Goal update

I have reached 18% of one of my savings goals.  That may not be one-quarter of the total, but it’s quite good considering all the borrowing (from myself) and paybacks I’ve been doing lately!

I had to borrow money from my own savings to buy my netbook, but I’m happy to say I have paid it all back.

Very quick goal update

I don’t even think I posted about this goal previously.  I have a goal of $3000 for one of my accounts.  A short-term goal I had noted for myself was to reach $500 by the end of April.  Since it’s April 5th and I am already at $440, I’d say I’m going to meet that mini-goal!

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Goal accomplished!

I am happy to report that I have reached one of my main financial goals!  I have now reached my goal amount for my emergency fund!

This will allow me to increase the amount I am putting towards opening a retirement account (my next major goal).  I am still contributing money towards my other financial goals, but reaching even a smaller goal is truly a motivation!  I now have only three goals to distribute to each paycheck instead of four (donating, debt, retirement).  I’ve already been thinking of goals to add for the future, but I’m going to wait until I reach another small goal.

More about textbooks

Having already made this semester’s rant about the price of textbooks, I’m going to spare you the figures and get right to the point.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to pay for this semester’s books.  I need them sooner than I can afford them; my loan refund check doesn’t arrive until February.  Since I know I’ll need to read them before Valentine’s Day, I was going to borrow some money to pay for my textbooks, repaying using the refund check.  Then I realized something.  I was amazed at myself for forgetting my emergency fund!  I had enough money in that account to pay for my textbooks.

pigbank

The reason I didn’t think of using that money sooner was that I didn’t consider this financial need an emergency.  A need, yes, but not a real emergency, because I did have other options.  However, I realized it was ok to “borrow” the money from my emergency fund because I would be depositing the borrowed amount as soon as I get my refund check.  I know I’ll pay myself back, too.  I’m getting close to fully funding it, which is one of my goals for 2009.

Goals update: Balanced!

checkVery recently, I made great progress in meeting one of my overall PF goals.  I pledged to become more organized, and that is one reason I started this blog.  I use it to keep track of what I’ve done and to plan what I’m going to do.  I haven’t been posting publicly lately, but the private entries have kept me from forgetting my specific goals.

The progress I made was indeed an organizational feat tackled.  One of the first things I wanted to learn to do when I started watching my finances was balance my checkbook.  I bet that even people who don’t do much else in the way of PF do balance their checkbook.  For some reason, I could never understand exactly how to do it, probably because I tracked my checking accounts online.  When I tracked them online, I never got a matchup in my PF software.

Well this is a problem no more!  Each penny is accounted for, and to celebrate my clean slate, I made myself a tracking booklet to keep in my purse.  Now I have no excuse for not tracking my debit card purchases!

End-of-September update

My goals are progressing quite nicely.  I have funded 65% of the amount I plan to have in my emergency fund.  I have picked a retirement fund to open, but first I have to save for the minimum opening amount.  Until I have enough to open the account, this money is in a high-interest savings account.  I started this one later than the e-fund, so I have only reached the 3% mark.  However, once I finish funding my e-fund, I will increase the percentage of my income that I will be saving for that retirement fund opening.  This should speed things up a bit.  I am keeping up with all distributions as planned using the spreadsheet I designed for my purposes.  I even made my first loan payments, which was a great feeling.

September goals update

It’s been a while!  I’ve started the new school year, so I have been busy with five classes and two jobs!  I have a history of trying to do too much, but I have hope that this year will be different as I am planning more and more.  For starters, I am keeping up with my paycheck distributions! These distributions are tied to my main financial goals, including getting organized and starting to save money.

My first goal is growing my emergency fund.  I am trying to reach $1,500.  Once I reach that goal, I will likely change my percentages around, including increasing my retirement from 5% to 10%.

Another goal is to open a retirement account.  Neither of my part-time jobs offers retirement benefits (at least not until 1 year w/the company), so I will open an account on my own.  The account I have my eye on has a $3,000 minimum, so until I have that amount set aside, I will hold the money in a high-interest savings account.  Eventually increasing my retirement savings to 10% of my income will help me reach this goal more quickly.

Finally, another goal I have mentioned is to educate myself in personal finance.  To help accomplish this, I am taking an online personal finance class through my local community college.  There is actually a lot of work involved (the prof seems very Type A!), and we were warned that the class will be harder than a traditional face-to-face class.  Still, so far so good.  Our first assignment was to keep a spending journal for a week, categorizing expenses into needs and wants.

I will not be able to update daily (I can barely get my readings for classes done, after all!), but hopefully I can post something one or two times a week–a reflection on a PF lesson, perhaps, or a progress update on my goals.  Posting less frequently, however, is better than the almost month-long posting drought I’ve had lately!