About a year ago, I posted my New Year's resolutions for 2008, and they were all related to my financial life. I thought it would be interesting to take a look back, and see if I actually followed through with my resolutions and grade my results. I posted my original resolutions below, along with my updated comments about how I did in italics.

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.

Despite rebuilding and spending my emergency fund a couple of times this year due to some expensive veterinary bills for my pets, I'm actually finishing the year with about $1,000 in my emergency fund. I give my self an "A" on this one, but I still wish it was more.

2. Eliminate debt. To be honest, I have lost track of my debt due to some medical bills being turned down by insurance, and others being created when my family did not have health insurance. First, I have to get a copy of my credit report, and then start knocking out my debt. I hope to eliminate at least $10,000 in debt this year.

Well, I certainly didn't eliminate $10,000 in debt this year, but I have paid down about half of that. I finally got my wife on board with eliminating debt, and think we'll do a much better job in 2009. I'll give myself a "C" on this one.

3. Save for a new home. The new home I'm moving into is not my own. It is my father-in-law's retirement home. He won't retire for four more years, so in the meantime I can save for a down payment on my own home.

OK, I get an "F" on this one. We haven't saved anything for a new house this year, because we had to rebuild our emergency fund twice this year. Hint: ALWAYS get your pets vaccinated on time. Again, my wife has come around to my way of thinking on this, and we plan to sock away at least $500 a month for a new house during 2009. To be honest, we're not in a huge hurry to buy a new house right now because of the uncertainty in the real estate market.

4. Contribute to my IRA. Again, because my family had no health insurance I had to spend a large amount of my income on prescription medications in 2007. Things will be much different in 2008. I hope to contribute at least 10 percent of my income to my IRA. IRA rates stink right now, so I've been putting most of my money in high-yield savings accounts.

I have saved about 10 percent of my income each month, but it isn't "untouchable" money, so it's not completely for my retirement. I'll give myself a "C" on this one.

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.

I get an "A" for this one. Once again, my family is at the point where we do live off of less than I earn. Each payday, there is money left over from the previous payday. It helps that I have multiple streams of income and some passive income. I don't totally rely on the paycheck from my "day job".

I guess I get a high "C" or a "B-" for the year for my 2008 resolutions. Even if you fell a bit short with your resolutions, it is good to have a goal and do your best to shoot for it. Even through I didn't hit some of my goals, I did accomplish others, or at least made some progress toward them. I have the same resolutions for 2009, and hope to do a better job of hitting my goals. We'll see how I did at this time next year!

Have a safe and Happy New Year!


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