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2018 Financial Wins and Fails

December 28th, 2018 at 06:58 pm

If you didn't see my previous post, I've invited all bloggers to write a post titled 2018 Financial Wins and Fails. Join in before the end of the year.

I reread all of my 2018 posts here and I have to say while the year was a whirlwind of change, we actually had a lot of financial wins, many I forgot about!

I'm going to start with the fails.

1) Failed to shop for the best prices. We purchased some big ticket items, computer for our daughter, dorm supplies, tires and college textbooks. The reasons are multiple, but it was such a busy year, I found myself just wanting to get the purchases complete, rather than spending lots of time finding the best price. It's not to say I didn't do some price comparisons, but I didn't dig in deep to make it a priority.

2) I failed to think ahead about getting out of the stock market on my youngest daughter's Educational Savings Account. The market was doing well. We redeemed shares in August and definitely sold high. But now the market has corrected, and the share price while still high for some of the shares we bought, it is low for others. I should have moved the shares to cash in August. I haven't sold at a loss yet, so may not end up being a complete fail. Time will tell.

3) Failed to plan ahead. This is related to both of the above, but I wasn't thinking months in advance about things that would need cash, particularly all the dorm room expenses. I should have thought about that at least at the first of the year. I was able to cash flow the costs as we made purchases, but it would have been less stressful if the money was set aside for something I knew was coming.

The wins definitely outweigh the fails.

1) We ended the year once again with zero student loans! So excited we have been able to continue to cash flow, use saved investments or take advantage of my husband's Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. Oh, and the girls both got fantastic scholarships that helped as well.

2) Despite lots of spending, we saved a lot this year. We maxed out our Roth IRA contributions, and my husband saved 11% of his basic pay for retirement. We saved $2000 in our daughter's ESA (final contribution). We saved $347/mo automatically from my husband's paycheck. We saved all credit card rewards and interest on our savings. (I'll post more specific numbers later.) We also saved the entire military move reimbursement which was nearly $7K.

3) We cash flowed a computer purchase, new tires, shocks and struts for my van, dorm needs, three trips, and several airline flights. Still completely debt free!

The fails help me see where we can improve in 2019, and the wins remind me what we are doing right and can continue with going forward. Do you review your successes and setbacks at the end of the year?

5 Responses to “2018 Financial Wins and Fails ”

  1. Kym Parker Says:

    I don't like to call them resolutions. I prefer to think of them as goals. And they are pretty much the same as last year.

    - - Save MORE (I was okay in 2018 but could have been better.)

    - - Spend LESS (I am a spender by nature) A spending ban on WANTS is in effect for 2019

    - - Go to gym 2-3x a week (epic fail in 2018) With a job that now accounts for a longer overall day, something had to give. Frown

    - - Eat better (I had my ups and downs with this one)

    - - Lose 20 pounds (that did NOT happen)

    - - Less time online. (that did NOT happen)

    - - Read at least 60 books (that DID happen, but I had challenged myself to read 100 books and I came up 15 books short.

    - - Declutter, declutter, declutter (that is an ongoing process)

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Kym, I agree. Goals just sound better than resolutions. Good luck with your goals in 2019! If we strive to get somewhere, we are likely to at least make some progress.

  3. mumof2 Says:

    its great to be debt free and still be able to do what needs to be done....even better when you get to pay cash...congrats on all your wins

  4. rob62521 Says:

    Well done! Anytime your wins overpower your losses, I'd say you were successful!

  5. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I wouldn't call not selling shares in August a fail. You had no way of knowing that the market would tank. You could have sold them and have the market soar … All you can do is the best you can do

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