2016 Financial Priorities
In order of priority, this is where I’m shooting this year:
- Retirement savings: At minimum, each max out a 401k/403b at $18k We’ve talked about whether this is enough, because I’m used to saving >20-25% of our income in retirement accounts. Yet, we both have pension accounts building (and pulled from our salaries to do so). I think our retirement is on a fine trajectory. It is just that we have more than this singular priority right now.
- Set aside 6 months worth of my take-home pay in baby fund (assuming SDI): We are still in the planning phases for starting a family, but I want to get the money part squared away. This is conservative since we could theoretically live without my salary – but having the cash there will be good for a variety of reasons.
- 25k mortgage prepayment (on top of the 25k that was hanging out in cash earned last year). I’d like this to be our baseline goal every year, with the option to skip it if we have a bad financial year.
- More retirement savings: I don’t think we’ll get this far down the list, but if we accomplish all of these above, the rest would go into T’s retirement accounts.
I haven’t worked out exactly what is going to work out, which is why these are priorities rather than goals. However, I’m pretty confident (based on right now) I can get through the first 2, and probably at least most of the 3rd. Tallying up spending and expected income could come next month – but it is honestly a fair amount of work and the information won’t actually change my actions. So it isn’t a priority.
Notable planned spending in 2016 includes the following:
- Vacation to Europe this summer. It is already March and we haven’t nailed anything down, but I’m fairly committed to making it happen this year. Yay!
- Dining room table: We aren’t getting the one I really want because I don’t want to spend that much. We haven’t settled on the final choice, but even at a lower price point, it is an expense worth mentioning. Especially once you add the chairs. We have a high top four seater that isn’t great for entertaining.
- Patio furniture: This won’t be hugely expensive, but it is on the radar.
- Earthquake retrofitting: For real, though. This should turn out to be pretty reasonably priced (… for a house project, that is) after we take advantage of some incentives – but it needs to get scheduled.
I wanted to sketch out my 2016 goals, and that is it on the money side. Outside of finances, I want to do some trail runs, continue to roll with how things evolve at the job and be successful there, and explore our local area a bit more, and spend way way way less on dog expenses (so far so good!).