A lot of people are fans of giving their year a name. I haven’t done that up until this point, but one word kept coming up for me last month as I was thinking of what I wanted 2016 to be for me, and that word was REBUILD. As many of you know, after seven years of struggling financially as a freelancer, I accepted a full time job. It’s been great, as it allows me to marry my two work passions in life: personal finance + video.
As someone who now has a steady (hurray!) paycheck coming every two weeks, my goal this year is to seriously rebuild my finances, as well as other areas of my life.
I debated long and hard about revealing my net worth, as many of you do, and after I gave it some serious thought, I still feel strongly about NOT revealing it, although I can easily say I very much have a positive net worth (I’m using Personal Capital to track my net worth), although I’m still a little behind for my age. What I WILL let you know each month is how much my net worth increased.
*Coach Shannon has been graciously working with me to come up with this financial roadmap.
Emergency Fund – I plan on contributing $1,400 (could be $1,300 after I start contributing to my 401k) each month to my emergency fund, which I have with Ally bank. I’m at $10,906 right now, and my goal is to have that at $20,000 by around July. I auto deduct this each month from my main checking account.
Roth IRA – Once the emergency fund has 20k, then I will take $5,500 to max out my Roth IRA (I took the advice of many PF bloggers and moved all my assets to Vanguard). I will still continue to auto deduct $1,400 each month to fill up the e-fund again.
401k – I have one. Hurray again! I plan on contributing 5% of my salary to my 401k right now.
Invest – After I max my Roth IRA, then Shannon is going to work with me on investing.
Sh*t Breaking – I’m auto deducting $100 each month (to Capital One 360) to the repair or sh*t breaking fund. You know, car stuff, electronics dying, etc.
Travel – I’ll talk more about that below, but I’m saving $150 per month, which I’m also auto deducting into my Capital One 360 account.
Extra Income – I make passive income of $250 each month, but I still plan on freelancing and hustling to try and earn more. After talking with Coach, she reasoned me into not being SOOO strict with my money anymore (after I said I really wanted some new clothes but felt guilty buying anything), and came up with the idea that any extra money I made on the side could be used towards a slush fund.
Slush Fund – Anything past the initial $250 I will dedicate to a monthly slush fund up to $250 per month. That should get me to motivate to make extra $$. I can use it for anything, or roll it over at the end of the month, or put some extra in the travel fund. I have to say, it still feels strange to “allow” myself to spend a little.
Frugality – Other than the new slush fund, my expenses are staying the same. I still plan on living very frugally, and should be able to save over 20% of my income each month.
Debt – Yeppers! Still got it, but none that I’m worried about. I have $2,433 in credit card debt and $6,337 in my car loan. The cc debt has zero interest until next December, so I’m just making monthly payments on it so that it will be gone by then. The car loan has 2%, so very low. Again, just making monthly payments. I do have the money to pay off everything now, but I think that is a very unwise financial move.
A Little Extra Somethin’ Somethin’ – Just to add a little more savings to the pile, I’m also using Digit, which I love!
Another big debate I had with myself is what I plan on doing with my blog. I was at a crossroads of investing money in my blog (redesigning, hiring Pinterest help and/or virtual assistant), but since I’m in a financial rebuilding year, I’m choosing not to make any big changes.
Sure I’d love the huge number of views other people are getting, but after having a come to Jesus moment, I realized that I want to focus on three key areas that are my blogging sweet spot.
- What I want to write about
- What people can learn from me
- My strengths as a writer
Wealth building is not about what you make. It’s how much you keep. And I think I can still keep a pretty decent blog without spending money on it.
What about videos? I still plan on making them for my Youtube channel, but I’m taking the pressure off and doing these when the mood strikes. But I would SERIOUSLY love it if you subscribed – I might be more motivated to make them if you do! 🙂
These are going to be pretty boring as in this department it’s pretty much business as usual. I plan on working out 5-6 days per week (and now I’ll belong to TWO free gyms!), and continually work on wellness in all areas of my life including:
- Mental (positive podcasts, books, meditation, personal development skills, etc.)
- Physical (including working out and eating healthy)
- Relationships (you know, building good ones and ditching any bad ones, dating??)
- Sleep (I really need to improve in this area)
I’ll break these out more into monthly goals to try and “better myself.”
My first thought when I got my full time job is, “I’m totally traveling abroad this year!” While I absolutely can, I’m deciding not to at this moment. Why?
Again, it’s a financial rebuilding year, plus I’m really not ready to get back into the credit card churning game quite yet. Or if I do, I really want to build some points for an awesome trip.
I do, however, plan on taking some domestic trips. As of this moment, I know I plan on visiting the folks and friends in Michigan. This will probably be early spring or summer.
I also plan on going to Fincon, although all I have to do is drive to San Diego. I still don’t have a ticket, because I’m not sure at this point if I’m going through my new company, or just representing Budget and the Beach.
The last one is a wildcard. I may go visit some city I’ve never been to (like Nashville), or I might visit my friend Beth in Hawaii (free place to stay!), or visit my friend Megan, who is now living in Steamboat Springs, or I might check out Camp Grounded just outside of Austin, Texas. It looks really fun.
A lot of people think you have to do this grand trip outside of their home country, but after my trip to Utah last year, I can honestly say that was one of my most memorable trips, and it’s practically in my backyard!
Do you have one word to describe your year? Any big travel plans?