As I’ve thought about how to direct our money in 2017, I’ve gotten so overwhelmed. I’m really horrible at multitasking when it comes to goals. I want to just get rid of my mortgage so that I can direct all money toward investments. But I also know if I just throw all money toward the mortgage, I’ll regret not adding more to investments along the way. The stock market seems really inflated to me right now, so I will continue to throw money at my mortgage for now, but if the market tanks later in the year, I will redirect more towards “on sale” investments.
I’m also terrible at hiding my own money before I see it. It was easy to up Mr. T’s 401k contributions, because they take that money out automatically. My paycheck is a physical check I get in the mail and it varies greatly. Last year, I ranged from $0 (vacation pay periods, I make no money… the plight of an hourly employee) to $1608 (if there is more work to do, I get more money… the awesomeness of being an hourly employee). So, it’s hard to plan monthly savings goals around my income. I haven’t figured out the best way to handle this yet. (Thoughts?)
We can’t do it all. I really, really want to be the people that blast down their mortgage balance while simultaneously maxing out 2 Roth IRAs, Mr. T’s 401, and my solo 401k (I don’t even have one of these yet!). But the truth is: we’re not those people. YET. For now, I have to focus on just a few things.
Based on those thoughts….
2017 Financial Goals
- Earn $25,000 – Last year, I managed to earn just under $21,000 just by working more (again, bonus of being an hourly employee). This year, I plan to ramp up my freelance work (writing, research, SEO). Overall, the goal is $25,000 total as a mix of my “real job” as a part-time behavioral economics researcher and freelance work. (A reminder that we live primarily on my husband’s income which is around $70k, but because he takes out taxes to make up for my self-employment and we’ve maxed out his 401k, my paycheck usually goes to paying the mortgage each month.)
- Mortgage Balance below $30,000 – Pretty direct. But again, if markets are on sale later in the year, I may redirect. But getting the mortgage balance below $30,000 by the end of the year keeps us on track to pay off the balance by the end of 2018 (the plan for now).
- Max out Mr. T’s 401k – This is set up already and if nothing changes, he should automatically max it out this year for the first time! Yay for automatic payments!
- Put $5500 into My Roth IRA – Again, ideally this would happen before April so all $5500 would max out my Roth IRA for 2016, but I can’t guarantee I can do it all by then… so anything after April 15 will go towards 2017’s contribution amounts.
- $2500 in other investments – This brings the investments in my name to an even $8,000 for the year. I’m not allocating this quite yet, but I want my total investment goal for 2017 to be $8,000 added to accounts in my name (since Mr. T has his 401k). Maybe I’ll get around to opening a Solo 401k. Maybe I’ll contribute to 2017 Roth IRA. The suspense is killing you, amiright? 🙂
- $200,000 Investment Balance by the end of the year – Since this is a goal I have very little control over (it being market-based and all), I am not “working toward” it, but it would be awesome to hit another big number this year, and it was awesome hitting our market-based goal last year, so I’ll be tracking our progress toward this crazy amount.