Assuming the bird flu pandemic doesn’t hit and force us to hide in the closet for six months, we’ve set a number of financial goals for the upcoming calendar year. If we succeed in meeting all of them, we’re going to Vegas and putting it all on red! (Tegan, this is sane Nick. If you’re reading this, please hide the checkbook if we meet all of our financial goals for the year.)
Goals for 2006
- Stop spending $119 a year on calendars. Honestly, I never know what the date is anyway, so they’re obviously not doing me any good. Those appointment book things are even worse because I usually have four or five of them and I never use them to record appointments! I actually already met this goal by getting a single calendar for 60 cents the other day. It’s hanging on the fridge and has lots of nice pictures of cats. Of course, I don’t like cats, so I won’t go near the thing, but that doesn’t matter because I never remember the date anyway. GOAL ACHIEVED 12/12/2005!
- Increase value of savings and investments by $10,000. I haven’t kept track of the value of our savings for more than a year now, mostly because I knew the wedding would take a massive bite out of it. This year, thanks to the wonderful Quicken folks, I’ll be able to monitor the value of our savings and investments much more closely. About $6,000 of this is kind of given since it will automatically be deducted from my paycheck on a before-tax basis and put into the 401k, so I’ll need to set aside at least another $350 a month to reach our goal. And then it’s off to Vegas and I’m putting it all on blue! Wait, what do you mean there’s no blue?
- Stop paying so many damn taxes. A couple years ago, while I was free-riding my way through college, I had some part time jobs to help cover personal expenses, but I never made enough per year that I ended up owing taxes at the end of the year. Of course, I won’t “owe” any this year, but that’s because Uncle Sam’s been keeping his dirty hands in my paycheck to the tune of a few hundred dollars a week all year. Even though I know we’ll be making more money given my impending salary increase in February and Tegan’s part-time job, I want to set a goal of paying less in income taxes next year than we did this year. Whether that means having more deducted pre-tax for my 401k or studying up on tax credits, the gubberment ain’t gittin’ none more o’ ma munnies. *cocks shotgun*
- Boost our credit ratings. This will probably be the easiest one since it just relies on us doing what we already do: use credit cards for everyday purchases and pay them off at the end of every month. Credit scores are kind of a flaky thing as they fluctuate depending on which finger you use to pick your nose, so I won’t use them to set the measurable value for this goal. Instead, if we start getting more good pre-approved credit card offers in the mail (none of that Providian or Capital One nonsense), I’ll take that as a sign that our goal has been achieved.
- Explore alternate avenues of revenue. I’ve already started on this, and I hope to expand on it this coming year. Some of these alternate methods for making a few bucks may include finally doing a few eBay auctions for junk around the house (Nick’s Dirty Little Secret #3: I have yet to sell anything in an online auction.), putting up a couple of ads on this here blog, and possibly signing up for various bank accounts and credit cards just for their bonuses. If time permits, I might try figuring out some sort of small home business opportunity like something with computers or hamster-powered electric generators. I’m setting a firm goal of making $1,000 before taxes in 2006 through these sort of tasks. And then it’s off to Vegas to put it all on 53! Huh? I don’t care if the wheel doesn’t go that high; I’m putting it all on 53!
- Get us both financially enlightened. Steps toward achieving this goal are already well under way. I’m loading more finance blogs in my feed reader all the time, I’m digesting investment web pages by the barrel, and I might even buy a book or two (gasp!) on various money-related subjects. Tegan’s not one for the heavy math, so I’ll try to pass on some more general pecuniary tidbits to her whenever I can. Maybe I’ll add her as an author to this blog so she can keep you all updated on her funny hat collection budget.
Eventually I’ll get around to dreaming up some long-term goals, but I’ll need to do some more calculations to determine how much we want and/or need to save for the future. Right now, I’m thinking ten GAZILLION dollars by 2020 ought to be enough.