Thanks for stopping by Apathy Ends! It’s Almost the end of February already and I am just getting our 2017 goals out here. The truth is, we are having a hard time setting realistic goals due to “The Baby Impact.” Basically there are so many unknowns in the near future, we don’t know if what we are doing is realistic or flat-out impossible.
I am a planner by nature, and it makes me a little anxious not knowing. Guess we will just have to embrace the unknown and adjust as we go.
Why Publish our Goals?
If you haven’t seen this done before, we publish our goals to hold our self accountable and periodically check in on our progress. 2016 was the best financial year we have ever had, and I don’t think we would see the same success without challenging ourselves to do better.
I highly recommend thinking about what you want to accomplish every year and THEN put a plan together to actually make it happen! The benefits have been impressive and it definitely helps with habit formation.
Breaking Down our Year by Quarter
Getting a little bit more granular this year due to the income and expense swings we are going to see throughout the next 1o months.
Since we are already over half way through this quarter, I wont be overly ambitious. We are simply carrying our 2017 accomplishments until the baby comes.
- Continue saving over 39% of our after tax income
- Make double payments on my remaining Student Loan balance
- Since our Emergency Fund is fully stocked, the extra $125 every 2 weeks has been going toward my student loans
Our due date is March 27th, if the baby comes around then Mrs. AE will spend the bulk of Q2 on maternity leave (12 weeks). At most, we will be getting 60% of her take home pay for the duration of her leave using a combination of short-term disability and Paid Time Off she has accrued.
- Continue making a double Student Loan Payment
- Continue investing in my accounts at the same percentage:
- 401K (16% of income)
- Roth IRA ($110/Paycheck)
- Employee Stock Purchase Plan (5% of Income)
- Continue Brokerage account contribution ($50/Paycheck)
That means our savings rate will take a substantial hit this quarter. We will not be contributing to her 401K/Roth IRA or ESPP Plan for 3 months. Yikes! It stings a bit to think about stopping the contributions.
Putting a positive spin on this, we can take a 40% pay-cut on one of our incomes and our day-to-day life doesn’t have to change. So many benefits of a high savings rate!
Quarter 3 and 4
Mrs AE should return back to work by the start of Q3 and we are shooting to return to our previous saving level of 39%. This is going to be a substantial challenge, quick math says the baby will cost at least $1,200/month between insurance and daycare. EEEESSSSSH!
In addition to returning to our normal savings we want to pay off all of our hospital bills (most of this will be through Tax Free Income FSA Contributions).
Overall 2016 Goals
Some over-arching goals in random order that we want to accomplish:
Grow combined income by 6% – We killed it last year and went up 12%, it will be difficult to repeat that this year so we are adjusting down accordingly. This goal fuels everything else we try to do. Say NO to Lifestyle Inflation!
Debt Management – This will be on our list every year. Do not pay ANY interest on our credit card. Do not take on any additional debt (outside of 1 existing car payment, student loans and mortgage)
Develop a Passive Income Stream – This was a stretch goal last year, this site is attempt number 1 (even though it is not passive….) Continuing to look and research rentals is also on my to do list.
Explore Small Business Opportunities – We have talked about starting at small business for awhile now. Our goal is to explore a few possibilities and make a move forward decision for 2018.
Do 3 projects that increase our homes value (myself) – Another failure from last year, we have a lot of ideas and not enough time. I need to get the kitchen back-splash up ASAP! Its been on Mrs AE’s list since we moved in.
Anything I am missing? Any advice for creating goals with life changing events on the horizon? Do you use Financial Goals?