Well today is the day I get to share my financial goals for 2011! I made some MAJOR strides this past year toward becoming the financially responsible woman I would like to be. I will review my goals for this past year and share the goals I have for this year. I have to date spent $24 so I am feeling AMAZING about my ability to control my spending even during the holidays.
1. Pay cash for a reliable car with under 50,000
2. Pay cash for a patio to replace the paver one
3. Pay cash for a fence to enclose my backyard
4. Save $250 per paycheck automatically
5. Start investing in my retirement plan
6. Save 6 months of living expenses
7. Build an emergency fund (Baby step #1---Thanks Dave Ramsey!)
8. Pay off all debt except my house and student loans (they are being forgiven bc of my teaching service so I am not paying anything on them currently)
9. Cut grocery budget to $20 weekly utilizing coupons
I actually achieved all of these goals without much extra effort! In July, I bought a new to me VW Jetta and traded in SuzieQ. Read about how I picked out the car here. In May, I added a new patio to the backyard and despite some lessons learned, it is wonderful after the repairs. In June, I added a fence to the backyard to make my lovely Sophie happy. The fence is literally the best thing I've done since moving into my house. Read about how I got great deals on both of these things here. I have also set my bank account to automatically save $250 per paycheck. Plus all of my extra money (from odd jobs, selling on eBay, and reffing) goes straight into my savings. Because of this, I have been able to save enough for 7 months of living expenses and have a $3,000 emergency fund. I love the idea from Dave Ramsey that there are no emergencies if you have a fund! I have also started investing 10% of my income for my retirement. My grocery budget is about $60-75 per month since I sometimes don't go to the store every week. I am proud to say I am completely debt free except for my mortgage and what is being forgiven on my student loans. I am a DEBT FREE 24 year old! THAT IS SO EXCITING FOR ME!!! What a year it has been!
My goals for 2011 will hopefully push me to feel a little more uncomfortable financially. I know I am capable of saving even more than I currently do and I know that this might mean some sacrifice, but I also know that I will continue to have fun despite this. I know it might be bad to use the word uncomfortable, but I think that is the best way to describe it. I think if I am more creative in the way I do things, I can cut corners even more. There is a quote in one of my favorite movies, "If you want big rewards, you've got to take big risks." How fitting is it that I am pushing myself outside of my comfort zone for the upcoming year? My goals are the following:
1. Cut my monthly budget by additional $100-150 each month to go directly into savings
2. Bump up my retirement savings to 15% of my income
3. Pay cash for a new dishwasher
4. Pay cash for a new flat screen TV
5. Pay cash for a new sliding glass door or french doors
6. Fully fund my college fund for my masters program (approx $2,000)
7. Continue to follow my monthly budget strictly
8. Save for annual vacation to Gatlinburg with friends
9. Double my emergency fund so I have 12 months of living expenses in savings
10. Save 10% of the cost for a new car via automatic withdraw from my paycheck
So as I said I have some LOFTY goals this year...all of which I think are more than capable of happening. I have used my referee money to pay for many of my "pay cash for..." goals in the past. I think this year will continue the same trend. I also will begin to save for another car because I plan to buy used cars with cash for the rest of my life! If I can save $1,000 this year for a new car, I'll be well on my way to replacing Jetta in about 8-9 years!
Hopefully you are taking the time to put your goals into writing and being intentional with your money this year. Thank you all for your inspiration and support during this last year of transformation in my life! I am truly blessed!