Last year was a rollercoaster year for us. I quit my job as a full-time nurse and decided to make this blog and my Instagram courses my career. We had savings, CDub had a good job, and I had worked out exactly how much I needed to make in order to keep us comfortable and stay on track for our savings goals.
This post is sponsored by John Hancock. All opinions are my own.
The 3 Things I’m Doing To Hit My Savings Goals This Year
And then, life happened. Life happened in the form of us having two replace not one, but both air conditioning units on the house. It came in having to travel for family weddings and in a downward trend in income that I didn't account for. And it culminated in having to replace the roof on our 14-year-old house. Leaving us depleted and just ready to start over. Savings..were gone.
So this year, I knew we needed to do some financial planning to get back on track with our savings goals. Not only did we need to rebuild our emergency fund (because emergencies will still happen), but we also needed to start thinking about the future.
So when the opportunity to partner with John Hancock was presented, I knew they were just what we needed to gain some knowledge.
While I’m not a client, I was able to speak with Misty, a Financial Planner at John Hancock and I shared our issues and goals for the new year. Misty was very knowledgeable and offered practical tips that anyone could consider using.
On Rebuilding the Emergency Fund and Saving for Vacation
I have two savings goals: rebuilding our emergency fund and starting a vacation fund for a big trip that I want to take next year. Both of them will require discipline from my husband and I. I want to save for these goals, but not make it stressful.
Things That I Learned:
- Set up separate accounts for our emergency savings and vacation account that are accessible and safe.
- Give the savings accounts a name.
- Don't try to just deposit large amounts. Do it gradually.
Take a look at Twine. This app from John Hancock offers the potential of having a joint savings and/or investing account where my husband and I could both contribute and track our progress. It sounds like an interesting app that anyone could consider using.
On Getting Ready for College
I know a lot of you are parents like me and stress over the COST of sending our kids to college. Our second financial goal this year was to start saving for college for Pookah. He is in the 4th grade!! That means that I have only 8 years until he goes off to college. I don't want him to struggle with student loans, I want to be able to give him as much help as I can.
Things I Learned:
- Misty noted that we should consider the various 529 plans that exist, to see which one fits our needs.
- She reminded me that you can always start small and just contribute $25 a paycheck.
- The point is to just get started. You can always increase the amount to contribute later.
But Don't Forget About Retirement Savings goals.
The last thing I spoke to Misty about was about saving for retirement. As an entrepreneur, it bothered me that I could no longer contribute to a job's 401k and that I was basically going to be relying on my husband for retirement funds if I continued.
Things I Learned:
- It’s recommended to set up an IRA to get started especially if you don’t have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
- Entrepreneurs can contribute up to $6,000 a year to an account.
- Start small, maybe $100 out of every payment. Just start!
This is the last item on my to-do list, but I guarantee that I will start saving for retirement again soon.
I am so excited to work on hitting our savings goals and get on track for the future! What are some of your financial goals this year?