Seems like every personal finance blogger I read did their goals for 2011, so here are mine. I know its almost March but I just got this blog up in the last couple of weeks, so now is as good of a time as any to share my family’s goals.
Our savings goal for 2011 is to save over $6,500 dollars.
We will accomplish this by saving $350 monthly ($4,200), in additional we plan on saving $2,000 from our tax return. This gets us to savings of $6,200. The additional savings will likely come from my wife’s 25th or 26th bi-weekly pays or my year end bonus, neither are included in our monthly budget. These funds might also go to debt reduction. Whether we pay down debt or save depends on if any emergencies come up that result in us tapping our savings. We use what I call the “buckets approach” to saving, meaning that we save money for each our our specific goals ie emergency fund, vacation, home, and auto.
Our investing goal for 2011 is to invest over $12,000.
This will be accomplished by putting $225 a month ($2700 for the year) into our IRA accounts. We also put another $400 a month ($4800) a year into our 401(k) accounts. We also get around $4,500 of employer contributions. That gets us $12,000. In addition I get about $250 dollars of cash rewards from my credit card that I have transfered directly into one of our IRAs.
Our goal is to slay $20,000 of our debt.
This might be the hardest of all of our goals to achieve. When I calculated what we are on scheduled to pay off I came up with around $17,000 that we shouldn’t have a problem slaying. It is the additional $3,000 that I am not sure about at this point. If everything goes as schedule we will make up the additional $3,000 by using my wife’s 25th and 26th pay that are not included in our monthly budgets. Also if I stay at my current job I will get a year end bonus in December that help us clear $20,000.
We have had a budget in place for several years now but we have not followed it in detail or tracked our expenditures to ensure our budget was working as planned. So this year my goal starting in March will be to track expenditures in detail. Additionally, we will try to find ways to cut expenses out of our budget so we can pay down more debt, save, or invest more.
My goals for 2011 are 1) Get this blog started (check) 2) Monetize this blog (in progress) 3) Turn a profit for 2011 (we will see). I started this blog in part to help diversify my income but I also wanted to do it as learning experience. My friend Matt Jabs over at Debt Free Adventure, who blogs about paying down debt, helped me get started in blogging. He has told me not to expect much income for the first 6 months or so. Thus as long as I am building momentum toward being profitable I will be happy.
I really think that my wife and I can achieve all of these goals but it will take discipline and determination to stay on track. Emergencies or unexpected events may come up that could change our goals and that is fine, we will adjust.
What do you think of our goals? How are they similar to yours? How are they different?