2016 Goals

Happy new year! I know pretty much already everyone posted their goals/resolutions/dreams, but I was deep in vacation mode. After a year of non-stop work I jumped on my holiday break as a chance to finally, really and truly, STOP. I took a real and prolonged break and it has made all the difference. But now it’s my turn to post my 2016 goals.

I love the fresh feeling the start of a new year brings. We all get a (somewhat) clean slate and with it, a chance to reinvent ourselves. Last year my focus was completely on eliminating my debt. Now that I am debt free, I have found that my dreams are getting bigger and bigger. I want to do more and I know that I am capable of doing so.

Lot’s of things are due for a change this year. I need to find more balance in my life, I need to ramp up my savings and I need to make more money.

I’m ready to work for these changes, but more importantly, I’m ready to live a life outside my goals. While I am happy to chase down a dream and don’t mind working my butt off to do so, I need to remember that the future can’t come at the cost of my present. Working myself to death or living off a miniscule budget in the name of saving isn’t ok.

Additionally, I should mention I’ve committed to staying in Austin for one more calendar year. Initially, I was hoping to leave around September. It’s looking like the earliest I will leave town will be February of 2017, and I feel good about this decision.

With these thoughts in mind, I present to you my 2016 goals.

Increase Income to $40,000

In 2014 I made $15,000. Last year I made about $34,000. For 2016 I want to hit $40,000. It’s the magic number that will allow me to reach my savings goals, do some traveling and live a luxuriously frugal life. And, let’s be honest here: it’s not that much money.

Most people pull down 40K within their first few years after college. For whatever reason, I have really struggled to bring in a decent income. This is the year that changes. I am in a fairly low cost of living city and my living expenses are much lower than the average mid-twenties person. This is the time to up my income so that I can up my savings. If I can bring home $40,000 next year and live on $15,000, I can save a whole bunch of cash.

Live on 50% or Less

Which reminds me of my next goal: to live on half or less of my income. Like I said, my expenses right now are low. Probably the lowest they’ll ever be. Some costs are increasing this year (looking at you healthcare and car insurance), but while everything is pretty bottom-of-the-barrel, I want to save as much as possible.

Upgrade This Here Site

I’m using the word upgrade very generally here. As you may have noticed, I finally bought a domain name and have been working on perking some things up around here. For example, I’m on instagram now! I have some big plans that I want to implement with this site!

I want to hone the message of this site more. I was deliberately careful in choosing the new name for this blog a few months ago. “From Frugal to Free” is more than just some catchy alliteration! I want to explore how to live a full and rewarding life on a budget. I want to define what freedom is for people. I want chronicle my journey and open up this forum to others to do the same. I want to highlight people in our community and share words of inspiration, hope and wisdom with you all.

I hope you’ll stick around and see it through with me!

Save $10,000 in Retirement Accounts

Lest you get sidetracked by my dreams above, remember this is a blog about money! I want to max out my IRA and save an additional $4,500 towards retirement this year. It’s super-duper important to me to be very aggressive on the retirement front from here on out. Not only am I getting a late start for someone who is interested in FIRE, but having a sizable retirement fund means more financial security.

I’m someone who has never had any financial security in her life. It’s something I crave. It’s a goal that I am desperate to reach. By putting a solid 10K towards it this year, I know I’ll breathe easier and feel more stable.

Add $4,800 to Emergency Fund

I want to have a $9,000 emergency fund. That’s enough money for me to live off of for about eight months. It’s enough to fix any car problems or hell, buy a used car. It’s enough to leave Austin with. It’s a number I feel really good about having. This goal is a bit ambitious but I am going after it nonetheless!

I’m feeling excited for 2016. There’s a good vibe with this year. Anyone else feel it?

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7 Replies to “2016 Goals”

  1. Hey Kara, I can relate to a lot of this. I’ve never been able to figure out how to make much money either, and am really hoping that 2016 will be different. I just finished a grad degree and am looking for jobs, so I think it’s possible, but it depends on what type of job I’m able to get. I have a lot of student loans that I really need to pay back, and, like you, I’m eager to increase my emergency fund and retirement accounts. I do have a good feeling, like things could be different/better this year. Best of luck to you in this first month going forward! 🙂

    1. Best of luck to both of us! It’s frustrating when you have tried so hard but just can’t seem to make the money materialize. I am keeping the faith in 2016 though!

  2. I’m feeling the good vibes for this year, too! I really think you’ll hit and then exceed your $40K income target — you’re such a hard worker, and so motivated, and I know those traits will pay off. But I’m also glad that you’re seeking out more balance. Working as hard as you did in 2015 is not sustainable, so I’m glad that’s not your plan! Happy new year!

    1. ???? thank you! Such warm wishes. What would I even do with more than 40k…oh right. Save it!

  3. Way to go in increasing your income! Farnoosh at So Money Podcast is always saying, as woman we should ask for more, that’s our responsibility, because no one is going just give it to you. Good luck with your goals this year, can’t wait to hear about the updates!

    1. Thank you! Yes, I’ve done a lot of reading on the wage gap and female negotiating tactics. It’s a necessity!

  4. […] money than I have ever earned in my whole life. That’s a real person salary! That’s the income goal I set for myself this year, and if I keep things as they are, it’s kind of amazing to know I can hit that […]

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