The goals for this year are simple and focused. I hope by doing this I will achieve them. Unfortunately I do not think I will be able to bump up my investment rate. However my plan for the year will set me up for the future by freeing up income. Additional planning will also ensure that income stays free for investing. Some surprises are good but financial ones that reduce your free cash flow are not. Here they are in no particular order as they are all important to me.
- 5% weight loss by end of the year
- I want to live. Plain and simple. I want to see my kids graduate from college, get married and have kids. I want to live to retirement so I can enjoy the fruits of my labor (dividends). Less fat means better sleep for me and less risk of cancer. Having kids means my sleep is disrupted by them. It is not so bad now that the youngest is 3. However I still wake up tired in the morning and my wife says I snore big time. I talked to my doctor and she suggested losing weight and getting a sleep test. That test will come out of my pocket so losing weight is what I am focusing on for now as that is free.
- My work health plan wants me to set a goal of 5% weight loss and they will give me 1000 points if I achieve this goal. Those points can be redeemed for Amazon gift cards and count toward reaching their platinum level. If I hit the platinum level my company will deposit 90% of my deductible into a health savings account (HSA). So I am making money by losing weight. I love money and this is easy cash.
- The emergency fund dwindled to $50 this year. I am not quite sure how as my year-end review shows me being ahead by about $800. I think part of it has to do with everything that can does go on the credit card. Then I pay off the credit card and reap the rewards program. Since this is like getting a 1 month loan for free I had a high credit card bill from December 2013 that I paid off in 2014.
- My fixed costs are already dropping from my car being paid off. The rest I will have to squeeze from miscellaneous needs like changing toilet paper brands. Additional savings will also come from lots of praying that nothing in the house breaks down nor my wife's minivan which is a 2006 model.
- GFSM reduction by 5% should be easy. Restrain from eating out as much. That plus smaller gifts for the kids birthdays and Christmas.
- Working on a budget and learning how to budget this past year has taught me a few things. Plus tips and seeing how other investors save has been helpful as well. If I save for house repairs I will have a fund that when the furnace breaks down I can draw from it. This kinds of stuff happens when you own a house and car. It is called maintenance and businesses plan for it so why don't more families.
- Estimate health care costs for the year and make sure you can cover them from your HSA and savings accounts. Basically this will be like my car/house maintenance funds. Estimate and save so the money is there if something were to happen.
- One account or many. I have yet to decide if these maintenance/reoccurring costs accounts should be in the same savings account as my emergency fund. Need to decide on how to keep the money set aside from being spent for the wrong thing. If I don't figure this out my emergency fund will never rebuild.
Well writing this up wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Just had to sit down and think about it. Writing out your plans and goals helps to clarify the jumble of thoughts that a brain is. Now if I have any money left over after this rebuild year I will definitely invest it. I will still be looking at stocks and doing a few reviews this year just to keep my skills sharp. Wish me luck and I look forward to hearing about your goals and how you plan on achieving them.
Dividend Family Guy