New year, new goals! If you've never set financial goals for yourself and your family, this can be your year. Read how we do ours. We've been setting these goals for 7 years now and have had so many ups and downs. Even with me posting them publicly, to help us stay accountable, we still fail sometimes. This time around, we're using the failure as our impetus to do much better this year.
For us, the key to achieving these goals is remembering our motivation–but it's SO HARD to be motivated for retirement. I'm not enjoying getting older (my birthday was just two weeks ago), and I would rather have the money NOW. But we've worked so hard to get where we are that I know we're on the right track. Sigh.
Our 2015 Financial Goals:
- Live off a two-paycheck budget each month. We went through our monthly expenses and created a budget based on two paychecks per month instead of a monthly salary. Since our health insurance rate went up, my husband is bringing home less per month than he did last year, which was a great reason to review all of our monthly expenses.
- Work to reduce our monthly expenses. As the kids have gotten older and life has gotten busier, we've found ourselves getting looser with our budget. This year, I want to tackle 2- 3 budget lines each month (both needs and wants) and reduce what we can. In some cases, I may need to go back to old habits that I've let go. . Yes, our budget includes personal allowances for all five of us, to be spent however we'd like, plus a small amount for “family entertainment” and “eating out.” I cook 6 of the 7 days of the week, and the 7th night we eat leftovers or takeout if there aren't any.
- Deposit the maximum into my IRA for 2015 by contributing automatically each month. We've had to play catch-up the past two years, and that needs to stop. We need to “pay ourselves first” and live off the rest.
- Add $5,000 more to our emergency fund. Again, paying ourselves first. We didn't accomplish this last year and need to set this money aside. We were following Dave Ramsey's 7 Baby Steps and skipped ahead to Step 4 before finishing Step 3.
- Set aside $3,000 for an orthodontics fund. We have three children, and they all need braces. One has started treatment, and another is expected to start in August. This is a temporary need over the next few years, but I want to pay up front since we receive a discount by doing so.
- Earn $12,000 (net) with my two side businesses (blogging and babysitting) to use towards kids' sports, summer camp, and a family vacation, barring Murphy's Law.
We have some pretty big numbers up there, and it feels like a lot seeing it laid out that way, but writing down your goals makes you more likely to achieve them. Since it's early in the year, I'm feeling really motivated (it's two months from now that I'll need a kick in the pants!). I will update our progress at the end of March (and every quarter the rest of the year). Would love to hear from you:
What are your family's 2015 Financial Goals?
Original image from Ryan McGuire at Magdeleine