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In a blog post last week I mentioned the importance of having long-term financial goals. At the end of the article I listed my family’s goals and promised an in-depth discussion on each one. Well, without further delay, here they are:
- Stick to a zero-based monthly budget – This is at the top because it is probably the most important. The monthly budget is our financial compass for the month and gives us direction on how to live our life financially. If our goals were set up like a pyramid, the monthly budget would be at the top since our other goals would not be able to be attained without the budget. The budget does change from month to month but the consistency is that we are sticking to the one we develop for that month.
- Stay out of consumer debt – Currently this goal is being achieved. We do not have credit cards, student loans, car payments, or any other miscellaneous debt. It was great to start our marriage off without any consumer debt. It also helps that we have an emergency fund that we can dip into in case of any unforeseen circumstances. We are also committed to save and pay cash for all our future purchases including cars and vacations
- Investing 15% of our income into retirement accounts – This is being accomplished due to us currently achieving goals #1 and #2. As mentioned before, the key to investing is to be consistent, not complicated. 15% will not get you rich overnight but by the power of compound interest, our investment accounts are growing slowly but surely.
- Pay off the mortgage by the time we are 40 – Right now we are right on track with our goal. At our current pace, our home will be paid off in 8 and a half years, which would put us at 37 years old! Our current residence is not where we plan to raise our family long-term however, so we are trying to pick up our pace to have a larger down payment for our future home, to be paid off by the time we are 40.
- Have my wife stay at home with our children full-time – This will be a slam dunk if the above four goals are being taken care of. We do not know when we will begin a family but this is something that my wife and I are both passionate about and feel blessed to be able to do.
- Continually increase our giving each year – My wife and I love to be givers. It is something we do, not because we are required to, but by choice because it just opens us up emotionally and spiritually to great things. We enjoy giving to our church, non-profits, and individuals in need. As our wealth increases and our debt decreases we hope to be even BIGGER givers then we are now!
- Start my own business that can support my family – Considering that you are reading this blog post right now means that you are witnessing the fruits of my labor. Running my own business is always something that I have wanted to do and I am now realizing my dream. Currently this is my side business but I am working hard to be able to make this my full-time passion!
I hope that reading this post has made you realize the importance of having long-term financial goals for your family. Having concrete goals that are written down, clearly defined, have a time limit, and are measurable has helped my family out tremendously. It is fun to track your progress every once in a while to see what goals you are excelling at and what goals you need to work on. With that being said, what are you waiting for? Get started today!