Setting financial goals is important for many reasons. Some as simple as maintaining a budget so you don’t overspend. Other reasons include saving for specific reasons and goals.
My husband and I have several financial goals:
- Save $7,000.00 (minimum) each year for Household needs like homeowner’s insurance, auto insurance for my vehicle, auto insurance for his truck, property taxes, and tag registrations for both vehicles. I keep a list of all the amounts that get paid from this account, so if it starts getting too low we can add more money to the account. This is also the account we put money away in for remodeling and upgrades to the house or saving for our next vehicle.
- Fully fund our respective IRAs ($5,500.00 each, $11,000.00 total). This is a non-negotiable for us. We want to retire as soon as we can, and not have to worry about having money for retirement. The savings account we have designated for Retirement funds always has money being automatically deposited in it because we have portions of our paycheck automatically go into this account to save up the $11,000.00. Should we have the fund automatically going into our IRAs, so it earns more compound interest monthly? Probably. But I’m a control freak and am not comfortable with any company (utility or finance) having electronic access to my account that I didn’t authorize. We save up the $11,000.00 and then do once a year deposits.
- And go on a nice vacation once a year (minimum $5,000.00 saved). While we were paying off debt, we didn’t take vacations or even days off of for stay-cations. And we burned out bad! The last couple of years, we’ve saved up for one big vacation each year, and were able to pay cash for them. The average cost of our trips have been about $5000.00, but we usually are able to save up any additional needed funds fairly quickly.
We recently fully funded our Emergency Fund, so that Financial Goal has been crossed off the list! Whoo!
As stated in several previous financial blog posts, my husband and I live on one income and bank the other, which is how we are able to save and meet our savings goals. If having multiple savings accounts isn’t feasible for you, go old school and have mason jars or piggy banks for each goal.
To get started, sit down (with your spouse, if married) and discuss what you’d like to see your money put towards. Both of you get a say in this. One person does not get to dominate this. If your Emergency Fund isn’t fully funded, I encourage you to make your Emergency Fund your first savings goal.
Everyone’s savings goals will be different. Some of you are saving up for a house down payment. Others need to think about your next vehicle. Maybe you’ve got a baby on the way and you want to put money aside for diaper or formula emergencies or medical bills. Dream vacation to Fiji or Italy?
Make a plan! Try to allocate money in the budget to your savings goals. Or if you use the cash envelope system, take any leftover money at the end of the month and put it towards your savings goals. That’s what we do with our leftover grocery and house envelopes. All leftover monies go into our House Upgrades envelope. Some months there’s quite a bit of money to move, other months there isn’t.
Communication, dreaming together, making a plan, and finding ways to live below your means make a great start to meet your financial goals.