It’s time for a 2017 quarterly update! At the end of 2016, I laid out my financial goals for this year. Here’s where I currently stand with my goals:
Pay off all my student debt. As of January 1st, I had about $4,000 saved up towards the last $10,000 of debt. I’m now at $1,300 (after just making a payment last week). With a target date of July 1st to be completely paid off, my savings account should actually be at $1,600 right now, which means I’m just a few hundred dollars shy of being on track with my target date.
Max out 401K and IRA contributions. Like the goal above, this is also a little behind right now. While I am maxing out my 401K, I had to cut back on my savings rate for my IRA — I’ve only saved up $600 so far toward this goal. I should be at $1,375. My plan is to redirect much of my student debt savings towards this goal after this summer, and I should be able to catch my way up to $5,500 be the end of the year without a problem.
Have $10,000 in my personal investment account. Because I’m putting away $100 a month into this account, it’s hardly grown since December. My account hasn’t even broken $4,000. The money I don’t reallocate from my student debt repayment into my IRA funding will go toward investments. After that, I tend to take 100% of my post-tax increase from my recent salary increase into this account. Maybe I’ll get it up to $10,000 by the end of the year.
Reduce my average monthly living expenses to $1,700. Well, shit. It’s a good thing I revisited my goals because I completely forgot about this. Yes, I’m constantly trying to reduce my expenses, but I’ve been putting all my energy into growing my income rather than significantly cutting down on my expenses. My average monthly expenses for the first quarter of the year? $1,986. I can definitely do better.
Build an actual emergency fund. Until my debt is paid off, this is a low-priority goal. I currently have a little over $1,000 in my emergency fund, which covers surprise expenses. I suspect that this part of my update will get more exciting towards the end of the year.
Including retirement, I have an investment/savings/debt repayment total goal for this year of $41,500, which is more than half my take-home income. For the first three months of the year, I’ve put away $8,300. I’m 20% behind schedule! A difference of $2,074 is a lot to make up, but doable, so long as I up my game the rest of the year. This will mostly require hitting my average monthly expenses goal of $1,700.
Looking at these numbers, I fear that I may have been a little too aggressive with my goals. Hopefully, with my new increase in salary, the small monthly boost I get will help me meet them, but I don’t think I’ll surpass $41,500 by the end of the year. That said, it would be silly of me to be disappointed with what I’ve accomplished so far in three months. Eight thousand dollars! That’s more money than I’ve put away in any other three-month period in my life. The majority of that may be via my 401K, but that doesn’t matter. It’s incredibly rewarding to see that money grow in my accounts. I often get frustrated by how slowly I save, but that frustration is definitely exacerbated by how spread out all my funds are. This update is refreshing in that I actually have a solid number to grasp on to in terms of my progress.
It’s hard to believe that this year is already a quarter of the way through. Hopefully, you’re more on track with your goals than I am at this point. There’ll be another update in roughly three months!