I know I’m late to the party with posting my 2021 goals, it is April after all. My goals are actually written down in my notebook, but I thought it would be nice to share it in a blog post with my readers.
I also plan on posting monthly progress reports. Sharing your goals with others is a great way to keep yourself accountable. I like the idea of being able to refer back to this article again in the future. At the end of the year, it will be nice to come back here and see how far I have come.
My goals consists of seven categories: financial, health, personal, family/friends, relationship, spiritual, and career.
I think it’s important to not only have financial goals, but to also remember to focus on other aspects of your life that makes life so wonderful. It’s really easy to get sucked into thinking solely about money and your career. Yes, your career and finances are important, but it is not everything.
Ensuring that your list consists of various categories will help you to not neglect important aspects in your life. So here are my 2021 goals.
Save an additional $100,000.00 in 2021 – So far we’ve saved about $30k so we have roughly $70k left to go. We currently have a 6 month emergency fund, money stocked away in our 401k’s through our work and our personal after-tax brokerage account. Hopefully if our income and expenses stay relatively the same as last year, we will be able to hit this number fairly easily. It’s hard to say though because my husband works on commission. Some months his income his high and other months it’s low. However, I’ll keep you posted on my monthly progress reports.
Stay consistent with our zero based budget – I’ve tried various budgeting strategies and so far the zero based budget has worked the best for us. We initially tried the 50/30/20 strategy, but I found that there was too much wiggle room for us to screw up. The zero based budget gives us the discipline we need to make sure every dollar is accounted for.
Pay all of our regular expenses through our rewards credit card to earn free miles for travel – My husband and I recently jumped on the travel rewards band wagon and we are hooked! We used to be hard core Dave Ramsey followers and Dave is adamant about not having a credit card, which is wise advice for most people. But my husband and I are extremely responsible with our finances. We pay all of our bills on time, have no debt, have a 60%+ savings rate, have a fully funded emergency fund, and only make purchases we know we can afford. Therefore, I think we get a pass on getting a rewards credit card. After we started earning miles through our Venture Capital card by simply charging our normal everyday spending, we were able to get free round-trip tickets to Cancun and California!
Maintain our monthly expenses of $2,500 – If we exclude fun money, our monthly expenses comes to less than $2,500. That may be high for some people, but for us this is pretty good. Especially because we live in a high cost of living area. What helps keep our expenses low is that we don’t have car payments, our monthly rent is fairly reasonable, and we didn’t get trapped in the lifestyle creep. We live our life the same as when we first got married almost ten years ago. Every bonus, raise, and side hustle income goes straight to our savings and investments. We also only spend about $250 a month on groceries for the two of us, which is a huge bonus.
Walk 5,000 steps everyday – I do not enjoy working out so this one is a bit of a struggle for me. I do however love taking walks outside and going snowboarding. Since snowboarding is not something I can do everyday (it’s also expensive), I am making it a goal to walk at least 5k steps a day.
Don’t eat past 6pm – Are you a snacker? Well I sure am! I realized that I eat more calories from snacking than from actual meals. To cut this habit, I am making it a goal to not eat past 6pm. I usually get late night munchies and grab whatever I can in the pantry. If I limit my window on when I can eat, maybe this snacking habit will be cut for good.
Maintain a good skincare routine – One of my biggest regrets is not using sunscreen everyday in my teens and early 20’s. A decade of using tanning beds did a number on my skin, so I am making it a priority to maintain a good skincare routine. I have been using my monthly fun money ($400) to get facials once a month and purchase quality skincare products. A tan lasts a week, but sun damage lasts forever!
Do a 24 fast once a week – This ones a bit controversial, I know. I used to think that fasting was a horrible thing to do to your body. But whenever I do a fast I feel more energized and sleep so much better. I also noticed that even my hair and skin look better after a fast day. I am committing to doing one 24-hour fast every week.
Read one book a month – I usually like to read my books in the form of an audio book on my morning walks. While I feed my body with exercise, I want to feed my brain as well. Right now I’m re-listening to a book called Your Money Or Your Life by Vicki Robin. For those of you that haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.
Turn our guest room into a home office – Since the covid pandemic, my husband and I have both been working from home. We live in a two bedroom apartment and we use the spare room as a guestroom. Obviously, since we haven’t had many visitors I’ve been wanting to turn the guest room into a home office for us to work out of. But I didn’t realize how expensive office furniture was. The desk I wanted was over $600… yikes! I’m going to make it a goal to turn our spare room into an office by June 2021. I plan on purchasing second hand furniture on Craigslist and OfferUp. My budget is $1,000. This will include a desk, two book cases, a filing credenza, a comfy office chair, rug, curtains, and office supplies. Wish me luck!
