I’m a planner by nature. I like to set goals. None of this should be too surprising if you read my last post revealing my Upholder tendency.
Several years ago I read Chris Guillebeau’s fantastic post about his Annual Review process and have been using it as a guideline ever since. As 2017 wraps up I’m pondering what 2018 has in store. 2018 goals will span several different fronts – creativity/blogging, work, travel, relationships/motherhood, health & fitness, learning, and financial.
Here’s a sneak peek at a few of the big goals:
- Max out 401(k). I feel like a fraud having a personal finance blog and saying this, BUT…I have never maxed out my 401(k). I’ve always contributed enough to get my company match, and in most years significantly more than that. Last year was about working on liquid savings to pay for expenses for the baby on the way and the partially unpaid maternity leave. It wasn’t until I came back from leave earlier this year and reassessed our financial situation that I realized that this was actually a very realistic goal going forward. I’ve been doing some catch-up on my 401(k) contributions the last part of this year and will actually have to reduce my % at the start of the year so I don’t max out early and miss any company match.
- Make 2017 IRA contribution (amount TBD). For some reason I thought that you couldn’t contribute to a 401(k) AND make a deductible contribution to an IRA, but this amazing post by Justin at Root of Good corrected that mistaken belief. As long as you meet Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI – not to be confused with MAGA!) limits, you can contribute to both a 401(k) and traditional IRA. The amount of the contribution will depend on a few factors, including the amount I’ve contributed to my Roth for 2017 (you can only contribute $5,500 to both – not to EACH), our exact MAGI number, and the amount of our tax refund.
- Finalize will. I posted about this earlier. We’ve met with our lawyer for the initial consultation. I’d like to have a final document early in 2018.
- Fund 25% of Financial Freedom goal for non-retirement funds. This will partly be dependent on how the markets do.
- Average one post per week.
- Share quarterly updates on progress against the Financial Freedom goal.
I’m really early in this blogging experience, so I’ve left these goals pretty open for now.
- Attend FINCON 2018. Money nerds unite! Whether this becomes a realization will depend on a lot of things including life in general and how much I engage with the personal finance community in 2018.
- Get 2nd mortgage balance below $10,000. Are piggyback mortgages still a thing? We did an 80-15-5 mortgage back in the pre-2008 housing meltdown days, and they were pretty common then. The higher rate on the second mortgage outweighed the higher payment with PMI. The first mortgage has been refinanced and this second mortgage just needs to go away….
One final note
I am great at setting goals but sometimes not so great at letting go of things that no longer add value. Jillian just wrote a very timely post on her blog about knowing when to quit something that no longer serves you. Check it out!
Do you set annual goals? What do you hope to accomplish in 2018?