Category: Goals

Ridinkulous Goals For 2016

OK. Time to line out my goals for 2016. In addition to my longer term goals  like quitting my job by age 43 (hopefully earlier), I like to set out a few goals for the year.

Last year I had five financial goals to hit, and we achieved them all. Of course, four goals were just to keep certain expense categories under $1,000, and the other was to pay off Marge’s Toyota Corolla, which we did just before the buzzer in December. This year I have more overarching goals.

1. 2016 Total Spending Goal: $30,000, absent all debt payments.
According to last year’s expense report, we spent  $35,373 in non-debt expenses. This year, we will be traveling less and hopefully spending less on home maintenance and improvements. This is no sure thing, though. We haven’t lived on so little since 2006!

No foreign countries this year. 2016 is the year of America!

No foreign countries this year. 2016 is the year of America!

2. Savings Rate of 65%.
Last year’s savings rate was was 57.4%. By spending less (see above) and earning more, I hope to kick our savings up to almost 2/3 of our income.

3. Pay off our Student Loans
The remaining balance of our student loans is about $6,000. I hope to have that finally cleared off the books by the end of the year by putting in anything extra over our monthly savings goals.

4. Max Out My 457 Plan and both our Roth IRAs
This is a no-brainer. We did this in 2015, so it should be easily achieved in 2016. I just have to get this on paper!

5. Contribute more to Marge’s 401(k)
Well, to the extent that it reduces our income enough to keep us in the 15% federal tax bracket. As shown in my retirement account rankings, staying out of the 25% bracket is the deciding factor in whether to invest in Marge’s 401(k) or not.  Her awful fund choices have expense ratios that are so high that they negate any positive impact to be had from deferring her income while in the 15% tax bracket.

That said, her employer might should will be transferring their plan to a new company that uses a plethora of Vanguard funds! This is thanks in no small part to Marge who sounded the klaxxon on the high fees and got other workers on board with a change in companies. So if/when that happens, the sky’s the limit (or more precisely $18,000 is the limit) for 401(k) contributions.

Non-Financial Goals

I know you’re intensely interested in the Inner Life of Norm.

Books To ReadRead 24 Books

I accomplished this pretty regularly for a few years. Then last year was so busy, I didn’t have the time, and I only finished, like, 8 books. I blame you, rental property, house projects, and new blog! Thanks to Paperbackswap, I have piles of free books to read, plus more fun ones coming soon like Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard and The Big Short by Michael Lewis.

Watch 36 Movies
Book lovers are super elitist about reading, but I really think a smart movie is just as good for your brain as a good book. I feel like I used to watch many more movies than I do now. Not sure how true that is, but I went to a movie theater only a handful of times in 2015. Throw in Netflix movies, and I probably cracked two dozen.

But there are so many movies I want to see, and my Netflix queue is not getting any shorter! I need to find time and actually watch them. And though I don’t have any fitness goals, I can ride the stationary bike in our gym and watch Netflix at the same time. Two birds, meet one stone.

Write 52 Blog Entries
Yup, I’m going to aim to basically get a post up every week, no more, no less. Too many fewer than 52 and I’ll feel like I’m ignoring it too much. Too many over 52 and it starts to take away time from more important things.

Seeing as how I have 47 draft posts right now, this shouldn’t be too hard. And this is 52 posts in total, so if I miss a few weeks, I can make it up over time. But out of all my goals, this is the one I will definitely not be beating myself up over if I miss it.

What are you hoping to get done this year?

January’s Goals Revisited

Back in January I laid out five goals for this year and beyond. Now that it’s six months later, let’s take a look at where we stand!

1. Sell my car by the end of 2015. I haven’t done this yet, but I want to get it done by the end of the summer. My idea was to sell my Honda Civic and use the proceeds to pay off the rest of the loan on Marge’s Toyota Corolla.

I’ve sort of forced my hand by paying almost the entire Corolla loan using a credit card in order to meet a, erm, minimum spending requirement… But don’t worry, I paid it all off immediately with cash from savings. So once the Civic is sold, those savings can be replaced.

Then we can reap the benefits of downsizing to one car: Over $600 a year saved just in car insurance, no more registration fee, a whole lot less in maintenance expenses, and a lump sum of money to invest somewhere productively.


How old is my car? So old that I took this photo of it with a film camera in 2005.

Fun fact: On the day this post goes live, July 27, we will be wrapping up our annual trip to the campsite seen above! And we will be driving that very car. The campground is in New York’s beautiful Thousand Islands region, and we’ve been visiting it every year since, yes, 2005.

2. Pay off Marge’s car by the end of 2015. See #1. There is about $988 left.

Continue reading

Ridinkulous Finance Goals

Seeing as how a central part of any personal finance blog is laying out your gameplan and goals, I should probably tell you about them.  Also, isn’t it a new year and time to make resolutions?

Here’s what I hope we achieve in chronological order:

1. Sell my car by the end of 2015. My 2005 Honda CIvic has been a workhorse since its birth ten years ago.  It’s deftly transported two 12-foot kayaks and two bicycles for our camping trips at least once every year. It’s gotten me from Albany to Buffalo to Boston to Brooklyn, and to Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston and even Toronto.

But ever since Marge has been able to walk to work, and I’ve started taking an very exclusive, luxury mode of transportation to work most days (which I will outline later), it’s becoming obsolete. I love Terminator X (that’s my car’s name), but the truth is, it’s just not necessary anymore, and it spends its days parked on the street, slowly depreciating. That money could be put to better use, and someone else can put Terminator X back to work.

Ever seen a Civic with two bikes and two kayaks loaded on it?

Ever seen a Civic with two bikes and two kayaks loaded on it?

Continue reading

© 2018 Ridinkulous

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