2014 The Year of Financial Simplicity
In order to produce the podcast and keep content up free for you, I work with partners so this post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure for more info.
This year has overall been a good year for us, while we have had some setbacks and challenges, we're grateful for what 2013 has brought us. Now it's time to set our sights for this upcoming year.
Before we get into 2014 (next week!), I want to share our financial goals with you.
Over the years I've found that writing them down and publishing them here have helped us stick with our financial plans.
We've managed to get our wills done, updated our life insurance plans, bought a family car (with no car loan), and saved for a baby.
It's been wonderful reading your encouraging comments and seeing your own progress with building your net worth as couples.
Here is our short list of how we plan on building wealth in 2014:
- Pay off the student loan. I was happy that we chopped about 30% off the balance this past year, even with the hiccup of having to replace a car, but it's time to get rid of this debt.
- Optimize our savings and investing by simplifying. We're not just looking at consolidating our accounts, but we are focusing on making our money work for us even when we're busy with other things (I'll explain more below).
That's it. Those are goals for the upcoming year. If we accomplish anything else, it will be icing on the cake.
Paying Off the Student Loan
As of today the balance stands $13,839.79 and we want to get rid of it by December 31, 2014.
Looking at the numbers, we're looking at a little more than $1,100/month that has to be directed towards it if we want to get rid of it next year.
While we have wiggle room in our budget we do not have a grand laying around so we're going to make changes which will include both cutting expenses while earning some more.
The two of us will sit down some time this weekend to figure that
First order of business – setting up extra payments scheduled and automated. I'm starting off with payments every other week. At end of every month, we'll review to see if we can increase the amount.
You may wonder why I didn't make digging through our budget the first step.
We certainly will do some searching through the numbers this weekend when we go over the details of our 2014 budget, but for now, I want to get the system into place.
It's much easier to adjust the amount after you have already started than agonize on getting the perfect amount and then setting up a system. We don't want to waste time, we want to build momentum.
I'm hoping that blogging about our progress on a monthly basis will help motivate us and keep us focused with getting rid of the student loan.
Simplifying Our Financial System
Basically the goal is to make it so that whatever kind of day we're having, we'll have money automatically allocated towards our goals. That means setting up and updating our automated deposits, payments, and transfers.
With some of our monthly expenses decreasing or being eliminated, we can allocate the small difference for paying down the student loan.
Besides consolidating how many accounts we have, I'm also making some switches with how we bank, invest, and save.
Earlier this month I closed down my Wells Fargo personal checking and made the leap over to Simple. Living up to their name, they've created a checking account that can help you easily save for some short-term goals.
I'm really happy with their service so far and I look
Thoughts on Financial Goals for 2014
We’ve shared some of our goals for next year; I’d love to hear of some of your financial goals. What is the biggest goal you’d like to achieve?
I love it! I went simple in 2012 and it has been amazing! Sold almost every “single stock” I owned (I keep a few Disney ones as gifts, but that’s all I have for single stocks now) and went index funds and simplicity. I love it. Have an awesome 2014!
Thanks; we’re excited about the upcoming year. Best wishes to you and your family in 2014!
I have more debt now than I had in October, and my goal is to pay almost all of it off in 2014. I took two loans out (one today for a 2007 Corolla because going car-less was starting to really be a problem) and both come out of my paycheck, so paying one off 6 months early should be doable. One is at 1.75% and the other at 1.99, both for $7200. I never carry credit card debt, but a big move followed by a relative’s sickness and November death led to a $6000 bill for November 11-December 10. It’s at 0% and I have already knocked the balance down some but I plan to pay it off first (March hopefully)? In short, my plan is to have my debt payoff structured and to not incur and expenses that go beyond my budget. 2013 was a very bad year. It happens, but I’m hoping that 2014 will be better! Who knows, maybe I can end the year debt-free, but I haven’t taken a vacation since 2007 and already put off a trip, so I do also hope to have balance.
Sorry your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope 2014 will be better.
I’m happy to see that you have gotten a plan with paying off your debts. Please keep me updated on your progress.
Great goal for 2014! There is something so satisfying about having a debt that you have carried for years and years read $0.00
Yes, we’d love to see that loan disappear!
Looks like you had a great year and have a good goal for next year. We are working on building wealth, as we are each year. I quite like starting a new year with new goals.
It’s fun to start a challenge at the beginning of the month or year. I’m hoping to take it month by month with the student loan.
2014 is going to be a big year for Vonnie and I as we complete our debt management program in February…..our big goal is to figure out the best way to allocate this rather large chunk of money that will suddenly show up in our budget in March….
That’s great news Travis! Congrats on the progress and I can’t wait to see what you write in March on what you decide on 😉