With a new year, it only feels appropriate for things to be different around here. Without really trying, Hubs and I have laid the foundation for a challenging but awesome 2015 (and 2016).
Here is what we have in store. Brace yourself. It’s aggressive.
1. Finish my Student Loans
No surprises here. I brought $15,908 with me into 2015. Ain’t no way it’s going to see the light of 2016.
2! Max out my 2014 AND 2015 Roth IRA.
This is a drastic change of course for me. I had initially planned to 1/4 max in 2014 and do as much as I could in 2015. The guilt and regret of not maxing in 2014 was killing me. Losing the potential of $4,000 in retirement wasn’t worth the speed of paying off my loans 1 or 2 months earlier. Now I can rest assured knowing that I’m getting the most out of my Roth IRA. (Really. I was losing sleep over this.)
3, 4 & 5. Big Hairy New Goals
Hubs and I decided that we want to get serious about this whole money thing. We’ve been kicking butt and taking names with my student loans, but weren’t dedicated to anything long term. We didn’t have a “why?” to our how. I’ve been reading a lot of the Frugalwoods lately and I really admire their drive to quit Boston and move to the woods. With a tangible goal like that, every decision comes down to “Do I want to spend my money on ______ or do I want to be one step closer to my ultimate goal of ______?”
I don’t want to move to the woods. Quite the opposite actually. I want to buy a home and live as close to a major international airport as the soundproof-ness of my windows and walls will allow. I want my heart to ache a little every time I see an airplane fly by and to think “I wonder where they are going.” (This already happens). Then I want to take at least one amazingly awesome trip every year.
So that is what we are going to do. We found our Holy Grail.
Hubs and I decided that our years of renting are coming to an end. We’ve set a timeline for us to buy a house/condo/townhome in the next 2 years. On top of that, we have 2 big trips planned over the next 2 years: The Caribbean in 2015 and New Zealand in 2016.
That’s going to require a lot of cash.
Here’s how we are going to do it.
Novel idea, right? I’ve never had a budget before. I always found it too limiting and too much to track. Instead of tracking everything, we are only going to budget and track our food and entertainment. Everything else is naturally limited. On top of that, each expense will prompt the question;
“Do I want to spend my money on this or do I want to be one step closer to my House ++?
2. Lower our expenses.
I’ve been really inspired by J$ at Budgets are Sexy to Challenge Everything. I’ve already lowered our gym and internet bills, as well as a recent medical bill. Next up is our car insurance and cell phone bill. I won’t be setting up a bank account to store all my sweet savings, but I will use that extra cash to tackle the beast(s)!
3. Optimize our Dollars.
We saved every penny given to us for our wedding. For the last 2 years, this money was our “house fund” and just sat on the sidelines. This is not an effective use of money. So we’re draining it! While it hurts to drain the account, we are putting the money to use against my loans and to max my Roth for 2014. Our first priority when my loans are paid off is to get the House Fund building again.
4. Earn all the Money!
To accomplish everything we want at our current income level is going to be TOUGH, if not impossible. I hate to bank on raises and/or bonuses, but that is what we are doing. Nothing crazy, like budgeting my future lottery winnings, but reasonable raises I can expect from my employer that gives out raises. I am also further fanning the flame under my butt to get hustling, and hustle I shall!
These goals are large. To get there on time is going to be a serious push. However, even if we slip up or life happens, we’ll be closer than we would have been otherwise. I’m excited and Hubs is excited. We are committed to doing this together and that’s really all that matters.