Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 Financial goals

to be honest I have to start here as I feel the best about my progress in this category. :)

1. Home Equity Loan - well I haven't exactly paid the last cent on this puppy, but I have a good reason- honest! I went from a balance of 34,876 (approximately) to 8,000 at the end of the year. I have the money to pay off the loan - more on that in a minute, but didn't because part of our "relationship" balance with the bank is this loan. I need to keep 15k in the bank to maintain the interest rates, lack of fees etc for our service level. For now I am not interested in switching banks, so slowing my payment plan was part of maintaining our target "relationship".

The reason these funds were important was because I was busy syphoning off any available money into a ING account with the title of Kitchen. (so excited!) I met with 2 contractors in September to discuss my thoughts on the kitchen and to double check my budget ideas. They both agreed we could remodel the kitchen for the proposed 30-40k. At this time we have 28k in the ING account. I am going to continue to plan for and select contractors for this effort, but won't kick off the actual project until the budget for my job becomes clearer - maybe May. So I have about 5 more months to put aside some more money - which I may need since my eyes are getting bigger the more I research this project!

Goal 2 - Education
I have been reading and meeting with the financial planner this year, so I consider this checked off. We purchased term life insurance and are poised to make some changes to our retirement and/or 529 savings. I am not sure exactly what this will look like yet. I would like to get a better feel for our taxes for 2009, which I will do in Feb.

2.5 - Energy Audit. I had this done over the summer and was surprised that we didn't seem to have the leaks I thought we would. We did add more insulation to the attic - my bedroom seems warmer, so maybe it is working. Unfortunately the ceilings cracked in many places and had to be fixed. The company took care of it, but it was a pain - everything had to be patched then repainted.

3. Mystery Shopping. I did about a C on this. I was very strong through the spring with picking up assignments, but I have a lot going on in general, so this became more intrusive. I also think because we were meeting our savings goals it was much harder to see the 10-15 dollars as important in the whole scheme of things. I still get alerts, but haven't acted on any assignments in awhile. I think this is ok for now.

4. No new debt. In short - check. We had some dicey months with fixes and new tires on the truck, etc, but I just pulled back on the kitchen fund for the month and made it work. We seem to have sailed through Christmas with little damage, so unless there is some huge bill lurking out there, we will start the year out in good shape. I did my best to buy things with cash/debt - including the wii and it seemed to work.

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