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2021 Goals?

December 17th, 2020 at 09:14 pm

As we are getting closer to ending this hellish year and starting fresh with 2021, I have been thinking about what my financial goals should be in the new year.

I know I want to get out of credit card debt.

I know I want to complete a $5000 savings challenge. (This would probably be conucurrent with getting out of debt.)

I know I want to increase my 403b contributions.

I know we want to continue monthly contributions to our church.

But other than that, I don't know what we want to do or accomplish. Even those are vague. We need to sit down and flush out our financial goals. We can't achieve them if we don't define them.

Goals are always so hard for me because I feel pulled in so many different directions. I want to get out of debt. I want to save for short term goals. I want to save for long term goals. I want to give generously. But there never seems to be enough money to do it all. 

Last year, I had 20 financial goals for 2020. It was too many! We met about 65% (13 out of 20), but it was too much to keep track of and to try to meet them all. This year, I know I want to pare down my goals and focus in on what is the most important to us.

I'm looking forward to seeing everybody's goals and hoping maybe they can inspire mine.

5 Responses to “2021 Goals?”

  1. Lots of ideas Says:

    You could look at your goals based on how they make money for you.

    What does your debt cost you each month in interest? Get rid of the debt, that money flows to your available cash.
    Does retirement savings have a ‘match’ element? Meet that, and that money adds to your savings.
    Are you saving for retirement pre tax? Depending on you tax bracket, you could get $.12 - 25 cents in tax reduction for every dollar you
    Are you taking advantage of an HSA or FSA accounts? Again, based on tax bracket, you get an automatic tax benefit on money saved.
    And make sure you aren’t giving the government an interest free loan by over paying income tax. Your goal should be to not owe, or owe a small amount in April. If you get a big refund, you have wasted money.

    For savings, which goals are needs and which are wants? When will you need to replace cars/appliances/roof?
    Get out of debt, then save for those based on cost divided by time - need $1200 in a year? Save $100 per month.
    Money after that can go to wants.
    This assumes you have a six month emergency fund, and the necessary insurance for your situation.

  2. LuckyRobin Says:

    Personally, I think your main focus should be getting out debt. I think you should attack it as ferociously as you can as fast as you can. You need to have an intensity for being debt free. Debt is the number one money suck that will prevent you from building wealth and meeting your other goals. Once it is gone, you will be surprised how quickly the rest follows and how much freedom you will feel.

  3. Lots of ideas Says:

    Although I agree getting out of debt is important, depending on your situation, saving for retirement at the same time can be a better choice. If your company has a matching program, you get money just for contributing. Say they will match the first 6 percent you put in. If you make $40,000, that’s $2400. But you won’t pay taxes on that $2400. That’s another $288 even if you are only in the 12 percent bracket. Now you have $5000 invested that will earn say 7 percent, not just this year but every year. $350 per year. So you have leveraged $2100 into $5350 in the first year.

    Of course, the market will fluctuate, but the match and the tax savings are guaranteed. You have to look at the full financial picture. Some companies don’t match. But some people are in higher tax brackets - their tax savings might be 25%. Paying off a 6 percent car loan instead of investing for retirement leaves money on the table.

  4. terri77 Says:

    Your goals seem pretty specific to me! I would just specify a number to increase your 403b contributions by.

    My goals in 2021 are to continue to max out my TSP & IRA, pay off my remaining credit card debt - I’m almost there!, and to build back my emergency fund savings. More abstract are to apply for promotions, increase my income, & sell my home.

    I would limit goals to 10 & they don’t all have to be financial.

  5. rob62521 Says:

    Not all debt is the same. Some debt is bad like credit card debt, while mortgage is good debt, as long as you can afford it and you are not underwater on your house. Like Lots of Ideas said, getting out of debt is great, but saving for retirement is important as well. And since charitable giving is important, you may need to sit down and make a great budget to include all that. But you probably already do if you managed to meet 13 of 20 goals.

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