This time last year, during my annual holiday break from work, I became deeply enamored by the world of personal finance. I discovered several super helpful personal finance blogs that reshaped the way I saw my budget, savings rate, investment strategies (or lack thereof) and retirement. I couldn't believe the amount of free resources that were available online, including an absolutely free personal finance class on Coursera. Inspired by what I learned, I vowed to make some changes.
A few of the larger changes I made included moving my Roth IRA from Fidelity to Vanguard and investing in index funds, moving my emergency fund to a high yield saving account, and utilizing cash back credit cards. I also managed to reduce my cell phone bill, car and home owners insurance premiums, and health insurance premiums.
Despite an extremely hectic professional year, I'm pleased with the changes that I've made and look forward to building upon the progress of 2013. I also want to prioritize my personal goals to ensure an overall healthy 2014.
My 2013 savings was $10,137.38, an almost $5,000 increase from 2012. Without an employer sponsored retirement vehicle, I've been focused on maxing out my Roth IRA and contributing to index funds in my taxable Vanguard account. This month I've reached an $82,460.00 net worth.
1. Max out Roth IRA ($5,500) in Q1
2. Save $1,000 per month in taxable Vanguard account
3. Maintain $10,000 emergency fund
4. Reach $100,000 net worth
5. No speeding or parking tickets!
Inspired by the many personal finance I read on a weekly basis, I've finally taken the plunge!
1. Post 3 times per week
2. Maintain social media on a daily basis
3. Develop readership who are not related to or dating me
With a growing interest in digital marketing, social media strategy, and community management, I'm planning to further develop the skills I acquired in 2013.
1. Complete Hubspot Inbound Marketing certification
2. Complete Google Adwords certification
3. Complete Google Analytics certification
4. Establish proficiency with Hootsuite
5. Learn basic HTML & CSS
6. Take a photography class
7. Further develop Adobe Photoshop skills through Lynda, YouTube, etc.
8. Join Toastmasters
I've been fortunate to only deal with minor repairs in my nearly five years as a homeowner. It's time to focus on making a few small improvements.
1. Fix cracks in ceiling in Q1
2. Create a comfortable backyard space
3. Grow fruits & vegetables in Q2 & Q3
All of these goals needs to be treated with the utmost priority in 2014.
1. Travel to Iceland
2. Attend a music festival
3. Practice music at least three times per week
4. Exercise at least three times per week
What are your goals for 2014?