I am back to writing and back to life as normal. Its crazy to think that the new year is here and the holidays are over. I just wanted to thank everyone who left encouraging comments or sent nice emails. I really appreciate all the support you guys have shown me. Luckily, I felt much better almost immediately after that day and have been trying to change thought patterns along with a few other things. I had a great holiday and I feel refreshed and ready to begin this new year with some newfound zeal and positivity. I also realized that with the break from blogging, I had not had a chance to review my financial progress and do an end of the year review with you guys. I thought as the sort of personal finance blogger that I am, it would be good to do so now.
Personal Finance Goals Accomplished in 2012
1. Be credit card debt free. PASS. This one was the most important one. We had more than $5k in credit card debt and we were able to knock it out within 7 months with careful budgeting and preparation. It was an awesome moment to make that final payment for sure.
2. Pay over $1000 in student loan payments. PASS. This goal was a little underwhelming I admit but I wanted to allocate as much money as possible to paying off the credit card. I am happy to say that I am almost at $11k in total student loan debt. I started the year with almost $12.5k in debt so there is definitely improvement.
3. Put over $500 in the travel fund. FAIL. We went to Myrtle Beach over Thanksgiving so we used most of our travel funds for that trip but I have no regrets on that one. I think we will have to cool it on traveling for a little while until we build up more savings.
4. Save $5,000 in emergency savings. PASS. This was probably the most exciting one. Okay, do you want to know the final count? Well, I haven’t talked about it on my blog but we were able to put away $9,000 in savings!! We did get some generous cash christmas presents but we did manage to save a lot on our own as well. Discover bank cd rates even helped us earn some interest too. This makes me feel a little better about 2013 as we do have some cushion over what life may throw at us. Knock on wood.
I think all in all, I did good. My boyfriend and I have been discussing new ways to save in the year especially since it may look like taxes will rise due to our lovely lawmakers (sarcasm) in Washington. Overall, we are very proud of our financial progress.
Personal Finance Goals for 2013
1. Buy a new used car for myself and a truck for my boyfriend. My car has a crazy amount of miles on it and will be replaced soon. The good thing is its a reliable car but it won’t last forever. Also, my boyfriend is currently looking for new used truck for himself as it is the only way he can one day work for himself in the home repair field.
2. Get life term life insurance for both of us and also disability insurance for him. The only reason I have not gotten this sooner is that my boyfriend is a smoker (I know). He is currently close to quitting completely but the truth is the rates for smokers on both insurances are sky high so I have to wait until he has quit completely. The disability insurance is just another way to insure that our future is taken care of if in case (God forbid) something happens especially when considering his career path.
3. Continue putting money away in my retirement account and start one for my boyfriend. My Roth IRA remains painfully underfunded but in my defense, I have been busy paying off other things.
This is the year where I will start to put a significant amount in retirement savings. I know my boyfriend and I are in our 20′s but I want to get a jump on this. After reading all the new stories of how social security may not be around forever, it really motivates me to save as much as I can for that. If I have to eat cat food in retirement than I at least want it to be premium grade (haha, just kidding).
4. Save at least $12,000 in emergency savings. This one is going to be tough for sure especially since I won’t be able to save for a while as we will have to pay a huge tax bill in a few months to the government for my boyfriend’s taxes. He is currently self employed and therefore, did not have to pay taxes until April of this year but this means we will owe at least a couple of thousand to the government. Yeah, no fun. Anyone who is self employed knows the pain of this one.
5. Start contributing monthly to charity. I am one that strongly believes in giving back. I would really like to pick a charity and do a contribution each month. I haven’t decided how much but I at least want to give something. First, I have to see how much the new tax laws will affect us and how much a new truck would be for my boyfriend. He has started the process of looking but we will not know how much a good truck will cost him until we find it.
6. Start a diversified stock portfolio. I am very new to buying stocks but one of my goals this year is to start buying stocks that offer dividends as a way to keep building passive income. I plan on doing a whole post on this later on. I will probably be asking for help on this as I try to learn as much as I can on what kind of stocks to pick and so on.
There you have it. I have some new things in the works for this blog but you will have to wait and see. For now, I am glad to be back and writing about my life again. I am still adamant on saving as much as I can and trying to do whats best for my financial future. I hope you will still come along for the ride