I have this thing; I don’t set resolutions. I feel like resolving to do something is a sure-fire way to set myself up to fail. After all, how many people do you know who keep their resolutions each year? The answer is “not many.” I know from experience that when I resolve to do anything, I don’t do it. If, however, I set goals, I usually meet them. The difference is one feels as if I am forcing myself while the other gives me something to work toward. With that in mind, Steve and I sat down recently to talk about our financial goals when we did our January 2019 budget.
I thought it might be fun to share them and how we plan to reach them with you. I love helping you reach your own financial goals. I hope that watching us reach ours will help cheer you onto setting and reaching your own goals. Of course, if we fail miserably, I hope you can learn from our mistakes.
Our 2019 Financial Goals
Meeting our financial goals in 2019 won’t be easy. We’ve set some pretty lofty ones for ourselves because we are both anxious to get our life together started. Yes, we’re a family now, but we are a family with big dreams. Our girls will be grown in just 4 short years and once that happens, Steve and I have our own plans and dreams. In our minds, the time to prepare for those dreams is now.
Rebuild Our Emergency Fund
As I mentioned in our January 2019 Budget post HERE, our emergency fund has been totally drained due to a rough 2018. Because of that, our first and most important financial goal in 2019 is to rebuild our emergency fund as quickly as possible. We prefer to keep 3 months worth of expenses in our emergency fund which means we need roughly $12,000 for a fully funded one. To start, I will be happy with $4,000 to fall back on.
To help build an emergency fund fast and to prepare for the goal I talk about below, I am clearing our home of clutter. It is an absolute awe inspiring mystery to me how we accumulate so much stuff, but here I am staring at a home full of stuff we don’t need nor want. These items are being sold locally on Facebook Marketplace or if it is not a good fit for the Marketplace, being sold on Ebay. I am also considering opening a Shopify store to have a place to list items I have for sale since I have so many.
Another way I plan to build my fund quickly is by using InstaGC, Prize Rebel and Swagbucks to pay whatever bills or expenses I can. This can include everything from our phone bills to buying groceries. When you sign up for an InstaGC account, you’ll get 10 points free and be able to take surveys and complete offers for more points. When you sign up for a Swagbucks account, you can search the web like you normally do to earn points. Signing up for a Prize Rebel account is like InstaGC and also pays in points. When you reach a cash out level, the points you have earned can be redeemed for Paypal payments and gift cards! These are normally my favorite places to earn free Amazon gift cards, but for 2019, they’ll all be used to help meet those goals we have set for ourselves.
Save for a Cross Country Move
We are preparing for a move from Texas to Wisconsin after this school year is finished. Steve is considering taking a better position with the company he’s with and to do so, we will need to be local. While we are hoping for relocation costs to be paid for, I would rather not count on it. If we count on that and it falls through, we will be stuck scrambling for the money to move or have to take it from our emergency fund. I would rather not do that so our second financial goal of 2019 is to save a minimum of $7,000 for the move.
Yes, that may be more money than we need. I am taking the approach that having more money saved to move with is better than not having enough. I would rather have and not need than need and not have.
As I said, one of the ways I am working to save this money is to clear our our clutter. You might be surprised at how much money you can make by selling what you no longer need. The money I make from sales will go half toward our move and half toward rebuilding our emergency fund.
Another way that I will be saving for the move is by increasing our investments with Acorns. Acorns is a micro-investor and a very quick and simple way to help yourself build wealth. I’ve had my Acorns account for a while now and absolutely love it. I’ve tried other micro-investors before and I keep coming back to Acorns. You can check them out or sign up for an Acorns account HERE.
Raise our Credit Scores
One of our long term financial goals is to travel full-time together in the truck once the girls are grown. Being Mom though, I won’t do so until I know they have a place to come home to and we have a place to take a break at if we need. I also don’t want to continue paying rent on a home I will never own. This means we both need to work on our credit scores a bit. I have some student loans that need paid off and he has a couple of smaller debts that need paid.
Raising our credit scores is the financial goal that will take us the longest, so we will begin working on it as soon as possible. There are a few steps we will be taking in order to get it high enough for us to qualify for a mortgage with a good rate instead of the high rates we currently qualify for.
Working to raise a credit score means constant monitoring of your credit report so to save ourselves money on the expensive monitoring services, we will be using Credit Sesame to monitor our scores and reports for free. If you’re not familiar, when you sign up for a Credit Sesame account, you are able to monitor your credit report and your credit score totally free. There’s no payment information even required unless you choose to pay for their premium product.
We will also both be signing up for Self Lender accounts. The way Self Lender works is that they “loan” you a funded CD. This is money that you do not see right off the bat, but money that you will make payments on. At the end of your CD term, you get the money you paid in plus any interest. It’s a quick and easy way to save money and since they report your on time payments to the credit bureaus, it can help raise your scores. You can check out and sign up for a Self Lender account HERE.
From there it is a matter of getting a credit card. We don’t currently have any revolving accounts since our Subaru is paid off. This might seem like a good thing but when you’re trying to build your credit score, revolving accounts are a must. Basically, we have to use our credit to show that we’re worthy of credit.
Our 2019 financial goals are pretty steep, but the truth is that if we buckle down, we should have no issues meeting them. I am super excited to see where this year leads us! Look for a progress update on our goals in March!
Have you set financial goals for the new year? I want to hear them if so! Leave me a comment and tell me what you’re working toward.