Monday, December 28, 2020

2020 Financial Goals Recap

I'm working through the four groups of my  2020 goals . Here's how I did on my financial goals.

1) Financial

  • Stick to our budget (more details in upcoming posts about budget changes we've made for 2020) - on the whole, we were well under budget for most categories this year. But, COVID threw us plenty of curve balls & opportunities. (Details below.) I'm giving us a pass, based on where we netted out as a whole. As in previous years, we spent well under what we made, made lots of progress on our mortgage & retirement goals, & increased spending in intentional ways (mostly.) 
  • Pay off 1/2 of our mortgage. We bought in February of 2017. Our goal is to hit the half way point by September, 2020. - COVID changed this as well, because we felt nervous about dumping a bunch of cash into our house vs savings for the first six months of the year. So, that was the first change. After things settled down, we decided to take advantage of being home during the day to get some housing projects done. We put a bunch into the house. We still could have achieved this, but are in the process of refinancing our mortgage & prefer to wait until that closes to make the final large payment. However, we paid 3x over our expected principal payments, so feeling really good about where we landed in 2020 with this. 
  • Spend $500 or less on clothing for myself - I spent $617.87 on clothing, and wrote a post on this. Although I was over my goal, I feel good about the spending, based on the need to replace 2x pair of running shoes. It was an intentional and thoughtful investment in my health, during a lot of working out in 2020. 

So, how did we do with our budget categories?
  • Travel - under, with also another $3500 or so of travel credits, due to cancellation. I'm sure we'll make up for this in 2021!
  • Utilities - we went from all four of us being out of the house & a lot during the weekend, to being home almost always. As a result, we spent more. We also had to increase our routers, add different phone coverage for the kids (they need specific apps to use during the school day) & we were generally just home using more power & water. 
  • Groceries - so, so far over. A few key reasons. The adults previously ate breakfast, lunch, snacks & drinks throughout the day (for free) at work. That was saving us a lot of money. COVID also pushed us to change our shopping habits. We largely stopped looking for deals, bought what was in stock (even when it was more expensive), stopped shopping at the very inexpensive local produce stand (no social distancing options) & added in a bunch of fun/frivolous/entertaining options to keep us going during our time together. 
  • Dining Out - our dining out budget is not super big ($200/month) but we exceeded this for the year. I was initially surprised, but here's how that played out. We did pretty pricey takeout a few times, in a bid to support one of our favorite local restaurant. M & I had three socially distant date nights (no longer allowed, but over the summer when we could eat outside) & took my sister to dinner. All those added up to just over our budget. We were close. 
  • Home Projects - we used our time at home to manage contractors & supervise projects to do home projects, both big & small. We did a full kitchen remodel, rebuilt our outdoor sheds (pool shed, required garbage cover, & sheds that sit between our house & neighbors, as an auxiliary space.They were 30+ years over, & really needed an update. As with all home projects, we were over budget. ;-) 
  • Gym, summer camps - the kids fit in a couple of socially distant summer camps, and we had a couple of months at they gym, but these were both big cost savings due to COVID. 
  • Auto - we talked about buying a car, but didn't do that this year due to not driving much. So, saved a big chunk here.
  • Auto insurance - likewise, we are both driving so little that our insurance rates dropped. 
  • Christmas - we're well under, and used travel credits for the flights. In the end, we'll drive & bank even those credits. And, we won't be renting a car. 
  • Entertainment - we were under. Our budget is pretty small, but there was nowhere to go & spend this in 2020! 
  • Gas - we spent less on gas than expected, but will likely hit this about even with our drive over the holidays
  • Alcohol - we spent more in 2020 ;-) 
What about you? How did you do with your 2020 financial goal & budget? 


  1. I actually am going to go back and look at where we started financially and where we ended. My husbands salary took a hit early in the pandemic, but recovered, but not as well as last year. I stopped doing monthly recaps in March as I thought if we get by without depleting a large chunk of cash between dealing with our unknown and our adult kids unknown. 2021 has a big question mark as well, so my goals will be modest financially.

    1. 2021 is certainly a big question mark, isn't it?

  2. Food and alcohol! I think we all needed an increase to those budgets for the year with Covid. I know we sure did. I spend quite a bit on groceries but we have very little food waste so I'm ok with it. I think you did extremely well under the circumstances.

    1. Oh my, yes. The increases on the grocery front particularly! Crazy times.

  3. My 2020 goals other than getting into a new house went out the window with Covid. So hoping to get on track this next year.

    1. Buying & getting into the new house was a huge goal, so well done!

  4. I don't have time to break out exactly how much we spent in each category but from my normal tracking month to month, and the one off projects, we definitely spent more than we had planned in January even after subtracting childcare.

    Our cashflow was better though and I'm not sure why that was.

    1. It's hard to track, and I definitely go back & forth on whether it's worth it. I feel like it does make us (mostly) more intentional