Welcome and thanks for taking time out of your busy day to visit The Wealth Hound!
My vision for The Wealth Hound is to explore everyday money topics and enable you to make educated personal finance decisions. Additionally, and somewhat selfishly, I am using this adventure to continue to learn about a variety of personal finance topics and integrate them into my financial plan. Ultimately, I would love to see you achieve your financial goals.
Speaking of, what are your financial goals? A wise man once said, “you must have a goal to get the gold”. Actually, I just made that up, but it’s true (in most cases). If you have never thought about your financial goals, now is a good time.
As I write this post, I too am thinking about my personal financial goals. Throughout my 20s, I have had a number of goals, mostly oriented toward the short-term. For example, to pay off student loans, create an emergency fund, start saving for retirement, save for a down payment on a house, etc. These are all important, but I lacked a long-term goal and a plan to get there. It’s difficult to make educated financial decisions when you don’t know where you want to be further than one year down the road.
Try coming up with 1, 5, 10 and 20 year goals. Staggered goals force you to think both short and long term, provide wins along the way, and give you room to maneuver. With that said, keep in mind that you may be working towards your 5 year and 10 year goals at the same time. In other words, if you use the examples below, I’ll need to be saving towards that new (to me) car and education goals at the same time.
- “In 1 year, I want to pay off $5,000 of student loan debt”
- “In 5 years, I want to have $10,000 to buy a new (to me) car”
- “In 10 years, I want to save $36,000 in a 529b plan for my child’s education”
- “In 20 years, I want to completely pay off my mortgage!”
Heads up, sometimes life requires you to re-evaluate.
When I got married, my financial situation became more complicated. Instead of just thinking about myself, I was forced to broaden my scope and consider the financial implications for our small family.
If you were to look at my google searches from back then, you would see things like “how much retirement savings do we need?” or “how much life insurance do I need” or “how to file taxes jointly”. In many cases, the answer is, “it depends”. Bottom line, one shoe does not fit all.
While our paths are all different, we each encounter similar financial decision points along the way. These decision points are crucial and play a big role in achieving our financial goals. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll explore some of the decision points (savings, retirement, insurance, big purchases, investments, etc.) that can make or break your financial goals.
Here’s a couple tips for getting started on goals:
- Set (realistic) financial goals for 1, 5, 10 and 20 years
- Write them down
- Work backwards from goals to determine how much to pay/save each month
- Be prepared for the unexpected (emergency fund, insurance, etc.)
- Communicate. If you’re married, or plan to be married, talk about $$
- Educate yourself – how can you eliminate debt/increase wealth quicker?
- Check out my favorite podcast here
- Be willing to accept calculated risk – a financial advisor can help
- Indulge, it’s healthy (occasionally)
Take a second to subscribe – fill out your email address and hit ‘Subscribe’. Have a question, contact me. Finally, I’m interested to hear from you! Follow The Wealth Hound on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, and feel free to share what’s on your mind. What personal finance topics do you want to learn more about?
Till next time,
The Wealth Hound