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 Quarter Two update:
This year is all about savings. Now that we're debt free except for our mortgage, we're building up an emergency fund and (finally) starting retirement savings. We've had a number of challenges already in this first half of the year: we lost our beater car and are doing without (so far, so good); we had some expensive repairs, including new brakes on our van, and we had that big income tax bill in the first quarter. We had a money meeting last week (just some time to look back and look ahead) and don't foresee anything in the next six months that could derail us. Ha! Famous last words…
Here's the progress we've made on our original 2014 Financial Goals:
1) Create an emergency fund with 6 months' worth of expenses by March 31st. ONGOING
Ahem. We're way past March 31st, and we're not there yet because of all the expenses we've had to pay out. I suppose that's what it's there for, but I'd really prefer to have that savings account done and untouchable.
2) Max out husband's retirement contribution at work (ASAP) and open an IRA for me (by December). DONE
In the first quarter, we went ahead and opened an IRA to put in 2013 money for a tax deduction. Nothing has been deposited for 2014, but we have until April 2015 to do that, so goal #1 needs to come first.
3) Work with a lawyer to get our will, trust and guardianship done by April 1st. DONE
This was a tough task, with a lot of tough conversations about things no one wanted to talk about, but it feels so good to have this done. I've heard from too many families who have dealt (for years!) with the aftermath of a parent passing away without a will, so I'm glad we got this task done. If you haven't started yet, learn 5 Myths about Writing a Will.
4) Stick to our monthly budget to stay debt-free while covering expenses like taxes, a new couch, and trips.
We've been saving a bit each month to pay for a week's vacation in August, and we're heading to California for a wedding in September. By saving up ahead, it's not too much of a hit on our monthly budget. The couch has continued to get pushed down the list to “not so important.” There's actually a whole list on my fridge of things we don't need right away, but I don't see how they'll ever happen until we get ahead with goal #1.
Original image by Carly Jane1 at Flickr