As promised, I am posting my monthly update on my progress toward my frugal New Year's resolutions. Once again, here is a look at the original resolution, and my update for the month of February:

1. Rebuild my emergency fund. This got wiped out when my wife became disabled and was unable to work. I am going to build a $1,000 emergency fund to start.
Update: I had built the fund up to $600, but had to spend it on, you guessed it, an emergency. My family got socked with higher-than-expected utility bills for the month of January. Some of this was from final utility bills at our former residence. I also had to take my dog to the veterinarian for some emergency surgery. As it stands now, I have about $250 in my emergency fund, so I actually took a step backwards.

2. Eliminate debt. I hope to eliminate at least $10,000 in debt this year.
Update: I have paid off roughly $1,000 in debt so far, but acquired some new debt in the form of medical bills. Still, after I rebuild my emergency fund I will be back on track to eliminate additional debt.

3. Save for a new home. I want to save for a down payment on my own home.
Update: I realized I am still eligible for a VA loan for a home due to my military service in the Navy. I am still saving for a home, but probably won't have to save as much as I originally thought. I want to eliminate some debt before socking away money for the home.

4. Contribute to my IRA. I hope to contribute at least 10 percent of my income to my IRA.
Update: I am currently saving 10 percent of my income, but for now it is going into my emergency fund. After I get the fund back to $1,000 that money will go into the retirement fund.

5. Continue to live below my means. This is a never-ending challenge. If you can live on less money than you earn, the rest of your financial life falls into balance.
Update: My family and I are following a carefully crafted spending plan, with certain percentages of my income being alloted for specific spending categories. So far, so good. I have money to pay all of the monthly bills, put into savings and eliminate debt, even though I had to dip into emergency savings this month for unexpected expenses. We are a one-income household, and we are definitely middle class, so all in all...I think we are doing a decent job so far!


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