Here we are at the end of 2013, with probably the best financial goals update in all the years I’ve been doing this! I actually went back and looked at our goals since 2009, and I want you to know that the whole becoming debt-free thing really started back then. It started with the very first time we sat down together to set big-picture goals instead of just looking at our month-to-month spending. Even though we didn’t start paying our debt down until late 2011, it wouldn’t have happened without those years of working together, struggling together, and reviewing our progress. You can do it, too!
Here is the final Financial Goals update for 2013:
- Pay off student loan debt by the end of July. DONE!
This was huge, and it took a long time and a lot of hard work, but it was SO worth it. We paid off the remaining $24,000 by mid-August.
- Fully fund our emergency fund with 3 months of salary by the end of December. ONGOING
The money we were aggresively paying towards debt is now going towards our emergency fund. We won’t fully-fund it by the end of the year, but I’m counting the January 3rd paycheck towards it since January is a 3-check month (remember that I plan our monthly budget around two checks, not monthly salary).
- Learn about our retirement options by the end of March. DONE!
As soon as that emergency fund is done, we’ll start maximizing our retirement savings. Since we’re just started at 40 (sigh), we have a lot of catch-up to do. This will be a big topic for our 2014 goals.
- Set and utilize budgets for four quarterly expenses: new tires, a new couch, a beach trip, and Christmas (we are traveling this year). HALF-WAY!
I was foolish to think we could make these extra expenditures while every extra cent was going towards debt. We did buy 6 tires this year and take the beach trip (very frugally) as our celebration of becoming debt-free. We didn’t end up traveling for the holiday, and we’re still sitting on our 13-year-old, falling-apart couch.
- Meet more often to go over monthly expenditures and quarterly/yearly progress. DONE!
We did a lot better this year to chat briefly each week about little expenses, plan ahead for monthly expenses, and celebrate our big progress. Last night, we sat down and did our 2014 Financial Goals, so you’ll see those soon.
What’s your financial goals update for 2013?
Original image from Calsidyrose at Flickr