Jan 07 2010

Looking back on 2009 goals (before I forget!)

I recently posted about my goals for 2010, and I thought I’d do a quick recap of my 2009 goals before I forget to do it.

File taxes ASAP. We did file them as soon as we had all our paperwork. I honestly can’t remember if we owed or received a refund. It must not have been major enough for me to remember.

Eliminate car payment. We did pay off our car in May 2009. We went back and forth on the method — sometimes we paid extra per month, and sometimes we put money into a savings account. We ended up saving up to pay it off in one big payment, since the economy was so shaky and we thought it would be better to have as much cash on hand as possible. Not having a car payment has been fantastic! Our money really goes a lot further. We’re now saving to pay for a second vehicle with cash someday.

Increase retirement contributions, start college fund, set aside money for a house. We didn’t change our retirement contributions. Right now, it’s about 9 percent of Shane’s gross income with no company match. We will increase it within the next few years. The college fund didn’t get started last year. I did start Johnny’s college fund the other day, sort of. It’s just an earmarked account in our high-interest savings account at the moment. There isn’t much money in there, and there won’t be for awhile. We just have a few other financial priorities at the moment. Still, a few bucks here and there won’t break our budget, and it’ll help Johnny down the road. And, if he gets cash gifts, they’ll go into that account for now.

Money for a house is being postponed — we’re going to get money for that second vehicle first. I am optimistic that we’ll be able to resume saving for a house later this year.



2 Responses to “Looking back on 2009 goals (before I forget!)”

  1. The average price of a new car in the U. S. is $28,400 and as soon as you drive it off the lot you’ve already lost a bundle. We only buy used Volvo station wagons. They’re safe, they last forever, and they don’t cost very much. Plus they can haul a lot of yard sale junk.

    Here’s how it breaks down. We buy the wagon for $6,500 and keep it for two years. Then we sell it for $3,000. That means we have had a good quality vehicle for $3,500. Of course, there are always repairs, but we’re still way ahead of the game.

    Suren, a young film maker, bought an almost-new Prius on Ebay at a big savings – plus he didn’t have to be wait-listed for six months. The owner was located in Chicago, where Suren’s mom lives, so she picked up the car and drove it out to her son in L. A. That’s what mothers are for.

    Here’s a surprising fact about hybrids: they cut down on gas usage, but if you’re seriously trying to reduce your carbon footprint it is more earth-friendly to buy a used car of any brand. It takes a heap of energy to build a new vehicle – even a green one.

    I’m all for car pooling. Whether you’re driving to the office, or dropping the kids off at school, it makes sense to share the fuel costs while reducing road congestion. This might force you to miss your favorite NPR shows, but you can hear them later online.

    Here’s a clever concept. You can be car-free by joining Zipcar: a car-sharing company. You just reserve a car whenever you need one, and pay by the hour. Gas and insurance are included.

    There are lots of senior transportation programs all over the country. They provide taxi vouchers, group vans, and volunteer drivers to help older people get to stores and medical appointments. I hate to sound ageist, but this is a much better idea than having ninety-year-olds behind the wheel. My Danish mother-in-law drove herself to her country house every week – long after she could barely see or hear.
    .-= Bargain Junkie´s last blog ..FASHIONISTA BARGAINISTA: PART SIX =-.

  2. I kinda wasted the not having a car payment thing. My truck is darn near a classic car … wait… it technically is. I’m rather mechanically inclined, so I’m going to drive it till the frame breaks beyond weldability. Getting one of those Hilton books and some hand tools can actually save you money on some things. You have to consider the value of the tools over time, and the cost of your time. For example: if the breaks need changed and I’ve gone fishing one too many times for the summer, it’s worth it. If overtime is calling and there is a foot of snow on the ground… it’s going to the brake shop.

    The big things, if you have the inclination, are what saves you. It didn’t take much in tools, but I replaced by exhaust system from the headers back because the catalytic converter had gone out. If I remember the numbers right, I was quoted somewhere in the area of $1500-$2000. Parts and tools cost me $800. That was still a pretty big tag, but I saved a good chunk by taking a sunny saturday afternoon to tinker around.
    .-= Jared McLaughlin´s last blog ..The Countdown Begins… =-.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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