I set my goals for 2015 in early December, even before I knew how 2014’s goals would pan out. I spent a lot of time thinking about what went well in 2014, what didn’t go so well, and what I really wanted to accomplish in the coming year. I’m hopeful that 2015 will be a year full of changes and progress. Overall, I did pretty well financially in 2014 (See my December 2014 Net Worth post here). Now that I know how 2014 ended, I can put numbers/details to my 2015 goals:
1) Grow my net worth by $10,000. I ended 2014 with a net worth of $11,696. It may not look like much, but it’s a huge step forward in my financial life. I started 2013 with a negative net worth, and only had $1,216 in net worth at the start of 2014. I’m hoping to end 2015 with a net worth over $21,696.
2) List the house. I really thought that I would sell the house in 2014. But there were so many little things that needed to be done, and honestly, our hearts weren’t in it. I’ve spent the last couple of months coming to reality, and learning to let go; The house isn’t going to be perfect before it goes on the market. It was far from perfect when I bought it, so I’m not sure why I expected to do everything before I sold it. Also, I’m learning to compromise with Bryan on a lot of things. This isn’t my dream house anymore, and if I want it done (and for him to help), I need to learn to let go and let him do things his way.
Right now, I need to finish the floor in the hallway (it’s a 3×3 area, so this isn’t some huge project), get the guys out to install the new garage door, and clean the place out. And then, it’s ready to go! Bryan has apprehensions about listing it in the winter. I agree, it’s far from ideal. But, it is what it is. On a positive note, the friend of a friend who was interested in the house came out to see it, and is still interested! He’s mulling it over; This will be his first time buying a house, which is a big deal, so he’s really trying to think it through. But he’s already been approved for a $100,000 mortgage, so at least I know this is something he’s seriously considering. We’ll see if anything comes of it!
On the plus side, selling the house will likely have a big impact on my net worth, since I’m pretty sure I can sell it for more than I’m valuing it at on my net worth spreadsheet. It’ll be interesting to see what happens there!
3) Pay off my student loan. My student loan ended 2014 with a balance of $4,843. I’m making this my top priority for 2015. And it’s looking like I’ll have a nice chunk of change to throw at it at the end of this month! I want to start this year off with a bang, so I don’t let this goal slip by again, like I did last year!
4) Invest $3,000 in a retirement account. Once the student loan is gone, I’m going to turn my focus to the retirement account. I want to keep my cash-flow where it’s at until the student loan is gone. However, I usually get a raise at some point in January. My plan right now is to direct any increase directly into the company’s 401(k) plan. It’s been anywhere from $1,200-1,800 (annually) in the past, which isn’t a lot, but hey, it’s something! I expect it to be on the smaller side, as our parent company has been trying to reign in our salaries the last few years. Since I’m not used to seeing that money, I won’t ever miss it!
5) Earn $500 in “Side Income”. I’ve had a lot of (random) ideas, but I’m still not really sure what I’m going to do for this goal. Hey, I have a whole year to figure it out, right?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog, and what I’d like to see happen with it in 2015. I’d like to get more regular about posting in 2015. I’m already off to a terrible start on that though! I’d love to get more readers, mainly so there’s more interaction in the comments. I get super excited whenever someone comments on my posts, and I’d love to see more dialogue going on there. Which has gotten me thinking a lot about what sets me apart from other personal finance bloggers. Let’s face it, there are a lot of us out there. I started this blog with the idea of writing from the perspective of being a single girl trying to plan for the future. But Bryan and I have been together for 2.5 years now. We live together, I’m selling my house, and we’re making long-term plans. Even though we aren’t married, and haven’t combined our finances yet, I’m not really a “single girl” anymore.
What is different though is that I’m a thirty-something girl, dating a fifty-something guy. In our day-to-day life, it isn’t a big deal. But in planning for the future? Whoa! The man could retire tomorrow, and I barely have $13,000 in my 401(k)! There are loads of things we have to think about that couples who are closer to the same age never have to consider. We’ve talked about it some, but as our relationship becomes more and more serious, we’ll have to think about it more. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have concerns. And this would be a great place to ponder those concerns.
So, that’s what I’m looking at for 2015. I really do think it’s going to be a great year. What do you think? Do you have any suggestions for me in coming year?
– Cindy W.