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Well, it's June and I'm giving my first financial update! You can read our 2009 Financial Goals here

. I'm sorry for the lack of updates but there hasn't been as much to share. That is, until now.

I am VERY PROUD of what we have accomplished in these short 6 months. While I didn't think the progress each much warranted much to tell, when I reflect as I share this update, I am floored! Here's what we've been up to:

:: Pay off debt May 2009: have all debt paid off using the snowball philosophy in “The Total Money Makeover”.

Well, our debt isn't completely paid off yet. I am very happy to report that we have paid off our 2nd credit card and are now down to only one!!! We are beyond ecstatic! We haven't paid of the final card yet because of the economy. And, since Suze Orman suggested to have an 8-month emergency fund, we had to kick it to high gear!

:: Savings for New Expenses Monthly: put money into savings for a “new to us” car and a house project. Our goal is to have this account funded by July 2009. ** This isnt a step in Daves plan. To ensure we dont incur any additional debt, this is something we are going to do.

This is one we are working on. I was holding off until the cards were paid off to start this savings. As of now, this isn't a priority. The more I'm feeling this freedom of no debt, those aren't as appealing even though I really want new hardwood floors! We will get them, just maybe a little later than expected.

:: Savings for 6-Month Emergency Fund Monthly: accumulate money for our Emergency Fund. Our goal is to have this complete by December 2009.

Given my earlier statement, I am super excited to say we have 1/3 of our emergency fund in savings! This economy is not stable at all, and I want an emergency fund built up to prepare us in the event of, well, an emergency. In that same conversation with Suze Orman she shared her professional opinion that building an emergency fund is more important than paying on debt. While I don't feel comfortable doing that approach either, it is good to know that even some of the most savvy financial experts want the emergency funds built up now more than ever.

So, with one more consumer debt to pay down, I do fully expect to have that gone by the end of the year as our initial goal states. We just decided to modify the plan a bit to ensure we have an emergency fund!

How have you done? Are you working on that emergency fund? Any financial plans you are including mid-year?

About Andrea Deckard

Andrea Deckard is a personal finance expert and speaker. She lives by the following motto, "save on what you need so you can spend on what you want." She started Savings Lifestyle in 2008, and long-time readers remember the site as Mommy Snacks. Andrea is a go-to resource on frugal living for local news outlets such as WDTN, WGRR, and Cincinnati.com as well as national outlets like Good Morning America. She has also been featured in multiple national publications.

21 Comments

  1. [email protected] Beauty and Bedlam on June 2, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Yea for you guys! Doesn’t it feel amazing! That emergency fund is so key. We are in month four of my hubby’s unemployment and thanks to a large emergency fund (we knew the company was getting bought out), we are “relatively” stress free. As frugal as we frugal mom bloggers are, we can make a 6 month emergency fund stretch for a year – seriously. :)

    • mommysnacks on June 3, 2009 at 12:45 am

      Jen, thanks for the comment! I remember at Blissdom hearing about your hubs’ job situation! You amaze me at what you’ve managed to do!

  2. Rosie on June 2, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    I’m interetsed… how come you’re saving towards your fully funded emerbency fund before you’ve got all of your debt paid off? I know that Dave suggests a minimal fund until you have your debt paid off. Couldn’t you pay off your debt faster, and then save faster if you focused on just one at a time?

    You’ve made me thing about our goals… I’ve considered them in looser terms, but it would be good to sit down with my hubby and articulate them better. Thanks for the food for thought!

    • mommysnacks on June 3, 2009 at 12:18 am

      Rosie, as I mentioned briefly, Suze (and I’m prettty sure I heard Dave’s agree with this at some point) suggests saving for the emergency fund. Suze specifically suggested only paying minimum on credit cards and focusing on building the emergency fund now because of the economy. If the economy were different, she wouldn’t have those thoughts, nor would Dave think it’s smart I’m sure (since he’s all about being gazelle intense). We’re not comfortable at all with paying only minimums, so we’re just splitting debt repaying and emergency fund savings. Our goals will still happen but just at the same time.

  3. Lori (NW Coupon Lady) on June 2, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    That is so great! I love reading about your financial goals. Our goals are going pretty slow and a few set backs, but reading stories like yours inspires me. My car will be paid off by the end of the summer and then we plan on paying our credit card debt off before any big purchases.

    Thank you for the inspiration.

