January 7th: Finances
Oooo, the dreaded finances. Is this better or worse than choosing fitness goals for you?
1. Set aside estimated taxes
As an independent contractor, I get whole paychecks without taxes taken out. It’s my responsibility to cough up the taxes when I file in the spring. 2015 was my first year of career wages and ouch, it stings to kiss all that money good-bye at once. In 2016, we will be setting aside every month to the IRS for estimated taxes.
2. Start a retirement fund
The younger you are, the easier it is to start. We’ll be setting up a Roth IRA this year for the two of us and will contribute the teeny-tiniest retirement savings you can imagine. Starting is the hardest part, right? (Just want to mention that my 19 year old brother has already started his retirement fund. Ugh.)
3. Boost savings to $5000
We celebrated our first kid’s birthday, decided to go back to school, and bought a house in 2015, so, no, our savings account doesn’t look that great right now. Our ultimate goal is inspired by Dave Ramsey: 3-6 months of expenses.
4. Boost savings to $7500
5. Boost savings to $10,000
6. Boost savings to $12,500
7. Enjoy a “big purchases” savings account
Hubsy and I recently opened an additional savings account which we transfer small amounts of money to once a month. We are going to use this as essentially a miscellaneous account: items that aren’t in the monthly budget. (I can hear the Dave Ramsey fans angrily typing already.) This is a place where we store up for medium items: bigger than groceries or utilities smaller than a computer or a car. First purchase: 3’x 3′ padded ottoman. I’m so excited.
8. Phase out restaurants in favor of cooking at home
The best thing for our family is to go out on Sunday with church folks and not eat out the rest of the week. This one is pretty hard, especially if there are no handy leftovers for lunches or the fridge is empty.
9. Identify pain points in budget
Where do we typically overspend? What do we need to allot more money for? Or alternately what do we need to buy less of?
10. Increase house payments
We’ve all heard it said, “If you pay $50 extra a month you’ll be done with your thirty year house loan twenty-five years early!” Well, the $50 extra is not that magical, but it does make a difference. We are not in the stage of life where we can aggressively pay down our (new) mortgage, so this is a small goal of paying just a smidge more every month.
What are your financial goals for 2016?
Missed my previous 10×10 posts?