Last January, I set seven resolutions. Three were financial, and four were personal. Let’s see how I did.
Boost Our Emergency Fund:
I wanted to boost our emergency fund to at least $15,000. We actually got there, even though my husband didn’t work for four months. We managed not to dip into savings for our home repairs, insurance and tax bills, or regular bills while he was on disability. It’s amazing how much less you spend when one of you can’t leave the house!
Increase Our Retirement Savings to 10%:
Once again, this didn’t happen. My husband received a defined contribution that totals about 7% of his salary, and my personal contribution still stands at 3%. However, we also contribute $2500 to an FSA, which ate up most of the money I would have used for the 401K. Given our medical bills last year, and expected bills this year, it was a good option. So, total, I guess we did get to 10%, but we can’t rely on that defined contribution every year and my employer still doesn’t offer a match.
Buy a New Car:
I did this! I’d planned to wait until December, but my car needed all its engine mounts replaced in August. I made the decision to save the $500 I would have spent on the repairs and move my purchase date up by four months. It was model-year-end deal time, so I still got a good price. (Really, anytime is a good time now because car sales are still depressed.) We did dip into our savings account for the down payment, but the money was already ear-marked for the car, not for an emergency.
Furnish Our House:
We did this, mostly. The whole house is now furnished. We shopped carefully and scored some good deals on nice furniture. We’ve now entered the replacement phase, where some of the old pieces have to be replaced because they’ve worn out. That includes a bed, coffee table, end tables, media stand, and computer desk. We also need to buy rugs, because the new couches slide every time we sit down.
Finish Painting My House:
I’ll say this is 90% done. In theory I still need to paint one bathroom, but the current paint is actually in good condition. It’s just a boring “swiss coffee” color. I do still need to paint the baseboards, window frames, and door jambs. Honestly, except for the room where I dripped red paint on the baseboards, the rest may never get painted. It’s not what you’d call a high priority. Plus, I hate doing it.
Fix Up the Backyard:
Big fail here. But it’s not my fault! Between taking care of my husband and working full time, I didn’t have time to do anything in the yard except tend to my tomatoes. However, I did start thinking about plants for the back and we have a solid plan to fix up the yard in 2011.
Lose Five Pounds:
I came close, but I wasn’t really trying. I actually put on five pounds while taking care of my husband. He lost 25 pounds while recovering. Where’s the justice in that? I’ve now lost most of that, but not because I was trying. It turns out I have a thyroid disorder and the pounds started to melt off once I started the medication. So, I’ve lost most of the five pounds I gained taking care of him, and may just stick there. My clothes fit better and my cholesterol levels, blood pressure, heart rate, etc. are all low.