Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009... and a car question

I can't believe that in just over12 hours 2009 is history. Literally. I realize that every year has 365 days (ok, once in awhile it's 366), but did this year seem shorter to anyone else? I remember getting snow in January/February and praying for summer to be here, and now I'm staring outside at the white stuff again! I have a good feeling about 2010, and can't wait to start it, but I know that in no time I'll be writing the exact same thing again about how fast 2010 came and went. Before we take a look at my yearly goals, let's see how I did for December:

1. Pay off my student loans: translation: be DEBT FREE!!! With just over $1300 to go, it's a little stretch, be definitely doable. PASS!!! As of the 18th we were free from the bondage of debt!

2. Get a raise. I have been working on getting one since I took on new responsibilities at work in August! It's the end of the year, and time for me to push a little harder and see what they can do for me. PASS!!! I think I'm finally making what most people start at. :-)

3. Stay focused on the real reason for Christmas. See previous post. PASS! There aren't any solid guidelines to measure this with, but I didn't get overwhelmed, and I had fun. (Which now that Christmas is over I need to remember to post some of the presents I made.)

4. "Hang out" with Jillian 2 times a week. AKA workout 2 times a week. I would love to do more, but realistically that's not going to happen this time of year. FAIL. Yup, I couldn't even hack twice a week. I am such a bum. But...we got a Wii Fit for Christmas and I haven't missed a day yet :-)

5. Make a decision. Vague, I know, but I have been trying to make a decision on something since September and just keep dragging it out. It's now of never. If I keep dragging it's never going to happen. PASS! I lead a Bible study on Monday nights, and made the decision to end it. The girls haven't had been consistant and dedicated, and it's just too much. I've been doing it for 2 years and if my hearts not in the right place with it any more, I needed to step down.

6. Finish both books I have from the library. PASS! Plus I finished another one last night!

7. Enjoy life, lights, and love!!! PASS!!! Sure I whined a bit about the snow and cold, but this has been one of the best Christmas times. I had a blast with my best friends, and great work holiday party, plenty of time with all the family. Yeah, life is good.

So how did I fare with my 2009 goals? Not as well as I had hoped. But I'm still very happy (heck, we're DEBT FREE!)

1. Open a Roth IRA for myself. Is it bad that I'm 25 and haven't started a retirement? I guess better late then never right? Semi Pass...I set up and ING account with an automatic withdrawl every week to fund a retirement account, but I didn't open an actual IRA. All the ones I've looked at requires a minimum of $3,000 to open, so I'm working on saving it up.

2. Pay off hubby's school loans. It will take a lot of discipline, but I really think we can have them paid off by the end of December 2009. PASS!!! We went above and beyond and paid mine off too! I thought it was a stretch to paid his off, so this one is HUGE!!!

3. Get and stay organized/De-clutter-Donate at least 4 bags to Goodwill etc. PASS! I lost track of how much stuff we got rid of, but I know we took at least 4 bags in one trip (and we had many). I really learned this year about not hoarding and if I don't want it/won't use it, then pass it on to someone who will.

4. Get back into shape and sign up for at least 1 organized race. Another kinda PASS... I got back into shape, but I never signed up for a race. Honestly (I don't want this to sound like a cop out answer, or whining), I don't know if I could with my ankle. I'd be able to do a 5K, but that's about it. Maybe the Wii Fit will help to strengthen my ankle again and next year I'll be able, but as for now I'm doing fine without all the running.

5. Have 50 no spending days. Super PASS! We practically tripled it!!! I had no idea going into the year that we could be so disciplined.

6. Save $5,000 for when hubby's car dies. Hopefully it'll make it through 2009, but it is a 1995 so it's just a matter of time. FAIL. We have $2,000 saved because we put all the focus on our loans. Now it's time to get our butt in gear because inspection is in March, so there's a really good chance we will need to get a car by then, because there's no point in dropping hundreds of dollars into a car that will be going to car heaven soon. Maxine (his car) is within a thousand miles or so of hitting 200K! People thought hitting 100K was time for a many cars make it to 200k these days?

A huge discussion between hubby and myself (and my family) is whether to finance a car. We can dip into our house fund a bit, plus saving up in the next three months and we should be able to afford a $8,000 car. Considering my current car cost me $4,000 over 5 years ago, I think 8 grand is plenty. But he wants a slightly newer car (think 2007). We would love to get another Nissan (LOVE them!!!), or a Honda, since they are both very reliable makes, but they are also pricey. The car he's in love with is $16,000. I understand that it's a long term "investment" (I use that term loosely because we all know that cars depriciate), and repairs won't happen as soon on newer models, but is it worth shelling out more up front? Especially if you can't pay cash for it? Let me know what you think.


The Lost Goat said...

GZ on completing so many goals!

Re: car - this is something I'm interested in as well. I'm not financing, but I'm trying to decide whether I'm really going to save money by buying used, or if I should just decide what I want and buy it new.

For ~ 16K, you can get a new Honda Fit. One advantage of new is that there are some 0% financing options out there; I haven't really been keeping track, but I see them reasonably often. I think it's still a buyers market on new cars.

Moonblossom said...

Most cars will go over 200k now, especially with preventative maintenance. I have a car that has over 205K on it and still runs great. IMHO continue to save and see what happens with his car, but where I live doesn't have inspections so that might be an issue for people who do have them.

Frugal Dreamer said...

You did SO great this year!!! :)

Re: car, I think that you should continue to save and see what happens in March.

I think you would be kicking yourself if you got back into debt for the car. Since you're DEBT FREE!!!!

savings said...

I started my Roth IRA with Fidelity. They have a simple start option that allows you to make 200 monthly contributions (I was able to stop mine when I got laid off, with no penalty, or anything) instead of funding a lump sump fund. Check it out! I'm sure other brokerages would have a similar plan as well.

Brooke said...

i'm with frugal dreamer - i wouldn't want to go back into debt if i were you. especially for a stupid ole car.

if we get 200K out of the hubs work vehicle i'll be astonished. he's got about 150K and we're already starting the replacement fund.