HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The new years bells haven’t even stopped ringing and yet I’m already posting about goals, because, well, that’s what you do at this time of year.
See my past January goals and December check-in posts here:
2013 Goals | 2013 Year End Review
2014 Goals | 2014 Year End Review
2015 Goals | 2015 Year End Review
2016 Goals | 2016 Year End Review
DOUBLE DEBT SINGLE WOMAN GOALS FOR 2017
ONE – Pay down my student loan debt from $88,935 to under $65,000.
This is doable as long as I stay on track with my mortgage sized payments. It will be a great feeling to be closer to $50k than to $100k. At that point, I can start to breathe more and hyperventilate less.
TWO – Max out retirement accounts – 401(k), HSA, and Roth IRA.
I have absolutely no idea how this can even be pulled off, but why not throw this in as a goal anyway. A lot of this will depend on how much of a raise I get with my promotion early next year. Even a small raise, which is what I am expecting, will help me put more money towards these accounts, if I can’t max them out. No matter what the markets are doing, I can’t keep losing time by investing so little. The number of years I have left to work are finite. Every year that I’m not taking advantage of these accounts is a loss. I’m grouping the HSA in here as a retirement account, as I plan to use it as a long term health savings vehicle.
So, no sweat, right? I just need a way to come up with $18,000 (401k) + $3,400 (HSA) + $5500 (Roth IRA) for a total of $26,900 in one year. Ummm, yeeaahhh… 0.o LoL! Let it not be said that I’m not ambitious. Ha.
THREE – Increase emergency fund to $4,000.
A fully funded emergency fund for me would be a solid 1 year of living expenses. That’s totally not realistic for me to save right now, but I would like to build up to a partial fund of at least $8,000 in the next couple of years or so. My past e-fund goal, $6,500, no longer feels like enough to aim for. As such, the $2.500 that I have in there now is feeling way too small to provide much protection, so I think $4,000 will be the least I can tolerate having in there by the end of 2017.
The “R” word (recession) is being spoken of openly now, with odds increasing that we’ll have one within the next 4 years. If we’ve learned nothing from the last recession, we should know how important it is to have cash in savings. “[W]hen sh*t hits the fan, you want to be the [chick] who has cash.”
FOUR – Cross-over into Positive Net Worth.
My current net worth is $-28,307. If all goes well with my debt reduction and retirement savings, I will be within striking distance of reaching a positive net worth for the first time in my adult life. The biggest potential obstacle to meeting this goal will be the overheated stock market. Our dear Bull (Market) is rather long in the tooth and could be on its last legs. We are overdue for a major market correction. If this correction happens in 2017, and if it’s large enough and long enough, it could theoretically keep me in the red for another year.
FIVE – Reduce the Fat (both belly and budget) and Monitor my Health.
I have a $600/mo living allowance (food, clothes, supplies, entertainment, etc) that I overspend on every month, mostly because of food expenses. In my defense, food is expensive out here, yet I need to get this under some semblance of control.
I’d also like to lower my body fat by some yet to be determined percentage.This will entail improving diet and physical fitness. I cannot and will not promise to have a perfect diet, but I can make improvements. Gym membership, perhaps a few personal training sessions and higher quality food will require money. I also will be meeting with a couple of doctors in the coming year to start to address some increasing health concerns. Doctors visits cost money too. Sigh.
That’s it for this year.
Yeah, I know. There are no travel goals in here this year. 😥 I just have too many things I want to do and not enough money to go around… Sigh. Ugh. Who knows, though. A year is a long time. Something could happen…
“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW) (All posts on one page)
Best of luck! I actually have a book that was sent to me for free that I think you’d love. Written by a personal finance blogger, it’s called “Dear Debt.” If you feel comfortable, email me your address at email@example.com and I’ll mail it to you, if not, check it out, it’s on Amazon.com. I just finished it in 1 day!
Awww. Thanks so much for the offer. I’ve seen that blog and heard a podcast where she mentioned writing the book. I’ll take a look on Amazon. In the meantime, I wouldn’t want to hog a resource. This might make a good giveaway on your blog. I’ll bet your other readers might like a shot at getting it too. I’m glad that you enjoyed it. Thanks for suggesting this.
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I’ve also read the book and love Melanie!
With all of the focused work you’ve been doing, I really hope the stock market lets you get into the black this year.
Crossing my fingers! 🙂
As long as we don’t end up launched into WWIII by the end of 2017, and that IS a possibility -heh-, I think getting into the black just might happen.
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Those are some kick ass goals! You can definitely do it. 🙂
Whee! Those seem like very do-able goals (maybe not maxing out retirement, but getting close there while hitting all the others is still a big win.) Getting that debt down to an actually manageable amount will be great in part because the more you pay off, the less interest gets eaten up (I know you know this but still.)
Indeed! I can’t wait. Once I get this debt down to 65K and under I can start to get my arms around it, so to speak. Right now it still feels totally oppressive.
So I guess once you get that raise, you sit down and figure out a plan for the year and how to hit some of these goals. I know how it feels to be “better off financially dead than alive” – it was that way with me for many years until my retirement savings finally climbed higher than the debt. (Although if we get a recession again, I could go back into the red, sigh.)
I really hope the next raise is big, for your sake. And I would do the same with an HSA – lump it in as retirement savings. I was going to do it at my work this year until I did my budget and just realized I couldn’t make it work (as you saw from my budget post).
That would be AMAZING to get your student loan debt down by that much!
Yeah, that’s the plan. I won’t know for another couple of weeks yet how much the raise will be. I’m doing all I can to keep my expectations very, very low. Indeed, that’s my student loan goal. I don’t really have to option to not make the payments, so I have a high probability of that one being successful at the end of the year. ha. I am looking forward to it.
I live for the day that I can max out retirement accounts! I just got an HSA this year, my employer matches 100% up to $250. Just a tiny bit but still free money. I put in $500.
Good! Free money is always good. You can’t go wrong with an HSA. We’ll all need to use it sooner or later. Might as well get some tax savings. 🙂