Happy end of 2016! With the year coming to a close, it’s a good time to start laying out a 2017 gameplan. These are my goals for the coming year.
Pay off all my student debt. I’ve only got $10,000 more to go! By December 31st I’ll have saved up roughly $4,000 of that, so I should be on track to be completely debt-free by the end of June. Huzzah!
Max out 401K and IRA contributions. Once January rolls around I’m going to have to make a significant change in my budget so that I can put away a full $23,500 into retirement. Right now I’m only putting away $9,000 a year.
Have $10,000 in my personal investment account. In September, I opened an account with Wealthfront, dropping in $3,000 (my entire emergency fund at the time). It’s actually a little smaller than that now (I’m new to this whole investment thing), but once my student debt is paid off I want to funnel those savings into this account.
Reduce my average monthly living expenses to $1,700. My monthly average for 2016 was $2,371 (compared to $1,577 in 2015, when I spent most of the year living at home rent-free). I would like 2017 to be somewhere in between the two, and if I meet this goal it’ll really mean I managed to save a ton throughout the year.
Build an actual emergency fund. Since my last rainy day fund went into opening an investment account, I now need to start all over again. $6,000 gives me 3 comfortable months of living expenses.
In total, that’s approximately $20,000 that I want to save/invest that I don’t already have budgeted out to do so. I don’t foresee a significant salary increase, so that’s going to have to predominately come from expense cutting.
Expand the blog. There aren’t any specific goals attached to this quite yet, but being able to blog about topics I care about has really been enjoyable for me these past few months. By the end of the year, I want to have written at least 100 posts. Increasing readership would be so exciting (sneaking in a quick plug for my Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest pages)!
Live a healthier lifestyle. As plenty of you probably know, living a financially healthy lifestyle goes hand in hand with eating healthy. Cooking meals at home saves so much money in the long run, and significantly cuts down on sodium/fat/carb intake. This is huge for me, as I’ve been struggling with weight gain and unhappiness with my appearance since graduating school.
Anyone have goals even loftier than mine? 2017 is a year of change, I can smell it in the air!