Now that I'm back in school, I have dropped down to four basic goals for 2017:
- Earn an A in each CFP class.
- Save money every month.
- Lose weight slowly.
- Continue building Cashville Skyline.
Pretty simple, right?
Working hard on fewer goals makes it easier to succeed.
I've grown comfortable with leaving emails unanswered, and I've managed to say no more often than yes. I'm feeling more balanced and focused than I have in years.
Afternoon naps, long walks, and cooking meals—these are good things.
Creating space to excel certainly feels good. The downside? Significantly less income. Here's how these choices have affected my net worth this quarter.
I maxed out Roth IRA and HSA in early January.
Ever since, I've been slowly adding to my cash emergency fund.
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I'm still nursing the sting of my first quarterly tax payment. But overall, self-employment rocks.
I can already see the potential for earning much more on my own once I have more free time.
Last year, I had income from several different sources:
- Freelance clients (writing, content management, editing)
- Social media consulting (1-on-1 training for financial planners & bloggers)
- Blogging income (advertising, sponsored content, affiliate marketing)
- Money coaching
- Investment income
This year, I've added courses into the mix.
These are the courses I've worked on this year:
In January, I switched from self-paced online to in-person CFP classes. Best decision ever! The weekly classes are flying by and I've earned an A in the first two courses. I'm still planning to sit for the CFP exam next March.
The idea of changing careers again is pretty intimidating. But I'm trying to take advantage of every resource I can find. Here are the things I've found especially helpful.
- CFP Board's WIN-to-WIN mentor program – The financial planning profession has consistently faced diversity problems. Only 23% of CFPs are female (and people of color represent only a fraction of that!) One of the CFP Board's initiatives to address this issue is their WIN-TO-WIN mentoring program. I've connected with an amazing mentor who has been sharing a ton of advice!
- Financial Planning Association (FPA) – I've joined our local chapter and offered to volunteer with financial literacy classes in the community + FPA's annual conference in Nashville.
- National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) – I've joined NAPFA and will be participating in our local study group. I also receive a daily digest of the organization's message board activity.
- XY Planning Network – I'm a member of XY Planning Network's Facebook Group and plan to attend the conference in Dallas in August. The entire community is super supportive! I've learned a lot from listening and even reading through old threads.
Overall, my expenses have stayed fairly lean.
But I refuse to skimp on self-care. That's why I'm still paying for:
- monthly gym membership
- weekly personal trainer
- monthly therapist to help with food issues
- community acupuncture (as needed)
I'm also paying for my first Indian scalp massage this week.
Self-care has been a major priority for me, and it's really paying off.
Look, I'm almost 10 pounds down without dieting! 🙂
I've been sitting on a big batch of credit card travel points (100,000+).
I'm saving for the perfect travel opportunity. Morocco? Columbia? Who knows! It's possible they will continue to accumulate until I'm done with the CFP exam.
I'm slowly working toward my $15,000 cash emergency fund goal. I would also like to start an emergency fund specifically for my home. Because—let's face it—owning a house can be really expensive.
My investments have been pretty boring, which is exactly what I want.
I try not to think about them on a monthly basis.
I'll be looking at other retirement account options once I've completed my tax class.
It's spring time and that means an uptick in home sales in my area.
It also means we're inching closer to Nashville's property tax reassessment.
My district's home values have increased by 45% over the past four years.
I've calculated the difference assuming my home will be assessed around $300,000.
I'm facing an annual property tax increase from $1,919.30 to $3,387.00.
I'm currently paying $159.94 per month. My tax bill will increase to $282.25. My boyfriend and I split the mortgage, so we'll each be paying $141.12 more per month.
I wrote about this in more detail for Nashvillest here.
2017 Financial Goals
Here's a quick recap of this year's financial goals:
- Max out Roth IRA – $5,500 – complete
- Max out HSA – $3,400 – complete
- Build emergency fund to $15,000 – in progress