At the start of last year, I shared my 2010 financial goals. In this post, I’ll give myself a report card. BTW, God really blessed us, so please don’t think I’m bragging as I share this report.
Giving: The Goal = Stick to the graduated tithe
Deciding to discipline ourselves using the graduated tithe was one of the best decisions my wife and I have ever made. The reason? Back in the start of 2009, I had no idea that I would be running my own small business as a freelance writer and blogger. Fortunately, the extra work has paid off and, had I been subject to my own whims and desires, I might have mismanaged the blessings from God.
In 2010, we gave away more money in terms of actual dollars and percentage than ever before. It has been an amazing blessing.
Investing: The Goal = Invest 12.5% our income for retirement
Our investing is pretty much a set and go strategy, so that made it easy to keep up with our goals.
We continue investing a set percentage of our income every month. We made the continuous decision not to invest anything extra as my income increased. Since we decided that we didn’t need the extra income now, we thought we might not need it in the future. Bad decision? We’ll see. I’m not much for following conventional advice if it doesn’t make sense.
Right now all our investing is in Roth IRAs in the form of mutual funds. Though in the year I did buy some index funds also.
Children’s College: The goal = Save $100 per month per kid
Each month we continue to invest $100 per month for each of our kids’ college funds. The two older kids have Educational ESA’s, and the youngest is part of our Roth IRA Hybrid approach to saving for college.
Interestingly, my son (who is almost exactly two years younger than his sister) has more college money than his sister. The biggest reason is that we started purchasing funds at the most recent market lows in 2009.
Debt Repayment: The Goal = Stay out of debt
We still have no consumer debt, so we didn’t take on any new debt, nor did we pay off any debt.
House Repayment: The Goal = Pay 5-10% of our income as extra house payments
In November of this year, we sent a check that paid for 75% of our remaining mortgage balance. We are now a mere stones throw away from paying off our house. Let’s just say most of your vehicles are probably worth more than the remaining balance on our mortgage.
Budgeting: The Goal = Track all spending in the budget
Dear Parents of Craig Ford,
Craig’s financial situation is very healthy. However, we regret to inform you that his budgeting skills have been slacking. Despite releasing his best selling eBook, The Secret to a Successful Budget, his budgeting efforts have suffered. Due to business and other excuses, he is only recording expenses monthly instead of weekly. Please have a talk with him about his failing budgeting skills.
Vacation: The Goal = Take an all cash vacation
I mentioned in our goals last year that we wanted to save up money to pay for another cash vacation.
As we started to save, we decided to use blog income to cover the cost of our vacation to Australia. Between free hotels and blog income, we were able to spend eight wonderful nights in Sydney, Australia.
Emergency Fund: The Goal = Use it if necessary, then replenish it
We didn’t officially dip into our emergency fund this year, so everything is still in place. We’re ready for the worst …
Final 2010 Financial Summary
As you can probably tell, 2010 was an amazing year for us. However, don’t misunderstand me for a minute. I believe God is the source of our financial increase. I pray regularly thanking God for these blessings.
Stand by for a future post that shares our 2011 goals.