Ok so it is almost February and I am just bringing this up now, but lets talk New Year. If your like me, the beginning of the New Year usually means reflecting on the prior year and thinking about what you can do differently or improve for the coming year. Some call them New Year’s resolutions. I like to call them goals. I enjoy setting goals. Goals keep me motivated when I want to look the other way or give up because life gets too hard. Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect at staying on plan but when I know that we have set a particular goal and a timeline to meet, I am a lot more strict. ( Yes that means I have to cut back on my Dunkin Donuts coffee:( boo)
So here is a list of the top 5 New Year’s resolutions of 2016 according to ABC news:
- Enjoy life to the fullest
- Live a healthier lifestyle
- Lose weight
- Spend more time with family and friends
- Save more, spend less
Some of ours are actually included in the above list. We have been trying to eat better and exercise more. We want to be healthier physically. Ok, so a little weight loss for both of us wouldn’t be bad either, but whatever.
Greg and I have talked about our financial goals for this year and we still plan on attacking our debt. If you haven’t had a chance to get the book, I recommend reading “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey which you can get a copy of here. He also has a workbook you can find here if you want to have a written plan of action.
Now this may shock you, but Greg and I are not strict about following the program. GASP! I agree with a lot of what he says but I feel that any plan can be customized to your needs. Just as weight loss plans are customizable to what you want or need, so are financial plans. You have to do what works for you and your family to stick to it.
Here are some things I think about when we create our goals:
- Is the goal realistic? Can we actually achieve it or are we thinking a little too big for our britches.
- What will the outcome be? When we achieve the goal how will that affect our finances, health, lifestyle? Is it the impact we are looking for or can we think bigger.
- Can I live with the sacrifices I will need to make in order to achieve the goal? (Seriously Greg, how many Dunkin Donuts coffees am I going to miss out on?)
- What will the reward be when we achieve the goal? Give me something to look forward to!
- Will it affect the family? There are some things we are not willing to sacrifice and that is time with our boys and making sure they get what they need to thrive.
Think about making small goals if you have to. Make goals you can achieve in a day, week or a month if you have to because once you achieve a goal it gives you momentum to achieve more. Greg and I made small goals when we were starting our journey. We initially paid off some smaller amounts of debt and we are now left with the larger amounts of debt to pay off. This includes our business debt.
So these are our 2016 financial goals:
- Pay off our first duplex we bought in 2012
- Pay off our property that Greg bought before we got married which is a single family home.
- Take a family vacation
Let me tell you, I think these are pretty big goals. We have figured out the numbers and as long as we stay on track we can achieve all of them. We are hoping to pay off the first one, the duplex, by May and the house that Greg bought in December. Yikes! I get tired just thinking about it… well tired and excited at the same time! Just to give you a ball park idea, it would be around $60,000 of debt. We have chosen to pay off our properties before some prior to paying off our school loans which is our choice. Again, this is how we are customizing our financial plan. Some people may choose otherwise and that’s ok too.
The third goal we have is spending quality time with the boys by taking a family vacation. We have not taken a vacation since Logan was born and we feel we are overdue at this point. We haven’t decided on a destination but it is looking like we will take a vacation in September. If you know any good vacation spots, please leave a comment at the end for us:)
What are your goals for 2016, be it financial or other? Leave it in the comments. I would love to see it!
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