Long overdue for an update but rest assured I remain "on my plan".
I got word a few weeks ago that I will be receiving a 5% raise this year or, just over $4,000. No promotion, but wasn't expecting one, so I can't complain much with that. My new salary is just over $85,000.
I reached a major milestone this last month as I hit $100,000 in cash savings. This breaks down as 85K house fund, 11.4K emergency fund, some in other targeted savings accounts. My Retirement funds fluctuate with the markets, but those sit just over 62K.
I've run some calculations and have decided to up my current 13% 401K deferral rate up to 20%. This will allow me to max my 401K in 2012 of $17K and should only suffer about a $100 per paycheck hit due to my salary raise. 2012 will be the first year of maxing both my 401K and Roth IRA.
This month will be fruitful as I am expecting about a $3K from the company bonus plan as well as $1K, which is 1/4 (3 months) of back pay for my raise as our review cycle takes 3 months to complete. This will likely help seed my Roth IRA contribution come January, but I may knock off my emergency fund goal as well.
For the last 5 months I have been staffed on a project in Vancouver, B.C. and have been traveling weekly from Seattle. I am getting a boost in income due to a high Per Diem and $0.55 cents a mile from commuting costs. My money hack to handle this situation has been to pay gas like I always have (which is just a bit more than what I was paying commuting around Seattle), but defer the exact amounts of that re-reimbursement into an Auto Account. I use this money for service (such as an expensive VW 40,000 mile service [~$600] and new rear brakes[~$400]), parts, and other auto fees such as insurance and car tabs, and will be my targeted account for a car replacement some day. Although I am coming out ahead in the short term, my car is getting some serious run as I just hit 43,000 on it after having it just over 3 years now. I'm a little over $1,000 ahead in this account to date. What I don't spend in Per Diem is getting swept off into the house fund.
Another goal of mine is to raise the amount my emergency fund. I had $10K stuck in there for a while, which isn't quite 6 months of expenses as it used to be. It's now up to 11,400 and I'm targeting $14K which should not be an issue reaching by mid-2012.
I am also putting in 160$/mo in a vacation fund which will be used to take a trip to New Orleans with my girlfriend in February. This was a target goal of $800 that I started a few months ago, but I should have enough Starwood Rewards points to cover the hotel expenses and the trip should cost significantly less.
Depending on how things are looking I will likely buy a house in 2012. I've had a serious girlfriend for a little over a year and how that goes will likely determine some say in these major decisions. I'm am researching the process and the market in Seattle, and I am not rushing into any decisions as I really don't know what I want yet.
Until next time, track your spending, be frugal, and keep your eyes on your goals.
Current goals from Mint:
House Fund - 85,557 of 100,000 (1500/mo, Sept 2012).
Emergency Fund - 11,400 of 14,000 (200/mo, Dec 2012).
Vacation Fund - 480 of 800 (160/mo, Jan 2012).
Car Fund - 1,046 of 20,381 (300/mo, April 2017).
Total monthly goal of 2160$ saved per month, which is about half of my income.