Financial Plan For 2016
I am not much of a planner. The universe probably has its own plan for most of us but it also doesn’t make sense to just leave everything up to chance. So, with that, here are a few things that I will aim for in 2016. Not a resolution since I like to roll with the punches and will adjust my plan as needed. (Fear of commitment? me? no!)
I stopped using credit cards a few months ago and it has made my life so much simpler. For several years I’ve only used it to collect miles but even that is too much of a headache and just leads to more spending. I’ve been using my debit card for all purchases — love it. I will have my student loans paid off before the end of this month (December). I’ll start the new calendar year debt free.
The condo, which I recently purchased, is ready for me to move into. Even though I was going to just let my lease run out (another 6 months), I decided to save myself nearly $4,000 by subletting the place.
It’s important to me that I don’t fall into the trap of renovating and upgrading which I feel is a big financial black hole when it comes to owning a primary residence. I will have ongoing expenses of HOA dues and property taxes which add up to ~$350/mo. I need to touch up a few things so for 2016 the goal is no more than $1,000 spent on the condo.
I’ll continue full-time work for most of 2016. This year I will break the $250k gross income point. Hopefully with itemized deductions and 401(k) contributions I can bring this below $250k otherwise I’ll be hit with AMT (taxes) and lose the ability to deduct my property taxes (I think).
My tentative retirement date is 5.2019. I would still need to work until then in order to vest in my pension program. However, I don’t see myself staying at this job for another 3 years and change. I could go down to as little as 50% and still vest so we shall see.
Going back to YNAB for sure for 2015. I posted not too long ago that even though I thought I was spending no more than $2,000 per month the reality was closer to $3,000. It’s easy to forget about those little expenses and they add up quite nicely.
I’ll be needing to cook more at home which means eating out less. My entertainment expenses are out of control now that I’m dating so there is a lot of room for savings there. I go to a coffee shop about 2x a day on my off days. I will cut that back to 1x per day.
What plans do you have for 2016?
Are you working towards a retirement plan or is it something you’re not quite ready to tackle yet?