My 2018 Financial & Career Goals

I am finally posting my goals for 2018! Only took me over a month to finally decided what they are and write them down!

So here they are!

My Goals for 2018:

 

Goal #1

 

I am hoping to make a big career change this year. It’s not a complete career change. I am still a nurse, but I want to change specialties. I work in Cardiac now, but I want to become a NICU nurse. This is something that I have always wanted to do, but I have let time, circumstances and a small amount of fear get in the way, and I am determined not to let those things get in they way of my dreams.

 

Goal #2

 

 

I ended 2017 contributing 12% to my 401k (I started 2017 by only putting in 5%). I have already put in the request to increase that to 15%. My goal for this year is to reach 20% by the end of 2018!

 

Goal #3

 

I am of course going to max out my IRA (that’s $5500 for the year). But, I am switching to a traditional IRA, instead of a Roth IRA. You can read these great articles that explain why:

 

“Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA – The Best Choice for Early Retirement” at the Mad Fientist.

“Stocks — Part VIII: The 401K, 403b, TSP, IRA & Roth Buckets” by JL Collins.

Goal #4

I am going to stay strong with whatever 2018 brings. 2017 and the stock market were very kind to investors. Things kind of got shaken up a bit this past week. Personal Capital was kind enough to notify me that my holdings were down 3.2% this past week. But, I am going to continue investing. I am a going to look as this opportunity that stocks are sale and discounted! I am investing for the long-haul, so I need to learn to just let things ride.

Goal #5

Increase my charitable giving and volunteer hours! Even though, there might not be a tax-incentive this year for charitable giving. I still firmly believe in giving back to my community.

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The Best Financial Move I Made in 2017

I wanted to share what I thought was the best financial move/decision I made in 2017!

 

 

It’s probably not what you think either. If you read my first post of 2018, you would know that I maxed out my Roth IRA, increased my 401(k) contributions from 5% to 12%, and I started contributing more each month to a taxable account.

 

But, what I think my best overall financial move of 2017 was ditching my long-standing relationship with a large, brick-and-mortar bank and switching to an online checking account.

Continue reading “The Best Financial Move I Made in 2017”

The 12 Month Money Saving Challenge

Money Challenges

 

I love money savings challenges! They turn the challenge of saving more money into a fun activity for both adults and kids.

If you perform a quick Pinterest search, you can find dozens of them!

I had to “steal” and show off this one by Cassie Werner. Not only is it teaching you to save money, but it really hits on what I think are other important points such as healthy living, healthy eating, green living, buying less and spending less time in front of a TV/computer!

 

Every month is a new challenge, so it doesn’t get boring only a few weeks in! Continue reading “The 12 Month Money Saving Challenge”

13 Items to Stop Buying to Reduce Waste & Save Money

 

 

You might be pretty surprised at how much money is spent on everyday items that just end up in our trash and landfills.

If you are an average American, you produce 4.4. pounds of trash every single day. Considering there are 324 million people in the USA, that amounts to more than 700,000 tons of garbage produced every day— that’s enough to fill around 60,000 garbage trucks EVERY DAY! And, that’s just talking about the U.S.

Which is why I have earnestly started reducing, or stopped buying completely certain items that just end up in landfills. Continue reading “13 Items to Stop Buying to Reduce Waste & Save Money”

Using T-Mobile Internationally

 

 

U.S. cellular carriers are thankfully getting on board with our tendencies and desires to travel the world with our phones, laptops and tablets.

Gone are the days of outrageous pay-per-gigabyte rates, limited roaming carrier agreements and poor options from cell carriers. Now two of the big four U.S. carriers are offering some sort of free international roaming, with the other two coming around to friendlier pricing and fewer restrictions on data usage.

Even prepaid carriers are getting in on the action with some international calling plans. Continue reading “Using T-Mobile Internationally”

Why, When and How You Should Max Out Your Retirement Accounts

It’s never too late -or too early- to start saving for retirement. If you are just starting to save for retirement, focus on saving as much as you can now. Your biggest asset is time!

 

But, where to start? What type of retirement accounts should you have?

It can get confusing fast with all the different options, advice and opinions in terms of just where to begin. But, your overall goal is to start saving for retirement asap and work up to maxing out all avaiable retirement accounts.

Continue reading “Why, When and How You Should Max Out Your Retirement Accounts”

Why You Need to Know Your Credit Score

Credit Sesame

 

A great credit score is what most of us aspires to. After all, a credit score is one of the important determining factors when it comes to borrowing money – and getting a low-interest rate when you do. If you ever plan to buy a car, a house, open a credit card, start a business, etc. you need to understand what a credit score is, what your personal credit score(s) is, and how it affects your personal finances.

 

Credit Scores

 

But trying to pin down a specific number that means your credit score is “good” can be tricky. After all, there are lots of different credit scores that lenders use when trying to decide your “risk level” and whether to grant you a loan.

 

How Do You Rate?

 

Most credit scores – including the FICO score and VantageScore 3.0 – operate within the range of 300 to 850. Within that range, there are different categories, from bad to excellent. They generally look like this: Continue reading “Why You Need to Know Your Credit Score”

6 Habits You Must Start Now to Achieve Financial Independence Later

Financial Independence

 

According to Wikipedia, financial independence is “the state of having sufficient personal wealth to live, without having to work actively for basic necessities”. Many of the things we do right now to improve our personal finances are meant to reach this ultimate goal in which we no longer have to worry about money and/or its source (ie working).

This is also synonymous, and a prerequisite, for retirement. Continue reading “6 Habits You Must Start Now to Achieve Financial Independence Later”