Many of you have emailed me, asking what happened to my monthly budget recaps. They just sort of disappeared, didn’t they? Sorry about that!
Since I know how much some of you enjoy those financial posts, I have decided to update you every month about how we are doing with our financial goals.
Since Richard quit his job 5 months ago, we have been living off of our emergency fund. It has been a bit of a challenge, since we were trying to use as little money as possible – which meant no eating out, no entertainment and definitely no allowances.
Now, I am happy to say that Richard has found a new job that he absolutely loves and has been working there for just over a month.
Although living off of our emergency fund was stressful and kind of scary (we were worried that we would run out of money before he found a new job), I’m glad he took that risk. He is no longer depressed because of his job. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see him come home from work smiling every day.
Since Richard has been back to work and this website is doing amazingly well (thanks to you all, of course!), we have come up with some new financial goals for the year. We hope to complete all of these goals by December 31, 2011. Who knows if we will meet that deadline or not, but we are sure going to try!
Replenish The Emergency Fund
We have already paid back most of what we “owed” the emergency fund, but we still have almost $800 to pay back. I’m confident we will be able to accomplish that by the end of this month.
Re-start RESP Contributions
While Richard was unemployed, we cut back on everything – including savings. Now that we have a steady income again, we’re happy to start saving. We already have an RESP set up for Elliott, so I just need to call the bank to make an appointment to go in there and get the monthly withdrawals happening again.
We’re also going to increase the savings in this RESP by 50%.
Review Yearly Expenses Account Balance
This is something that we do every summer. We go through our budget and see how much we have spent on the items in our yearly expenses account thus far and make sure that we are on track, financially.
I know there have been a few expenses this year that were higher than expected, and there were also quite a few expenses that were lower than expected.
Not only that, but we have a few more items to add to this account (and one or two to remove), so we will have to set aside a bit more money for that every month as well.
Increase My Income By 40%
This is a pretty lofty goal, but I am really going to try to increase my personal income by 40% or more by the end of the year.
I have a few things planned for this – but really, I just need to work smarter (not necessarily harder!).
Increasing my income just a bit more will help us tremendously with our house savings.
Increase House Savings To 35%
Since Richard was out of work for much of this year, we have not had the opportunity to do much savings toward a down payment for our first home.
Now that our monthly income is stable, we have begun saving as much money as possible to put toward our goal of a 20% down payment (as well as money for closing costs, etc.).
We are adamant about having at least 20% toward a down payment to avoid having to pay monthly mortgage insurance.
Set Aside About 25% Of RRSP Savings
Since saving for a home of our own is more important than saving for retirement right now (although it is still important, and once we purchase a home, we will be putting much more money towards our RRSP!). However, we do still want to save something, so we have a goal of saving 25% of the maximum contribution allowed.
This is going to be hard (since most of our extra money will be going toward house savings), but with some effort, I know we are capable of saving this amount – especially if I can increase my income!
So, those are our financial goals for the rest of the year. I will post a recap every month and let you all know how we are doing!
What are your financial goals for the rest of 2011?