this year’s goals

Thanks for the encouragement on the last blog post.

We don’t know what the next twelve months will hold. Adding another baby to our family will no doubt mean lots of fun new expenses which could make it difficult to meet this year’s goals. It’s even more difficult to meet goals if we don’t set them at all, though, so here are the major tenets of our personal financial goals for 2010:

1) Acquire $2000 in an emergency fund.

2) Contribute $1000 to our Roth IRA.

3) Pay off about $7300 in principal on our debts.

It is undetectable on the surface, but there is something different about this year’s goals as compared to the past four years. Perhaps I am learning the art of what Proverbs calls slow and steady plodding, or perhaps it is simply a matter of being content in our circumstances. Either way, my secret thought behind every previous financial goal has been this: “But really, I want to pay off EVERY CENT and I want to do it THIS YEAR.”

I feel now that such thinking has done more harm than good.

Not that it is wrong to desire to be out of debt, but setting unrealistic goals only sets me up for dissatisfaction, even as we make strides toward financial freedom. We have several major things taking place in the next six months which could either help us greatly or set us back greatly, and yet I am not worried about them. (Well, not most of them.) We will work hard toward these goals and trust the Lord to direct our steps in financial matters as in all others.

And if the end of 2010 doesn’t show the bottom-line number that we are hoping to see, we’ll still be okay.

Published in: on January 18, 2010 at 12:49 am  Comments (2)  

last year’s goals

We’re now a full week into the new year, and I realize that I haven’t yet posted our year-end totals.

Part of the reason I’ve waited is that our finances are rather unstable now that Keith is out of work and not eligible for many weeks of unemployment. But if this blog is really to be one where I honestly chronicle our journey toward financial freedom, that will have to include the lean times too, right?

So here we go.

Our financial goals for 2009 were 1) to acquire $1000 in emergency savings, 2) to begin a Roth IRA, and 3) to pay off about $9250 in principal on our debts.

We achieved the first goal, but ended up dipping into it at the end of December. I believe we should be able to fill it back up this week, but that likely won’t last long, as our living expenses now exceed our income.

We achieved the second goal, hurray!

We didn’t achieve the third goal, instead paying off about $6515 in principal on our debts. I have to admit, that is pretty disappointing. But we know which choices we made that prevented us from reaching the number we had hoped to reach this year, and we don’t regret making them. And I will say that after a year like 2008 in which we saw our debt-load increase, it is satisfying to have come to the end of 2009 – a year in which three of us lived on one income in a down economy – and have at least made some headway on our long-term goal of paying off all debts.

Published in: on January 7, 2010 at 5:01 pm  Comments (4)