The Problem With Goals

I’ve talked a lot about my goal of growing my net worth by $10,000 in 2014. Overall, I think it’s a great goal. I’m still not sure whether or not I’ll be able to make it, but I should come in pretty close.

Right now though, I’m having conflicting emotions.

The boyfriend and I have done a lot of work on my house the last few months. We’re into the final stretch of getting the house ready to go on the market. With any luck, we’ll be listing it before the end of the year. Obviously, Spring would be better, but every month it sits is more money wasted.

Why is this a problem? Because the last few things we have to do on the house are going to be pretty pricey. Like replacing the garage door (<$700). Adding trim work to the newly enclosed laundry room ($300! Are you kidding me?!?). Painting and various repairs in the garage (several hundred dollars).

I have $1,800 left in the fund I setup to get the house ready to go on the market, so coming up with the money isn’t a problem. I also have money saved for the Holidays ($800), and am in the process of building my emergency fund from $1,000 to $3,000. I also like to keep a little bit of “slush” in my other accounts, so I’m not ever cutting things close. I have the money to complete the house. And, if we can stay focused, we shouldn’t have a problem getting things done. I’m hiring someone for the garage door, so that’s one thing off our plate.

The problem isn’t having the money, it’s spending it. I have right around $1,400 to go to meet my overall goal of growing my net worth by $10,000 in 2014. If I spend down the $1,800 I have set aside for the house, it’s that much more I have to go to make my goal. My growth has been all over the place each month this year. Growing by $1,400 in 2 months seems pretty doable. But $3,200+?

And then I realize, I’m being totally stupid.

By worrying about spending $1,800 on the house, I’m “missing the forest for the trees”. Sure, that means I might not make my goal for 2014. But selling the house puts me one step closer to my bigger goals. Growing my net worth by $10,000 is just a milestone along the way to eventually reaching financial independence. Every month my house is costing me between $500 and $600 (between the mortgage, taxes, insurance and utilities). Most of that money is just gone; My monthly payments only decrease my mortgage principle by $80-85 per month. I’m pouring hundreds of dollars down the drain every month that I keep the house!

So, finishing out the house may keep me from making my 2014 goal. But selling the house will make it so much easier to make my overall goals. I’m not sorry I set the goal; It’s kept me on track with my spending and savings this year, and helped me to make better decisions with my money. But I can’t start making bad decisions in the 11th hour for some arbitrary goal. The sooner I sell the house, the quicker I can really start growing my worth. Putting that off, even by a few months, would be a terrible idea!

– Cindy W.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *