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When I first started reading blogs around the 2005 timeframe, I focused my reading on personal finance blogs. I had just started working in a professional setting after getting my college degree. My $849 monthly rent was half of my take home pay. I knew I wanted to be a financially savvy person and build up a generous savings and start investing. It was difficult to do, but I was managing bit by bit.
Still, I continued to read lots about personal finance. I was obsessed with finding high interest savings account rates (hello, does anybody remember the 5% interest rates on a NORMAL savings account in 2007), and I fantasized about being extended enough credit to run some credit card arbitrage.* I was socking money away in my 401k and tried to save my pennies while paying rent and my student loans.
Nine years later, things have definitely changed in the personal finance realm, but my obsession continues! Interest rates on savings accounts plummeted, making high yield savings accounts nonexistent and things like credit card arbitrage no longer lucrative. But, I definitely leverage credit cards for free travel. Our income tax brackets certainly changed when we got married, and we were no longer eligible for some tax credits (like student loan interest) that we used to be eligible for now that our incomes were higher. I aggressively switched jobs in search of higher pay. My gross pay is nearly three times what it was just nine years ago. So I consider myself pretty lucky.
I thought I’d thought I’d share of our current financial goals with you all, and have some follow-up posts on topics like the spreadsheets we use to organize our finances, how our assets our allocated, and many other topics we enjoy.
Without further ado, here are a few of our major financial goals
A few of our financial goals
Retiring early. I like my job, and it is excellent pay for somebody who graduated with a liberal arts degree. But, given the choice, I’d rather not work in a traditional 9-5 office environment. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, so I don’t want to be a person who says, “I’ll have time when I’m retired.” I want to do it now!
Generating enough (mostly) passive income to support both me and Ken outside of a traditional work environment. This goes hand-in-hand with the whole “retiring early” thing, but I feel like this is the method to achieve our early retirement goal. We’re inching our way closer to this, and hope to start a new business venture in the near future. But we’re still very much in the research phase of it right now. The business will probably require an initial investment of $25,000-$30,000, so it is a pretty big leap. More on that in the future!
Growing our non-retirement investment accounts and generally branching out in our asset allocation. Ken and I have both been diligent about contributing to our retirement accounts since we were younger. But right now, except for our retirement accounts, we don’t have any money in investment or brokerage accounts. I’d like to start an investment account and maybe start investing in some P2P lending as well.
Rent out our home when we decide to move. We’ve lived in our house for just over five years now. When Ken bought this house (before we were married), he called it a “ten-year” house. In other words, a great starter house, but not the house we want to grow old in. I couldn’t be sure how many, but there are several homes in our neighborhood, maybe 10-15% or so, that are rented out. The monthly rent payments for houses in our neighborhood seem to exceed our current mortgage payment by at least several hundred dollars, so it seems like a safe bet that renting out our house would be cashflow positive for us. Obviously this would be something to consider only closer to when we’d be looking to buy a new house, but it does seem like a no brainer, considering our exceptionally low interest rate on our mortgage.
Those are a few of them for now. I’m obsessed with spreadsheets and doing calculations to help us figure this all out, as well as spreadsheets that help us organize our day-to-day finances. In future posts, I’ll be sharing with you some of our tools we’ve developed and used!
What are your financial goals? How do you plan to achieve them?
** Funny, when I was a young professional, I couldn’t get a credit card with more than a $1500 or $2000 limit. Now I’m routinely approved for $65,000-$75,000 of credit in a single app-o-rama. My oh my how times have changed.