Savings Goals from 2010
Happy New Year! Don’t you love this time of year? I’m a pretty hopeful guy usually, and the promise of a whole new year gets me really fired up. I’ve had my hits and misses with the resolutions over the years, but I remain hopeful still.
If you want to see how I did against last year’s financial goals, see my post about 2009 goals. In short, we crushed it. In 2009 Mrs. PT and I paid off our auto loan and our student loans, we maxed out our retirement funds (401k and Roth IRA), we maintained a nice emergency fund, we got life insurance, we started a 529 college savings plan, and we were able to start saving up some money for another house down payment.
I’m not going to get down into the nitty gritty with my financial goals for 2010. But I’ll give you a flavor of what I’d like to achieve. I recommend you make your own goals SMART.
- Maintain our emergency savings. Year End Update: We were able to do this effectively, which is great considering I went self-employed and saw some ups and downs in income. We discovered during our meeting with a CFP that we need to boost our emergency savings. So look for that goal in 2011.
- Maximize 2009 and 2010 contributions to our Roth IRAs. Year End Update: We each made $2,500 contributions to our 2009 Roth IRA’s in April of 2010. We opted for half the max since our income situation changed. Since quitting the corporate world we haven’t had the confidence to fund the 2010 Roth IRA yet. Luckily we have until the date we file our taxes. I am hoping that by then we will have enough excess cash to make a significant contribution here. Also, beginning in January, two automatic contribution withdrawals will go into action for these accounts. So we will at least be making contributions. Hey, here’s me taking a bit of my own medicine.
- Maximize 2010 contributions to our 401(k). Year End Update: Since I left my job I’m unable to do this. But I did contribute a lot before I left. I have yet to start up a Solo 401K or SEP IRA to replace my 401K. I did, however, roll the old 401K into a Rollover IRA with Vanguard.
- Increase giving and do it more consistently. Year End Update: We failed in this area. Here we are at the end of the year and we are struggling to give as much as we want. I am going to make a better effort to give more of my money automatically in 2011 and to give more of my time. It’s ridiculous that I don’t give more of my time since I can basically set my own hours now.
- Build up savings for a new house or investment (maybe). Year End Update: We did not do this. But 2011 is looking promising since the income from the blog has now replaced my old corporate job’s income.
- Spend more consciously. Year End Update: This was a generic goal. Did we achieve it? Probably during parts of the year, yes. Leaving my job really made me focus on what I was spending. But as income rose, so did unconscious spending. I’m not convinced we need to work on this much in 2011. Two kids will put the damper on our ability to do much spending anyway. Plus, if we are achieving our savings goals through automation, there is no need to clamp down on spending.
Nothing really new this year. As you can tell though, we’d like to do a better job of giving and spending in 2010. Even with the 2009 success, we felt like our discipline slipped on the spending front, and our giving wasn’t what it could have been. I’ve got a couple of ideas to make these a reality.
Want to see my goals from the previous year? Click to the next page.