One of my main goals for 2017 is to continue our journey toward financial freedom. We’re not trying to get completely debt-free this year; that’s too big of a bite to try to take in a year’s time so following this year’s theme of “progress, not perfection” we broke down our financial goal into smaller tidbits. After discussing what we’d like to do this year, we ultimately decided that we want to become better prepared for routine expenses and emergencies, establish our savings and start working towards living off last month’s income.
What does success for this goal look like? Here’s our task list:
- Pay back my mom (about 75% there!)
- Pay off student loan #3
- Commit to funding buffer (living off last’s month income)
- Fully-fund car maintenance category (goal: $2,000)
- Save $1,000 for starter emergency fund
- Save for Christmas gifts (we did this last year and it was SO helpful)
- Start Down Payment Fund
This is where using You Need a Budget (YNAB) to budget and manage our finances has been extremely helpful and gratifying. YNAB has helped me to create a budgeting lifestyle that I can actually live with and made making those infrequent (or surprising) larger purchases not as scary as they once were.
While we’re not completely living off last month’s income just yet (or not buying things we haven’t properly budgeted for – ahem, me), we started making small steps towards reaching that goal. We’re a month ahead on a couple of our reoccurring bills (like rent, retirement contributions, and car insurance) and have been steadily building a cash reserve for our car registration and maintenance and Christmas gifts.
Seeing our financial goals written down makes them feel more tangible and achievable versus just saying we want to get our finances in order (which I’ve said before. Several times). I’m actually optimistic about our chances to accomplishing most, if not all, of our task list for this year, unlike in previous years. I’ll be sure to check in through out the year to give you a progress report!
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