Financial Shape in 2008: Monthly check-up

In case anyone was paying attention, I completely skipped this feature last month. Vacations, sickness, and other things got in the way and I just decided to take the month off from an official update. But never fear, Financial Shape in 2008 didn’t go away permanently and with the dawn of September, here’s a quick look back on how we’re doing on our goals for 2008:

Here’s our update:

Short Term Financial Goals for 2008

1) Have our fully-funded emergency fund in place (6 months’ worth of living expenses) by the end of April. As of March 11, 2008–DONE!
2) Switch health insurance plans and open an HSA. We
were approved for our new health insurance plans in April and have also
set up our HSA. Done!

3) Start up an IRA and invest at least 5-10% of Jesse’s income in this. Started in March. (We plan to increase this to 12-15% of Jesse’s income as soon as we purchase our home.)
4) Open up a mutual fund for each of our children and invest $50 per child per month in it. Started in March.

5) Save up and invest $30,000 this year towards paying cash (100% down) for a house in 3-5 years. Now
that Goals 1-4 are finished, we’re working super hard on Goal #5!

The past two months have been much more encouraging for us–which was a real blessing after a few months of car problems, unexpected expenses, and medical bills. Not only were we able to purchase a new-to-us van (thanks to the payout from our insurance after the wreck combined with some extra income-earning things we did), but we were also able to build our six-month emergency fund back up, and put a couple thousand dollars in our house savings.

We look back and aren’t exactly sure how all of that happened, but we are humbly grateful to God for His blessing and provision! He never fails us!

———————————–
How did you do in July and August? Whether
or not you posted financial goals for 2008, please take a moment to
post about your financial successes and failures in July and August and the areas
you hope to improve in September. Then, come back here and leave your link
below. If you don’t have a blog or would rather share anonymously, feel
free to leave your update in a comment. Let’s all keep each other
accountable to be better stewards of
our resources!

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Comments

  1. Chris from St. Mary's says

    I became debt free in May and wondered what I was going to do now. Saving money was foreign to me (unless I absolutely had to). In May I found Dave Ramsey, then MoneySavingMom and Get RIch Slowly blogs. GRS led me to ING and Mint. MSM led me to more rebates and coupon deals.

    I started in mid-May with $1250 in savings. As of today, I’m at $3200 and aiming for 5200 in about a year. I switched bank accounts to free up my money that was tied up to avoid “fleas.” I took on a part-time job for the summer, and started throwing all the rebate checks in. I’ve cut down bills farther than I did when I was doing the debt snowball. I’ve been in a couple of studies at U of M. Nothing major, but nothing requiring a spinal tap, either.

    With Mint, I was able to budget to see where my money was going, and I’m not spending as much anymore.

    The goal is to be at $3800 at the end of the year so I feel more comfortable switching to a high deductible plan and getting an HSA.

  2. says

    You have inspired me to join your financial goal group. I put your blog on my site, a link and an encouragement for everyone to check out your inspiring blog. Thanks for inspiring me and for all the great advice and deals you put on your site everyday. I am a huge fan.

  3. maria says

    I just wanted to write and let you know how greatful I am to your website. I started running a full budget this month. I was very excited because I saw the savings for the month of August more importantly I was getting lots of freebies with help of coupons and bid discount ideas from your site.

    I live in Louisiana and we knew we were going to be hit by the hurricane recently, but knew we would be ok since we live on higher grounds. We had more than enough food to last us(my family of 4) in addition to my mom and 2 sisters who stayed with us during until we were out of hams way.

    We had 8 loaves of bread (thanks sara lee coupons!!)and still have a few loaves left. We just got back electricity less than 1 hour ago.

    With that money I saved buying groceries and watching what we spend, I was able to buy lots of fuel for our generator and make up for the money we will be missing due to not working for a few days.

    just wanted to let you know how much our stockpiling of groceries has helped us during this time.

