The first post I ever wrote about on the blog was about financial goals (you can access that here). It was very short, but it listed out some ideas of goals and expressed the importance of setting financial goals. Goals are important because it gives you the motivation to take action. Without a clear idea of you what you want your finish line to look like, you may never get there.
Since I have expressed how vital setting financial goals are, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of mine with all of you and explain how I plan to achieve them. As I mention in my previous post, financial goals may not always sound like they have anything to do with finances, but rest assured they do. Below are some of my short-term financial goals.
- Go On Vacation – this is probably always going to be a goal for me because I absolutely love to travel. My husband and I have a few trips on the horizon at the moment. We recently just took a short trip to Charleston, SC (if you haven’t been, GO! It is an amazing city.) and we are going on a big family trip to Italy in the beginning of the summer. The other two trips we have planned, but not yet booked, are to Newport, RI and Hawaii. We are hoping to go to Newport this summer to celebrate one year of marriage. Since this would be a weekend trip, we can save this money fairly easily and have already set aside some money for that purpose. Hawaii is the trip we are planning for spring of 2018. Since this will be at least a weeklong vacation, we have been saving for this one for a while now. So, what exactly are we doing to save for this vacation? Well, we knew we wanted to go to Hawaii before we even got married. We were debating to honeymoon either there or Bora Bora and Bora Bora ended up winning. We decided to convert the leftover money from our wedding fund into our newly appointed vacation fund when we came back from our honeymoon. This fund is being kept in a high yield online savings account with Ally Bank. It pays a 1% annual percentage yield. Interest is compounded daily and deposited into our account monthly. We chose this route for our vacation fund because we wanted something liquid and not risky. The idea is that this can also serve as a more liquid alternative to our emergency fund, if ever needed, as our emergency fund is currently tied up in investments.
- Max Out Annual IRA Contributions – I must confess, my husband does this already, but I have not been maxing out my account because, basically I make a lot of excuses. At first I thought that contributing solely to my work retirement plans was enough. Then, after finally opening a Roth IRA and putting money from previously held investments in there, I didn’t want to contribute right away. Between the wedding and honeymoon and house renovations, I just didn’t feel comfortable tying up more money. Finally, I started contributing via automatic withdrawals from our checking account, but only about half of the max. This past weekend, my husband and I discussed it and he has finally persuaded me that it is worth it to max out. The plan is to increase my monthly automatic withdrawals from checking going forward. However, since it is already a few months into the year, I will contribute the remaining difference to get me to the max once my husband has reached his max because this will happen just shy of the end of the year. Based on his current contribution rate, he will max out his contributions with 2 months remaining in the 2017 calendar year.
- Pay Off My Car – The goal is to pay off my car by next year, the latest. A little background, last August I purchased a certified pre-owned 2014 Mercedes Benz ML350. I know most of my fellow financial bloggers do not have luxury cars because they think it clashes with the idea of being good with money, but I disagree. I feel this was a very good investment for us because it will keep its value better than some comparable non-luxury SUVs. Plus, it came with features that you would have to pay additional money for in other SUVs. It is a good size and very safe, which is important for when we do decide to grow our family. Some of the safety features my car has are lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring and pre-safe functions, which is a form of collision warning. The other reason I bought it, or a new car at all for that matter, is because my trusty old Jeep Liberty that I had since I was 16 decided she had had enough. The cost to fix the Jeep would have been significantly more than what the car was worth, so I decided to put that money towards a newer car and trade the Jeep in. When we purchased the car, we only financed $12,500. We got a great deal on the car because it we purchased it during their used car event. All this being said, my husband and I want to make sure that my car is paid off in full before we grow our family. To make us even more comfortable, we decided next year is the latest we will wait to pay it off, but ideally, we will have it paid off before the end of this year. We are hoping to use some gains from investments this year for this purpose. Our backup plan, though, is to utilize some extra cash towards paying down the principal each month.
- Maintain A Monthly Budget – this is a continuous goal. My husband and I started doing a joint monthly budget last summer after we got married. We monitored our wedding budget together, but we managed separate accounts before the wedding because we didn’t have a joint checking account. Once we joined all of our accounts, we started a monthly budget that we spend at least 30 minutes reviewing together once a month. Since beginning this journey, we have made quite a few changes to this budget and foresee making a lot more. As time goes on, our expenses and incomes change and will continue to do so. We currently maintain our budget in excel because we want something extremely customizable. Click Here to Download My Personal Monthly Budget!
- Increase Blogging Income – I just started my blog at the end of February, so I am currently not making any money as of yet. However, this is something I would like to change. I am already beginning to look into different ways to generate income from my blog, such as affiliate relationships (via BlueHost, for example) and advertisements (Google AdSense is something that is in the works). While I created this blog as a hobby, it is always great to make extra money on the side. I am constantly monitoring my page views and sharing my blog with others, but I am also trying to be conscious of not annoying people by being too pushy. Clearly, the blog is a work in process and is both a short-term and long-term financial goal of mine.
Now that I’ve shared some of my goals with all of you, what are some of your financial goals? What are you doing to reach them?