Our 2017 Financial Goals

2017 is almost here, so it’s time for us to set some goals. We have three big money goals for this year:

1. Open Roth IRAs and Contribute 10% of Our Income

As I mentioned in our last monthly review, the first item on the docket is to start investing 10% of our income into our Roth IRAs. That means, first and foremost, having Roth IRAs. I opened mine with the payout from changing jobs a few months ago, but we still need to meet the investment minimum ($2500) to open an account for Mr. Steward. We’ll save part of that total this month, and our tax return should mostly take care of the rest. We should be able to achieve this goal in short order. Mr. Steward and I need to decide if we’ll immediately start contributing the 10%, or if we will wait until our next goal is complete. I suspect we will do the latter, although the former could pose an interesting challenge to our budget.

2. Get the PMI Off Our House

We bought our house with a pretty small down payment. While I’d rather focus on investing than paying off our house, we’re currently paying $600 a year in PMI to have the privilege (ha!) of borrowing money. The PMI has to go. It will take about $15,000 towards the principal to have 20% of the home’s purchase value covered. Part of that amount will come from our normal payments (which will become more effective in vanquishing principal the faster that we make additional payments), so I suspect we’ll only need to contribute more like $12,000 in additional contributions to make it happen.

3. Travel

This one is a little more nebulous, because it basically depends on family decisions that have not yet been made. Either we will need to go to Cape Cod for Mr. Steward’s brother’s wedding, or we will travel to Orlando around Thanksgiving for a family reunion. I don’t think we’ll need to do both trips. I have started hoarding credit card points, but I figure we’ll need an additional $1,000 to $1,500 for either trip. I don’t intend to start saving for this beyond credit card points (since we have an emergency fund) until firmer details have been hashed out.

All in all, those three goals comprise around $15,000 of savings and additional payments that need to happen this year. Historically we have been able to save that annually, even before I got a better job, so it seems pretty attainable. I’d love to see us smash these goals and get started on some new ones toward the end of the year.

What are your goals for 2017?

8 Replies to “Our 2017 Financial Goals”

  1. Ernie

    Solid goals. I’m with you guys – one of my goals is to fund my Roth. I just set it up a couple weeks ago, and my goal is $100 every other week. I didn’t have a lump sum to open an account with so I went with Betterment. You can open an accountant without a minimum as long as you contribute $100 per month. Good luck in 2017!

    • Ms. Steward

      Thanks! I considered Betterment, and decided I’m going to go with them for our taxable accounts. (Whenever we do that…) Since we could save the minimum for Fidelity so soon, I didn’t want to pay Betterment’s fees for a tax-advantaged since their tax harvesting doesn’t actually help. But if we were going to take longer, I definitely would have done it! Tell us how Betterment goes!

  2. Leigh

    My goal is pretty much to get through my MS coursework in 2017 without needing to ask my husband for any money other than for my Roth IRA contribution. That should work out, depending on how expensive our reception ends up being.

    Good luck with the Roth IRAs! It’s too bad you guys don’t want to keep yours at Vanguard because the minimum for their Target Retirement date funds is only $1,000, which is useful to get started in a retirement account!

    Have you looked into your lender’s requirements for removing PMI? Sometimes they’re clear as mud.

    • Ms. Steward

      I hear you on the schooling. It’s rough! Very best of luck.

      We’ll see with the Roths. I am pro-Vanguard, but with everything else with Fidelity, I figure we might as well open ours there, too (again, only because it means “pausing” for a couple of months).

      I have not clarified the PMI details. I assumed it was once we reached 20% equity in the home, since we have a conventional, but I better check!

    • Ms. Steward

      I should clarify, too, the minimum to open an account with Fidelity is way lower, but the minimum investment in their total market fund is $2500.

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