A New Timeline For My Financial Goals, Part One


Way back in June, after I had paid off all my student loan debt and was riding high, I came up with a financial plan for the rest of the year. I wanted to save for my road trip in early September, another road trip in October and max out my IRA all before the end of the year. Longer term I also wanted to beef up my emergency fund by April 2016.

I’ve been taking a big hard look at my life and I’ve decided to change up my timeline a little. There are some new plans I’m trying to set in motion for myself and it means a shift in my financial priorities for the next year.

Something to know about me is that I love planning. I really do. I like coming up with an idea and then working out the nitty-gritty of it. So after becoming debt free the first thing I did was make a plan for the rest of the year. These were my initial goals:

-Beef up E-Fund to $5,000 ($3,000) by April 1st, 2016

-Vacation with the boyfriend ($500) by September 1st, 2015

-Vacation with the best friend ($375) by October 5th, 2015

-Max out IRA ($5,000) by December 2015

Things have changed and so too must my goals. I plan on leaving Austin next year. I like this city but it’s not my forever place. I’m feeling an itch to go and explore for a bit and then settle down someplace new. I want to leave around this time next year, so that means I have to start a moving fund. Add it to the list!

Before I move to another city I want to do some long term traveling. Ideally I would be abroad for 6 weeks. I’m beginning to put together a plan for 6-7 weeks in Europe. I want to spend some time next fall along the Mediterranean. I’ve been to Europe twice but only a few countries in the north. I would love to spend some time that beautiful sea! Of course that means I need to start a travel fund specifically for that. It has to be separate from my other vacation funds. Add it to the list!

I also don’t think my vacation with my best friend is going to happen. While I know we’d both love it we both have other financial priorities. She is also planning moving and a lot sooner than I am. So let’s drop that from the list.

Of course, throughout the rest of the year and next year I will be maxing out my IRA. If I do spend some time abroad in the fall (and that’s what I’m working towards) I need to max it out before I leave the country. That means coming up with $5,500 in the first half of the year.

These are some ambitious goals for my income level. I have to make some compromises. I don’t want to be in a position of robbing Peter to pay Paul in my accounts so I have to make sure that each account I’m setting up can support itself. I’ve decided to increase my emergency fund to $4,000 instead of $5,000 and move that $1,000 to my international travel fund.

Here are my new financial goals-

Remainder of 2015

-Max out IRA ($3,000 left)

-Beef up E-Fund ($1,200 left, for total of $4,000)

-International Travel ($1,200)

-Vacation with boyfriend ($500)

Total: $5,900

I’ve been doing some calculations and if I can fit these savings into this last part of the year it’ll significantly decrease the burden on me for next year’s goals. The international travel fund is a long term goal, as I eventually want that number to be $5,000.

I anticipate a small pay bump from the non profit but it’ll be tiny, probably about $2,000 annually. Other than that there will be no increases in pay to look forward to. I had a banner year this year in that regard and I think next year is really more of a maintenance year in terms of pay levels.

I’ve already squared away the $500 for my vacation in a few weeks. So that leaves me with $5,400 left to go this year. It’s daunting to think about, considering that’s basically 3 months income for me. However, since becoming debt free in June I’ve added $800 to my emergency fund and invested $2,000 into my IRA. I’ve saved $3,100 in two months. That’s all really good stuff and I’m proud of it! Having already done that makes me think that I can in fact come up with the remaining $5,400 this year. It will be a stretch, as I have some bi-annual payments to make in the next two months that are a sizable amount, but I feel pretty confident I can do it.

I don’t have monthly goals for saving. I’ve just put myself into permanent savings mode and looked to minimize spending in every area of my life. That way I can shovel as much as possible towards these goals and not come into the mindset of ‘Oh I hit my $500 goal, I can spend this other $50 on whatever’. That’s not my preferred method of saving. I’m of the Frugalwoods mindset, where they just exist on frugal autopilot.

That’s my new plan for 2015. I have also set goals for the first eight months of 2016 (I love plans remember?) but that post will be forthcoming later this week!

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11 Replies to “A New Timeline For My Financial Goals, Part One”

  1. Nice! Do you know where you’re moving yet? I’m trying to figure out where I want to live next and it’s hard to do.

    1. I’m not sure yet. I just know I don’t want to be here anymore. The northwest seems appealing but nothing is concrete yet.

      1. Fair enough 🙂 I’m in Spokane, which is good if you like small-ish cities, plus cost of living is low (Seattle is crazy expensive and Portland isn’t much better).

        1. I’m definitely considering those two cities but the COL is higher than what Austin is for sure. I’m living on a lot of if’s right now…IF I can save X, IF i get X paying job, IF I travel for X amount of time…it’s hard to get a clear picture this way!

  2. Money can be a real bitch huh? hahaha and as for the money and if you want to travel long term, you should check out workaway.info! It has some amazing volunteer jobs in exchange for room and board so it could cut down your traveling expenses a lot. You could also do it in the northwest to see if you really like it there before actually moving! But since I am from Seattle myself, I might be a little biased in telling you it’s amazing 😉

    1. Money is the best worst friend I’ve ever had. I have looked extensively into workaway for my Europe trip and will definitely be using it. I hadn’t thought of it for the NW though, that’s such a great idea. Thanks! And thanks for reading!

      1. haha yup exactly! And yeah I haven’t even used it yet! I have just been teaching and auparing. But just looking at the workaway site makes me excited lol there are sooo many different jobs in any freaking country you could think of! And yeah I am actually going to do it when i go back home in november because i wont have a place to live hahah so i will volunteer in exchange for one!

        1. There are a lot of options. It’s a brilliant idea. Let me know how it goes when you get back to the NW!

  3. You seem to have laid it out pretty well, good luck!

  4. thank you! I’m full of hopes and plans but we’ll see how the money actually shakes out. 🙂

  5. […] I’ve also decided to do another no-spend month. It worked out really well in February and I need to make some real cash in these last three months of 2015, since I messed up my taxes and am going to owe Uncle Sam come next April. I want to get a head start on those savings now, while also hitting my Emergency fund, IRA and travel savings goals. […]

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