Every year, I share my family's Financial Goals, then update them each quarter, both to hold us accountable and to inspire you to write out and achieve your own goals. Here's the end of year update:
Our reflections on the past year, thankfully, have us VERY committed to our goals for 2015 (which I'll post for you next week). We didn't do any damage during this loose year, no new debt or any major emergencies, I think money just slipped by and didn't get set aside as it should have been. Here's my End of Year update on these 2014 Financial Goals worked out this way:
1) Create an emergency fund with 6 months' worth of expenses by March 31st. FAIL
We know darn well you need to “pay yourself first” and yet didn't do that enough this year. So we're several thousands off from this goal. You'll see that our 2015 plan reflects this–to pay this first before doing anything else. Because I'm a visual person, I still want a separate account for this money, so it's not bunched in with the revolving savings (the part that collects 1/12 of our yearly payment expenses like HOA, Bar Dues, etc.).
2) Max out husband's retirement contribution at work (ASAP) and open an IRA for me (by December). DONE-TECHNICALLY
I did open an IRA and paid the 2013 max into it before paying our taxes in April of 2014. However, we haven't made any contributions for 2014 and are in the same boat again. Not acceptable! Our 2015 goals will reflect that we'll pay ourselves first and have this automatically deducted every month. We did change my husband's retirement withdrawal at work to the max (yay!) now that the debt is paid off.
3) Work with a lawyer to get our will, trust and guardianship done by April 1st. DONE!
This was a huge task but so necessary. It really does feel good to know this is taken care of, like a big weight off our shoulders. If you haven't done yours, learn more about Writing a Will.
4) Stick to our monthly budget to stay debt-free while covering expenses like taxes, a new couch, and trips. ONGOING
Technically, we stuck to our monthly budget, we just didn't have the savings for goals 1 & 2 planned for on the budget. That will be remedied! We did a great job of going under budget on big expenses like a new couch (paid 1/5 of what we'd thought, by buying used) and two trips (a wedding in California and a family trip to Niagara Falls), but we never did anything with the unspent money, other than spend it elsewhere apparently.
Original image by Carly Jane1 at Flickr