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Savings Snowball: New Year 2010

Ah-hem! It has been brought to my attention that I haven’t done a “Savings Snowball” updates since May of 2009. Thankfully, I’ve been sticking with the snowball since then, just not writing about it at all. There hasn’t been an update because nothing has really changed… until now.

When we last left my savings snowball, it looks like-a-so:

Name Goal Total Progress Monthly Payment
Bro’s Wedding ? $0 $25+
Emergency Fund $10,000 $571 $10
Future Car Fund $10,000 $106 $10
Charity Fund Infinite $106 $10
Retirement Infinite $62 $5

For those of you not familiar with the concept, here’s the short version: much like a debt snowball, each goal has a minimum payment that gets paid every month, no matter what. Any extra money I can scrounge up goes to the goal on the top. When the goal on the top is met, everything that was getting sent to that goal “snowballs” down into the second goal, and the minimum payment for that goal continues. Therefore, the snowball gains momentum as it goes down the list.

Here’s what’s changed since the May 2009 update:

Bro’s Wedding Weddings: As I explained in my October 2009 net worth update, I’ve got more than just my brother’s wedding to save up for now. I’ve been asked to participate in another wedding as a groomswoman, and that wedding will also require a dress and travel and accommodations, just like my brother’s upcoming wedding. And, if the advice of everyone older than me is true, weddings are just going to keep popping up over the next 5-10 years of my life. There’s no set numerical goal for this, because it’s a rolling number.

Retirement: Oh, hello! I’ve been saying for years that I’m going to start a retirement account. One of the earliest entries in this blog, in January of 2007, laid out starting one as a goal for 2007. I was ambitious, and crazy. I met a lot of goals that year, including going back to college, but starting a retirement account was not one of them. Neither did it happen in 2008 or 2009.

But now I have a big girl job, so my retirement savings? That jumps to the top of the snowball. I hope to max out a Roth IRA for both 2009 and 2010 (I can still open a 2009 IRA up until April 15, 2010), so the goal is $10,000.

New and Improved Savings Snowball

Name Goal Total Progress Monthly Payment
Retirement $10,000 $102 All that I can
Emergency Fund $5,000 $646 $15
Future Car Fund $10,000 $188 $25
Charity Fund Rolling $177 $15
Weddings Rolling $226 $50

Not really all that different, in the end. Retirement moved to the top, and Weddings to the bottom. It has to be at the bottom, because a rolling goal can never be achieved and snowball down into the next goal. I knocked the Emergency Fund goal down to $5,000. I’m single, no kids, so maybe even that is excessive – I’ll reevaluate it when it’s the top goal. I increased the monthly payment on everything.

Conclusions: That I haven’t talked about my Savings Snowball is a testament to the fact that it’s working. It’s requiring less and less tweaking as time goes on. I’m happy with that.

8 responses to “Savings Snowball: New Year 2010”

  1. Griff

    Thanks for your honesty and openness in sharing with others your financial goals and how you are reaching them. Slowly but surely is the key to financial success and I think many people need to see others doing the same thing in order to be motivated.

    thanks for the post.

  2. Ken

    Great that you got a better job. Great that you’re funding retirement. I’d like you to get that emergency fund to 1000 before throwing big chunks into retirement. My opinion. Good post.

  3. Stefan | StudySuccessful.com

    Pretty awesome,

    Can’t you just wear your dress from your brothers’ wedding again at the other one? Or are there too many similiar people?

  4. Morena

    Great job. It takes a lot to share your finances on the open.

  5. Laura Lee Bloor

    Thanks for this post. I found it very helpful as we (my husband and I) have had the goal of a true emergency savings fund for years now. We were able to sock away thousands of dollars for the wedding, but once that huge goal was met, we can’t seem to keep more than $400 in the savings account. So once again, this year we are trying to achieve the goal of having a $1,000 emergency savings fund that we don’t dip into every month or two.

  6. Andre Nievo

    It’s really helpful if we have a table for our finances.

  7. Donna

    Nice way to prepare for your retirement. My husband and I had a good chunk of our retirement dissipate due to some hefty medical bills, but we’re back on our road to recovery and should be in good shape soon. Thanks for sharing your financial info and it is encouraging to some.