Do you have any specific financial goals for the new year? Here are the financial goals for our family and some tips for setting financial goals so you actually stick to them!
For 2014 we have 4 main financial goals for our family:
1. Pay off our rental home. By October of 2014, we expect to pay off the home that we first bought and lived in when we moved to Johnston County. We now rent it out and have 9 more payments to go on it. Once that house is paid off, the rent payments will go towards paying off the home we currently live in that we purchased 2 years ago.
2. Continue to fund our retirement accounts. Since both my husband and I own our businesses, we do not have a company sponsored 401(k) match to help increase our savings so it's up to us to do all the saving each month.
3. Continue to save a specific amount for our kid's college education each month. Our oldest child starts college in 3.5 years. Seriously, how can that be? It seems like just yesterday that she was coming home from the hospital a couple days before Hurricane Floyd! Most financial gurus say to save for your retirement first and then for the kid's college. We do both but we fund our retirement first.
4. Keep our groceries and non-food essentials budget at $80 per week for our family of four. This includes food, paper products like bath tissue and paper towels, bath and beauty items, etc. Basically, the stuff you buy at the grocery stores and drug stores are included in this category.
Our broader financial goal is to continue to live within our means. This involves sticking to a budget, not incurring any debt, keeping up the emergency fund, and paying off the credit card every month so there are no fees. We use our no-fee credit card for most purchases so we have a clear idea of where the money is going. We also earn gift cards for grocery stores and drug stores by cashing in reward points. We are disciplined when it comes to using the card so it's a good option for us. For those who tend to overspend when they use credit, this is not the best option.
What are your financial goals for 2014?
Tips and resources for setting financial goals:
* Use a Financial Goals Worksheet like the one found on About.com. Here you will list your short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. This worksheet will help you determine how much you need to save each week/month in order to meet your financial goals by the specified period of time.
* List your goals on the worksheet. Make sure you work with your spouse to set the goals so you are both on the same page when it comes to spending and saving.
* Determine how much you will need to set aside each week to reach each goal in a specific amount of time.
* Amend your household budget to include the amounts for the goals.
* Post your goals in an easy to see location to keep you motivated and on track.
* Review your goals on a monthly or quarterly bases to make sure you are still on track. If you find that you are not meeting some of your goals, you may need to change your spending habits or amend the worksheet. Life happens and sometimes you may not reach a goal when planned. The key is keep working towards the goal and never give up.
In the coming weeks, we will be chatting about budgeting and debt here on the blog. Between setting financial benchmarks and working on a budget, you will have a great start towards becoming debt free and reaching your goals!