When setting these goals back in early January, I definitely was going with a “go big or go home” kind of a theme. The reasoning behind it was that the financial goals I’d set for my second 101 in 1001 list, which I had considered real “stretch” goals, have now all been completed except for one, so I thought, why not? Why not set some more stretch goals for this year?
However, I’m now beginning to wonder if I should prune these back, just because on paper it literally looks impossible to accomplish even half of all these this year. Many of the goals from my 101 in 1001 list were accomplished so quickly because of all the unexpected stimulus checks and thanks to Matt getting a good raise at work and to me picking up a part-time job. Now, however, we’re feeling the crush of inflation on top of needing to come up with the funds for a lot of flower farm infrastructure, and so it definitely doesn’t seem as likely that we’ll make much financial progress this year as we have in years past.
So there’s the current conundrum: Do I keep the year’s goals as they are, knowing full well I likely won’t meet many of them, simply because it will make me stretch further than if I hadn’t made them? Or should I cut out some and trim back a few so that I have a list that seems fully do-able?
Of course, I’m not stressing out about it too much either way just because these goals are more of a fun challenge for us than anything else, but it has been on my mind.
All that’s to say, while we’ve made some progress thus far already, it’s probably not going to look like much to anyone else.
If you want to see the original post with the explanations behind all the goals, you can click HERE.
Note: There are affiliate links below to products and services mentioned, which means I may get a commission on any sale, at no extra cost to you.
Note on How We Track Our Financial Progress
For basic budgeting and household account maintenance, I use Mint, which I’ve used and loved for years. More recently, I’ve started using Personal Capital as well, which has many of the same features as Mint, but I like using it instead of Mint for tracking our debt reduction and investments, as I find their tools are a bit better for that. Both are free. (And if you sign up for a free Personal Capital account, we can both earn a $20 Amazon credit if you go through my referral link!)
For a clearer snapshot of our financial picture over time, I started tracking our net worth via Google Spreadsheet in August 2018. It’s been a total game changer, and I highly recommend you read the post I did on the why and how of that process here.
2022 Financial Goals
Get rid of the PMI on our house payment
It is nice to know that unless something catastrophic happens and we’re unable to make our house payments, we will at least accomplish this one this year. Once we hit the required 80/20 mark on our mortgage, I plan to make the call and get the mortgage insurance canceled ASAP, which will mean that the $35 we’re paying a month for that can be used to go towards the mortgage principal instead. Since we’re not paying much extra toward the mortgage right now, this likely won’t happen until September or October (at the latest).
Add $2,200 to brokerage
Last year we opened up a brokerage account through Fidelity so that we could give ourselves more options for withdrawing money in early retirement that weren’t in our traditional retirement accounts. The goal last year was to open the account and invest $2,500, but we only invested $1,800.
For this year, I wanted to invest the $700 more I’d intended to do in 2021 plus an additional $1,500.
I don’t think there’s any way this is going to happen this year. In fact, I’m just going to take this one off the list since it’s the lowest priority. I hope to add this back on in 2023.
Take a trip to Hawaii
In a tighter financial year, I know it definitely doesn’t make sense to be planning a trip to Hawaii. However, this is a trip that’s been multiple years in the making and that we’d bought tickets for back in 2020, but then the pandemic hit just a couple weeks before we were scheduled to leave.
We had set aside $3,000 for our flight, and we actually ended up booking a flight for just $2,685 for the five of us thanks to finding a great deal through Scott’s Cheap Flights. Since our lodging is being covered by my in-laws, who are renting a space for everyone in the family, the only thing we’ll need to cover on the trip itself is food and excursions, I believe, which means that we actually likely overestimated how much the trip will cost thanks to the cheaper-than-expected airline tickets. I’d originally planned that we’d need $3,850 for the trip, but I’m going to lower the target amount.
- (New) Estimated cost of trip: $3,550
- Current amount saved: $3,050
- Percentage of goal reached: 85.9%
Pay for new energy-efficient windows
At the beginning of the year, we lucked into an offer a company was doing in our area since they were looking for a “model home” to do before/after pictures on. Because we got a steep discount due to the circumstances, I can’t reveal the exact cost of the windows, but it’s definitely the biggest purchase we’ve ever made, after our home.
We paid half of the money upfront as a deposit, and we’ll pay the other half after the windows are installed, which will likely happen in the next month or so. This is the biggest reason we’re not making much progress on any other financial goals this year, but I’m hoping that the reduced energy costs and nicer appearance of brand-new windows will put money back into our pocket in the long run, especially if we end up selling this house down the line.
Because the second half is such a large amount and we knew we wouldn’t be able to pay it off in a month’s time (like we usually always do otherwise), we decided to sign up for a cash-back credit card with 0% interest for the first 15 months. Normally I would never do anything like this, but we were actually in the market for a cash back credit card anyway (since we’ve only been using our Old Navy credit card for years to get free clothing), so the timing just worked out perfectly.
Current Percentage of Amount Paid: 50%
Get emergency fund back up to at least 3 months’ worth of expenses again
Although we debated back and forth about doing it, we decided to go for the new energy-efficient windows this year even though it meant draining our emergency fund way down to the bare minimum. Having much less than at least 3 months’ worth of expenses makes me incredibly nervous, so next to paying off the windows, this is our #1 financial priority for the year.
Unfortunately, we likely won’t make much progress on this until said windows are paid off in full, so we might not see a real uptick in this for several months.
- Starting Amount: $2,200
- Goal Amount: $10,000
- Current Amount: $2,340
- Progress Made in Q1: $140
- Percentage of Goal Reached: 23.4%
Get to month 48 in house payments
While I long to continue making the kind of progress on our mortgage payoff like we did last year, I recognize that it is unrealistic for me to expect that we’ll pay much extra off this year. We do pay a small amount extra every month just because I like nice, even numbers, but all in all, it won’t even knock off one month’s worth of principal on the amortization schedule.
- Goal Amount of Extra Money Towards Principal This Year: $7,255 (I know)
- Current Amount of Extra Paid Towards Principal: $64.03
- Percentage of Goal Reached: 0.88% (better than nothing, eh?!)
Contribute $1,200 to my Roth
Since we were *finally* able to max out Matt’s Roth starting last year, I wanted the next hurdle to be starting to add to my own. However, with the cost of the windows and re-building our emergency fund being our top priorities, this just isn’t likely to happen this year.
I’m removing this for the time being from the goals list.
Fully fund medical sinking fund to cost of deductible + $500
Well, this year just reiterated the importance of this goal. With the D&C procedure I had after my miscarriage in February, we have basically almost met our deductible for the year, and had we had the money already saved in an account, it would have taken at least some of the stress off an already stressful situation.
While I don’t know that we’ll get around to this later this year, I’m still keeping it as a line item just because I know how important it is.
- Initial Amount: $0
- Goal Amount: $1,800
- Current Amount: $0
- Progress Made: 0%
Turn a profit flower farming this year
I initially thought this was for sure do-able this year, but now we’ve ended up going forward with building a high tunnel and 7 more raised beds, which means that our expenses in 2022 will likely be nearly as much as they were in 2021, especially if we end up putting in drip irrigation like we hope, too. We’ll also be making a lot more than in our first year, but only time will tell if this goal is even possible.
For now, we’ll keep it on the list.
And there you have it — the real numbers and the real progress (or lack thereof) that we’ve made thus far in 2022. How are you doing on your financial goals for the year?