    • mommysnacks on June 3, 2009 at 12:15 am

      Lori – thanks for the comment! I’m glad to be some sort of inspiration since it’s been a long road for us – we’ve been where you are too!!! It happens so slowly but then it’s like “BAM” so much progress!!! Keep on with your goals, I’m sure you will achieve them!

  4. karla on June 2, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    we used the Total Money Makeover as well and paid off 15,000 in 9 months. We are now on the rebound and are building our credit back up.

    It’s a great feeling to be debt free

    • mommysnacks on June 3, 2009 at 12:46 am

      Karla, that is amazing!!!! This feeling so far feels great and we’re not quite there yet! I can’t wait until it’s come to fruition – we will be working hard untilt hen!

  5. Julie on June 2, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Andrea,

    Congratulations! This is one of the greatest feelings! My husband and I paid off 65k in two years and it really does make you feel free! We also used the Dave Ramsey plan and have a great Excel spreadsheet if you’d like to use it to plug in your numbers. I don’t care much for Excel, but I think that you do judging by all of your files. It will show you when you will be debt free down to your last house payment.

    Stay focused on your goals and it will be gone before you know it!

    • mommysnacks on June 3, 2009 at 12:47 am

      Thanks, Julie! I actually have a spreadsheet (you judged me right :). That is AWESOME!! OM – truly inspirational! I am not losing focus – just like with my weight loss goals, this is one goal of mine (or ours) that will not budge!!!

  6. Amy @ AmyLovesIt! on June 3, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Woo-hoo! Way to go, Andrea!

    I am working on ours, but it isn’t going as well as I would like. My husband is totally on board, but he has yet to sit down and work on a plan with me. Lol ;)

    Good job… keep it up! I’m rooting for ya!

  7. chris(baldscreen) on June 3, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Andrea, congratulations! Doesn’t it feel good to only have 1 credit card left? Keep up the good work, it will not be long until you are debt free. I think you are wise to split your excess between the debt and the emergency fund in this economy. I love being debt free and having that emergency fund. Now if we could just get ds out of college and the house paid off……. :)

    • mommysnacks on June 3, 2009 at 1:22 pm

      Thanks Chris! It does feel great! I’m even more excited to get the debt gone forever!!

  8. Frugal Fairhope on June 3, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Congratulations on meeting your 6 month goals. You should be very proud of yourself. You deserve it. Keep up the good work and the great site.

  9. Mama Koala on June 3, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    We are making slower progress than we had hoped–and all extra debt payment is on old until baby girl arrives…10 monts after that we should be credit card debt free! I can’t wait.

    Good job on your progress–love seeing the updates–inspiring!

    • mommysnacks on June 3, 2009 at 11:36 pm

      Mama Koala – well, slower is still good so yeah for you!!!

  10. Rosie on June 3, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    I guess I understand that a lot better after thinking and stewing 24 hours. And after thinking about it I realized that, really, we’re kind of doing the same thing. My husband is in grad school (set to graduate in AUGUST!!!) and we just had our 2nd baby, so I have not renewed my teaching contract and we will get my last teaching paycheck on August 31st… so even though we have some debt left on our car loan, we’ve been squirriling most of our extra money, rather than paying extra on the car, so that we have some savings for the possibility of not having a job come September. But, at the same time, if he doesn’t have a job come September I’m planing to lump-sum pay off the rest of the car (we owe less than $2000 right now) so that we don’t have to worry about that payment.

  11. Nancy on June 5, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Hi Andrea,
    I too posted my re-designed budget – here is the post http://ragingbearranch.blogspot.com/2009/05/updated-budget-june-2009.html

    We had to refigure after my husband was in a car accident and we had to get a new to us car (before we were ready) and we now have a car payment which we haven’t had for the last 6 years and additional insurance for full coverage. We doubled the car payment to pay it off sooner – we are still able to add to our EF even with the double car payment so I think this will work for us – we will see. I love Suze’s books and I’ve read and re-read them so many times.

    Good luck with your budget and goals!

    • mommysnacks on June 5, 2009 at 3:26 pm

      Nancy, you had a little wrench thrown in your plans! Sounds like you are making a plan to get it gone though, which is great! Thanks for commenting and good luck with your budget!

  12. Jennifer on June 12, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    We are trying to save for a new to us car as well and it is slow going. BUT eventually we will get there. Good luck!

  13. Janet on June 12, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    You are making great progress. Releasing debt is a great feeling.

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