Monday, March 8, 2010

Financial Goals for 2010

These last few weeks have been crazy busy and way stressful. I haven't hardly had time to wrap my head around things much less process anything or do anything that wasn't absolutely necessary. So blogging kind of fell by the wayside.

I'd like to say that things are slowing down or working themselves out or something encouraging like that, but it doesn't look like it. At least for the time being.

Good news? We finally hashed out our 2010 savings goals! Whoo hoo!

Really.

I hate not knowing what I need to do with my money and this kept getting shoved to the side with more important things happening and our collectively crazy schedules. We had a budget in place so we didn't feel it was THAT important.

Then we got our tax return.

Now what do we do?

So, yesterday evening, after the kids were in bed, our other work was done and in spite of being tired and wanting to go to bed, we hashed out our savings goals for this year.

Collectively we have about 10-12 but these are the first 5 that we're working on - the 'necessary' ones. The rest are optional, and even in cases appear necessary, but really are just nice things that would be good.

These 5 categories are things that we are already committed to or are necessary for our sanity:
  1. Memberships and Fees. (This includes our car tabs, John's licensing for work, etc.) 0% funded.
  2. Lea's PhD Tuition for Summer and Fall 2010. (We used up our savings in this category and, since I'm not guaranteed work each term at this point, we must save for this even if we end up not needing it.) 38% funded.
  3. Buddy and Missy's Tuition for the 2010-11 School Year. 0% funded.
  4. Buddy and Missy's School Uniforms. 0% funded
  5. Dates out including symphony tickets and babysitters. 60% funded.

Yes, I guess the dates out are 'optional' as well, but they are necessary for our sanity! Not to mention our relationship. We find that at home we typically aren't as engaged with each other as we are when we're out, so actually going 'out' is back on our 'must do' list! Often our families will give us a bit of money for birthdays to 'go out to eat' and that money goes in this category. We also put part of our Christmas money and a small amount of our tax return in here as well, which is why that category is pretty well funded. Again, this is a sanity thing, more than a real 'necessity', but we feel it's well worth it!

The majority of the tax return goes into my school tuition - after also maxing out my 2009 IRA contribution and paying the tax preparer.

We have about half of the kids' tuition in our weekly budget now, so that category will slowly fill up over time - we just need to find the other 'half.'

We have several others - including paying our savings back in 3 different categories, saving for 2 car trips, and saving up for a new vehicle and a couple of car repairs. I'm not sure if we're going to get to any of those this year except the repairs, but we'll see what we can do. As these 5 get crossed off the list, I'll add these others in.

How are you doing on your financial goals in 2010? Care to share?

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Lea