Happy New Year everyone! This is the time for declaring new goals, adventures and accomplishments.
Over the past few years, I’ve been setting personal goals for myself in all areas of my life. This way I am constantly striving to give myself and my family the best life possible.
If you’ve been reading this blog for the last year (thanks … you rock!), you might remember that I shared three goals with you last January.
- Pay off our mortgage
- Run a marathon
- Increase our net worth and push toward becoming a millionaire (this one wasn't very clear. I think I just liked the alliteration of Mortgage, Marathon, Millionaire.)
To hold myself accountable, here’s how we did:
1. We made the last payment on our mortgage in November and our family is now mortgage free. (Victory!)
2. In October, my wife and I both crossed the finish line at the Detroit Free Press Marathon. We were half alive when we finished, but we finished nonetheless. (Accomplished!)
3. We increased our net worth to $700k by the end of the year. (Too vague of a goal to say it was accomplished. NOTE TO SELF: Make more specific goals next year and don't worry about alliteration, fancy pants).
2 out of 3 ain't bad!
All in all, I’m very proud of the progress our family has made in 2017. I have to give a HUGE thank you to my wife Nicole for her unending patience, partnership and support. We crossed these big milestones together. (I love you baby!)
My Personal 2018 Goals
For 2018, I want to share my goals with you and I want you to share your goals with me too. Write in the comments below or leave me a voicemail. Leave your name, location, your 2018 goals and I’ll feature it on my podcast. Let’s use public proclamation to motivate us to hit our BIG GOALS for 2018!
I’ll lead the charge by sharing my 2018 goals:
- Maximize contributions in my 401k, IRAs (2) and HSA
- Save 50% of our income
- Buy our first rental property
- Make $5,000 in side hustle income
- Open and fund a Roth IRA for my two kids
- Help my daughter learn a new skill (Ski, Piano, Theatre)
- Go on a 5-day family vacation funded by travel rewards
- Re-Read The 5 Love Languages and one other similar book to focus on growing the love and bond between Nicole and I
8 goals is a lot more than my 3 goals last year! What are goals if you’re not challenging yourself, right?
As you can tell, I’m a big fan of public proclamation. It’s very motivating. If you have some goals for your marriage, your relationship with your kids and your future family wealth, join me. It’ll be fun. I promise. Leave me a voicemail or comment below with your details!
10 Family Wealth Building Ideas for 2018
Perhaps you're looking for the best place to start or ways to strengthen your family tree even more. Well, I'm here for you!
Here are 10 ideas to help you build wealth this year:
1. Live on a Budget for 3 Months Straight
When my wife and I started budgeting together in 2011, it was a rough start. We made mistakes, we forgot to include important budget line items and we had some disagreements on what we actually “needed” in our budget. After about 3 months of updating, perfecting and finding middle ground, we got the hang of it.
Budget for 3 months straight and not only will your finances get better, but your marriage just might get better as well.
2. Begin Tracking Your Net Worth
Nicole and I thought we were RICH in 2010. We had no kids and together we had a six-figure household income. Then we discovered the term “net worth”. (What the heck does that mean?!)
Evidently if you owe (liabilities) more than you own (assets), then your net worth would be negative. Yep, that was us.
We had a -$50,000 net worth and we were making over $100k per year together! It was madness. Ever since that moment, we've been tracking our net worth because we were making too much money to be freakin' broke.
We've been using a free net worth tracking service through Personal Capital to keep us “in the know” regarding our financial situation.
3. Complete Your Family Will
If you're married with kids, please get your last will and testament in place as soon as possible. Nicole and I cranked our will out in a quick weekend and we were able to sleep easier.
If you have a complicated situation (business ownership, out-of-state properties, divorce, etc.), be sure to work with a lawyer you can trust.
It's always best to be prepared.
4. Refinance Your Mortgage
Yesterday, I heard a story about a man who asked his sister what she was paying on her mortgage interest rate. After digging up the paperwork, she told her brother that she was paying around 2 percentage points higher than the current average interest rate.
He asked her to look into refinancing and seeing what the change would do to her monthly payments. After researching and following through with the refinance, she was able to save $300 per month. That $300 would have just gone to the bank in interest if she hadn't gone through with the refinance.
You may have a very competitive mortgage interest rate right now. It couldn't hurt to check, right?
Find out what your mortgage interest rate is currently. Check out a service like LendingTree (who we used for our mortgage) to compare current rates for a 15-year or 30-year fixed rate. With rates at this low, you may be able to save a few thousand dollars this year.
5. Increase Your Tax Advantaged Retirement Savings
This month, I surpassed $100,000 for the first time in my 401k!
I've been taking advantage of the 401k program at my office through the generous matching program we have as well as maxing it out at $18,000 annually. The 23.28% rate of return last year surely helped out too!
In my un-professional opinion (seriously, I'm not a professional), low-cost index funds are the way to go with all of these options.
You don't NEED to max anything out. Make it a goal to increase your savings from where you are today and increase it steadily over time.
6. Eliminate Your Debt with the highest interest rate
Debt can weigh you down. It's time to say, “No more!”
Look at all of your debts this week. Find the total balance and the interest rate that you're paying. Select the one with the highest interest rate and crush it!
Nicole and I had $48,032 in debt when we started our marriage and we used the “Debt Avalanche” method to pay down our debts with the highest interest rates one by one. It worked it like a charm. We were consumer debt free in less than 1 year.
7. Sign Up for Term Life Insurance
If your family relies on your income or your time, you need life insurance.
For almost all situations, term life insurance is the best way to go. It's low-cost and it gives you the coverage you need. Nicole and I both have 30-year term policies.
Quotacy is like LendingTree where they analyze multiple providers on your behalf to get you the best coverage and price. I had a chance to meet with the founder, Jeremy Hallett. He's a solid guy.
8. Start a 529 college savings account for Your Kids
I want to give my kids the opportunity to live a student debt free life, but MAN the cost of college is freakin' insane! When I interviewed CollegeBacker's Co-Founder Abby Chao, she said the overall costs for college are increasing at 6% annually.
If we're saving for our kid's college costs in an online bank account that's yielding 1% interest per year, we're 5% short … each year!
529 college savings accounts will help you invest in the broader market, earn a better interest rate and receive state tax benefits.
9. Develop a chore and reward system for your kids
Helping your kids learn the value of hard work and rewarding them for it will help you develop a legacy of winners in your family tree.
Developing a chore and reward system gives our kids the ability to contribute around the house, the independence to know they can solve important problems and you (as the hardworking parent) can finally get a breather. You deserve it.
— Andy Hill (@AndyHillMKM) January 5, 2018
10. Think of a side hustle to bring in extra Money
If you have the drive and the will power to start a side hustle, this is the year to do it.
On my podcast, I've interviewed over 50 personal finance experts, self-made millionaires and early retirees. The overwhelming majority of them attribute their financial success to diversifying their income streams and not solely relying on their day job.
What skills do you have that you could use to create value for someone outside of your 9-5 job?
I'm willing to bet you have a hidden passion that you could turn into a rewarding side business. This fun hustle has the potential to make you happier, healthier and wealthier this year.
What are your goals for 2018?
Please let me know in the comments below!