Financial Goals for 2010

By Stew

This is kind of a traditional post for this time of year, you know, with new year’s resolutions and all. My philosophy is that most life changes work best when they are started at any point during the year. For spiritual, physical, relationship resolutions there is no better time than the present. One time I got a bad report from my doctor and as I walked to my car, I committed myself to a healthier lifestyle. And I made up my mind to start right after I had one last Spicy Chicken sandwich value meal from Wendy’s . . . that particular decision never stuck . . . When it comes to changes in financial goals, the start of a new calendar year provides a nice clean slate.

Here are the financial habits and goals that I hope will characterize the 2010 financial year in the Stew household:

  • Continue to limit the amount of money that I spend on going out to eat for lunch. I think that it is reasonable for me to spend $10 one day a week. Another way to take care of our out-to-eat money is for me to help Mrs. Stew around the kitchen a little more. Sometimes we go out to eat in order to give her a break, but maybe I could be better about giving her a break by working a little harder in the kitchen myself.
  • Pay off my college loans. I have around $1,600 remaining on my school loans, I hope to use our federal tax refund for that purpose. This will save us the $70 payment every month. Then we can turn our attention to Mrs. Stew’s college loans.
  • Put a big hurt on our car loan. We have around $11,000 remaining on this loan, but currently the APR is around 9%. Since selling our house, our credit score has soared and our income to debt ratio has improved a great deal. I hope to refinance at a significantly lower rate, but still make the same payment that we have been making for the last three years.
  • Start saving for retirement again. I do not know where the money will come from, but I hope that by the end of the summer, I can find a way to contribute to my company’s 401K match.
  • Set up a regular allowance for my children. I do not have a lot of money to give them, but I need to teach them good financial habits and they cannot learn without some kind of regular income.
  • Fine tune our budget. It has been some time since we have gone over our budget with purpose and I know there is $50 or $100 in there that can be taken from the spending side and placed on the saving side.

What are your financial goals for 2010?

Article by Stew

Photo by nDeviltv

6 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Financial Goals for 2010”

  1. Green Panda Says:

    I think you have some great goals for 2010. My first goal this year is to consolidate my student loans to a lower rate so I can keep the same payments, but off the debt faster.

  2. Courtney Says:

    Our financial goals are to max two Roth IRA accounts, save $25K towards our next house purchase, open a 401K account when I (hopefully) get a permanent full-time job sometime this year and contribute enough to get a full company match (or 5%, whichever is higher), and increase our total net worth to over $100K. Hubby already contributes 9%+5% company match to his 401K, and my student loans (~$5500) are on autopilot after consolidating at 1.75% last year.

  3. D Says:

    We started an allowance with our kids about 2 years ago. It truly has helped them to think about things. The key to making it successful is to make it clear what they are responsible for.

    For instance, we pay for no outings unless they are with church or scouts. We provide no “spending money” at any event, we pay for none of their friends birthday presents, we pay for no splurges on specialty drinks (like sonic drinks) they desire when the rest of the family is not eating there too. At first they blew their allowance constantly. This drove my husband crazy, but I assured him that it was important to let the kids “splurge” now and pay soon. It wasn’t long before a friend called and wanted them to go to the movies and they realized they had no money. This is important to teach now than later. I would rather my kids blow their measley $20 allowance and learn at this age…then get their hands on decent paycheck and blow it because they did not learn the price of such decisions sooner.

    Now they both work to always maintain some sort of savings. We do force them to save it least 10% in a long term savings account, however, this is not a savings for unforseen events..this is for college money or some sort of serious life event.

    I still have one that saves a ton and one that tends to go down to a bare bone budget. But even the spender tries to maintain it least $20 at all times to cover the friend calling and inviting them over.

    You goals look great :) Good luck!

  4. Laura Says:

    I love the eating out goal… any tips on how to get my boyfriend to contribute in the kitchen instead of just going out to dinner to make things easier?!

  5. Stew Says:

    Laura . . . it has to be his idea. :) Even with coupons and careful choices, it still costs around $30 for our family to eat out. If I spent the same amount in the grocery store, but brought it home to cook. We would eat far better and healthier and still reduce cost.

  6. PennyStocks Says:

    Great ideas.

    I always pay a little extra off my mortgage as I don’t want it for the full 30 years. between the wife and i we have 200k in debt from school beginning to tackle this and stay afloat in life will be this years budget target.