Have the first three months of the year come and gone already? Life for the Single Income Life household continues to chug along and with two active kids running around, we could not be busier or happier. The first few months of the year tend to be a hectic time at work, but we managed to have a lot of fun on the home front. Some highlights include our youngest starting “school” (really just a weekly class at the neighborhood rec center, but he gets dropped off with a backpack just like big brother does at school!) and our oldest wrapping up his first ski season. We also had some family members come through for an extended visit in March, followed by a surprise visit from some college buddies in April. We tried to keep our spending in check along the way and are making decent progress on the goals we set for ourselves this year. Here’s where we are three months in:
Goal 1 – Increase savings rate to 50% of after-tax income
We’re trending just north of 40% month-to-month, but January was a stellar month due to bonuses and having RSUs vest. Our 60%+ savings rate in January should carry us for the rest of the year and bring our 2017 average closer to our 50% target.
Goal 2 – Increase monthly college savings by 25%
We upped our monthly contribution to the kids’ 529 plans by 25% in January and haven’t felt much of an impact on our budget since. Since this investment is made on a set-it-and-forget-it basis, we will hopefully be able to meet this savings target with ease.
Goal 3 – Increase net worth by 20%
Our net worth is up 10% since December 31, 2016, bringing us to the half-way point of our goal just three months in. However, we anticipate that growth to slow in the last nine months of the year. Most of our savings is front-loaded with the majority of the big ticket items hitting in the first quarter, so we expect only minor increases from here on out. If the market holds, I’m comfortable that we’ll hit our 20% target by year end.
From a financial standpoint, I’m pretty happy with our progress thus far. Overall, though, I’m finding that there is an unbelievable peace of mind that comes with setting goals. The nagging doubt that had always been in the back of my mind, wondering if we were saving enough or doing everything we were supposed to be doing (financially, at least), has all of a sudden been replaced with a sense of calm. I’m finding that I no longer waste energy worrying about the little things: did I spend too much at the grocery store? Should I have skipped lunch with my colleague? As long as we’re hitting the targets above, I’m satisfied with the direction we’re heading and the progress we’re making.
Lastly, thanks to the all the bloggers out there who continue to share their best practices and progress towards their financial goals. You all have been an unbelievable source of inspiration for us and keep us motivated to keep on keeping on!