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.

2012 Savings Challenge

Our financial goals for 2012:

Short term goals

Refinancing our mortgage. 

DONE!  CHECK!  We did it!   We refinanced our mortgage and got a lower rate and lower payment.   Like I mentioned in my earlier post be prepared for anything.   Right now even those with excellent credit are having problems with the refinancing process so take a deep breath and go for it.  It will be a bumpy ride but worth the savings.

Prepare yourself!

1. Make at least 2 copies of your most recent pay stubs or income statements.

2. Collect all of your bank statements for the last month including checking, savings, CDs, 401k, and IRAs.  Make at least 2 copies.

3.  Collect all of your debt statements for the last month including mortgage, Credit Card, and Student loans. Make at least 2 copies.

4.  Make at least 2 copies of any other assets you have.

5.  Look at your most recent credit score.  Have it handy.

6. Then start talking to your banks and referenced brokers for some quick quotes and figure out which one you want to work with.

7.  Be prepared that it will be a bumpy ride but it is worth it!

The good news is we are now saving more than $400 a month on interest!  In addition, this is STILL OUR ONLY debt.

The plan is to pay ourselves back first to cover the closing costs before we can use the additional savings for other goals.

Finding a financial adviser

So far these last few months have been well stressful and a lot of work.  I think I got drained from the refinancing process that I haven’t taken the time to find a financial adviser.  I have a couple names but we haven’t taken the next steps yet to interview them.   This is a goal for the next couple of months.  Any suggestions?

Save towards a vacation or 2?

We have saved for this goal and we are looking forward to enjoy it.  We might even splurge and go on an additional vacation but we haven’t made a final decision.  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. 

Still need to create an account for this goal and start doing it. It might be a smaller savings per month but I’m sure we will do it faster now that we finished saving for our short term goals.

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.

This is one of the topics I will be asking the financial planner when we interview them.  I want to know are we investing ok in our IRAs and 401ks.   If I stop working where should I transfer my 401k?  Are we balanced through our accounts?  Are we choosing the right options?   Lots of questions.

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?

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