2018 Financial Goals

I don’t love social media and for that reason this is a big deal, please tune into my Facebook page as I provide a daily tip each day in January 2018, getting everyone off to a #freshstart.  Each day I will share one of my personal habits that I use to focus my spending on what matters most and cut out what does not #focusedspending. 

One of my favorite quotes, as I prepare to discuss my 2018, is as follows:

” If you don’t know where you are today, you will never know where you are going.”

I mention this because I am a believer in keeping track of your income, expenses, and investments. Personally, I use Personal Capital to do all of the heavy lifting for me. Personal Capital acts as motivation for me as I see my net worth increase or a gentle reminder of my asset allocation and where they recommend I put my investments.  I get fancy graphs, top-notch technology-driven data, and a clear picture of where I am at today, where I was in the past, and projecting my future.  Sounds like an infomercial I know, but seriously I use Personal Capital as my primary source in tracking the overall picture of our finances.  I recommend signing up because the whole thing is FREE and I believe once you get all of your financial data into one place to see how it works and what it looks like, you will be impressed.  I now bring to you my 2018 Financial Goals.

Financial Independence Unicorn

2018 Goals Presented by the Financial Independence Unicorn

Max Out Mr. and Mrs. Even Steven 401K, H.S.A.

Another year, another goal of hitting the Max, not your favorite Saved by the Bell hangout, but our 401K and H.S.A. in 2018.  This year according to the IRS the limits are $18,000 for the 401K with no change and a small increase for H.S.A. 2018 family contribution of $6,900.  This is all set up systematically, automatically, or whatever word is better for set it and forget it.  By the end of 2018 the goal is to have contributed $42,900 in pre-tax contributions.

While I write this out as an easy and achievable goal it was not long ago that I was happy to hit my 4% 401K contribution to reach my company’s match and my H.S.A. contribution was only a pipe dream in a cloud of debt.  Today we have turned that dream into a reality and have minimal debt (mortgage and HELOC) and are in a much better place financially.  Make sure to check out the story on BiggerPockets I wrote a little while back on getting out of debt.

Max Out Mr. and Mrs. Even Steven Roth IRA for 2017 and 2018 contributions

Climbing the uphill battle with my Roth IRA again this year I am unhappy to report.  It’s not that we won’t contribute to our 2017 Roth IRA as we have the money set aside in a Vanguard money market account.  It’s that this is not done automatically, systematically, like my 401K and H.S.A.

I am happy to report the automatic investment of $458.33 is set to come out at the end of each month in 2018 to reach the $5,500 contribution limit for Mrs. Even Steven.  I personally am going to revisit this contribution after the first quarter of 2018 comes to close.  Currently I take what’s remaining of my income and put this towards my brokerage account, a trend I look to continue in 2018.

I will report back once the 2017 contributions have been completed and update my plans for our 2018 Roth IRA post the 2018 first quarter.

Eliminate the “HELOC portion” on our Chicago Property

As of January 1, 2018 we owe approximately $23,000 on a variable rate line of credit, currently owing $23,000 and standing at 4.14% (a small rise from our 3.89% and 1.99% 6 month introductory rate, our mortgage is 3.75% which approximately $16,000 of the $23,000 HELOC was used to eliminate the 2017 PMI).

Now that you have the fun backstory with numbers, the “HELOC portion” of our goal might make more sense.  Our first goal is to eliminate approximately $7,000 from our HELOC and do it with great haste, similar to a run away train coming down the CTA tracks, that’s a Chicago reference folks enjoy that.  Assuming the normal payment that has taken place each month is applied, the goal should be accomplished after the rental income has been received in April.

I’d like to revisit this in April or the half birthday of my 2018 Financial Goal update.  There seems to be a large number of items that have the potential to occur and I don’t want to make a goal that could be interrupted.

Build a very large Cash Reserve for our flexibility

I am very happy we put a large amount of cash in our Vanguard money market fund despite the stock market taking off to new record highs.  This cash reserve has been set aside to remain flexible for 2018.  There could potentially be a few moving parts in our job, house, and location in 2018 and if we don’t have a cash reserve our options and flexibility will leave our hands tied behind our backs.

I do have another mystery goal for 2018, it’s a stretch goal, but hitting the specific number would put a smile on my face.  It would give me a lot of satisfaction, i’ll make sure to have a beer to celebrate if this goal is reached, mysterious I know.

Build a Personal Taxable Investment Portfolio equal to 1 year’s salary

Ever make a goal and you have no idea how you are going accomplish the goal and in fact you think it’s out of reach?  Yeah that’s this year’s goal.  I personally make the average American’s income, so to take a five figure taxable investment portfolio ($10,000 from my 2017 goal) and turn it into my annual salary is a big leap for my goal.  I’m going to think about this quote anytime I add a few extra dollars to my brokerage account.

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars.”

Goals are great, but having an action plan to reach these goals will be the key.  I’ll look to talk more about this in the year to come, but it will definitely take more than my monthly savings, money will have to be made.

Summary

Max out tax-deferred accounts, eliminate our “HELOC portion”, create a very large cash reserve, and go from 5 figures to my yearly salary in my personal taxable accounts.  I suppose if I had just written that on Twitter or Facebook, but since I like being long-winded and sharing all the fun details I came to Even Steven Money.

It’s going to be an interesting 2018 both financially and personally.  For now, thank you to all who were able to read the very few articles I clicked publish on last year.  Last year I realized I had gotten away from spreading myself thin on different projects, side hustles, writing, social media and that took away from some of the things I realized were much more important to me.

This year I am looking to improve my focus and share more in 2018.  As always thanks for reading and I wish you and yours the best in 2018 on your financial goals!!!

2 Responses to “2018 Financial Goals

  • Heather M
    1 week ago

    I am confused with the last goal. I thought median American income is a five figure number. So I am not sure going from five figures to five figures is a stretch goal. If you meant you make more then median income then I understand how it could be a stretch to have salary saved.

    • EvenStevenMoney
      1 week ago

      Thanks for the comment Heather and you are right to be confused! The 2017 goal was to create a 5 figure portfolio or 10K+, I reached this goal but did not give the exact number. The 2018 goal is to save and invest to reach the median income which is closer to 50K+. Hope that clears up my goal and thank you for asking about it!

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