Every year, I share my family's Financial Goals, then update them each quarter, both to hold us accountable and to inspire you to write out and achieve your own goals. Here's the Quarter 3 update:
We didn't have any major challenges in the past three months, just two trips (a family vacation to Niagara Falls and a wedding in Santa Barbara) that we budgeted for by saving a little each month all year. We came in under budget on both trips (whoo hoo!) which has helped me stay positive about our strict day-to-day spending, since we were able to have fun and relax.
Here's the progress we've made on our original 2014 Financial Goals:
1) Create an emergency fund with 6 months' worth of expenses by March 31st. ONGOING
So much for March 31st…but we're very close to this goal. I spent quite a bit last week on our van, so we need to actually make our “emergency fund” less touchable and have enough in a smaller savings account for repairs and those smaller “emergencies.” You know, the kind that aren't actually emergencies because you know they're going to happen (appliance repairs, car repairs, etc.). I need to figure out how to have separate savings accounts at our credit union, so we can actually separate our short-term savings from this emergency fund.
2) Max out husband's retirement contribution at work (ASAP) and open an IRA for me (by December). DONE
We haven't made any 2014 contributions to the IRA we opened, but we have until April 15, 2015, to do so. It doesn't feel like we've made a lot of progress here, and since I'm technically a stay-at-home-mom with only some retirement money set aside from the years I worked as a teacher, I really want to make more regular progress. I like the ideas laid out in 6 Little Things you can do to Boost Your Retirement Savings, and I definitely need to do their #3 and get those smaller accounts rolled over.
3) Work with a lawyer to get our will, trust and guardianship done by April 1st. DONE
I'm so glad we got this done. It just feels good to know that our plans are in writing and that both our kids and assets are taken care of in case of a major tragedy. If you haven't started this process yet, it's time to do it! So many families are not covered legally and financially. Learn more about Writing a Will.
4) Stick to our monthly budget to stay debt-free while covering expenses like taxes, a new couch, and trips. ONGOING
We have been meeting regularly (once a week about small stuff, once a month about the larger goals), to make sure that we stay on track. We're back to using cash for our variable expenses (personal allowances, family entertainment, etc.) so we can stay on budget each month. And this July we bought a new-to-us couch for 1/5 the price of new (whoo hoo!). A military family we knew in our neighborhood moved out of state, and we've been really happy with the sectional they sold us.
Original image by Carly Jane1 at Flickr