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Merry Christmas and year end review!

December 25th, 2012 at 06:47 pm

Merry Christmas, Y'all. Ours was very long and action packed but it overall went well. I hope yours was equally jolly.

Right now, we're hunkering down waiting for a giant snowstorm to blow in tonight. It's calm now, but they're calling for up to 10 inches overnight. I'm praying the electricity stays on. If it does, everything will work out okay.

The in-laws are still in town. (Ugh), but I'm trying to grit my teeth and make the best of it.

Anyway, I thought tonight was a good a night as any to do a year end review.

My goals mostly went well. We started last year with a car loan at $7,510.48, and we paid that off this year. That feels great. We also knocked $13,411.62 off the mortgage balance.

So far, I've only paid $3130 into my ira, but I will max that out before tax time. We also fell short of our goal to put $4000 for each kid into college savings, but we did save $2400/ kid. It's just hard with the preschool bills.

Overall, not too shabby on the goals, but not 100 percent achievement either. I guess I have to accept that our situation financially as changed so much that it's not going to be guaranteed success every year. (Kids and preschool are expensive)!

My goals for my freelance work were all met. I branched out to new markets and new publications, and that went well. I'm thinking I may have overdone it, because I was sooooo busy. This year, maybe the goal should be to work smarter not harder?? I also accidentally picked up another regular gig to the tune of $150 a month/ for 1 article from the newspaper. It's not too onerous, and that's another $1800 a year with relatively little hassle on my part. That's one step closer to the goal!

I'm also thinking for this year, I'm going to take Monkey Mama's advice and just stash a bunch of cash away in a dedicated account, then use it to pay larger chunks to each goal all at once, instead of the slow, steady slog of putting tiny bits to lots of goals and not knocking them off the list until the end of the year.

***
Our financial lives will go through yet another change in fall, as our oldest is going off to kindergarten (!!!!) which is only 3 hours a day, but is free (!!!!!!!!!!!). So, we'll only have one preschool bill at that point. Maybe more can go to other goals after that.

****
In the next two weeks, I'm also going to do a check-up on bills. I have a credit card to cancel, and I need to alter my cable plan and my car insurance for the now-paid off car. Hopefully that might save us some money. And, I need to search for a new high-interest online savings account. Mine is only paying .60 percent interest, and I noticed Ally bank was higher than that. I plan to investigate.

***
Hubby got me a dough hook and a bread cookbook for Christmas, so I'm excited to try baking our own bread. And, I've been doing a better job of sticking to a tight weekly budget for food and whatnot. Things should be looking up in 2013!

7 Responses to “Merry Christmas and year end review!”

  1. Bingo Says:

    Happy holidays and congratulations on the progress you made in 2012! We made no progress in 2012 which is why I joined this website. Hey I too am doing the dedicated account idea. I feel this makes sure we have plenty of money in savings if something unexpected comes up, but then once we have paid down a bill to a reasonable amount and built up savings past that amount, pay the bill with the savings.

    For example we owe 3700 on our truck. We are paying 500 a month which is more than the required amount, and extra when we can. In February the balance is predicted to be 2500- which we will pay with a savings account. Looking forward to that day.

    Best wishes and happy new year!

  2. Beawealthywarrior Says:

    Great job with reaching your goals and Merry Christmas!

  3. snafu Says:

    Terrific job and I hope you're smiling with success. I think it's important to set slightly higher goals to aim for. Getting the truck paid off earlier than the loan you signed is so important. Let us know how you enjoy making bread and if you can, cost out the average loaf. There are so many variations for bread you can make something different every other day!

  4. LuckyRobin Says:

    I think you did well. We start saving for DD's college this year, once the credit cards are gone. I'm going to aim for $1000 a month.

  5. ThriftoRama Says:

    $1000 a month! geesh! That is a chunk of change. Can I ask how old DD is?
    Our m.o. has always been save early and often. We opened the kids' 529s as soon as I was pregnant, to get an extra year's deposits/ deductions. And, although some have suggested delaying the college deposits while we work on other goals, I'm reluctant because right now, we have time on our side for earnings, etc. The kids are 3 and 4.

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    That's great about picking up the extra article a month!

  7. LuckyRobin Says:

    DD is 16 and is a junior. We don't want to take out any loans or have her take out any loans. Right now both the local university and the nearby one in Oregon that she is leaning toward charge $14,000 a year or thereabouts. We have not saved for college because of all of our money going to get our debt gone. We want to save a chunk and then cash flow it when she starts.

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