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UPDATE: 2012 Savings Challenge

Come join me!   Please leave a comment below of what your financial goals are this year!   Let’s work together to achieve them.

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July.  We had a stressful one.  We were out of power for over 108 hours starting on the Friday before and didn’t get it back until the morning of the 4th.  Thankfully we had generator power thanks to my wonderful husband.   But it was limited and so very hot.  After we got back online getting posts done has had to be put on the back burner.  I needed to take care of my family and get some things done.   I’m glad I’m back.

2012 Savings Challenge

Our financial goals for 2012:

Short term goals

Refinancing our mortgage. 

DONE! 

Finding a financial adviser

Still need to work on this one.  I need to get my ducks in a row.

Save towards a vacation or 2?

We got to enjoy a vacation!   It was amazing!   We used our savings for that but it looks like we have to wait a bit longer before we do another one.   We need to cut back a bit more on our spending in order to reach this goal.  This might be on hold.

New Goal!   Cutting our Grocery Bill again!

Groceries lately are eating at our expenses because my boys are drinking a lot of milk and we are being so good about eating better.  We are eating a lot of veggies, and fresh fruits.  I’m so proud that we are eating better  but being on a single income now and feeding 5 on our budget has been a big challenge.  I increased the budget but we are still over spending.  Now I’m trying to figure out other ways to cut back.

Pet Costs have increased

Our cats are getting older and have some behavioral issues so we are working on that.  It’s the stress of having kids.  It has also been something I haven’t wanted to concentrate on. So I’m helping them.  The costs this month will be well over $500 for the consult, vet bill, food and other materials.  Thankfully this won’t be a routine so I might consider this an emergency expense for us.   I will be increasing the budget for them due to the increase in food costs.

Long Term goals:

Saving for a car. 

This will have to be a smaller savings as we go forward.

Saving more for retirement.

This is one of the topics I will be asking the financial planner when we interview them.

Saving more for college.

This is the next topic I want to ask the financial planner.  We are investing the minimum in our kids 529k plan but how much should we try and save after our retirement above?  Or should we take the additional we would have put towards retirement and put it towards college savings?

Photo Credit:  FreePixels.com
These are my own opinions and personal views please see my Disclosure policy.
Posted on

2012 Savings Challenge

 

Come join me!   Please leave a comment below of what your financial goals are this year!   Let’s work together to achieve them.

I’m super excited to share our 2012 Savings Challenge.  Of course, I’m sharing this in February.  Time flies when you are having fun.

As most of my readers know, in March 2011 we were blessed with identical twin boys!  It amazes me that we have survived the year.   We also have “Doodle” our wonderful daughter who is a great big sister.  If you missed it this is the review of 2011.

2012 Savings Challenge

Our financial goals for 2012:

Short term goals

Refinancing our mortgage.  

Rates are very low and it makes perfect sense.  I highly recommend refinancing but be prepared for anything!

In January, we took the plunge and now we are almost at the end of the process.   I plan to write a bit about our experience.   We’ve refinanced a couple of times in our lifetime and I will say this time it wasn’t easy at all.   The laws have changed and it has made it very difficult.

It will take us about 12 months to recoup the closing costs and another 12 months to cover the cost of paying down our mortgage.  One of the issues we had is our appraisal didn’t come in as high as we needed so we will have to use some savings to pay down our principle.   The appraisal process is subjective to the appraiser.  *sigh*

The good news is we will save more than $400 a month on interest!  That is so exciting.  

In addition, this is our ONLY debt.

Finding a financial adviser

We went to a financial adviser several years ago and really liked the idea of having someone that can look at our financial situation and confirm we are on the right or wrong track.  We are looking for an adviser.

Save towards a vacation. 

This is a goal we are so looking forward to do.  It is an immediate goal since we will be doing it this year.  We plan on saving each month in a separate account.  We also are looking at ways to travel in a frugal way.  Now that we are a family of 5 we love places that feed kids for FREE or have deep discounts for off season times.   We can’t wait!

 

Long Term goals:

Saving for a car. 

We have 5 vehicles!  Yes, you read that right.  We  know since the vehicles are older that we need to do MORE  maintenance and there might come a time when it will make sense to buy a newer vehicle.   We hope to be completed with this goal in a couple years.   I plan to write more posts about why we own so many vehicles and how we make it frugal.  Here is Part 1 and Part 2 posts I wrote a couple years ago about our cheap SUV.

Saving more for retirement.

Since I’m working very little now I only include the matching that my company offers.  My husband is maxing out on his 401k.  I’m amazed that we can afford it.  Now, with the savings from our mortgage I want to see if we can do additional savings for retirement.  Wouldn’t it be amazing to retire earlier then what we think?

Saving more for college.

We did the minimum for our kids 529 plans and now that we have the savings from our mortgage to add additional savings.

Photo Credit:  FreePixels.com