Okay, so lets look back at 2009 when I started all of this:
EM Fund sits at 1 month: $3,300
Medical Bills all paid off.
No Roth IRA however $11,000 in retirement contributions.
Mortgage Balance sits at: $114,900 (Down from $121,000).
Property Tax Escrow will be fully funded this year.
Consolidated all extra banks down to Credit union and ING.
Went on 2 vacations without using any credit.
Canceled Cable TV.
Trimmed down and consolidated all bills wherever possible. $5 here, $10 there. Lowered Insurance.
Dealt with 3 Emergencies that tapped into EM Fund. (2 Medical, 1 New Car needed)
All in all, considering at the start of 2009 I had 0 savings, living pay check to pay check. I would say it's a huge step in the right direction. I'm going to be spending Jan. doing a recount of all bills and expenses for budget re balancing. I know for a fact we are going to have to put in some "fun" money because we kinda got burnt out. However, here is what is coming up in 2010:
Save another 1 Month EM fund.
Pay for an upcoming Surgery for wife completely off.
Pay for 1 Vacation.
Budget in Pre-school for 3 year old.
Continue on Minimum Car Payments $365 /mo
Continue Prepaying Mortgage. $340 extra / mo
Get Life Insurance.
Make a Will.
Set Aside $1,500 for one vacation.
I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with my Tax Refund yet. I'm either going to put it directly into the EM fund for extra padding and bring it up to $6,600 right off the bat so at the end of the year I'll have $9,900 in EM fund for 3 full months.
Or, I might use it to ensure that I pay off the Surgery. However, we are going to have to wait until we see the total cost first. Now, an interesting opportunity I have at work is to try and save my vacation time of 20 days I get and only use 10 of them through out the year. At the end of the year, I can cash in the other 10 for an extra $1,313. Sounds good on paper but that's only being paid 1/2 of that amount of time. (Vacation days cashed in are = to 1/2 value). Short of the surgery the only funding goals I have this year are to get EM fund up by 1 month, maybe 2 more months and Prepay Mortgage down more.
I'm still not looking at tackling the car payment down at this time because of the 0% interest on it. I would much rather get savings up and Mortgage down first at this time. I get angry every month when I see how much interest I'm paying on the mortgage so that's the biggest que that I'm the type of person who needs that to be gone or to the point where I pay more principal than interest each month.
"Look, the people you are after are the people you depend on. We cook your meals, we haul your trash, we connect your calls, we drive your ambulances. We guard you while you sleep. Do not... f*** with us. " --Tyler Durden