Monthly Financial Checkup

I have no idea how it is already October, but the good news is that we were able to fully-fund Silas’ educational savings account in September! And we’re trying not to be discouraged with how badly the market is doing right now… it’s going to get better in the next 11-16 years before they need to use the money, right?! We hope, at least. :)

Here’s our list:

Our Family’s Financial Goals for the Summer of 2010 through December 2011

1. Significantly increase our giving to needs in our community and around the world.This is an ongoing goal, so we’re keeping it uncrossed off from the list.

2. Pay cash for a replacement washer and dryer for our very used set.

3. Pay cash for a replacement for Old Blue Van.

4. Pay cash for a couch for our basement family room.

5. Pay cash for bunk beds for the girls.

6. Fully fund our IRAs.

7. Bump up our retirement savings to 10% of our income.

8. Fund our children’s educational savings.

9. Double our Emergency Fund Savings (Instead of having around six month’s worth of expenses set aside, we’re planning to set aside a year’s worth of expenses.)

10. Save 40% towards our real estate investment goal.

We’d love to hear about your recent financial goals and successes! You can post about it on your blog and leave your link in the comments. Or, just share about your progress/goals in the comments. Let’s all keep each other accountable to be better stewards of our resources!

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Monthly Financial Check-up

Remember how I said last month that we’d decided to wait to replace our van for awhile in order to put that money towards our children’s educational savings instead? Well, I’m not so sure that was the most brilliant decision ever.

For starters, I was heading out with all the children one day a few weeks ago and noticed that one of the van tires was low. Upon investigation, we ended up finding out there was a screw in the van tire wall (don’t ask me where that came from!). So we couldn’t just patch the tire, we had to replace the whole tire.

Then, a few days later, I was driving home and all of a sudden there was a very loud buzzing noise coming from the back of the van. Come to find out, the rear blower motor went out. Considering that it’s been over 100 degrees almost every day for weeks, we decided we’d better fix it ASAP.

Next, we had to get extensive front suspension work done on the van, which was quite costly. Finally, it seems like our transmission might be going out.

So maybe my idea to hang onto the van for a few more years wasn’t so bright? But the decision has been made, so we’ve decided to just fix the issues and hope that it extends the life of the van for at least another year or two–if not more.

I’m grateful that we have an emergency fund so we can cover these types of unexpected expenses and I’m grateful that we live on a strict budget and try to plan for the unexpected. This makes situations like flat tires, rear blower motors and transmissions going out a lot less stressful. As Amy said, “Being intentional with our money turns emergencies into inconveniences.”

We were able to set aside some money for Silas’ educational savings account, but it’s not as funded as we’d hoped to have it at this point. Oh well, moving forward in the right direction is always better than standing still or going backwards!

Here’s our current goals list:

Our Family’s Financial Goals for the Summer of 2010 through December 2011

1. Significantly increase our giving to needs in our community and around the world.This is an ongoing goal, so we’re keeping it uncrossed off from the list.

2. Pay cash for a replacement washer and dryer for our very used set.

3. Pay cash for a replacement for Old Blue Van.

4. Pay cash for a couch for our basement family room.

5. Pay cash for bunk beds for the girls.

6. Fully fund our IRAs.

7. Bump up our retirement savings to 10% of our income.

8. Fund our children’s educational savings. Kathrynne and Kaitlynn’s are done, now we’re working on Silas’.

9. Double our Emergency Fund Savings (Instead of having around six month’s worth of expenses set aside, we’re planning to set aside a year’s worth of expenses.)

10. Save 40% towards our real estate investing goal.

We’d love to hear about your recent financial goals and successes! You can post about it on your blog and leave your link in the comments. Or, just share about your progress/goals in the comments. Let’s all keep each other accountable to be better stewards of our resources!

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Monthly Financial Check-up

We’re excited because, after we paid our taxes a few weeks ago, we had some extra money in our tax savings account to throw towards our savings goals. This allowed us to be able to fully fund the amount of educational savings we’ve decided to set aside for Kathrynne. Since she’s our oldest, we’re setting aside the most for her as she won’t have as much time for the interest to compound on the money.

So now we just need to save for Kaitlynn and Silas and then we can move onto our final two financial goals for this year. I have no idea if we’ll actually be able to hit both of them, but we’re at least going to try!

