Goals, Motivation

Pushing the accelerator on our Financial Independence goals in 2019

It’s time to set some goals and take action.

We’re laying out our financial goals for 2019 to accelerate our journey to Financial Independence (FI)

I want to start by wishing everyone a Happy New Year, and success with your endeavors for 2019!

I’m particularly excited about implementing new goals and ideas to push the accelerator down a little harder for our journey to FI.  The FI Community really did seem to capture a lot of mainstream media attention during 2018, and I’m sure that will be sustained as we see new developments in the near future, such as Scott Rickens’ documentary Playing with Fire.

I’ve thought hard about what specifically I want to achieve this year from a financial perspective, and I think it all boils down to these four key topics:

  • Expand out our Emergency Savings account to 6+ months of living expenses: At the moment it’s sitting at a value between four and five months of expenses, and I want to pad that out further for more peace of mind.
  • Eliminate all of our student loans and consumer debt before the end of 2019

There are several components to these debts:

  1. Paying off the last of our second-hand minivan: Once we’re done with this ~$3,500 of debt, we will have zero car payments outstanding and own two reliable vehicles outright that are meeting our family’s needs
  2. Paying off the new windows for our townhouse: Several months ago, we replaced quite a few windows throughout our townhouse. It was frustrating to pay so much money, but it was badly needed; it’s a convoluted topic worthy of its own dedicated post to explain more.
  3. Paying off my student loans from business school: I’m down to ~$13,000 outstanding and keen to eliminate this before year-end
  • Sustain maximum 401k and 403b contributions, and begin layering in 457b contributions: We’ve just started 403b contributions as I detailed in a recent post, and we’re still adjusting to what that means for our monthly budget. I suspect the 457b contributions may not begin until around September, but let’s see what 2019 holds and whether the elimination of debts can free up some of our cash-flow to get all three accounts funded this year.
  • Contribute $5,000 to my after-tax investment account and building out my portfolio: This account will naturally fluctuate up and down depending on the market, but I’ll be satisfied if I can manage to invest another five grand and grow my portfolio.

So, there you have it, that’s what I aspire to achieve financially during 2019. It feels good to write things out like that and share it; you can keep me accountable and I’ll let you know about the successes and failures as the year unfolds.

I’m also really looking forward to our Hawaii trip planned for July. We’ll follow up soon to discuss how that’s coming together in our efforts to maximize the awesomeness while minimizing our cash costs.

Best wishes with your financial goals in 2019; I hope you’re also feathering those nests and optimizing, so you can also FI and fly free.