Declutter – We have so many junk drawers and closets filled with stuff we no longer use that it’s essential that I get it cleaned out. It’s easier to simply keep the doors closed and never look at them instead of facing it head on. This has been on my to do list for months and I haven’t had the energy to tackle it, but I plan on completing this task ASAP.
Host dinner at least once a month – Although I love to cook, I am not a natural hostess. I have to make a conscious effort and schedule it on our calendar or else months will go by without us hosting anyone. I am making it a goal to host at least one dinner or lunch every month for our friends and family. The hardest part for me is the mental side. I put unnecessary stress and pressure on myself to make sure that we cook the greatest meal and have the cleanest home, that I can’t enjoy myself. Now I remind myself that the important thing is that we spend quality time with people that we love, not the meal we provide or the cleanliness of our home. They don’t care!
Respond to phone calls and text messages right away – Do you tend to not respond to text messages and phone calls until later? Well I do, and i’m ashamed to admit it. If I’m in the middle of something and I see a few text messages from my girl friends I typically think to myself that i’ll get back to them after work. The bad part is I always forget and before I know it an entire day or two has gone by before I replied. I’m going to work on responding to calls and messages as soon as I can.
Call or text my parents everyday – My parents only live 20 minutes from us and I tend to take this blessing for granted. I am so fortunate to have two living parents that are still relatively young and healthy. They have done so much for me and I am so appreciative of them. I need to make it a daily habit to call and/or text them everyday even if it’s just to say hi.
Go on weekly date nights – It’s important to carve out time in the week to spend with your significant other. With our busy schedules, it’s easy to put this by the wayside. My husband and I enjoy going to a nice dinner, taking road trips, and having a stroll by the water. Something simple, inexpensive, yet we have this time to share our thoughts, feelings, and get to know each other even better.
Practice giving positive commendation – My husbands love language is positive words of affirmation. It’s easy for me to take for granted everything he does for me. He’s an incredibly hard worker, he’s passionate, and the funniest person I know. He also still opens the door for me and does all the dishes and laundry. I’m a lucky gal.
Have dinner with no electronics – We’ve developed a habit of eating dinner while watching the television and checking our phones. I want to eliminate this by regularly eating our meals with the tv turned off and the phones on silent.
Read the daily scripture – I’m a Christian and I used to start my mornings by reading a few scriptures from my bible, but one day I simply stopped. I need to pick up this habit again. I noticed that when I do start my day with a daily scripture, I feel more grounded and happier throughout my day.
Practice gratitude – Every night before bed, I will write down three positive things that happened that day or things I am grateful for. And gratitude doesn’t need to be reserved only for momentous occasions. Sure, I might express gratitude after receiving a raise at work, but I can also be thankful for something as simple as a delicious piece of pie!
Be more present – At times, I get so focused on my next task that I forget to take a moment to appreciate all the amazing things that is happening in that moment. Our world is inundated with distractions, both internal and external, that make it difficult to be truly present. When I’m spending time with friends and family, or on a date night with my husband, I plan on eliminating any distractions such as turning my phone on silent. And on my morning walks, instead of speedily walking to get in my 5k steps I want to stop and take in the beauty of what is the magnificent outdoors.
Post a blog twice a week – Since the inception of the MyPersonalFinanceBlog, I have tried to post at least twice a week. There was a month where I wasn’t able to post anything because I was so busy with my day job. The first quarter is the busiest time of the year so balancing the blog and my job was difficult. However, I am making it a goal that no matter how difficult I will consistently post two articles a week.
Get at least two months ahead on My Personal Finance Blog posts – If I am ahead on at least two months of blog posts, this will give me some breathing room if I take an unexpected break. Being ahead in blog posts also makes life much more enjoyable because I can focus on other things knowing that the majority of my writing work is already done. This is one of my major 2021 goals!
Do $350k in billing at by day job – With my job, the way I am able to get raises and bonuses is through the amount of billing we produce. If my billing goes up, then I get a raise and my bonus is higher. I think it’s a pretty good concept. If I increase my productivity and value to my company then I am fairly compensated with an increase in my hourly wage plus bonuses. My goal is to do at least $350k in billing for 2021 because this will potentially increase my pay by 20%!
What are your 2021 goals? What’s your action plan for setting goals for 2021?