Savings Goals from 2011
Maintain six months of expenses in an emergency fund. Our emergency fund is currently at $25,000. Considering we have roughly $4,000 in monthly expenses, that amount will get us by for six months. In a perfect world that might be higher, but I’m happy where it is for now. So, our goal there is to maintain it and not have to dip into it to meet other savings goals (i.e. property taxes, down payments, etc.) Update: We were able to successfully keep our emergency fund at a healthy level. I’m proud of this, given our other lofty goals below.
Save $4,200 for property taxes by the end of the year. We pay our own property taxes and have been saving $350 a month all year to make sure we have enough set aside to pay those. Right now the account is at $3,850, so one more contribution will get us there and then the only decision left to make is a tax-related one: whether to pay it in 2011 or in 2012? Update: We decided to pay property taxes in 2011 and take the deduction then. We also kept the automatic savings deposit going into this account and we are prepared for another payment in December 2012.
Save $60,000 for a down payment on a new home by March 2012. We have plans to rent out our current place and buy a new home early next year. Considering we have no funds currently designated for this, this goal will be a challenge. But, we have a couple of things working for us. We have some money in my business accounts that could help out, roughly $20,000. We also have plans to sell one of our vehicles, netting us $20,000. So, the real goal is to save $20,000 from new income in four and half months. The blog is doing well and I still have about $5,000 to collect from the conference, so we should be close. Worst case scenario we have to dip into our $25,000 emergency fund. Update: Income remained strong and we made our full 20% down payment on the house without a dip into the emergency fund, and without selling the vehicle.
Contribute $5,000 each (max for 2011) to our Roth IRAs before we file our taxes in March 2012. We love our Roth IRAs and have contributed something to them each year for the past three years. Reaching the max will be a stretch considering what all else we have going on, but it’s a goal if other pieces fall into place. We have been automatically contributing $100 each month to each of our accounts, so we will have already racked up $1,200 each in contributions by the end of the year. Update: We successfully made our maximum contributions to the Roths. I thought this might prevent us from making the down payment in full, but it ended up working out. Good thing we did too because we won’t be able to make a Roth IRA contribution in 2012 thanks to our income exceeding the limits.
Contribute any remaining funds to a SEP IRA or Solo 401K. I’m going to open this solo 401K account soon and potentially use it to help reduce our tax burden for this year. Therefore, I might have to shift some money that would have gone to the Roth IRAs to this account. We’ll see. I’ll update you all in the year-end tax planning post. Update: We did open up the Solo 401K and contributed $16,500, the maximum, plus the employer contribution of $7,500, which was 25% of my 2011 salary.
Continue to contribute $25 a month to each of our girls’ 529 College Savings Plans. We have an automatic contribution of $25 going each month to each of these two 529 savings plans. It’s not much, but it’s something and we’re making sure to take care of our own retirement needs first. Something I recommend for every parent. One maintenance thing we need to do here is change the beneficiary of one of the accounts from Mrs. PT to our second daughter, Little Miss PT. Update: We’re still contributing the small amount each month, but we’ve yet to change the beneficiary. I hope to knock this out by the end of the year.
Want to see my goals from the previous year? Click to the next page.