If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you might have noticed that I’m a bit of maniacal goal setter. I love setting goals and I love beating them even more. In 2012, I set my first tentative financial goals, and blew them out of the water. In 2013, I set more aggressive goals, and was just as successful.
This year, I’ve given my goals for 2014 a ton of thought. Setting goals in the past was very easy. I knew I wanted to get out of debt, so my goals always revolved around that. Whether it was having a wedding on a budget or increasing my income, everything eventually led back to the central theme of: get of of debt.
Now, I’ve paid off my debt, and I need to set some goals. For the first time in a long time, I’ve had to really think about what I want to do in the next year. Do I want to travel, build up my savings, finally spend some money on myself for a change?
There are two goals that I am unequivocally sure I want to achieve this year, and those are completing my emergency fund, and starting to save for retirement. So let’s start there.
Build Up a $10,000 Emergency Fund
For the past three years, I’ve gotten by on an emergency fund of between $1,500 and $2,500. This has been enough to weather the smaller storms, like the time my cat had to go to the vet, and car repairs. When it comes to the bigger emergencies though, like the ones that’ll keep me up at night, my $2,000 emergency fund isn’t much help. If I lost my job, or got sick, I wouldn’t have much to fall back on.
I want to save up between 3-6 months of living expenses in cold hard cash. For me that’s about $10,000. Right now I’ve got $2,650 in my emergency fund, so I am 26.5% of the way there already, and I have $7,350 left to go. That works out to $612 per month. My plan is to use my tax return and my New Brunswick Tuition Rebate to make a big dent in this goal, because right now, I don’t have $612 lying around every month. I’ll also be funnelling side hustle income into this goal whenever I can.
Save $6,000 For Retirement
My current budget allows for $500 to go to my RRSP every month. I’m still getting used to this whole savings idea, but I’m pretty comfortable with that number. I don’t want to bother stretching myself with this goal, since the e-fund goal is going to be enough of a stretch on it’s own.
Take One “Big” Trip
I’m debt free, I want to celebrate that fact. My husband has never been to Europe, so I’m thinking that the UK would be a great place to go in the fall for a week. We’ve always talked about going but have always put it off because of debt, and his new business. By making it a goal, I’m solemnly declaring to the world that it WILL happen in 2014.
Run in Two Road Races
Last year I set a lofty goal of running 500km in 2013. I epically failed at that goal, and I’ve actually been quite disenchanted with the whole concept of running recently. That said, I miss running very much and I want to get back into it. In my experience, the only thing that really motivates me is a road race, so I’m setting a goal to run in at least two this year, preferably one in the Spring and one in the Fall.
I’m not usually a fan of smaller goals. Instead I prefer setting a small number of big, hairy, audacious goals, but I do have a few smaller things I would like to accomplish this year. None of them take that long, but they are all things I’ve been putting off, so I think making a goal out of them will help me achieve them.
- Change My Name – I’ve been married six months and I still haven’t changed my name. Gotta get on this.
- Finish My Wedding Photos – same as above. Opting to edit them myself has turned out to be a terrible decision.
- Become a Pro at my Job – This isn’t something I’ve been putting off – but I want to continue focusing on it. I’ve been with my new employer for three months now, and I really want to continue to improve and become amazing at my job. I’ve learned so much already, but I have much more to learn.
- Do Another Obedience Class – I had so much fun doing obedience with my dog Molly this fall, I want to take an advanced course.
- Check My Credit Report – Ideally this should be done once a year, and I want to get into the habit of doing it every January.
- Get Health and Disability Insurance – My new job doesn’t come with benefits, so I need to remedy that situation.
2013 was the year of debt repayment, 2014 will be my year of saving. All together those goals account for approximately $20,000 in savings. That’s a lot of money to put away in a year – especially since I’m out of the cottage now and into a full sized (and full cost) house. I’m going to have to stick to my side hustles and be amazing at work, but I think I can do it. My husband’s will also be helping me with this goals, which I’m really excited about.