Solid Financial Goals To Swipe For Yourself

It’s easy to set financial goals for the new year, but harder to make them matter. Make them too vague, such as “take control of my finances” or “reduce wasteful spending” and there’s nothing to gauge your success.

Debt Sucks Blog raises the stakes by setting exact numbers for his financial dreams in 2012, holding himself to his benchmarks by making them public.

His goals include upping his emergency fund to $3,000, slashing his debt in half and earning $10,000 in side jobs. You can take a look at the writer’s template and adjust it for your own purposes.

Debt Sucks 2011 Year End Net Worth, Goals, Performance Omnibus [Debt Sucks Blog]

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  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    My goal is to not go into debt for the wedding. My family and hers are both being quite generous and the combined total might mean I don’t pay for my wedding at all. If not, it means draining my savings and possibly taking my first CC debt ever.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      Lucky. My dad just lost his job, my fiance’s parents aren’t all that well to do. We have about $12k in savings combined between us, but we’re looking at $2-3000 just to feed the people. And that’s only 60 people, we aren’t talking hundreds.

      This is ridiculous.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Weddings are ridiculous – We are trying to keep it as low budget as possible, but even a cheaper venue, simple cake, nothing-fancy caterer and a decent photographer is racking up to 10k.

      • IT-Princess: I work in IT, you owe me $1 says:

        I hate to sound bitter but I am SO happy my wedding was so basic. 10 years later it’s over and the divorce will cost more than my wedding.

        Although I dream of having a really nice one for next time around. :)

      • BrightShopperGettingBrighter says:

        In 2011, I had two destination weddings, with 100 guests combined, for about $8500. Let me know if I can be of help. People ate well, we had amazing photographs, insanely awesome invites, beautiful venues, etc, etc. They were two very sophisticated weddings, but I refused to spend like I was a crazy woman. One of the weddings was about $5.5k and the other was $3k. I was aiming for $7k for both, so I went over budget.

  2. CanadianDominic says:

    I paid off 9000$ in debt, and built up 2000$ budget buffer in an ING account in about a year and a half. Great feeling, working on the line of credit we opened when we bought the house, and the car is only months away from being paid off.

    All we did was really start paying attention to our money. The simply change of logging onto my banks website every DAY (usually over breakfast) and reviewing the spending of the previous day and what’s likely to come up in the next 24 hours, really helped plug some budget holes. Once one credit card was paid off though, things really got rolling. Looking forward to building up the buffer, and some emergency funds in 2012 and maybe having a nice vacation (which we’ll be paying for with the credit card (for the points!) and then paying off the same day with money from a side vacation-fund account!)

    Paying off debt truly is one of the best feelings!

  3. IT-Princess: I work in IT, you owe me $1 says:

    My finances are a mess and my goal is to be able to afford my basic bills easily after my divorce.
    It’ll be the first time on my own, time to be a big girl. I make a good living, I just have to REALLY look at what is going out the door so I can keep a roof over my son’s head and food on the table.
    Once I get used to that I would love to have all my medical and cc debt paid down.
    Mostly trying not to be super overwhelmed by it all and remember that *I* wasn’t the crazy spender in my marriage.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Not to get in your “bidness,” but is your ex-spouse going to be 50% responsible for all debt during the marriage like he is supposed to, including all medical expenses?

      • IT-Princess: I work in IT, you owe me $1 says:

        Yes he will. I have most of the debt included in my divorce papers, but there’s about $3k that is my own.
        I actually have this suspicion I’ll do better on my own if I know what I spend every second rather than coming home to surprises.

    • CanadianDominic says:

      What kind of credit card do you use? First thing to do is call them and just nicely ask if you can get your interest rate lowered. 3000 isnt a lot of debt, so it might be worth looking at opening a new CC with a low interest rate.

      What I did, to get my 9K of CC debt down was to start using it MORE!

      I started using my card for EVERYTHING, and then pay it off that night when I got home, but with a ten percent “tax.” So if I bought 80$ of groceries, I would put it on the CC and that night make a payment for 88$. This was on top of my minimum payments and any additional money I found around. By doing this, you incrementally pay down your debt without it hurting, or causing too much pain.

