2009 In Review

Well, we’re just about done with 2009 and I wanted to take a look back at my financial goals, the blog, and take a look ahead to 2010.

Awhile back, I stated my 2009 goals. I’ve actually changed my mind about a few of them. The amount I have saved exceeded my expectations, and I’ve decided to allocate those savings differently than originally planned.

I have saved $3,000 in emergency savings as I had hoped. Actually, I’m up to $3,400 and once I get to $4,000, I’ll start to slow down considerably as that will represent about 3 months worth of expenses.

I do have enough in my checking accounts, although I thought I would need more in checking. Instead, I’m keeping one month’s worth of expenses in my checking account, so at the beginning of the month it is around $1,700, but as the month progresses, that drops to about $500 and gets replenished later. I realized that I didn’t need that large of a buffer, so I’m putting that extra money into savings.

For the Roth IRA, I decided to forgo that and retain my flexibility. By putting it in a Roth, I would be throwing $1,000 in a very basic Vanguard account. Instead, I’m going to invest $200 a month in index funds and retain the flexibility of deiciding what to do later should something happen.

I have paid off all of my high interest student loans, so right now my loans sit at around $23,000 at 2.8%, which is definitely bearable. I’ll be paying that down slowly and if I see I have excess money in savings, I may send in some lump sums to lower the balance.

In terms of the blog, I had no idea I’d have so much fun with it. After reading and reader for a few years, I decided to take the plunge and start the blog, and it’s everything I could have hoped for.

Here are a few of my favorite articles from 2009:

Why Phone Insurance Is A Scam

Looking Good While Saving Money

How To Get The Most From Your Gift Cards

Free Shredder And Credit Card Protection

The Credit Series was a big success and I am planning to do a few other series on student loans and retirement funds.

Looking ahead to 2010:

I will be producing more of the same content. I want to focus on real stories and provide useful information to the visitors. I will also be guest posting on other blogs in the coming months, something I’m very excited about and something that should bring more traffic to the blog. I always welcome guest bloggers, and I hope to have some in the coming months as well. Finally, I may be updating the look of the blog with the help of a few friends, but that is several months away.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the blog so far, and there’s much more to come in 2010. Happy New Year!

3 Responses to 2009 In Review

  1. Suzie says:

    I followed the link to your blog about Phone Insurance. It made sense to me on an account with 5 phones. But, I have only one phone. It would cost me $60 a year for insurance, and since it is not the basic phone, about $200 to replace. I don’t know what the replacement fee would be – I think no more than $50. So, I would be spending $110 with insurance, rather than $200. Seems like I would save money, right? BUT, the way I look at it is like this: by buying insurance I am definitely spending $50, and if I lose the phone, $110. If I don’t get insurance, I am spending nothing, but MAY have to spend $200 to replace it. I’m sure someone else who reads your blog knows more about probabilities than me, but it seems like the insurance is only worthwhile if there is about a 50% chance of losing the phone! I’m sure the odds of losing a phone are a lot less than that.
    Last point: I wonder if it is worth the insurance if you have a very expensive phone (like an I-phone) or Droid?

    • Daniel says:

      Great point!

      Here’s how I would break it down:

      If you get insurance, you’ll pay: $110 if it breaks, $60 if it doesnt ($85 avg)
      If you don’t get insurance, you’ll pay: $200 if it breaks, $0 if it doesn’t ($100 avg)

      Assuming that you break your phone half the time…it would save you $15 on average to insure your phone. If you spread this out to two years, if you lose your insured phone, you’ll be paying $180 for insurance vs. $200 if you lose an uninsured phone. Like you said, you probably don’t lose or break your phone once 50% of the time. It definitely depends on the person. I’d look at your history; if you break your phones a lot, go with insurance. But as you alluded to in your ocmment, the odds of losing or breaking a phone are fairly low, so in your situation, I’d say forget about it!

      The insurance for expensive phones is probably worth it for $5 a month, but I’m not sure if the costs increase for expensive phones. Also, I know that Apple will replace a cracked screen for free. What are the odds of you losing your iPhone? I’d guess pretty low.

  2. Suzie says:

    One more thought: assuming that I can get a new phone every 18 months, that means that i really pay $90 to insure my phone.So, that’s the figure I need to use – is it worth $90 to avoid having to pay for a new phone in case I lose mine? When I look at it that way, it really is not worthwhile. HAPPY NEW YEAR

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