2015 goals

Finally, the long-awaited [ed. note — sure, sure] 2015 goals post.

I’ll probably revisit these at some point — for one thing, my job situation might or might not change over the summer. I’m either going to be at the same job, with the same income, for another academic year, or be changing jobs with all the resulting unknowns from that. But for the purposes of this post I’m assuming that I’ll be at my current job through all of 2015.

I’m trying to keep these simple: instead of a dozen goals, I’m making only five, focused around my current priorities. Some of these are more under my control than others — for example, I can definitely contribute $1000 a month to retirement because I’m already doing it and it’s automatic! But the net worth goals are trickier, because they rely in part on things well outside of my control, like whether I have a medical emergency or what the markets decide to do. I’m also setting a pretty aggressive target for monthly cash savings; if I stick to this plan, I’ll be living on about $1150 a month, roughly 1/3 of my net income. I’m going to try this for a few months and see how it goes, but if I’m feeling deprived by the time I do my first-quarter review at the end of March I may have to re-evaluate.

To the goals!

1) Emergency Fund: Now that I’m out of debt, I plan to put $500 into this account every month until I reach $5000 (this should be around September.) Then I’ll start contributing the same $500 to my down payment fund (see below under #3).

2) Retirement Savings: I’ll continue to contribute $1000 a month to my 403(b) from my pre-tax salary of $4000/month. My extremely achievable base goal, therefore, is an additional $12,000 contributed to retirement. My stretch goal is to scrape up $3000 through found money (freelance work, basically, since I don’t have any really gift-worthy occasions like graduation or weddings upcoming) and contribute that to my Roth IRA. However, before I even get going on the 2015 IRA, I’m going to do what I can to increase my 2014 IRA by April 15, so I think this goal might not happen unless I win the lottery or something.

3) Other Savings Goals: This is pushing it a little, but until my EF is full I want to contribute another $500 a month to three short/medium-term savings accounts: $250 to travel, $125 to “down payments” (to be used for future car/housing down payments) and $125 to “one-time shocks” (to be used for major one-time expenses like a new computer, a move, etc.) Once the EF is at $5000, I’ll up that to $375 to each account, continuing to save $1000 in cash a month.

4) Overall Net Worth Goals: Conservatively, there is no reason why I can’t increase my net worth by $1500 a month — that’s just my basic retirement+e-fund contribution along with the assumption that I don’t overspend my monthly income otherwise. So I’ll set my base goal for increasing my net worth at $18,000 this year. However, while some months may be up and some down (as I spend from my short-term savings accounts and as the markets move around), I would ideally like to average closer to $2000 a month. My stretch goal is $24,000 for the year, therefore, and my extra-special stretch goal is to make this a prettier number and increase my net worth by $25,000 🙂

5) Travel goals: in 2015, I would like to spend at least three weeks in California with one godchild, at least one week in Virginia with the other godchild, at least two weeks at my parents’ place, and at least two weekends with my brother and his wife. Luckily, I can work on the road during part of the summer!

Bonus:

6) Other Goals: Don’t get into a situation where I have to replace my car or computer and spend a ton of cash 🙂

I decided to do the Moneystepper 2015 Savings Challenge, so I’m hoping that’s going to be a good way to keep monthly track of these goals, along with posts here.

18 thoughts on “2015 goals

  1. Yay, more people doing the MoneyStepper Challenge!

    Did I read that right that you’re going to be living on 1/3 of your income? That’s pretty hardcore!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Well, I’m going to try to have my basic monthly expenses be 1/3 of my income. But more realistically I’m hoping to end up, by the year’s end, living on about 50% — some of the monthly savings is going into sinking funds for travel and major one-time expenses that don’t come up monthly. So some months may look impressive and some will probably be much less so!

  2. Jenna says:

    Sounds like quite the challenge! I look forward to following along.

    I’m still working on my goals for the year. We’re planning on moving soon with new jobs so we don’t know what everything will look like.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yeah, a potential new job this summer could throw everything up in the air for me too! If that happens I’ll have to re-evaluate.

  3. Alicia says:

    I’m totally with you there. I’ve made my goals as if I am staying with this job, but I don’t know if that will be the case. I think reasonably I will be moving (gosh, I hope so!) at some point, so that might throw things off. We will cross that bridge when we come to it, right?

    Great goals – awesome savings going on there. And loads of travel. I want to travel – as soon as this debt is decreased. 🙂

    1. thesingledollar says:

      🙂 I’ve hit that point in life where all my travel is to see friends and family, not to go to exotic places (though luckily most people I know live in pretty interesting places, with good stuff to do.) But it’s really important to me to spend time with them.

      And yeah, crossing the job-change bridge when it shows up! These ought to hold good for six months anyway, I can worry about the rest of it later.

  4. Sounds like a great set of goals! Our travel all seems to be to visit family these days too, but I’m OK with that. Good luck in 2015!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yeah, I’m fine with it too. I’ve been to some cool overseas places in the past and I’m sure I will again in the future. Right now, while everyone’s kids are little and parents are aging, is a good time to be concentrating on my widely scattered tribe.

  5. James says:

    50% savings rate goooo!

    Looks like you’ve gone up by about $30k+ in net worth since the end of June 2013. Feels like you could be closing in on $50k by the end of 2015 if you come close to that stretch goal.

    Hope the (possible) new job doesn’t cause too much chaos!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yeah, I am ALL OVER that 50% savings rate this year 🙂 I would love to get close to $50K this year but alas I think $40K NW is probably the absolute best case scenario…however I will not complain if I get that far! I keep telling myself “as long as it keeps going up.” 🙂

  6. Awesome goals! You can definitely achieve all of this in 2015. It seems like everyone is doing the moneystepper challenge so I might have to look into doing it as well!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I think the challenge is going to be fun. At least, there are pretty spreadsheets associated with it, and I *love* pretty spreadsheets 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  7. moneystepper says:

    Great to have you on board TSD!!

    Glad you like the graphs…! Have you submitted your goals using the form on the site? I’m just checking as your submission hasn’t come up and I want to make sure the form is working…

    Good luck for 2015 and I hope you have a great end to 2014.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Huh, yeah, I did submit them, I’ll try it again and you can see if it comes up this time.

  8. Chonce says:

    I like that you are trying to dedicate more to savings now that you are out of debt. By setting a limit of how much of your income you plan to live off of in 2015, you’re well on your way to achieving these goals. I also like that you are splitting up your savings into specific categories. This is something I need to improve on to get more organized for next year. I look forward to reading about your challenge and I’ll have to look into it myself!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thanks! I’m off to kind of a weird start since I just had to pay a huge contacts/glasses bill, but that’ll be behind me by January 🙂

  9. I think those are great goals! I also love saving for many goals at once, although I know many people who prefer to do one at a time.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Honestly, I’d really prefer to be doing one at a time…. I’m better at gazelle intensity, I think 🙂 But I also think I have to learn how to successfully multitask financially, so I’m going to really try this year. I’m glad to hear it can be done!

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