This year my 2011 goal is to increase my savings. I’ve finally reduced most of my debt, minus my car and student loan debts, and now need to ramp up my savings and retirement planning. Since I’m dividing up my saved income into a few different accounts (3 to be exact), I’m using an excel spreadsheet to track the difference between what I started with on January 1st and what I will end with each quarter. My three savings accounts include a large purchase account, an ER fund, and a wealth building fund. My wealth building fund will be expanded upon later this year and split into yet another account, but for now I’m tracking our stock portfolio as the ‘Wealth Building’ fund.

You’ll notice in my side bar that I’m making excellent progress having saved 1/3 of my initial $9,000 goal. However, that figure is a bit inflated because I’m tracking our assumed profit on our stocks. This profit isn’t realized until I cash the stocks out which I don’t plan on doing, hence the title of the fund ‘Wealth Building’. If I didn’t include the growth of this account, I’d really be at around $2,500. I want to keep tracking this account since I do add additional funds that come out of our saved income, but I’m just not sure if I want to continue adding it to my over all progress through my Boost My Savings widget. What do you think? Should I include it in my progress each quarter?  Obviously there will be times when the growth stagnates or even decreases a bit. As the year progresses and I open another ‘Wealth Building’ account, I might decide to ditch it and not count it in my Boost My Savings Goal until the end of the year. I’m just glad I’m making progress!

Now some mid-week link love:

  • Engineer Your Finances with Forget 2011, Go Back to 2010 Excellent points are made here about looking at your past spending and savings behavior and deciding what to improve on or patting yourself on the back for doing well.
  • Invest it Wisely with Are Emergency Savings Necessary? This is a guest post from Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff and she makes some very good points using examples for reasons to have a nice little emergency fund.
  • Yakezie post with You Might Be A Blogging Addict If… Hilarious list of true identifiers of blogger addicts. I’m pretty sure I fit this description. 😉
  • Buy Like Buffett with The Beginners Investing Guide.
  • Consumerism Commentary with Three Aspects of Your Finances You Can Control. Flexo makes an excellent point about how it’s completely up to you to take control of your personal finances. I’d also add that it’s not enough to just state a goal, you need to have a plan to achieve that goal.
  • Wandering Earl with A Typical Summer Week in Melbourne. I’m dreaming of summer and I don’t even live in a wintry area of the US. I just want it to be warmer!
  • Prairie Eco-Thrifter with 5 Ways to Lower Your Monthly Bills. Great tips include brown bagging your lunch and canceling subscriptions and cable.

Happy Groundhog Day!