There’s perennial talk about the importance of goal setting in personal finance. SMART goals, checklists, apps abound. All of these posts and tools are designed to set people up for success. Looking ahead, though, I am not just interested in success. I’m looking to fail. Here’s why:
Looking to Fail
There’s real bravery and power in accepting the idea of not yet. Mostly, I am not that brave. I am not that powerful. Instead, I still tend to set goals that I know I can achieve. It’s great for preserving my perfectionist tendencies, but it is also a hindrance to really pushing ahead with our goals, financial and otherwise. Looking back at the first quarter of the year, we achieved some impressive things. I’m hoping by pushing ourselves more in the second quarter, though, we can get some real momentum going when it comes to destroying our debt.
Quarter 1 by the Numbers
$1,995. This quarter marked the end of my tuition payments for all of grad school. Or at least, for the end of this graduate program. I still have my capstone to complete in July but no more bills to pay! I do a little happy dance whenever I take a peek at my tuition savings account and see that there is money leftover. I am not throwing it at my debt yet, though, since I am sure there will be processing fees and all sorts of other rigmarole before I can actually get my paper and go.
$144,320.69. I hate our mortgage. I hate, hate, hate our mortgage. I am so excited that we started the year below $150,000 and are now under $145k. Here’s hoping we can get a little more aggressive with paying this down in the next quarter.
$5,023.97. We are chipping away at our principal by paying extra each month. While we are only allowed to make one payment per month, we can add as much extra toward the principal as we would like without penalty. This was my #1 sticking point when I took out a mortgage to buy our house.
$1,295.56. To everyone who says mortgages aren’t the end of the world, I would like to share with you this number. We have paid over $1,000 just for the privilege of paying back our bank. Awesome. ::rolls eyes::
$1,700. We are making steady progress toward maxing out our Roth IRA’s for 2018. This is my current progress, and I expect to almost completely max it out thanks to our anticipated tax refund.
$1,506. Our munchkin is rolling in the dough when it comes to his 529 for college. I know not everyone needs to go to college to be an entrepreneur or to be on FIRE. But my hunch is that he will follow a pretty typical educational path, and we are saving accordingly.
$268.57. Using mobile apps like Ibotta and online shopping apps like Ebates, I’ve managed to squirrel away just under $300 for Christmas just by clicking a few buttons before or after I shop.
855,681. This number surprises me! I logged a ton of steps on my Fitbit this quarter. That’s mostly because the streak I started in February is still going strong. I’d like to say it’s because of the health benefits, but really I’m afraid it’s a matter of principle and pride. Vanity thy name is Penny,
22. That’s how many single-use beverage containers I used wasted this quarter. It’s pretty sad when you think about it. I’m not talking about the cost of my chai lattes (but I do believe in the latte factor). I’m talking about waste from an environmental standpoint. In January, I place 11 mobile orders at Starbucks. In February, I placed 8. Then in March, I decided to only allow myself to place in-store orders so I could use my travel mug. But then I failed three times.
3. I made 3 online sales this quarter. That’s pretty pitiful considering I used to rake in over $1,000 a year reselling my clutter. This week, though, I added a handful of listings to Poshmark, and rounded up another dozen or so things to list.
Quarter 2 Plans
$8,000. Here’s where I might be setting us up for failure. Just over $6,000 went toward principal and interest first quarter. So let’s up the ante some, shall well.
$3,800. I am going to max out my Roth for the year. That will free up some income for us to get more aggressive with our mortgage. I plan on keeping it in the crosshairs as long as we have one, but I also want to make sure that our retirement goals are either met first or simultaneously.
$1,050. We are going to keep adding to his 529 at a steady clip. Nothing out of the ordinary for our budget here.
945,000. My plan is to keep the 10,000-step streak going. That’s a lot of walking, but since I’m not going to be the passenger in the buggy anytime soon, I had better get used to it.
5. This number should probably be 0. Disposable coffee cups and single-use plastic bottles are horrible for the environment. To be honest, they probably don’t hold anything particularly beneficial to me either.
10. I want to triple my online sales. I’m hoping some of these sales will be bigger ticket items, seeing as I’m finally ready to part with a lot of Coach shoes. I also have two vintage Gucci bags I need to bid adieu to as well.
So Tell Me…What are your plans for this quarter? Are you better at setting aggressive goals than I am? What are your tricks?