This page may include affiliate links. I may get paid when you click on a link and buy a product, but at no extra cost to you.
Happy Tax Day! Did you max out your IRA for 2016?
I find it’s easier to accomplish goals if I write them down. It acts as a reminder and makes me more accountable as well. So, I am going to start listing my goals for this year (and every year) here, so that you all can also keep me accountable and on track.
I will also do periodic updates throughout the year, so you can keep track of my progress.
Max out my Roth IRA contributions for 2017. I have been doing this every year since 2014. I can put $5500/year into my IRA, but so far I am a bit behind on this. I have only contributed a measly $236 so far this year. Yikes – I definitely need to work on this. I use Betterment and Vanguard for my IRA accounts.
Increase my 401(k) contributions. I can contribute up to $18,000/year to my 401(k), however, this is not my goal (yet). I have been only contributing up to my employer match (which is 4% currently). I just increased it to 5% this month, with the plan to increase it by 1-2% every month to every other month. So my goal by the end of this year is to increase it to at least 10%. Why am I contributing so much to retirement accounts at my age? Read this post here about compounding interest.
Increase contributions to my Betterment Build Wealth Taxable account.I have been really bad about keeping most of my liquid savings in my Ally account, which is only at 1.00% APY. I say only because this is not beating inflation. My goal is keep only 3-6 months of monthly expenses liquid and put the rest into investments, so that I can take advantage of average 7-11% gains.
This leads me to my next goal: to increase my monthly savings rate to at least 50%.I have been incredibly inspired by all the other financial bloggers who are able to save 60-80% of their monthly take-home income. I have been averaging 25-40% a month, which is not bad, but I think I can step it up since I am dedicated to a more frugal/minimalist lifestyle. Which leads me to my next goal.
Continue to detach myself from “stuff” and “things”. I have always had an inclination towards minimalism, since my mother was a shopping-addict and my father is a borderline hoarder. I have decided to make this a passion and lifestyle. I believe objects/stuff/things do not make us any happier, in some cases they can make us unhappy and unsatisfied. My goal is to limit my spending on things I don’t need and learn to live with less. The money I save can then be invested.
DIY my kitchen counter tops. I bought my first condo in 2015. You can read about why I chose to buy instead of rent here. It came with very ugly brown, laminate countertops. I have lived with them for 20 months at this point and I hate them. My dream would be to have white, sparkly quartz counters installed, but a) I don’t want to pay that much money for new counters and b) see goal #4 and c) the old countertops would probably just end up in a landfill. My plan is to DIY them – so far I am loving the concrete-look. My goal is to spend less than $150 on this project. By my estimation, I will be saving over $4-5k over having quartz intalled. I also, want to paint my kitchen cabinets. I painted my bathroom cabinets, and they turned out beautiful (read here). Just waiting for late spring/summer, so I can open the windows for ventilation.
My ugly Brown Kitchen! I hate the counters!
Create a second income stream. I can easily pick up extra shifts at work for some extra cash, but this is exhausting – an extra 12-hr shift per week leaves me feeling drained. It’s not something I can physically/emotionally do on a regular basis. I just started this blog, so no financial gains at this point, but maybe later this year (if I ever figure out SEO). If not, I have a weird interest in working part-time at Starbucks. Free coffee anyone?
Try not to killGrow a vegetable garden. I only have a balcony area to grow plants/flowers/veggies in large pots/planters. I already started this month growing them inside with a kit. I think I started way too early. I have now had to turn my spare bedroom into a mini-greenhouse (and to delight of my 2 cats).
I have planted so far summer squash, spinach, carrots, kale, and green beans. I am really hoping I am successful with this endeavor- I love garden-fresh veggies and it should greatly decrease my grocery expenses this summer.
Your Turn: What financial goals do you have for 2017? How do you stay accountable to your goals?