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2014 Goals?

December 28th, 2013 at 07:34 am

I see a number of people starting to post their 2014 financial goals. This isn't really something I think about to any great extent (and I think I've had a post just like this each year at this time).

As always, I want to max our Roths. That got a little more difficult in 2013 when DW turned 50 and gets even harder in 2014 when I turn 50. The good news is that instead of saving $11,000, we can now save $13,000.

I want to continue focusing on my medical survey income and maintain a monthly average of at least $800, so $9,600 for the year will be the goal there.

I'd like to help push my wife to monetize her sewing and quilting activity more. She has sold numerous items - probably at least 40-50 individual items this year - but just through word of mouth to a handful of friends. I'd really like to see her start doing some craft shows and bazaars and selling to the public.

2014 will bring some significant financial changes and challenges too. Our DD just recently got her license and we added her to our insurance this month. That will increase our bill by about $120/month so that's one hit. Three years ago, our synagogue had a one-time offer to prepay dues for 3 years. It gave them a short term influx of cash and gave those of us who took advantage of it the opportunity to miss 2 years of dues increases. We were one of the families that took that option, but we're in year 3 so in July, we need to start paying dues again. The slight advantage is that we will drop to a lower dues category since DD will be out of school but it still comes to over $150/month (I don't know the exact amount yet as the budget hasn't been written).

The final BIG hit for 2014 is that DD will be starting college in the fall. That will obviously bring a major change to our financial lives. We have enough in her 529 to cover all of one year one and probably almost all of year two but once we get an idea of actual spending, we need to firm up the plans for years 3 and 4. From my calculations, we are in good shape to cash flow the rest including DD's own contributions from her income. I also suspect (but am not counting on) there will be a significant monetary gift from grandmom.

So that's where things are right now. It will be an interesting year financially-speaking for sure.

6 Responses to “2014 Goals?”

  1. snafu Says:

    Nicely laid out 2014 plan, concise and do-able. just some unedited thoughts...

    How will DD travel home to college return? Will she need a car? Now that she's driving, does she contribute to operations or insurance? Do you plan to help DW research details of craft shows, bazaars, community events? Perhaps DD could be 'hired' for that service to give her earned income for auto op and savings plan. If G/mother lives nearby DD could help out and run errands for senior friends. [perhaps because we had boys, we felt it was important for them to contribute, it kept them busy, required they manage time, and in retrospect most importantly they learned a lot of life's lessons on coping effectively with difficult people.]

  2. disneysteve Says:

    Thanks snafu. Right now, we're not planning on DD getting a car. She won't need one on campus. Her school is only about a 45-minute ride from home so one of us will just pick her up when she wants to come home for breaks or a weekend. Since DW doesn't work, it is easy for her to shoot up there on a Friday afternoon.

    I'm certainly willing to help DW look into options for selling her wares. She just hasn't been really focused on doing that yet. She's still kind of in the learning phase, making different items, perfecting techniques, etc. She recently finished a class where she learned some new ways of doing things and is looking into some other classes. But she's also seen how feasible it is to sell this stuff from her friends. She showed somebody a wine gift bag she made and the woman ended up buying 15 or 20 of them. She made a diaper bag for one person and 3 other people asked her to make one for them. She made herself a nice tote bag and several people who saw it ordered one or more for themselves and/or for gifts. So I'm just working to encourage her to see the business opportunity here. I think once DD goes off to college, DW will be more willing to do that.

  3. Jenn Says:

    I'm curious about your car insurance: are you paying comprehensive coverage? We cover a teen-aged son and your increase for DD is more than our entire insurance bill for the year! But we just carry liability coverage (with high limits though). It could also be a difference from one state to another.

  4. disneysteve Says:

    Jenn, we live in insurance hell, otherwise known as New Jersey. And yes, we have full coverage. Our cars are both relatively new. I wouldn't want to pay out of pocket to repair or replace them.

  5. just a though Says:

    Have your wife check our Etsy.com once she's ready to broaden her selling horizons. It might be a good fit for her.

  6. disneysteve Says:

    She's already been looking at Etsy. She's just nervous about the whole idea of taking the plunge into doing it as a business. But everybody who sees her stuff loves it. She makes these very simple but pretty tote bags. One friend of ours saw them in the Spring and bought 10 of them for year-end teacher gifts for her kids to give out. The secretary at our temple ordered 4 quilted bags to give her daughters for gifts. Someone else bought two of her largest bags for Mother's Day presents this year. The stuff sells easily. She just needs to get in the mindset of doing it on a larger scale. I don't want her going crazy and running a sweatshop for herself of course but doing a craft show now and then or listing a few items on Etsy is easy enough to manage and she can do as much or as little as she'd like. As I said, I think once DD is away at college, she'll be able to focus on it more and get on a regular schedule for when she sews. In the meantime, little by little, she is building up a stock of finished items that she will eventually need when she is ready to get a table at a craft show.

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