2017: The Goal Edition

Are you ready for some goals!?  I love goals so much.  Let’s see what I’ve projected, estimated, and maybe just hoped!

Spending Goal Stretch Goal Comments
Electricity $550 $525 The goal should be a tiny push, but nothing crazy.  Now that stretch goal, I don’t know if that will come to fruition!
Natural Gas $500 $450 I don’t know what winters will be like and I have been trending lower in this category every year.  Whether or not this will be a stretch is yet to be known
Auto Insurance $1,300 $1,150 My policy renews in January so I’ll be looking at deductibles, coverage, and also combining policies with hubby.  Also checking out other providers.
Cable/Internet $1,700 $1,500 Go ahead and yell at me here, it’s a vice and when you spend as much time sick as I do, it’s occasionally appreciated.  Nonetheless, something has to give here or I’ll pay more for cable and internet than heating and cooling my house!
Cell Phone 510 510 No changes here and everything is good!  Family plan with my parents (still)
Gasoline $500 $400 I will not be travelling by car for work so I won’t be experiencing over $1,000 in expense checks in 2017, and I also won’t be experiencing my above average gasoline spending that comes with it.  I’ve never spent less than $500 on gas.  Hubby has this expense separately still.
Groceries $2,600 $2,400 I love to torture myself here.  $200 budget all year for all household supplies.  I am…optimistic.
Restaurants $750 $600 Maybe when I’m done with school we’ll actually have more time to cook at home.  But my Old Man will always love eating out.
Garbage $224 $224 I will look around, but it seems like no one here is interested in coming to pick up my trash half as often for half the money.
Water $280 $270 Rates are increasing so this relies on my decreasing my usage.
Sewer $268 $268 The rate increase has gone into effect already.  It’s fixed so…let’s just keep working with the township to keep the rates as low as we can, right?  I have no influence over this.
Life Insurance $201 $201 That’s right, I’ve got it.  And I will swear by it.
Car Repair $200 $200 I will need new brakes.  I could probably factor in that my Old Man will need new tires too.  Luckily, I get a sweet deal.  This is one of the few things we keep separate.
Remodeling $1,000 $100 I have doubts whether this is achievable because things always come up, but everything that should come up should be relatively inexpensive (unless my 15 year old washer or dryer go…or my 12 year old stove, or my 17 year old fridge…just let me stop talking now).  Fun fact: after I wrote this and prior to publishing, the exact same day I wrote it actually, I came home to find the condensate pump for my hot water heater died a mere two days after its two year warranty expired.
Tuition & Books $4,500 $4,450 There isn’t a whole lot of flexibility here.  This will be my out of pocket costs for my final year of school (forever!)
Medical $2,600 $500 The most I will pay with my max out of pocket aside from my HSA.  The stretch goal is a bit more realistic with what I expect to pay over and above my HSA.
Clothes $100 $0 Unless I need a pair of work shoes, aside from the steel toe work will pay for, I am good.
Gifts $500 $250 I am not one to cheap out on gifts.  I know we have two weddings, two bridal showers, and we have a new Christmas scheme were we only spend $125 each and then we give out gift cards with my credit card points.
Misc $200 $100 Other things that come up

This really should boil down the majority of my expenses for the year.  That means I’m looking at $18,437 for my spending goal and my stretch goals go all the way down to $14,073!  Of course I’m sure something will come up, it seems things always do, right?  And this doesn’t include my mortgage spending (or escrow costs), but that’s a pretty good number.  Of course I’m not taking into account any honeymoon spending that we talked about doing, but that’s because we have no plan currently.

What about savings goals (because if you have spending, you have to have savings too, right?)  I will include my Old Man’s tax advantaged savings in here, but not his general savings.  He mostly saves up just to contribute to an IRA anyway.

Saving Goal Stretch Goal Comments
My 401k $18,000 $18,000 I can’t just add more to this, it’s a government limit.  Not including my match.
My HSA $3,400 $3,400 Including my company match.  Again, government limit.
My IRA $5,500 $5,500 I don’t know what type of IRA I’ll do for the 2016 tax year yet, I’ll have to run the numbers, but likely a tIRA.
His SIMPLE IRA $1,300 $1,560 Crappy plan with crappy actively managed fees, but have to make sure we get that full match (not included)
His IRA $5,500 $5,500 I don’t know what type of IRA he’ll do for the 2016 tax year yet, I’ll have to run the numbers, but likely a rIRA
Taxable Investments $4,800 $6,000 It would be so nice to meet the stretch goal but if I look at math, I cannot do this and contribute that much to the garage fund below.
Garage Fund $4,000 $6,000 This is a temporary fund for a garage build coming up in the next few years.  We’ve already saved for this, but I want it somewhere that won’t get touched.

We’re looking at saving $35,100 toward long term investments (retirement!).  I’d say that we’re pretty tapped out on savings and I don’t see us getting any more savings out of anything.  No, this isn’t as much as I’d like to save, because I’d still like to hit that $50,000 mark (and seriously, where is the rest of our money going?  There isn’t much left over.)

Assuming I don’t make it around to combining all of our assets and net worth, I will set my target net worth increase at $50,000 again.  I’ll say what I thought in 2016: this should be doable.  It won’t be easy, but it could happen if I really work at it and get a raise or a promotion or some side income (I’m looking at you, cash flowing rental properties, since I won’t be purchase a new property until…well maybe 2018.)

I also want to receive at minimum of $1,000 in dividends across all of my investment accounts.  Why?  I don’t know, it’s just something I want to do.  It’s a feel good thing.  I’m not a dividend investor, I’m straight index funds, but it does feel nice when your investments produce some money.  Those are the goals I’ll track here at least.  I always have other goals with various other numbers that I don’t really feel comfortable sharing.

Just for kicks, 2017 will be the year of questioning.  I’ll questing things I want and I’ll question things I “need” and I’ll push myself to use my laundry drying rack even if it does take another five minutes and I’m already tired.  And I’ll question the status quo and what I can do differently to make my life simpler and more sustainable.


About His Polish Princess

I'm an engineer by day and an entrepreneur by night. I live with my Old Man, and our cat, Junior. Okay, so the cat is mine, not ours. I have some old fashioned opinions and I believe the unlikely can be achieved with hard work and a little bit of luck. I like cars and motorcycles and remodeling houses and taking risks. I love my family and my community in Small Town, USA. I believe life is one grand adventure that should be lived and thoroughly enjoyed. In 2013 I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and focused on natural healing. Fortunately, my disease has been in remission since 2014. In 2015 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. These things are just a road bump in life. They won't stop me from remodeling or buying houses or starting new ventures. Life is all about how you see it.
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