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.
How are you doing on your 2015 Financial Goals? Have you done your taxes yet? Since we were expecting a refund, I did ours as early as I could. It felt so good to get my business paperwork done over the winter break and be ready to hit the ground running in January.
As expected, our motivation to stick to these goals has faded since the new year. That's why I appreciate updating these here on the blog; it's good to be held accountable and hear how others are doing. Here's the Quarter One Update for our 2015 Financial Goals:
1) Live off a two-paycheck budget each month. ONGOING
We've based our monthly expense spreadsheet (nothing fancy, we just use Excel) on our two-paycheck income instead of monthly. That gives us two “extra” checks every year to achieve our other goals, and we don't see what we're missing.
2) Work to reduce our monthly expenses. TRYING
We're so old-school. There's a piece of paper on the fridge with our variable categories listed: groceries, gas, entertainment, etc. and we just write down anything we spend daily. It's been working just fine. Three months in, we're on budget and trying to stay motivated. One of my goals for 2015 was to tackle a few budget categories each month and bring them down even lower (and document it here on the blog to help readers) but it just hasn't happened. These first three months have been a whirlwind of illness (both kids and me), snow days, and lack of routine. So that's still on my to-do list.
3) Deposit the maximum into my IRA for 2015. ONGOING
I set up automatic deposits for once a month to go to my IRA, which is the first time we've done this since we opened it two years ago. It feels so good to know this is taken care of rather than have to play catch-up on our taxes.
4) Add $5,000 more to our emergency fund. NOPE
This really should have been first. And it technically should have gotten done before I paid for summer camp and some other once-a-year expenses that come up in the spring. But it hasn't. Ugh. Still, as I look over these goals today, I feel good about what's getting done.
5) Set aside $3,000 for an orthodontics fund. ONGOING
I set up automatic deposit to occur with every paycheck, so this money is being set aside. One of the girls got an appliance put in on her bottom teeth in January, so this money paid for that, and we were able to get a 10% discount by paying all at once. My son's appointment is in April and will give us a plan for the rest of the year (our orthodontist is waiting until a few more baby teeth fall out to start his braces).
6) Earn $12,000 (net) with my two side businesses (blogging and babysitting). ONGOING
I've hit my goals the past three months for the blog, even with the chaos of kids home so often with snow days (11 this year!) and illnesses. I want to stick with these goals through April, May and June so that I can take July off and focus on swim team and kid summer life.
Original image from Ryan McGuire at Magdeleine