Over on the GRS forums, which is really where I started my personal finance blogging, I was moping a bit about the fact that we are unlikely to meet our 2012 savings goals of $69,000. Of course the joy of blogging and posting is that other people give you all kinds of feedback.
CecilyC provided this feedback: "Seriously, Sam, give yourself major props for this year even if you didn't exactly meet your goals. I wish I could say I'd saved $50,000."
Cecily's point is a good one, saving $50,000 is a major accomplishment. And, in fact, Mr. Sam and I are doing much better than the average American, who has $3,500 in regular savings and $35,000 in retirement savings.
While, we know we are doing well and we do celebrate the fact that we are making good progress on our savings, we want to do better. The fact is, with the exception of last year, our savings has averaged $50,000 each year with little to no increase. In 2011, we saved $60,060 (our best showing). In 2010,we saved $49,325. In 2009, we saved $50,168. In 2008, we saved $50,000. And of course in 2007, we paid off $55,500 in unsecured debt (in 12 and half months, this goal was completed in January 2008).
Now looking on the bright side, how fantastic that we were able to save $50,000 four years in a row. That is a fantastic accomplishment especially in light of the fact that we were able to save that kind of money during the great recession. But, I remain frustrated that we have not been able to increase our savings, with the exception of last year, despite the fact that both of us have had salary increases. I really want to do better and, more importantly, I believe that we can do better and save more without a major lifestyle change.