It was just about 11 months ago that I wrote down my first financial goals for the first time. Before that point, my goals and ambition had been recorded in my head. I was successful with this, but it didn’t motivate me the same way that it did when I actually wrote them down. For those who have been following my progress, you can see that I have been pretty diligent in achieving my financial goals. It has been nearly a year now and I am happy to say that I have completed almost all of the goals that I set out to achieve (and am still working on the ones that are impossible for me to have finished by this point).
Financial Goal Updates: February 2012 Update, April 2012 Update, July 2012 Update
Updates on My Financial Goals
While I won’t bother copying and pasting my original goals (you can see them here), I have made a lot of progress. I have already updated you on many of these goals, but there has been some huge progress since July. Here are a couple updates.
Net Worth Update – In November of last year, I started tracking our net worth. My goal was to increase our net worth by 50%. As of the end of September, our net worth has increased 67.5%. Not too shabby, eh? For those of you who are curious what the dollar amount is, let’s just say it is much easier to increase your net worth by that much within 11 months when it is small. 🙂 Regardless, I am really excited!
School Update – I will be (hopefully) finishing my degree in the next couple of months and that means that I have already paid for my last semester of graduate school. Yes, that’s right. We paid for it. We didn’t finance it. We paid for it in cash. Not to bad for someone who was barely making ends meet a couple years ago. Unfortunately, my wife is still working on her degree and that means much of our extra cash is directed towards paying for her school bills. While part of me thinks how much faster our net worth could grow if we weren’t paying for her school, I know that this ultimately means a better paying job for her in the very near future, so it’s more of an investment than anything else (and I strongly believe in investing in yourself).
What I have Learned From Financial Goals
As a result of setting financial goals, my wife and achieved almost every single one. For the ones that are not complete yet, it was because it was either out of our control or the original goal had a longer time frame than 1 year (like paying for my wife’s school). This, perhaps more than anything else that I do with budgeting, has taught me a lot about myself.
I Love Goals – I hate those cliche new years resolutions as much as anyone, but goals is another story. I realized through this process that I thoroughly enjoy setting, working towards, and reaching my goals. While some people set goals reluctantly, I stay up late at night getting excited about new goals that I can set for myself. Some may call this an illness or addiction, but I am genuinely happy in working towards attainable goals.
Financial Goals Motivate Me – Financial goals not only get me excited, but they motivate me. There is something about writing them down (typing them out) and the accountability associated that makes me work hards toward achieving them. I guess the difference is ultimately about living your life intentionally instead of just floating through life. Maybe it’s just my friends, but too many young adults take too long to set any financial goals.
My New Financial Goals
With a new year and a new season comes the need for new goals. I have decided to create another list of goals for the short term to motivate me for the next year. I’ve included the ones that I am currently working on from last year and added some to it.
- Pay for Mrs. 20’s graduate school in CASH
- Max out roth IRA’s in 2013 (2012 are already maxed out)
- Contribute 10% of Gross Income from day jobs to 403(b) accounts
- Invest Extra Cash in Real Estate
- Invest $800 per month in a taxable brokerage account
- Increase net worth by another 50% by October 2013
- Save up 20% down payment for a home (this will probably take us 2-3 years)
Readers, are you using financial goals to motivate yourself?
Great job on the goals. I love to have financial goals as well. I find that it makes it easier to do the act of saving/investing to reach the specific goal, especially when you have so many of them to reach.
Exactly. I want to make them specific too – not just invest more. So, I set a dollar amount next to each one. I’m excited to see progress.
Leo at Zen Habits has written some really interesting articles on not having goals: http://zenhabits.net/achieving/
Great goals! I’m sure it makes them much more attainable when they’re measurable. I really like the saving up 20% for a down payment on your home. Once you do take on a loan for your home do you plan to pay off your loan ASAP?
I was able to bump up my 6% gross savings to 8%. This year I plan to bump it up again to 10%. I think I will max out at 17%? But don’t quote me on that. Once I max my 401k contributions I will work on increasing taxable savings. At the same time, this year I promised myself I would max my Roth as well. And looking at my budget I’m on track so I just gotta make sure I hit my side income goals. So far so good.