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Even though our journey to debt freedom is officially over, our work isn’t done yet! Andy and I still have some goals we would like to achieve that will require us to be diligent and wise with our money. Here are the new goals that Andy and I are working towards.
1. Increase our tithing. This is one that we have officially put into action! While we were in debt, we were tithing 10% of Andy’s base pay, as well as 10% of my paycheck once I started my new job this summer. However, those of you who are familiar with military pay knows that the food and housing allowances (BAS and BAH) are not included in the base pay and are considered non-taxable income. Andy and I decided we would increase our tithing/giving by half of the non-taxable military allowances, which brings our percentage to about 8% of our total income so far. I’m hopeful that soon enough we will be able to tithe even more!
2. Fully fund our emergency fund (approximately $20,000). We would like to fully fund our emergency fund in 2018. Since we live off one income, my entire paycheck can go towards saving. We should have this fully funded by the end of 2018. We opted to put our emergency fund into a Barclays Bank online savings account, since it has a high interest rate; however, I will have to manually transfer the money into the account each month, since my paycheck at work varies (I’m currently paid hourly instead of salary.)
3. Save enough cash to buy new (to us) vehicles (approximately $30,000-ish?). In an ideal world, we would have our emergency fund fully funded before we begin to think about buying new vehicles. However, given that we both drive 2001-model vehicles, we know that they may not last as long as we’d like. So, if at all possible, we plan to pay cash for our next vehicles. We are still planning to keep our vehicles until they are goners, but it will be nice to have the cash sitting aside for when that day finally comes! Once we do get to the point of saving for new cars, we will also put this money in its own Barclays Bank online savings account. And if, for some reason, our cars don’t quite last as long as we had hoped, we will just pull from our emergency fund to pay cash for them, and then replenish the emergency fund instead of funding this savings account.
4. Save more money for travel. Andy and I had hoped to visit Aruba for our first wedding anniversary, but then we received surprise PCS orders and had to put that trip on hold. We’re hoping to visit Aruba in winter 2018/2019 (we won’t be taking leave for Christmas so the other Recruiter can, so we’d like to take leave later in the winter.) There’s also a long list of other places we’d like to visit someday, including Ireland, Israel, and Lake Powell, Arizona. Once again, we set up a Barclays Bank online savings account specifically for travel and we’ll auto-transfer $200 a month into this account.
5. Begin investing. We opened up a Betterment investing account and have set $200 a month to auto-transfer into the investing account. In May, Andy will receive a pay increase for hitting 6 years of service, which we’d like to mostly put towards investing as well. When he picks up E-6 (which also should be in 2018, I hope!), we will do the same thing.
What are your financial goals?