Friday, February 08, 2008

Financial Fridays--chasing the financial event horizon

Friday is my day off, so it seems every Friday morning I end up fussing and fretting about finances and trying to finesse my budget. Not a good way to start a weekend, but at least it gets done. Last Friday I did our taxes, this Friday I updated our budget (which I use an Excel spreadsheet for--it's sort of a big portrait of current budget, future expenses, taxes, fico scores, and retirement account earning predictions.)

It seems to me that before I started learning about personal finance, I lived in blissful ignorance and security and now that I know what is going on, globally and personally, I feel more insecure while logically I know that is not true. Every step I take now is to ensure our future financial security and I have the information to back it up--so why don't I feel more confident? I think I know what I know and I know what I don't know, so this should add up to more security, not less. Knowledge is power, right? But although our net worth has increased exponentially since I started learning and reading (and acting upon that information) eight years ago, I'm also aware of all the pitfalls that could await us.

My long-term (1-5 years) financial goals are simple:

1. Pay off house.
2. Have zero debt.
3. Have highly diversified retirement accounts totaling at least $700,000.
4. Buy car with cash.
5. Improve Home--add porches, simplify interior (declutter), add solar energy.
6. Start LTC plan for husband before he reaches 55.

My short term goals for this year are basically continue to do everything we're already doing plus start a ROTH IRA for my husband with an emphasis on International (not global) funds.

Saving more is an eternal goal but we don't seem to be getting better at it--we're basically keeping up with inflation by spending less, but not saving incredible amounts. There seems to be this weird event horizon when it comes to our savings--we eternally seem to be approaching but never reaching a certain amount. The minute we get close to the goal amount, we end up having to dip into it for some unexpected expense.

No comments: