What’s Your Financial Goal?

by Katy on April 16, 2010 · 23 comments

I spent last evening at the downtown Powell’s bookstore listening to J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly talk about his new book Your Money: The Missing Manual. A lovely time was had by all, and a number of interesting topics floated to the surface. But the one that really got my mental gears whirring was:

What is your financial goal?

For the last year, my financial goals have have been:

  • Continued debt reduction.
  • Putting aside the $1500 or so for my son would need for his class trip to Japan.
  • Saving enough money to pay for a web designer and self-hosting for The Non-Consumer Advocate.

I have met all these goals while sticking to my somewhat odd method of using regular paychecks for debt reduction, and any extra money (like the garage sale or maid service money) for the Japan trip and web designer.

So what are my goals now? I’m still working on debt reduction, (%%$###$ money pit of a house!) and I suppose I should start tucking money aside for my younger son’s 8th grade trip to Washington D.C., as well as my older son’s 11th grade summer trip to Sapporo. (That kid is sooo freakin’ lucky!)  And once I get the debt abolished, I suppose I’ll start investing beyond my 401k. Beyond that, I’m not really sure.

What I really want to know, is what is your financial goal? What’s the motivation that keeps you working hard and living in a non-consumer manner? Are you saving for early retirement or living on a single income to stay home with your kids? Trying to be a millionaire by age 30? Please share the carrot at the end of your stick in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

P.S. This book is really good and worth the $21.99. It’s a great resource to have at hand and has tons of great financial information.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather April 16, 2010 at 11:26 am

It was nice to meet you last night! I’m happy to have another frugal blog to follow. I learned a thing or two listening to JD and some of the questions people asked.

My two financial goals right now are to pay off my only debt: My car. Shooting for $6500 finished by autumn 2010. Then I will be debt free!

After that, I’ll sock that monthly payment into a down payment on a house or condo. Right back into debt!


Kathryn April 16, 2010 at 11:37 am

My initial goal has been to become and remain financially independent (post divorce), i.e., not needing anyone else’s help to “make it”. I’ve reached that goal and don’t see anything that will keep me from holding on to it for a long time. However, in getting to this point, there have been little goals, including “bounce no checks”, “pay no interest”, and “spend less than you earn”. Some of the bigger goals include things like taking my girls on a cruise, buying a house, and having a health emergency fund (not necessarily in that order). J.D. Roth has been a big help and, unbeknownst to him, probably really started my financial education.


Carol April 16, 2010 at 12:17 pm

My financial goal is to work at home part-time as I get older. I want to turn my mountain home into a small retreat center and be able to do spiritual mentorship and life coaching from there. I also want to live simply with my life focused on my relationships with God and others, rather than on things.


CC April 16, 2010 at 1:11 pm

My money goal is very simple. To have some set aside so we can keep going when we no longer have jobs. Having just survived a layoff and seeing how hard it is to find work was eye opening. And even though we live a very simple life its no fun to worry about how the bills will get paid. We are debt free and have few wants. So even though its not very exciting my one goal is to save at least 1/2 of my pay or more while working. This amounts to working one year, having two years(or longer)expenses.


Laura April 16, 2010 at 1:15 pm

My husband is eligible to retire in less than 3 years. Our goal is to sell our home in town and buy something smaller out at the coast before the prices get even more ridiculous than they are now. We would probably still rent something small here in town so the girls could continue in their language programs, but spend weekends and all vacations out at the coast because we love it so much. We have pictures up all over of our favorite beach towns to keep us motivated.

My daughter’s class did a TON of fundraising last year to help bring the cost down of their trip to China. It was the frugal thing to do, and we did save a lot of money, but heavens it was a LOT of work! I’ve already started a savings account for daughter #2’s trip in 2 years, because I’m not sure if her class will be into doing that amount of fundraising.


Kayla K April 16, 2010 at 1:34 pm

I can’t wait to get my “%%$###$” money pit of a car paid off. Gas, car payments, insurance, etc equals nearly 40% of my budget which is a BIT ridiculous.


Greta April 16, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I have always lived fairly frugally because debt makes me crazy. My goal is to have a relatively debt-free life. Which I do. Relatively.


Donna Korzun April 16, 2010 at 3:36 pm

My (our) major goal is to finish paying off our house. We do not have a large balance and it would be great to not have that payment hanging around 7 more years. Reaching that goal will enable me to work part-time or not at all which would leave time for grand kids (we have 3 and 2/3 right now) and I will be able to spend time with my aging mother.


Gena April 16, 2010 at 4:58 pm

$50K in savings by 12/2010 – we’ll be there in 6/2010!
Halve my husband’s student loans from $200,000 to $100,000 before we buy a house – hopefully this will be around 2015-2017!


Mrs. B April 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Well..where to start. I have been a stay at home Mom for the last 18 years (oldest will be 19 soon). Our goals:
1) get both our boys through college without carrying a huge amount of debt into their life.
2) have our retirement place all paid for in full in 5 years (bought it 3 years ago and hubby retires in 6).
3) As soon as the kids are through school put all money towards building our retirement home. I am thinking 1000-1200 sq ft. We want to pay cash for it and not have a mortgage.

I plan to get a job to help out with this as soon as my 2nd son starts college in the fall. I need to keep myself busy and help to pay for some of these goals above. As long as we stay on track I think we will make it.


Hiptobeme April 16, 2010 at 10:18 pm

I am working on an emergency fund. Then I want to tackle the CC debt.


WilliamB April 17, 2010 at 1:48 am

We hear less about what goals to have, after debt, future schooling, and retirement are paid for (or well in hand). I’d love to hear what ideas y’all have for then.


Jinger April 17, 2010 at 4:21 am

My immediate goal is to pay off CC debt for extensive dental work and taxes. The loss of my real job in 2005 still haunts me. But, when all is said and done, I am extremely grateful to be living in my little corner of paradise with daily needs met.


Bridget April 17, 2010 at 7:16 am

My goal is to continue investing so I can retire in 10 years. When I retire, my plan is to devote some of my time to a charitable organization.


Lisa April 17, 2010 at 10:00 am

I’m in the process of realizing a long time financial goal…owning two properties. We have a small older home in town and are using loan equity on it to purchase acreage in the country ( plus pay off all credit card debt and purchase a used camper to place on the land). We’ve already cleared a spot for the camper and built a temporary outhouse that I’ve fondly dubbed “The Florida Room” because it’s constructed of a blue tarp that’s wrapped around some small trees and contains a bucket toilet. Our country getaway will give us an escape from town, the opportunity to enjoy nature, and my husband a chance to hunt and fish.


Molly On Money April 17, 2010 at 6:07 pm

We just passed our first goal: paid off the credit card debt.
The next goals are- emergency fund (which will be complete in two weeks), pay off the car, savings and LAST BUT NOT LEAST PAY OFF THE HOUSE!
If we are able to keep our spending/savings ratio where it is we will have hit our last goal in 30 months! It makes me pee my pants I’m so excited!


tammy April 18, 2010 at 4:18 am

I lost two thirds of my income suddenly in Jan. So this years has simply been about surviving. Luckily, I have an emergency fund and have been tapping into it to make ends meet. My financial goals are to increase my monthly income so I don’t have to go to my emergency fund each month. Thank goodness I had it!


Katy April 18, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Oh Tammy, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss of income!




Marie-Josée April 18, 2010 at 7:58 am

We’ve recently incurred debt while swapping rooms in our apartment. We had the opportunity to move into a housing coop in November 2008, and initially our son was to have the largest room (the living room) as his bedroom. We couldn’t fit our living room furniture in the one of the smaller rooms and I was simply not ready to sell our furniture to accommodate him at that time. His room was really too small for him to have friends over and I really felt badly about that. His father and I chose to sell our house in the burbs because we just couldn’t handle the commute any longer, and we imposed the coop lifestyle on him as well. So finally, we lent our furniture to friends and bought second had stuff and a new, smaller tv that fits in our new living room. We also gave away our kitchen set that was too small for our needs and purchased a new table and chairs. Oof! With two children in college, a considerable portion of our income goes into paying tuition, but our children will be debt free. Once that is over (in three years) we will begin saving to build a house in a coop in the country. Once our house is built, mortgage-free we want to move there full-time and work part-time, ideally three days a week. We are both yearning for a simpler life and looking forward to working part-time. Although we no longer have the responsibilities of a house, weekends are still often filled with obligations…


Tammy April 18, 2010 at 9:04 am

I am currently in credit card hell. And have no emergency fund to speak of. My short term goals are to pay off credit cards before my son goes to college in 2011 – that is a TALL order. STRICT budgeting of existing income along with any windfalls such as income tax returns, slight raises in regular income, etc. are slashing this fast – but not as fast as I would like. I am “snowflaking” an emergency fund. Change, refunds, garage sale income, whatever is going into the emergency fund. When my daughter gets her braces off, I plan on putting that $$ into emergency fund. I am putting 1.5% of gross into 401K. My son will likely start college @ a community college, so I will likely have 2 years before his college hits me hard. My daughter will start college in 5 years and she is looking at going straight to college from HS. Ideally, I’d like to pay 0.5 of my kids college and I’m not counting on anything from their dad, so making that a reality, given my current situation requires discipline and focus and maybe even a miracle. I haven’t even allowed myself to get beyond their college for goals… there will be time for that later.


Deb April 18, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Last month I reached one of my goals – debt free except for the house! Now, I’m looking at my life, and what I want to do in the next few years to decide whether to work on paying the house off faster (currently 24 years left) or to sell. I’m going to be an empty-nester in less than 2 years, before I turn 45, if not sooner as my daughter is almost done with college. I’ve been thinking a lot and working on re-setting my goals to be more in line with what I want my life to be like. In the meantime, I’m working on increasing my emergency fund beyond the $1000.00 I have in it now, and paying for a trip to see some family in Australia at the beginning of next year.


Lyn April 18, 2010 at 8:06 pm

We are debt free except for the house, which has 25 years of mortgage left. We are currently working toward two goals: Paying off the house in six years (when our oldest heads to college) and saving $25,000 per year. It’s ambitious, but so far this year, we are on track!


Alana April 20, 2010 at 3:17 am

I’ve already met two important goals since starting to live the frugal life last spring — I paid off my credit card and saved a $1000 emergency fund. Now I’m hoping to pay off my student loans ($3800 left out of $22,000 – not bad for three years after graduating) before I start grad school in the fall of next year. I’m also saving to do a 2-month language immersion program in Germany this summer and to do a little traveling around Europe while I’m there. I only make about $850 a month, but I found a housing situation where I don’t have to pay rent, and I don’t have a car, so my only expenses are food and public transportation. This way I still manage to save about $500 per month.


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