Financial Goals for the New Year

I love the fresh start of a new year, and I particularly enjoy mapping out my goals for the months ahead.  In addition to character- and career-oriented goals, my husband and I like to take a moment to jot down some financial goals for the year.

Here’s what we’ve come up with for 2018:

1.) Beef up our cash reserve to 4 months of living expenses.

Between all of our cash accounts, we generally have about 3-4 months worth of living expenses, but our designated cash reserve account currently contains just one month of living expenses.  As self-employed classical musicians, we feel that beefing up our cash reserve will provide us with a little more financial flexibility.
2.) Finish maxing out our 2017 HSA and Roth IRAs.
Did you know that you have until April 15, 2018 to max out your 2017 HSA (Health Savings Account) and Roth IRAs?  If you’re like us and haven’t quite maxed out your plans yet, there’s still time!
3.) Max out our 2018 HSAs.
This is a no brainer for us.  For a variety of reasons, we know we are going to meet our (quite high) health insurance deductible every year for the next few years — so it makes a lot of sense for us to put aside the money we know we will spend and reap the tax benefits.
Interested in learning more about HSAs?  Check out this article!
4.) Max out our 2018 Roth IRAs.
As self-employed freelance musicians, we’re saving for retirement through Roth IRAs.
5.) Stick to our grocery and household supplies budget.
At least at our house, the two budget areas where we most frequently overspend are groceries and household supplies.  I admit, I often knowingly overspend in one of these categories, promising myself that I’ll spend less the next month.  And I never do.  So this year, I’d like to tighten the reigns a bit!
6.) Establish a small benevolence fund.
For our church’s building campaign, my husband and I pledged to give $140/month above and beyond our tithe for 3 years.  Our 3 year commitment will end this fall , but we’d like to continue giving away $140 each month to help build God’s Kingdom.  Right now, we’re still deciding where we’ll donate the money — we’re seriously considering sponsoring an additional child in poverty through Alpha International Ministries, and we might use some of the money for one-time gifts to organizations as we feel lead.

What are your financial goals for 2018?

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