It’s been one year since I’ve started to budget and diligently track my finances. As mentioned previously, 2016 went by fairly smoothly, with no real surprises. While I didn’t quite meet all my financial goals, it was an impressively successful year. I received a promotion towards the end of 2016, which will make 2017 that much more interesting. The promotion increased my income from a $65k annual salary to $80k. Now thanks to the extra $15k in income, I have some new financial objectives that weren’t otherwise obtainable. My goals for 2017 are as follows:
- Maximizing 401K and Roth Contributions
- Building emergency fund to $5,500
- Planning 1-2 international trips (Asia & possibly Europe)
The plan to reach these goals is to start the year off fast and furious by doubling my emergency fund by the end of this month. January just so happens to be a month in which I’ll receive three pay checks, so this shouldn’t be hard…barring an emergency. For the first quarter of 2017 I’ll follow the saving and investing schedule below:
*-three pay period month!
I chose this contribution schedule because it’s easier (for me) to save large lump sums rather than small sums spread out over 26 pay periods. The first two pay periods I will only contribute 5% of my salary towards my 401K (to obtain my employer match). The next 24 pay periods should consist of equal $738 contributions to my 401k.
These financial goals are a bit of a stretch. I spent on average ~$2,500/month in 2016. The plan was to spend only $2,200/month and that remains the plan for 2017. Due to the increase in 401K contributions and the increase in deductions for items such as health insurance, my take-home pay will be $200 lower a month than in 2016. I have a lot less room to make mistakes.
I plan to use my Chase points to pay for my international travel. I have joined the league of credit card point churners.