend only $40 a week on groceries and try and spend less on eating out.

I want to stay on track and do meal planning each week.  It hasn’t gone as well as I hoped but we are trying.

3. Max out our retirement accounts.

Maxing out will be done this year but we aren’t going to look at saving in other options because of other goals in mind this year.  This one is being moved down.

4.  Continue to save each month into our daughter’s 529k plan.

Yes, this is continuing each month with the other goals we have we won’t be increasing it.

What are your goals for 2010? Have they changed during the course of the year?

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ING Direct Offering Specials on 7/1/10-7/2/10

I’m a huge fan of ING Direct.  It is simple to use and it is the best way to save automatically.  I’m a firm believer of paying your self first by automatically saving from each paycheck or per month.  Then I pay the rest of the bills with what I have. That way I can’t overspend.

In my email this week, I got a hint to a new sale ING Direct Financial Independence Days Sale that ING Direct is going to offer July 1-2.

Check out  Netbanker.com who wrote an article with more details about the sale.  Back in November last year they had a great Thanksgiving Sale that offered money after signing up for their FREE e-checking account.  Super easy to do and a great account to use as a debt account.

I love referring people to ING Direct and I get a little something in return when I do refer others as well as the new customer!  If you are interested in being referred especially during this event please email me with the email account you wish to sign up for to redberrydeals (at) gmail (dot) com and I will send you the referral link.

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2010 Savings Challenge Update – March 2010

How are you doing on your 2010 Financial goals?

Check out my post from earlier this year HERE.

Our goals that will take most of the year to complete:

1.  With the extra savings from our mortgage each month we are going take it and invest.   We will include stock that we were going to sell last year into this fund.  We have a goal and so far we have about 40% saved up!

Thanks to paying myself first each month, we expect this year to reach 47% to 54% of our goal.  I’m curious what we will reach!

2.  Save towards landscaping our front yard.  We need to get a couple estimates to figure out how much we need to save. We plan on doing some of it ourselves and having someone come and help too.

Thanks to looking at my savings I have a good amount to start off with already in this budget.  In March we bought a nice used tractor to help with our lawn, snow removal and other necessary things, of course for a great deal.  Thanks to Craig’s list.  I’ll write a post about that soon.  It’s great buying used.    Plus, we just sold our old riding lawn mower so that will help the the cost.  Soon to be more about that in my new posts about Gardening 2010.

3.  New goal: Pay taxes or save taxes

It is tax time season and I’ve just submitted my taxes to be done.  I might owe taxes or might get some back. We will see.

Goals we are continuing to do successfully:

1.  Continue to pay off credit cards each month!

Of course. Note: Make sure you use your credit cards at least twice each year to avoid any non-usage fees and then PAY them off.  I’ve learned that some of my banks are including this fee now due to the changes of the laws. 

2.  Try to spend only $40 a week on groceries and try and spend less on eating out.

We have been eating out a little bit but not as much as we used.  Thanks to coupons and finding yummy recipes online.  I want to stay on track and do meal planning each week.

3. Max out our retirement accounts and look at other options to save even more into retirement.

Again, thanks to paying myself first this will be done this year.

4.  Continue to save each month into our daughter’s 529k plan.

Yes, this is continuing each month, with the other goals we have we might increase the amount soon.

Goals that we will start to do this year.

8.  Save towards remodeling our master bathroom.  Our bathroom is fine for now but it needs some tile work and we’ve thought long and hard and realized that it needs a good makeover and we plan on getting some estimates.

We haven’t started this goal yet this year.

Keep Saving!

What are your goals for 2010?

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2010 Savings Challenge

I’m a huge fan of so many bloggers including Mrs. MoneySaver and Frugalfriends.wordpress.com.  It is so inspirational to read about each of their goals for 2010!

I’m so excited because if you read my earlier post from last year about our financial goals 2009 I’m excited to say that we’ve done everything on the list and then some!   We’ve done a lot and we continue to stay on track!

This is what we did in 2009!

1. Continue to pay our credit cards each month!

2. 6+ months of expenses for emergency fund

3. Increased each of our life insurance policies!

4. Got an umbrella policy.

5. I’m super excited to say that we maxed out on our retirement accounts!

6. We started a 529k for our daughter and family has even helped with some gifts.

7.  We refinanced our mortgage 2 months ago and lowered our mortgage payment by 9% per month!  That might not sound like a lot but for us that is a decent amount.  Of course that means we went back to a 30 year mortgage but I’m pleased with that.  Here is a great article from Ric Edelman — 10 reasons to Keep a Big – Large Mortgage.

8.  We are going to keep our extra stock and keep it until it rebounds a little bit more.  The advisor fees are too high to keep it after that. We are going to put this money towards our next savings goal.

9.  Get a home equity line of credit – Still looking into this option.  At this point we are comfortable with our current options.

10. Go on vacation!

Financial Goals 2010

Woohoo!  We only have our mortgage debt!  Not bad!    After a quick milkshake with the hubby we came up with these goals.

1.  Continue to pay off credit cards each month!

2.  Try to spend only $40 a week on groceries and try and spend less on eating out.

3. Max out our retirement accounts and look at other options to save even more into retirement.

4.  Continue to save each month into our daughter’s 529k plan.

5.  With the extra savings from our mortgage each month we are going take it and invest.   We will include stock that we were going to sell last year into this fund.  We have a goal and so far we have about 40% saved up!

6.  We went on vacation!  Woohoo!  Thanks to saving and being frugal at Christmas we went on vacation.  More about that soon.

7.  Save towards landscaping our front yard.  We need to get a couple estimates to figure out how much we need to save. We plan on doing some of it ourselves and having someone come and help too.

8.  Save towards remodeling our master bathroom.  Our bathroom is fine for now but it needs some tile work and we’ve thought long and hard and realized that it needs a good makeover and we plan on getting some estimates.

Keep Saving!

What are your goals for 2010?