Boring is reading someone else’s resolutions to save more or spend less on knick knacks, knowing they’re going to end up like the resolutions of millions – abandoned by February, relegated to the dusty corners of your mind for another 11 months.
At Enwealthen, I believe anything worth doing, is worth doing right now. Waiting for a new year to “start” your new life is procrastination, pure and simple. Not my style at all.
I never make News Years’ resolutions. What do I do instead? Well, my methods for acknowledging the new year will remain a mystery lost to the ages, or at least until someone asks for details…
Resolutions aside, I do believe in goals, especially financial goals. And goals take planning, as the photo says – “Plan Ahead!” So if you’re curious, here are my financial goals for this year.
“Without a plan, there’s no attack! Without attack, no victory!”
- Ack Ack
Goals make you money, especially financial goals.
How? By allowing you to see past what is, to what you want - financial freedom.
But I’m not talking theory here, folks. I’m talking meaty, clear, metrics-driven goals. In a word, S.M.A.R.T. goals. While S may stand for specific, I overload it with simple: simple to remember, simple to execute, simple to succeed.
For Cliff’s Notes fans, this year I’ll be:
- Reallocating my budget buckets
- Buying my first DriP
- Investing in peer to peer lending
- Growing Enwealthen
Keep reading for more details on these financial goals.
Show Me The Money
More specifically, show me where my money is going.
Tracking your cash flow is important, but planning your expenses is critical. Budgeting at Enwealthen is a larger scale version of cash-in-envelopes, only using larger buckets and bank accounts.
With my new job and recent marriage last year, and other life changes in the works for 2014, it’s reallocation time. In this case, moving closer to our goal of living day to day on 50% of our income, and splitting the rest 10% long term savings (property tax, insurance, vacations, etc.), 10% education (both ours and future children), 10% fun (spent every month), 10% financial freedom, 8% baby, 2% charity.
What? Only 8% for a baby? That’s ridiculous! Actually, reducing our charitable giving this year lets us build a cushion to adjust our spending in the other categories to support a larger family. Long term, we’ll use income from the financial freedom investments to partially offset college costs (no one gets a free ride in our family… unless it’s a scholarship!)
Goal: automated transfers in place, and thriving on 50% of our income for day to day expenses.
Not a leaky roof, but a dividend reinvestment plan.
If you’re not familiar with DRiPs, you can use them to automatically invest money in a single stock, directly through the company. It’s an excellent low cost method to get started in the stock market, and over time the reinvested dividends have an impressive influence. DripInvesting.org is a great resource to learn more about these amazing investments.
Personally, I plan to start with one company and gift shares to each of my nieces and nephews to get them started on their path.
Goal: account opened, $1,000 invested with automatic, recurring transfers in place, shares gifted to family.
Peer of the (P2P) Realm
2014 is the year I finally start investing in peer to peer lending via The Lending Club.
P2P lending has interested me for years, but I hadn’t pulled the trigger, until now. The Federal Reserve is driving investors into a frantic search for ROI with their ZIRP. With sufficient cash in my bank account, it’s time to join The Lending Club, and start making loans.
Like any great learning opportunity, I’m more interested in the learning, than the results, but not by much…
Goal: Lending Club account opened, and $5,000 fully invested.
Did I say that out loud? Boring is boring, and life’s too short for that.
Instead, I’m taking it to the next level – growing Enwealthen this year to reach an Alexa rank of 100K or lower, and over 500 daily visitors.
Modest goals by some standards, but ambitious considering our growth in 2013. My primary tactics will be writing guest posts for other sites, and keeping a regular posting schedule here on Enwealthen by writing my articles in advance and scheduling them for publication. While technically not a financial goal, growing Enwealthen will eventually lead to a respectable source of income.
Goal: Alexa rank under 100K, 500 daily visitors.
2014 Financial Goals Wrap Up
There you have it.
Simple, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound. Most importantly, set with the larger picture of financial freedom in mind.
I’ll be sharing my adventures along the way here on Enwealthen. So keep up with my progress by coming back for more, or join the Enwealthen mailing list so you don’t miss out!
What are your financial goals for 2014? More importantly, what plans have you put in place to ensure you achieve them?
“Plan Ahead” photo courtesy of NYCDOT.