It just dawned on me that I don’t think I’ve ever written about my financial goals.  How strange that I’ve been writing a personal finance blog for 7 months and I’ve never written down my goals for my readers.  Well, patient readers, here they are…

1. Pay off cars and start a car fund so that I never have another car payment again:  We currently owe $24,857 on our cars.  We plan on having my van for at least another 9 years, so no rush there.  But we do need to stay focused on saving up for a new car for my husband.  If you can do it once and stay on top of it, there is no reason to finance another car.  Just start making that car payment to yourself.  We are going to pay off my husband’s car when we get our taxes.  Then start making the car payment into a savings account and hopefully get a good fund built before it needs replacing.  I doubt we will be able to buy a car outright this time, but the loan should be less than we would have had otherwise, which means we should be able to pay it off sooner.  Then we will have that much longer to save up for the next car.

2. Pay off the loan for the backyard landscaping. It’s at zero percent so I’m not in a huge rush to pay it off.  But getting rid of the payment would be nice.  We currently owe $7,461 and pay $162 a month towards it.  We also have $2,100 earmarked for it.

3. Fully fund our emergency fund. With our current budget we would need about $24,000 to have 6 months of expenses.  We currently have about $11,000 saved.  Of course if we didn’t have car payments or the back yard loan our expenses would be reduced quite a bit.  At that point we would only need about $15,000.  So maybe we will just shoot for $15,000 and use the rest to pay off the cars.   We currently put $100 a month into our e-fund.

4. Max out our retirement savings. Once we have the above goals met we can start really funding our IRAs.  We send about $150 a month to them right now, but I know that’s not enough.

5. Pay off the house. Oh what a beautiful day it will be when we don’t have a mortgage.  I can’t wait.  When we have fully funded efunds, car funds, and retirement accounts I will start going to town on my mortgage.  We currently pay $100 a month extra and $1,000 from our tax returns.  We owe $141,752.

I listed these goals 1 through 5 but really they are all going on simultaneously.  I don’t know if this is the best idea.  Should I ignore my other goals and attack one at a time.  Kind of a goal snowball.  Or keep working on them all at once and make a little progress in each area.  I’ve never really laid them all out like this.  It’s interesting to think about all the options.  I would like to know what you think.  What would you do?

Pic by: James Jordan

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