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.
We're halfway through the year–how are your 2015 Financial Goals shaping up? As happens almost every year, our motivation has been challenged at this mid-way point. It's great to update these goals here on the blog and remind ourselves why we set them and refocus our energy. The ultimate financial goal is to never go back into debt; now that we're debt-free we want to keep moving forward.
Here's the Quarter 2 Update for our 2015 Financial Goals:
1) Live off a two-paycheck budget each month. STRUGGLING
We've been going over budget each month, sometimes by only a little, but sometimes by a lot. That means we need to review the budget and make some adjustments. We haven't taken the time to do that, so I put it on the calendar (usually a date night that involves dessert to make the conversation more pleasant) for mid-July.
2) Work to reduce our monthly expenses. STRUGGLING
We struggled through the spring, and now (not surprisingly) we're still struggling in the summer. We've reduced some expenses (mostly entertainment and eating out) but haven't systematically tackled each category the way I wanted to. And now my schedule is so hectic that I'm in danger of overspending for convenience and not planning. I need to set aside some time to really reflect on the budget and make concrete plans.
3) Deposit the maximum into my IRA for 2015. ONGOING
Automatic deposits take care of this every month, and it feels good to know that it's done. This will be the first year where we're actually paying it monthly instead of catching up during April taxes.
4) Add $5,000 more to our emergency fund. NOPE
So embarrassing that this is not done. Last quarter, I said it was because we had some big expenses in the spring and that it would get done. It has not. It's related to goal 2 in that I don't feel on top of the monthly budget, so when we re-adjust we need to be paying ourselves first to accomplish this.
5) Set aside $3,000 for an orthodontics fund. DONE
One child already has an appliance in, and the April appointment for my son surprised us (and him). The orthodontist said it would be another year before he gets his braces. He has too many teeth that still need to come out. So that gives us a little leeway with this fund, maybe to achieve Goal 4, then we can repay the fund in 2016 for those expenses next year.
6) Earn $12,000 (net) with my two side businesses (blogging and babysitting). ONGOING
I'm ahead of schedule with this goal, even with not meeting my blogging income goals in May and June. I've taken on two extra kids for the summer, so that brings in more babysitting income, and for the first summer I'm not taking July off from computer work, just merging it with what we're doing around the house. At this rate, I'll reach this goal by September, which means that what I earn from Oct-Dec can go towards Goal 4.
Hmmm…there's a lot of red and not enough green up there, I'm not feeling great about that. But writing them out reminds me of what's working–automation like the success of Goals 3 and 5 can also be done to achieve Goal 4. We'll do that at our mid-July budget chat and make a plan to handle Goals 1 and 2.
Original image from Ryan McGuire at Magdeleine