With the new year and new decade, I would like to renew my focuses on my wife and I’s finances. We made significant progress for most of last year with my Subaru Forester car loan, but having to buy a new car in the summer also stopped my accelerated plan to repay the Subaru loan and stopped by debt snowball. This is how we are going to fix that this year.
Financial Goal #1 – Pay off Subaru Forester loan
With my next payment halfway through this month, the Subaru Forester loan will drop below $2,000. Being this close to paying it off, I really want to get this done. Thanks to some job related money coming in sometime in January and my tax return that usually comes in mid-February since I file my taxes as soon as I get the relevant paperwork, I think there is a very good chance I could have it paid off by March. Maybe even sooner.
With that, $225 a month becomes available and is a significant victory in my budget.
Financial Goal #2 – Look into credit unions
Within short walking distance of my work, there is a credit union branch that I am going to look into. Not only are credit unions well-known for their customer service and great rates, but this one also has an awesome feature of letting me scan checks and depositing them online. Combined with many ATM’s in gas stations and stores being free and it is very tempting to switch from Bank of America to them. I am also going to see if there is any chance of refinancing my new car loan with them.
Financial Goal #3 – Saving for a new house
With the Subaru Forester loan being paid off in the next 3-4 months, I plan on doing a debt snowball into a savings account with the idea of selling our condo towards the end of 2010 and moving into a house. We are ready to own a house. Given that houses will probably not be any cheaper than they are now, this is a good time to take advantage of the market.
Financial Goal #4 – Double the emergency fund
Even though the economy is slowly showing signs of turning around, it is clear that we need a better emergency fund as we now have a bare minimum $1000 tucked away. I would like to at least double my current emergency fund, just to give us a little more cushion to work from.