by Ashley L
2019 is the first year that I am writing down a unique set of financial goals for the new year. I believe in the power of writing goals down, and since I am a visual learner, I also love tangible reminders like vision boards. For 2019, I want to identify my distinct financial goals and will post them here in hopes that you all will hold me accountable! Ideally, my goals are measurable, timely, and realistic so that I can reach them at the end of the year. I have several goals that I would like to reach, but I am limiting my primary goals to three so that I can sharpen my focus on them.
This is my financial vision board. The middle of the board has an inspiring quote:
After Love, nothing causes as much emotional turbulence as money. How we save and spend reveals who we are: our fears, our hopes, morals and passions.
Goal 1 in the bottom right shows an approximation of my saving goal, a quote by Suzie Orman who I love, and a quote about remembering that money should work for you and not just the other way around. Goal 2 is in the bottom left corner and gives a visual reminder about working for more money. In the top right corner, a woman is cutting her credit card and it also says that emergencies are never planned. I added the reminder about retirement investing in the top left. What are on your 2019 vision boards?
Goal 1: Save at Least 25% of my Income
A lot of financial advice suggests saving at least 20% of your monthly income. I did not meet this mark in 2018. My savings hit an embarrassingly low point in June of 2018 and I saved $280 out of about $2700. I believe that this decline was because of the lack of intentional plans for saving, so I recently updated my budget for the new year. I am on track to meet a 20% savings for January 2019.
Out of roughly $3,050 after-tax pay that I earned for the month, $525 is going to paying down my $2100 Bank of America credit card balance.
Another $85 is going to me paying off interest on my student loans while I am in school. Therefore, I am saving a total of $610 of my income for January, exactly 20% of my check. I plan to try and save even more, ultimately progressing to 25% for the year.
Goal 2: Earn at least $200 in Monthly Supplemental Income
I earned almost $2000 last year in substitute teaching and this additional income was helpful. Side hustles give me the bit of extra cushion that I need. I think perhaps my mission to get a tutoring job is not meant to be because I have tried relentlessly but either cannot find one or find one that would be worthwhile. In the meantime, I will continue to do what I have done and to keep looking.
Goal 3: Plan for Debt
I struggled with this third goal. It is actually several large goals that I broke into smaller individual goals that all address debt in some way. My first goal is to 1) have my credit card paid off by April. I also want to eliminate “emergency-type” charges by 2) budgeting for all possible upcoming expenses and continuing to grow my emergency fund. This will eliminate the need to pull out a credit card the next time the mechanic tells me that if I don’t have both my front and back brakes replaced before I get on the road then I won’t make it back home. I am going to keep my credit card paid off.
My last goal is that 3) I want to pay down my student loans. I have two loans, both subsidized Stafford loans with the same interest rate. The smallest one has a balance of $1,1200 and my plan is to pay that off in total.
What are your financial goals for 2019?