I’ve written before about how I’m a big believer in the power of putting thoughts into writing. I have not always been good at doing that with goals, so I am trying something new this year and writing them all down.
Sure, I’ve made the New Years resolutions that inevitably failed, but I want these to goals to be different. I want my goals to be concrete and writing them down will give me a record to come back to, to hold me accountable, and to remind me of my purpose.
Before I get into next year, let’s talk about what we’ve accomplished in 2017
This has been a huge year! We’ve:
- Paid off $27000 in student loans
- Paid the last bit off one of our cars
- Refinanced our house from a 30-year loan to a 15-year loan to save us $79000 over the life of the loan
- Had a baby
- Started a blog
Not everything we did this year was perfect though. Since we were trying to tackle so much debt and saving for a birth, we cut back on our retirement contributions. While I’m grateful we cash-flowed all the medical bills and paid off a ton of debt, I’m slightly regretful we missed out on contributing during a period of such prosperous returns. Oh well, such is life. At least the debt is gone, and we’re not going to stagnate. Onward to next year and ramping up our savings!
Our goals for next year:
- Personal Finance Goals
- Max out a 457 account
- Max out an HSA
- Pay off our last consumer debt (a truck)
- Open an IRA for Mr. FC and consolidate his retirement accounts from previous employers
- Meet an after-tax savings rate of 33%. (Hey we’re new to this whole FI thing… we’re getting there. Daycare cuts a good chunk into this too, boo).
- Side hustles:
- Me: Don’t quit blogging! Get my first freelance writing gig.
- Mr. FC: Start an aerial drone photography side hustle.
- Personal Goals:
- As a family we want to get outside more. It wasn’t as easy this year to go with a newborn, but we’ve missed the outdoors! The mountains have been calling my name! Plus, I need more beautiful pictures to use for blog posts so I don’t have to resort to boring stock photos.
- Run my first half-marathon in April
- Mr. FC is finishing an education program that will make him eligible for a new position that makes more money. It’s competitive though, and dependent on a limited number of available openings, but we’re hoping he can get a new job next year!
Things to give up next year:
I’m consciously aware that it is too easy to let our wells run dry. By taking on too many things without striking a balance and giving something up, it is far too easy to let ourselves become overwhelmed and burn out. I think that is why so many New Years Resolutions fail.
Luckily, most of our financial goals don’t require too much active effort in our everyday lives. I will set the savings to be automated and then forget about it! The only active part that will impact our day-to-day activities is that it will equate to less spending money, but that’s fine with us. We’d rather put that money to work!
The side hustles do take time. I’m realizing blogging can take a LOT of time! But that’s where I realize it’s important to strike a life balance and recognize that something has got to give.
These are not new goals, but ongoing ones that I am continually trying to work on. I want to give up:
- Watching so much TV at night – some nights we binge, but not every night. I want to remind myself that time is my most valuable resource and spend it actively engaged with my daughter, exercising, reading, blogging, or being more present with the people around me.
- Eating out as often – eh, enough said. While I love good food, it’s better for health and the wallet.
- Clutter – I am not an ascribed minimalist yet, but I see the benefits of the lifestyle. I’m working on getting there.
- Trying to please everyone else – always an ongoing battle. Being a recovering people-pleaser is not an overnight fix, but a necessary one for mental health and life balance.
- Busyness – I want to appreciate simplicity. I feel like having a baby around has helped with this, but I want to be sure not to resort back to old ways.
So there you have it! I’ve put my goals on paper (in a sense), and hopefully this will help me stick to it.
Are you proud of what you accomplished this year? Regretful? What are your goals for 2018?