Earlier this year, I challenged myself to save $17,000. Within that $17k was money I wanted to spend on the house I bought, money I wanted to set aside in an emergency fund, money I wanted to save for FinCon, money I wanted to use to buy a new computer, and money I wanted to use to max out my IRA.
Well, the $2,800 I allotted for the house was a ridiculously low estimate. I spent WAY more than that getting set up and comfortable. I wanted to save $9,000 in an emergency fund. Well, I’ve changed my mind about that amount. Plus, I’m not there yet. I ended up not going to FinCon (because I didn’t save the money.) I’ve got a little saved toward the computer. And, I haven’t maxed out my IRA. I’ve got a ways to go. Or, as Jerry Reed would say, I’ve got “a long way to go and a short time to get there.”
I’ve got three months.
Here’s where I’m at.
House Savings Goal: $2,800. House Savings Actual: Over $5,000 Spent.
Emergency Fund Goal: $9,000. Emergency Fund Actual: $5,075.
FinCon Savings Goal: $1,500. FinCon Savings Actual: $340 Spent.
New MacBook Goal: $1,200. New MacBook Actual: $120.
IRA Savings Goal: $5,500. IRA Savings Actual: $2,575.
It’s good to look at the numbers. You have to know where you are before you can get where you’re going. It’s no surprise to me that the numbers changed. Of course they would. Plans have to be malleable. Plus, as we pay closer attention to what we truly value, we can change our spending to align with what we really want. When we refrain from spending on impulse purchases and “kinda” wants, we suddenly have enough money to fund the adventures that are the most important to us. Figuring out what those adventures are takes time, and might have an impact on your savings goals. You might create new categories. You might abandon old ones.
I’ve got three months left in the year. Besides a bucket list trip in November, I’ve got very few expenses ahead in the last quarter of 2016. And, a few of the goals are now obsolete.
I don’t need the house “set up” savings.
I don’t need the FinCon savings.
I’m revising my Emergency Fund Goal. It is now $10,000.
I’m extending my MacBook Goal until at least June 2017. If I need one before then, I’ll dip into the Emergency Fund.
I’m still determined to max out my IRA this year.
That means I need:
- $4,925 in my Emergency Fund.
- $360 more in my MacBook Fund.
- $2,925 in my IRA.
I need $8,210 by December 31st.
Oh, and I want to budget $500 for my bucket list trip, but I need that by November 3rd.
You know what makes this really challenging? I said I don’t want to take on a side gig. But, I don’t know how I’m going to make this happen.
That’s okay. I’m trying to leave a margin for magic.
I will start tracking my spending with the help of a spreadsheet graciously shared by Desirae of Half Banked. If I can cut back on buying “emergency berries,” then I’m sure I can make my MacBook goal. I’m also purging the clutter. I made $125 by selling some books and furniture. That cash went into the EF. I’ve got a few more things to post to Craigslist soon. I also have a few items that might be eBay worthy, but we’ll see. Beyond that, I have no idea. So, we’ll see what happens. The important thing is that I started.
How about you? How are you 2016 goals doing in this last quarter? Do you ever start before knowing how you’ll meet a goal?