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2021 Financial Goals

December 29th, 2020 at 04:08 pm

For the past three years that I have been self-employed, one of the hardest things has been getting used to a variable income. Now that I have almost a full year of full time self-employment, I have a better idea of what to expect. I have decided to give myself a "salary" so that I am withdrawing a set amount each month rather than just take money from my business account as needed. I took my lowest earning month from the past year, and based my budget and withdrawal based on that. I can always revise it as needed. The hope is that taking a regular monthly withdrawal will help me make regular investments so I can take advantage of dollar cost averaging. It also helps me to have a more streamlined budget rather than trying to rework it every month.

And then stash it away in HSA, 401(k), brokerage, and extra payments towards my mortgage principal.

I am moving to a solo 401(k) instead of a SEP-IRA because I can save substantially more for retirement this way. I plan to max out the employee deferral. And, if possible to max out the employer contribution as well.

I have lost faith that my current accountant knows what she is doing. She gave me some wrong information that caused me to be able to save less this year in tax-deferred accounts. I corrected her, she doubled down on what she thought was right. I had to research and send her information on why she was wrong, and she passed it off saying, "Of course I knew that. I just didn't realize you wanted to save that much." But, I could not undo it by then. Then she made another error that is going to take some time for me to call around and undo. This one is fixable, but an annoyance. Finally, she thinks that I will not benefit from making an S-election on my taxes. I ran the numbers and I don't think that is the case. I am going to use her again this year for the sake of ease. But, when things slow down after the tax deadline, I'll look for another person.  

I used to do this diligently. But, I froze my account with all three credit bureaux immediately after the 2017 Equifax data breach. Since then, I have slacked off on this a bit. While my credit is still frozen, it will help to make sure to run an eye over the reports a few times a year. An additional hope that my credit score rises over 820. It is currently 792.

Also, drop PMI on mortgage.

Paint the house, and install a lawn in the front yard. Painting needs to happen this year or next. The lawn is optional, but pretty high on my wishlist. The front yard currently has landscape fabric that is covered with woodchips - done by previous owners. While this is very low on time and maintenance in the summer and winter, it is an absolute nightmare in the Spring and Fall. In the Spring, I am constantly digging out weeds and grape hyacinth. In the Fall, the whole thing bubbles up because there is a giant layer of mushroom that grows beneath the landscape fabric and I have to keep pulling it up, removing the mushrooms and replacing the fabric and the woodchips. I hate it. Also, the mushroom is Agaricus Campestris. So, if I had a lawn, I could actually just pick the mushrooms to eat. They're deformed and squashed and dirty when they grow underneath the landscape fabric and squashed against the soil. I removed a whole wheelbarrowful of mushrooms this year, and it make me so sad to just have to throw them away. Installing a lawn will mean that I will need to mow it most months and water it in the summer. But, that seems infinitely preferable to how things are right now. I'm going to get some quotes on someone coming to do the whole thing because I don't want to put in the labor myself. Another option is to remove the landscape fabric, and cover in more woodchips. This doesn't look as pretty as I would like it to, but is very low-maintenance.

Towards the end of the year, if it looks like the pandemic is more under control and 2022 is going to be a year when folks from the US can travel more widely, then in the 4th quarter of 2021, I plan to open a travel bonus credit card and try my hand at travel hacking for the following year. I have never had a credit card that carried an annual fee, so this is going to be an interesting one. If any of you use these cards, please let me know what your experience with them has been.

(9) LOSE 12 lbs.
One pound a month should be pretty doable. Also, exercise 120 days - that works out to one in three days of the year. I think right now I'm only doing around 2x/week on average. This  health goal will have positive financial implications.

1 Responses to “2021 Financial Goals”

  1. Wink Says:

    These are fantastic goals! #2 is really impressive, a 75% saving of your net income. I should really start doing #5 on a more consistent basis, and #9 is really reasonable. I was doing quite well maintaining my weight until the last few months.

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