      • IT-Princess: I work in IT, you owe me $1 says:

        That card has a 22% APR and I was thinking about transferring it over to a lower card I have but they’re all about the same.
        That one is maxed out as I paid for a portion of my brother’s funeral in August. I’m waiting for the estate payments to come through so hopefully I won’t be responsible for it all as I’m only making minimum payments.
        Total I have about $7k in credit cards and about $3k in medical. I had really bad insurance on my ex’s plan while I was unemployed and was very ill. FSA repayments went to car repairs. :(
        Bad year… but hoping I can turn it around. I’m really quite frugal and may have a year with no cable but being on my own will be huge. I should be getting a good tax return which I’m hoping will get a large portion of that down. It’s huge on my shoulders with everything else going on. However I am working and nothing is getting shut off. :)
        I’d also really like to get more side jobs and get more business going for myself which can easily get me another several hundred a month. I’ve just been busy and haven’t really advertised myself. I do more work for free than I charge for and always ask family to spread the word.

  4. The Upright Man says:

    I have a credit card that I got a few years ago. I’ve been able to put a serious dent in the balance since I got my first job after college about a year ago and I aim to have to it paid off completely by the summer.

    I haven’t actually used it in something like a year and a half, so it’s probably going away for good once it’s paid off.

  5. sponica says:

    I had decent plans for last year…I was on track to pay off one credit card (especially with a pay raise I got in Dec 2010)…fast forward to March 2011 and I was filing for unemployment.

    I’ve come to accept that you can have the best financial goals possible (and even the most manageable ones) but life has a funny way of destroying those goals.

    I have no financial goals for this year because any financial improvement depends on finding a job…which is seriously harder than most people think it is. I’ve been on a dozen or so first round interviews and made it to the second and third round of interviews with a few companies.

    I guess I need to think outside of the box because despite my attempts at getting jobs through temp agencies, meeting with employment counselors (who tell me I’m doing what I should be doing), and attending alumni networking events have not been successful.

    • IT-Princess: I work in IT, you owe me $1 says:

      I was laid off in March 2010 and it took me til February 2011 to find something that was a good fit and was a contractor up until November and am officially on board.
      Hang in there. It was a rough year for sure, financially stressful as well as emotionally, just keep yourself open to other possibilities, even working part time while you’re looking for a job.
      One thing that kept me afloat was that I already was working part time at the time I was laid off fom my full time job and just upped my hours so I wasn’t making more than 50% of my unemployment. It’s not sustainable but it worked for that year. Good luck and keep your head up!

      • sponica says:

        I had wanted to pick up hours at the movie theater where I worked summers during college, but the hours at my last job were so erratic due to client emergencies, a second job wasn’t feasible.

        This past year would have been better for me if every person I knew under the sun didn’t get married…that’s how it usually happens though. The times I’m underemployed/unemployed my friends get married….the times I’m on top of the financial world (mostly), nobody is doing anything.

    • BennieHannah says:

      That’s rough. I wish you the best of luck. If you’re doing everything by-the-book right, the only suggestion I have is to look into volunteering somewhere — with a group that speaks to your interests. Animal shelter, homeless shelter, mentoring/tutoring children, guardian-ad-litem, etc. Your interviews may be missing a certain spark from being discouraged, and feeling good about yourself, feeling useful and passionate about something, might provide that intangible *thing* necessary to secure a position. It helps that it also looks good on a resume and often provides other opportunities for networking.

      • sponica says:

        I volunteer at the animal shelter and for my alma mater’s undergraduate recruiting department…I think a major barrier to my re-employment is that my last employer keeps making the front page of the local newspaper due to various client lawsuits…it certainly doesn’t help matters.

  6. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    Our primary goal is to not get sick and to pay off our existing medical debt.

  7. hackeynut says:

    2011 was a financial win for me. I cleared off all credit card debt and have nearly 20k in savings plus whatever my 401k has fallen to. Refi-ed the house and nearly finished paying off the credit cards. Getting close!