We also have been doing a lot of talking about our upcoming goal of saving to invest in real estate. We were initially planning to invest in commercial real estate, but the more we’ve studied, read and talked, the more we’re leaning towards residential real estate. We’re hopeful we might be able to pay cash for our first piece of real estate by the middle of 2012. We’ll see!

Our Family’s Financial Goals for the Summer of 2010 through December 2011

1. Significantly increase our giving to needs in our community and around the world. This is an ongoing goal, so we’re keeping it uncrossed off from the list.

2. Pay cash for a replacement washer and dryer for our very used set.

3. Pay cash for a replacement for Old Blue Van.

4. Pay cash for a couch for our basement family room.

5. Pay cash for bunk beds for the girls.

6. Fully fund our IRAs (for 2010).

7. Bump up our retirement savings to 10% of our income.

8. Fund our children’s educational savings — Kathrynne’s is finished

9. Double our Emergency Fund Savings (Instead of having around six month’s worth of expenses set aside, we’re planning to set aside a year’s worth of expenses.)

10. Save 40% towards our real estate investing goal.

We’d love to hear about your recent financial goals and successes! You can post about it on your blog and leave your link in the comments. Or, just share about your progress/goals in the comments. Let’s all keep each other accountable to be better stewards of our resources!

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Monthly Financial Update

It’s a new year and if you’ve not done so yet, I’d highly encourage you to sit down and set some financial goals for 2011. It’s amazing the momentum you can receive from having specific, written goals.

Here’s our list, continued over from the middle of last year. We tweaked it a little bit because, after prayer, thought and research, we’ve set our next BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal). By the end of 2012, we’re hoping to have enough saved to purchased a piece of commercial real estate as investment and residual income.

1. Continue to give generously needs in our community and around the world. This is an ongoing goal that we’re making a priority every month, so we’re keeping it uncrossed off from the list.

2. Pay cash for a replacement washer and dryer for our very used set.

3. Pay cash for a replacement for Old Blue Van.

4. Pay cash for a couch for our basement family room.

5. Pay cash for bunk beds for the girls.

6. Fully fund our IRAs.

7. Bump up our retirement savings to 10% of our income.

8. Fund our children’s educational savings.

9. Double our Emergency Fund Savings (Instead of having around six month’s worth of expenses set aside, we’re planning to set aside a year’s worth of expenses.)

10. Save 40% towards our goal of paying cash for commercial real estate.

We’d love to hear about your recent financial goals and successes! You can post about it on your blog and leave your link in the comments. Or, just share about your progress/goals in the comments. Let’s all keep each other accountable to be better stewards of our resources!

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October’s Monthly Financial Check-up

I updated you all on our current financial goals a few weeks ago and promised that I’d be bringing the monthly financial check-up back the first week in October. So here’s our progress update:

1. Significantly increase our giving to needs in our community and around the world. This is an ongoing goal, so we’re keeping it uncrossed off from the list.

2. Pay cash for a replacement washer and dryer for our very used set.

3. Pay cash for a replacement for Old Blue Van. The money is now saved, we’re just on the hunt for a good, reliable vehicle with low mileage. So far, we’ve not found one that’s what we’re looking for and in our budget.

4. Pay cash for a couch for our basement family room (Which currently is devoid of furniture while we save for it!)

5. Pay cash for bunk beds for the girls.

6. Fully fund our IRAs.

7. Bump up our retirement savings to 10% of our income.

8. Fund our children’s educational savings.

9. Double our Emergency Fund Savings (Instead of having around six month’s worth of expenses set aside, we’re planning to set aside a year’s worth of expenses.)

10. Save for our next BHAG.

As I mentioned in September, our very used washer quit working and was unable to be fixed. So we bumped up the priority of getting a replacement washer and dryer to the top of the list.

After all the comments on how the majority of you didn’t like front-loading washing machines, we decided to buy a non-front-loading washer and dryer set which was very simple, large, efficient and economical. We opted to purchase new, instead of used, as we’re hoping this will mean a longer life. My husband went to three stores to check out prices and see what kind of deal he could negotiate. By doing this, he was able to find a store which was willing to give us an additional $100 off plus free delivery because we were paying in cash upfront.

We’d love to hear about your recent financial goals and successes! You can post about it on your blog and leave your link below. Or, 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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