  4. gina says

    after doing the burying my head in the sand thing we finally bit the bullet – sat down and took a look at what was going on with our money. It was scary to do it and got even scary when we realized that we were burying ourselves deeper and deeper in debt. i’ve been trying to save money with the cvs thing and couponing at the grocery store but clearly its time to take drastic measures.

    We are putting our house on the market this week. We hope to selll fairly quickly and put a good portion of the money towards our credit card debit, car loans and student loan. We are planning on purchasing a house that cost about half of what our current one is worth, putting a decent down payment on that home.

    Our church is havine a Dave Ramsey course and we are going to take it together. After 27 years its about time we were able to talk about money without both of us freaking out. We plan on budgeting and getting off this debt merry go round we’ve been living on all these years (incur debt, refinance pay off the credit card bills etc – breathe easy for a couple of months and then start all over again.)

    My goal for September is to start taking the classes – amd hopefully with God’s mercy and grace get the house sold quickly so we can get started on a better way of life

    Thanks for all the encouragement and great tips …

    =)
    gina

  5. says

    Well Crystal, back in January I posted my goals for 2008 and here it is September and I’m thinking, “Where did all the time go?!” I don’t get much time to visit blogs now that I’ve started homeschooling my boys and am trying to just learn to incorporate that in our schedule without letting everything else fall apart. But I just happened to see a link to this blog somewhere else and remembered that I had made goals with your 2008 financial challenge and decided to come over here and read. So I’m convicted that I’ve totally lost sight of the goals I original put in play and am reminded that my main goal was to leave evidence of savings for my husband to see. As of last month my husband was voicing his concern that we aren’t saving ANYTHING and since then I’ve been prayerful and this month purposefully put a certain amount in savings before I took out a portion for groceries and household use. My husband doesn’t want a formal budget, but I still feel like I can at least be sure that in my withdrawing and spending for groceries and such I can set aside a certain amount in our savings account and be able to point to it at the end of the month or whatever for my husband to see. I really feel like a total failure when it comes to finances, not because we’re in debt (we’re not except for our house payment) but because I’m not savvy about financial planning, or being a “home economist” as you say! I want to do better without spending hours taking away from the important time training my boys and caring for our home and the relationships within it. So my simple goals are to:

    Set aside an amount for savings
    Plan meals ahead and buy groceries accordingly

    Thanks so much for inspiring so many to take up this God-glorifying role of “home economist.”

    Blessings (sorry for my long comment too :)
    Sheila

  6. Shawna says

    We paid off my husband’s car in August and owe less than $900 on my car, which will be paid off before the end of the year. We owe $900 on credit cards and these will be paid off by the end of the year as well. After this we only owe on our mortgage and will start applying the monies from the car payments to the ballon note mortgage first and then we will start paying off the main mortgage.

  7. says

    At this time last year, my husband and I were very stressed because he unexpectedly lost his job. We chose to keep our daughter in daycare because we have no family or backup nearby for babysitting while he went on interviews, etc. It took him 6 months to find a new job. Thanks to careful planning we did not have to dip into savings during that time. We were even able to pay cash for a new to us car last month. Our only debt is our mortgage, which I pay down extra whenever possible. I hope to have more babies and stay at home with them whenever the next one comes along.

  8. Anna in IL says

    I’m not sure that #27 (Mama Making $ From Home) is the kind of link you wanted… It looks more like a commercial site than a blog, to me at least.

  9. says

    Today I spent $38.53 for $128.15 of original price items using the sales ad and coupons! Over the last few months, I have been using Dave Ramsey’s envelope system. Over the last month, I feel that by using coupons I have been able to add to my food storage even with being on a strict budget. It’s a great feeling!

  10. says

    I am just learning to be more frugal and do more with less. It hasn’t been until recently when my husband and I both changed jobs with reduced incomes that I even considered living on less. Now, we have to. I’m be reading this an other blogs very closely. Thanks for a place to learn and get support.

  11. says

    I just found your blog and have been reading all afternoon. It is so late in the year I think I will wait until Jan to begin my Financial Shape plan but in the mean time I am going to master this coupon thing…Thanks for all the tips