Through my life what I’ve desired and wanted has changed and went back and forth several time. When I was young I used to say I was going to be a millionaire by the time I’m 21, sadly that only leaves a year and at the rate I’m going that’s way off. As I’ve grown older I’ve came to the conclusion of being more practical. Mainly to be more in line with what the average is, or about $42,000 a year. Now does this mean my desire to be one has gone away? No, just coming to conclusion it’s unrealistic.
So when I am old(er) and I look back at all I done here is the main financial goals I want to have accomplished,
- Own my own house, which is paid off - This is your stereotypical American dream item, only without the mortgage. The greatest thing that could happen in this regard is to pay with cash, but as I’ve said in another post I would really like to pay cash, but that may not be an option.
- Run a successful Business paying good wages - This is my biggest dream is to have a decent company with several employees that will provide me with income for years, plus I’d be doing what I love.
- Have rental properties in the Black - This may be pushing it, but if I manage my money right then it could happen. This would only help to safe guard me against slow months.
- No Debt - When I am looking back I want to be in no debt, although I know I am in debt right now with my Student Loans I want to be out of debt and besides a house and/or business I don’t see myself getting into any more debt.
- Fully funded Retirement - I’ve gotten started with a Traditional IRA from ING Direct (now Capital One 360) and if I can just max this out each year and maybe even look into some type of 401(k) or the likes for my company I should be well off in retirement.
If I get those goals in line then I don’t see myself having very much money problems, now those goals coming true is an entirely different thing.
With several state FAFSA deadline coming up its important to start preparing for the upcoming college semesters. I know myself that I’m waiting on the university I plan on transferring to for them to update their prices so I can plan around that. Maybe take one less class if It just won’t work.
In addition this builds on me working more hours as I am expecting to pay about $1,400 this coming semester. So I best be getting my expenses under control and finding ways to increase my income. For myself I plan on attending Western Kentucky University, which hasn’t released the Fall 2013 rates yet. But I plan on using the Spring tuition for calculating what I may owe. Which for what I am going for and the fact that it is mostly online, it means I have to pay $424 per credit hour, plus an “online” fee of $71. So it will be $495 per credit hour, or $1,485 a class.
I plan on taking three classes so it will be $4,455, I have applied for a scholarship for $2,000 a semester and I feel pretty good about it. I also have a scholarship that’s funded by the state lottery that works out to about $1,125 a semester I think. So this works out to me owing $1,330, which should be doable.
With classes starting in August I have $500 saved up and 5 months to go I need to ensure I’m putting back $166 a month. Which I am having my business save back a little bit and so far I should be on track to having the needed amount. So long as my plan works out then I will not need to take out any student loans nor will I have to pay the payment plan fees.
So if your going to school, do the math and see how much you need to save back.
Now that we know the issues for going off track it’s time we make an Action Plan to correct it. Which can go above and beyond just fixing the issues. Here’s my action plan:
- Control my spending on the new Credit Card - The reason I say to control vs get rid of is I do get points and the card comes with no annual fee. Yet I need a balance and that is I can only spend if I have the money in the bank and I need to start paying it off every week, as to not cause a balance.
- Increase hours - I need to manage my time better and I need to get my work done vs browsing the internet or playing games. I also need to work after hours if I have no homework or any other work I need to do until I get my Emergency Fund back to where it was when I had car repairs done and from the excess spending.
- At least follow a basic budget - Until I get my finances back into shape I need to stick to a budget and not overspend. I also need to allow some wiggle room in the budget so a small issue won’t dip into my Emergency Fund.
In addition to the list above I added a goal to increase my Education Fund, figured it would be appropriate as it would fit in nicely with Increasing my hours. Now it’s just a matter of time to see if my plan is working and if I have made any improvements by the end of the month.
The biggest issues besides laziness that made me get off the path I was on was
- Getting another Credit Card – Yep I applied to get one for gas purposes and what did I do on the very first weekend of owning it? Took my significant other out of state and spent money I didn’t have. Making me pay more for expenses that I otherwise wouldn’t have done.
- Reduced hours - Somehow or another I never did increase my hours after my Fall semester ended and now that it’s started back up I’m lucky to even get 18 hours in a week. This has caused my income to go way down making it harder to pay more on my new Credit Card.
- Not sticking to a budget - I used to have an alright budget and I’ve totally thrown that down the drain. I don’t even have enough money coming in because of the above to even meet all of my budget categories. Which had I sicked to my budget me getting a credit card wouldn’t have mattered in the slightest.
So now that i have identified the issues I need to find a way to correct the issue for both the short-term and the long-term. Short-term I need to correct my income problem and long-term I need to stick to a budget.