It is amazing to me that 2009 is half over, but here we are beginning the second half of the year. Wow!
I thought it would be a great time to take a look at the financial goals I set at the beginning of the year and see where we stand:
- Pay regular payments on the mortgage. Admittedly this was sort of a gimmee, but we’ve Achieved Goal and On Track for success throughout the year.
- Avoid double digit declines in housing value. Unfortunately, we’re down 11% for the year and the Detroit market will need a lot of time to recover. So we have Not Achieved this goal and I can safely say we are Not On Track for the year.
- Sell my car and purchase a new family friendly car. We have Not Achieved this goal but I believe we are On Track for something to happen by the end of the year.
- We hoped for a 10% increase in the value of our mutual funds. So far, the market has been kind so we have Achieved Goal, but it’s Too Soon To Tell if we will meet this goal for 2009.
- Long Term Savings – We have avoided any unexpected outlays so our reserves are steady. So far we have Achieved Goal, but it’s Too Soon To Tell if we will meet this goal for 2009.
- Retirement – We had hoped for a 30% increase in our balance. Between market increases, regular contributions, and matching contributions from my employer, we have already Achieved Goal. Still, it’s Too Soon To Tell if we will meet this goal for 2009.
- Level Out Monthly Expenses – So far,we’ve Achieved Goal and On Track for success throughout the year.
- Transition to a Single Income Household – Again, we’ve Achieved Goal and On Track for success throughout the year.
- Dont’ Freak Out About Baby Expenses – Some close calls, but we had saved well and found some good bargains along the way. I’d say we’ve Achieved Goal and On Track for success throughout the year.
- Maximize our rewards for normal spending – We are using a Citi Dividend Card for grocery and gas purchases (paying us back 2%) and have rewards attached to our debit card that gives us nominal points for regular spending. We might be able to do better, but I personally do not enjoy chasing rewards/rates for things like this or for savings accounts, since they change so much. Since we’re getting a level of rewards I’m comfortable with for nearly all of our spending, I’m going to say we’ve Achieved Goal and On Track for success throughout the year.
- Reduce student loan balances by 30-40%. Right now, we’ve paid 18% of the balance off. With a single income, we’re not able to pay as much, so while we have Achieved Goal in terms of being on track, I do not expect that we’ll probably come up short so we are Not On Track for this goal. Still, I’m happy with how much debt we’ve paid down and that we continue to do so even in small amounts when we have the opportunity.
- Refinance the mortgage – We had hoped to take advantage of the lower interest rates, but unfortunately the declining value of our home has made this all but impossible. We would either have to put another 20% of our home’s current value into a down payment or face PMI costs. Neither of these is something we want to pursue, so we have Not Achieved this goal and I can safely say we are Not On Track for the year.
- Begin saving for major home repairs – We want to start saving for long term expenses such as new roof, new windows, new driveway, etc. Due to putting a nice chunk of our income tax refund towards this, we have Achieved Goal and are On Track for the year.
Overall, I think we’re doing very well and I’m pleased with our progress for the year. The biggest bummer is that the home value declines have erased most, if not all, of our equity, making any financial goals around our home pretty difficult until that decline levels out.
Still, given how things have gone for a lot of people this year, I’m very pleased with how we are doing in terms of our financial goals.