For many years now, I’ve set financial goals at the beginning of every year. Here are 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015. Last year, we set goals for 2017 and today I’m going to see just how well we did. 2017 was extremely hard as Mr. Money lost his job at the end of July. I think we will spend a lot of 2018 playing catch up, but I’m hopeful this year will be better than the last. Here are the goals we set last year:
-Pay $8,000 down on the principal of our home. Fail. We paid off over $6,000 towards principal of our mortgage. I’m not too upset about this, as I’m not sure what our future goals are going to be as far as the mortgage goes. Part of me would rather not try to put every extra cent we have towards the mortgage when it’s at 3.75% and put it, say in our Roth IRAs instead. I feel like that may be a better investment for our future, as that money will have time to grow and I’m assuming a better rate of return than 3.75% on that money. Of course, I would LOVE to be mortgage free, but we need to assess our goals for 2018 and see what we feel will be best suited for our family.
-Save money for college education/the future for kid(s). Success. We did save some money for college education/future expenses, but it wasn’t that much. Every time our daughter receives money for birthdays, Christmas, etc we deposit it in her savings account. We hardly every buy toys at our house, and believe me- there is no lack of toys here! We are blessed with caring family that likes to buy toys. We err on the side of minimalism, and strive to keep a healthy balance of what comes in and what goes out of our house.
-Save $500 a month for retirement. Fail. We were doing very well with retirement savings at the beginning of the year but Mr. Money ended up taking a new job and consequently was laid off from that job a few months later, so we didn’t save as much for retirement as we had hoped for. This year I’m going to try to increase my work from home earnings, so I’m optimistic we will be able to save more money this year.
-Don’t eat out unless it’s planned and budgeted for. Success/Fail? This is probably the biggest area of our budget that we struggle with, and we always have. Being a one income frugal family, we don’t buy extravagant things- expensive new clothes, toys, video games, anything of the sort, and eating out is a huge treat for us. We enjoy eating out because it gets us out of the house, we don’t have to cook or clean up, and it’s a form of family bonding. I HATE spending $25 on one meal for us to eat out, but we enjoy it immensely.
-Become/stay debt free. Success. We ended up being very lucky to finish the year debt free. It wasn’t easy, but somehow we made it work! We try our hardest to stick to our frugal, minimalist ways and being debt free is the biggest reward for that. Debt stresses me out and I hate it! I hope we never go into debt again and I dream of the day we are finished paying off our mortgage.
–Go on a nice vacation somewhere. Fail. Ha. We did go visit my family a few times, but that only cost us gas money to get there and then we stayed with my parents so we didn’t spend any extra money on lodging. I really wanted us to visit Mr. Money’s family in Colorado but that didn’t happen. Our vehicles are older and we didn’t want to risk driving them 1500 plus miles across country and have something happen to them.
Overall, I’m satisfied with our progress towards our 2017 goals. After Mr. Money lost his job, we went into survival mode and life was what it was. I’m hoping and praying that we end 2018 in a much better position than we ended 2017. I think that’s a real possibility! Mr. Money and I need to sit down and figure out what we want our 2018 goals to be and go from there.
How was your 2017?