Monday, January 6, 2014

Your 2014 Financial Goal

In What About Bob, Richard Dreyfuss' character Dr. Marvin talks about BABY STEPS, "It means setting small, reasonable goals for yourself, one day at a time, one tiny step at a time."
Obviously, for people who've seen this movie, hilarity ensues ("I'm sailing!"), but the advice still works. What's the best way to become a financial rock star? By setting small, reasonable goals for yourself, one day at a time, one tiny step at a time.
A blurry picture of my first little guy's baby steps.

Do you think you're the only one who has need for improvement? Just since we started this blog, I've been reading Lauren's posts with interest and making improvements to my own finances. Specifically, just in the last few months since we started this blog, I
(1) started requesting our free credit reports, (2) got disability insurance, (3) got more life insurance (due to the arrival of kid #2) and (4) updated our wills. We all have need for improvement. The trick is to get past that "overwhelmed" feeling and focus on one task at a time (and forcing yourself to leave it on your "to do" list until you actually get it done).

What's Your 2014 Financial Goal?

2013 was the first year in recent memory I have set (and actually followed through with) New Year's Resolutions. The reason? I copied my friend's idea to set one goal for four specific categories (Mind, Spirit, Service, and Physical). (p.s. Good news for all of you: becoming a better photographer is my "mind" goal for 2014). This year, I'm going to add my own category: Financial. Now each year, when I set goals, rather than overwhelming myself, I'm going to focus on setting one small, reasonable goal per category. So what's your financial goal for 2014? Here are some ideas for specific goals you could set for yourself:
  • Write or update your budget and check "Budget" vs. "Actual" on the first Sunday of each month. (Stay tuned for our 2014 Budget Boot Camp Challenge--coming in a couple weeks!)
  • Open a college savings plan for your kids and set up a small, automatic monthly deposit (read more about that here or pin it for later).
  • Get a small, affordable term life insurance plan (I've heard too many stories this year of young widows who've been left with nothing).
  • Make one small, sustainable change to your budget and set that money aside each month (to a different bank account, if you need to) for something more important. For example, drop cable and switch to internet tv, cook more and eat out less, shop around for a cheaper cell phone plan/car insurance/etc.

What is your 2014 Financial Goal?


  1. Mine is the first suggestion you made: creating and checking/sticking to a budget! (Thanks for the tips on creating a budget, btw. It really helped!) We found that we are pretty good at living within our means as far as our expenses go, but I have a bad habit of buying extra stuff (that free-two day shipping and one-click shopping on Amazon is a killer!). So now that we have our budget written out and will check it every month, I will be more aware of my spending and better able to refrain from making those impulse buys so we can save up for the things we REALLY want! :)

    1. Vanessa, I *TOTALLY* know what you mean. Amazon Prime is both a blessing and a curse. :) Way to set a goal! I found having my own little "mad money" account was helpful because sometimes I wanted to spend it on the little things, but it helped when I had a specific thing to save for (like my husband's grand 30th birthday surprise or a room makeover) because it helps me be more motivated to scrimp and save.

  2. Can I just point out that Lisa has a candid shot of her son and the floor in the background is completely toy free? I'm more than a little impressed right now.

    1. I'm sure they're all hidden right behind the couch. Don't worry--my day is spent navigating around toys on the ground. I feel like it must count as some sort of core/balance workout. ;)


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