Any financial resolutions?

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I’m not very good about keeping resolutions, especially those involving eating, food, or moving my body. But money resolutions? I am very regimented with my money, so I’m assessing our 2017 budget looking for tweaks to make.

I am in a very satisfying place, financially. Well, other than not being able to retire RIGHT NOW! We have no debt, a substantial emergency fund, enough savings for both kids (now ages 17 and 10) to attend state university for four years, and all our large expenses for 2017 are already funded.

So, you might be wondering, “Why does she even need to HAVE financial resolutions?!?!” No matter if the picture is already rosy, there is always room for improvement, right? And what about that early retirement thing?!?! That won’t happen in 2017, but there are some things I’d like to accomplish with our finances this year:

  • Set up my favorite budgeting tool, YNAB, for our soon-to-be-college-bound daughter. She will need to learn to spread her spending money over four years.
  • Shift more of my food dollars to groceries and away from eating out. We only eat dinner out once a week, and it’s often takeout. But, there are the lunches at the office cafeteria, the every-other-morning coffee runs, etc. I know that my home cooking tastes better, not to mention it being healthier and a lot less expensive. We eat out because of our schedule or because we’re bored or lazy.
  • Spend LESS money than I have budgeted for travel. We have a very large trip planned for summer, and I’m already projecting that I’ve saved more than needed. But that’s okay. I also have a bit saved for random weekend getaways, attendance at accepted students days at colleges, moving a kid to college, etc. It would be nice to return home from our trip and have some money left over.
  • Make a decision on whether the college-bound kid will need a different car, or can we limp along with the current clunker until she is an upperclassman who is allowed to have a car at school?
  • Consider a home improvement project like the girls’ bathroom or a walkway.
  • Keep on track (or yes, maybe even ahead of plan) for our #500in5 challenge of saving $500k in 5 years. If I stay employed, can I do this in 4 years with the help of some stock proceeds? What does that do for my early retirement plans?

How about you? What are your financial goals for this year? Let’s help each other reach them!

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