Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Financial Checkup: ch-ch-ch-changes... to retirement planning

DH and I are really trying to stay faithful about all of the changes that may be in store for us in the coming years. It is hard to not try to plan every little detail and force things to happen for us. It's very frustrating because finances are such a challenge for us. I enjoy planning and organizing but given the state of the economy all is not going according to plan.

For now, we're continuing to put about a third of our income into retirement but will likely be reducing our contributions in an effort to have greater cash savings this year. We have enough for a small downpayment on a home now but would like to save more as this is the one financial area we have a bit of control over. Our retirement accounts sadly lost 50% of their value last year and it just doesn't seem like we're getting much out of them despite the fact that we put so much into them. We'll still put a great chunk away for retirement (10-15% of our income) but not as much as we have been.

Crystal/Moneysavingmom had a great post on finances this week. She and her husband are expecting their third child this spring and are currently saving to buy a house in cash. For us, in our area, that would mean saving more than a quarter million dollars for a small modest home. However, we have considered saving the money and then moving to a lower cost area of living so that we could do the same. She has great weekly post on deals, freebies and menu planning if anyone is interested in saving more/spending less!

So, my 2009 financial goals were to continue funding retirement accounts, to finish saving for a downpayment (goal: $2k/month), and to sell excess belongs in preparation for a move and put all of that into downpayment account. We will continue funding retirement at a slower rate. Currently we put $2000 in for January to the savings but we didn't sell any of our stuff. I'm hoping to get to that after our vacation (sometime in March) when the weather is better with a big yard sale. We can usually pull in over $100 with a yard sale and I'm hoping a few hundred more for big ticket items on craigslist. We're also both committed to working overtime starting this spring to try to save more money!



  1. That's awesome that you're saving so much for a down payment and for retirement. I really want to up my retirement contributions this year.

  2. Im saving up for a downpayment on a house, too. the market in Arizona is really great for buyers right now. the idea of financial goals for the year is a good one. we kind of loosely do that now, but definiative goals would be better. thanks for the idea!

    p.s. please post a pic of your poster if you can. Id like to link to it from my blog... whenever you get it done. =)