2012 overview and 2013 plans

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I guess I didn’t do a year-end wrap-up for 2011, or at least I can’t find one in my own archives, but here’s a 2012 run-down.

  • We put 19% of our net income (take-home pay) toward our debt, in both regular payments and snowball payments. See huge orange chunk above from our Mint.com profile.
  • We spent 14% of our net income on a new-to-us vehicle; we took the funds out of savings and didn’t borrow a single penny to pay for it. See blue chunk above, which also included car repar and gas/oil.
  • Buying the car meant we needed to re-save our major emergency fund; we proceeded to save about 9% of our net income to get back to where we were before we bought the car.
  • Between paying down debt and re-booting our savings, we snowballed/saved about 33% of our income.
  • Between what gets taken out of my checks for my defined benefit plan (read: pension, which is matched automatically by my employer, but if I leave I don’t get to take that money so I don’t count it as savings), and what my husband puts in to get the maximum 401(k) match from his employer, we saved about 10% of our net income for retirement. I would prefer to be saving an additional 10% on top of those savings, but we’ll get to that once we are out of debt.

For 2013, we are potentially looking at my husband starting graduate school (if he decides to apply and actually gets in, that is–fingers crossed), which means we will likely slow our snowball in order to pay cash for his tuition. One thing that was helpful in deciding to maybe get an advanced degree was… wait for it… a cost-benefit analysis. Oh, yeah, you know how I roll. This ‘Will School Pay Off?’ calculator from Kiplinger’s was especially helpful. The cost of a graduate education involves more than just tuition, but lost hours and retirement matching from needing to reduce working hours. For some programs, it’s simply not possible to work and go to school, but we’re hoping that he can work part-time and manage at least a half-time course load.

We are also planning to pay cash for a vacation in 2013… more on that in a future post! Any 2013 money goals you are working toward?