Last year was FULL of unexpected expenses. I was free of credit card debt for a short time before several emergencies came up. I traveled out of state on three different occasions due to a family member's terminal illness. When it comes to something like that, frugality mostly goes out the window. I also had to have a root canal and crown done. Not exactly something you skimp on.
I am now saving roughly one third of my monthly income to a high yield savings account and my Roth. I haven't really thought about what my savings goals are other than replenishing the nest egg and retirement.
I cannot believe how much my attitudes have changed about finances in the past few years. When I had a retail job at a clothing store, I would blow almost all my paycheck on the "great deals" that I got with my employee discount on the clearance stuff. I have nothing to show for it either because all the clothes are gone. I grew out of that style and went for a look that was more mature.
There will probably be some people that won't like me for saying this: this economic downturn has taught me so much that I think it has been beneficial. I am really getting reinforcement that it isn't money or possessions that bring my happiness but it is the relationships with people and gaining inner wisdom that feeds my soul. I have weathered so much and become a stronger person now. It is merely the beginning.