2009: Year in review!

At the beginning of the year, I set a few “goals.” I thought I’d share how I did at keeping up with those goals today. You can read the full post here.

*$40 a week grocery budget (this is for a family of four)I managed to do this all year long and some weeks I actually came in under budget!

*Meeting the following savings goals without touching our monthly paychecks

Gift savings – This will include Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, and other gifts that we need to pay for throughout the year.

Baby emergency fund – If you follow Dave Ramsey, you know that this is. Basically it’s $1000 that you keep on hand to cover any emergencies

Rolling entertainment fund – We have a monthly entertainment budget, but this will cover any spur of the moment “extras” like a weekend getaway or an unplanned family excursion. It’s “rolling” because if we use the money, I’d like to rebuild it 🙂

I was able to do this partially. This year we were met with a few “unexpected events.” Among other things, my husband was laid off at the end of June and then I was mugged in early October. These events (and others) changed our priorities a bit.

We do have our Baby Emergency Fund in place and have managed to keep it “in place.” It really gives me peace of mind to know that money is there in case of emergencies and other “unexpected events.”

We also managed to have a 100% “cash Christmas” this year. It is such a relief to not have post-holiday credit card bills looming over our heads right now!

I loved our family vacations growing up, and we did manage to take one small family trip this year (which we paid for 100% with cash, too and even had money left over!), but our priorities have changed some. We have focused more on quality family time at home and one of our favorite things has become “family game night.” Thanks to the Amazon sales recently, we managed to fully stock our game closet and we can’t wait for even more game nights during the upcoming year!

My husband and I took Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University class together earlier this year and I honestly believe that we are at the point that we are at now because of the changes that we made as a result of that class. Had we not taken the class and put some of those changes into place, some of the unexpected events that we faced this year probably would have had a much greater impact on our family.

I can’t say enough great things about this class (and no, I don’t get paid a cent to say good things…). Even if you’ve read the books, if you’re wanting to get on track financially (whether you have debt or you would just like to be better at managing your money), I strongly recommend that you take the class. I had read all of the books, but take the class with my husband was truly life changing. We are on the same page financially and we can actually have discussions about our finances rather than arguments.

Have said all of that, I hope that everyone has a safe and Happy New Year’s Eve. I’ll be posting my goals for 2010 tomorrow morning before we head out for our free day at the zoo!