My Short-Term Financial Goals 2017

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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?

16 thoughts on “My Short-Term Financial Goals 2017

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    1. That’s crazy! I figured it was low, but didn’t think it was that low. A primary driver is that most people struggle with prioritizing paying down their debt (credit card, student loan debt, etc.) vs savings for retirement. While it’s important to get rid of debt as quickly as possible, if you don’t start saving when you are younger you reduce the ability of those savings to compound over time. I started saving small amounts for retirement when I first started working and gradually increased that amount over time.

      1. Great point! People don’t realize what an impact contributing even a small amount to retirement now will have when they retire down the line. if you can’t afford to max out your contributions, that is totally fine, but it’s important to find a balance between enjoying life while you’re young, paying your debt and bills, and making sure you are comfortable for retirement.

    2. Thanks, I agree! It just causes so much less stress later on in life.

      Wow! $17,000!? This is why you see a lot of people working beyond 65 years old! Early retirement is one of my long-term goals!

  1. My goals are purely business related. I’ve set certain milestones per year (e.g. I want to achieve 15% portfolio returns this year, grow my business from $X to $Y etc).
    Like yourself, I also make it a point to go on vacation several times every year. Being young and single, I think this is the best time to do so. It’s simply not possible to travel to remote places when you’ve got a kid.

    1. Sounds like you’ve got some great goals set for yourself!

      I definitely agree! Young and single is the time to take advantage of travel. I’m young and married, but still kid-free, so I’m trying to travel as much as possible now before it turns into only local trips or Disney (not that there’s anything wrong with a nice Disney trip!)

  2. I’m really trying hard to monetize my blog. It’s slowly starting to yield some income but I have a long way to go before I could actually live off of it but maybe one day 🙂

    1. Same! It’s hard having a full-time job while putting in as much effort as is required to monetize your blog! I’m still in the early phases of determining which ways to go with this, clearly, but living off blog income is the ultimate goal 🙂

  3. Just found you through Twitter!

    Great post. You have some awesome goals there. I can’t impress enough on putting money away for retirement. So glad you’re doing it and promoting it.

    I’ll be looking forward to more of your good stuff!

    1. Thank you! I have always contributed the full amount that has been matched by my employer, but I figured it’s time to kick it up a notch. I think so many young people overlook the importance of saving for retirement because it seems so far away, but the growth rate from starting young is just should not be passed up.

  4. Hawaii is on our wish list too. We’ve been talking about it for years but it’s a pretty expensive trip and there always seems to be another priority. This year we’ll be in the Outer Banks which is awesome, though Charleston is another place we’d like to visit.

    1. I know what you mean! We have made Hawaii our priority for 2018, so we began saving almost 2 years ahead. I’ve never been to the Outer Banks, but I’ve heard such great things!

  5. Hey Courtney, this is my first time stopping by the blog – I’m enjoying your content!

    I have 2 main goals for 2017: read 75 books (I’m through 27), and build my wealth by $35k (through equity build, investments, and cash, I’m through $18k)

    If I could make a recommendation on #5, giving out freebies is a great way to build your email list. If you visit my site, you will see a dropdown giving out a 30-day to financial success worksheet freebie. I’m averaging about 5% conversion with it, which is great for freebies.

    My goal for my blog is : provide value -> build following -> then monetize. I do have some ads and affiliate links, but right now I’m looking to mostly build a following.

    1. Hi Erik! Thanks for checking out my blog!

      Those sound like great goals and great progress! I read the most during the summertime, personally, so I am sure you will have no problem reaching that goal!

      Thank you for the tip! I have read that freebies are enticing, so I do need to work on that. I am in the middle of creating my first email to go out this week (hopefully). I’m currently offering investing tips not mentioned in the blog. But I think a free download of some sort is a good idea!

  6. Ahhh, those vacations sound great! Don’t forget to do a little travel hacking and rack up some free rewards points via some credit cards. I did that last year, and now we’re taking two trips this year for pretty much next to nothing!

    1. Thank you! Yes, we travel hack where and when we can! Opening our Chase Sapphire Reserve card was one of the best decisions we made! The 3% cash back on all dining and travel-related expenses really adds up for us!

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