We are almost halfway through an arguably tumultuous year. With COVID-19 still uncontained in many areas and stay-home orders lifting rather slowly, life has certainly been unusual for the past several months.
While it is usually traditional to set goals at the beginning of the year (and I did, and my husband did, and we did together), I find a lot of value in quarterly evaluation of our annual goals. Even though we are a little early for our semiannual evaluation, I found myself pouring over them anyway.
So, what did we want for 2020, what has been achieved, what is in progress, and what has been tabled?
To start out with, the positives. So far in 2020, I have graduated from college and started a new, W2, 9-5 job that is relevant to that degree. While it’s not very high-paying, it is steady, I will get 401(k) options in a few months, and I am eligible for their health insurance. Meanwhile, my husband received a raise at work and we have saved up for a major car repair so that we don’t have to coordinate our work schedules against each other. These are some of the milestones we identified to financially prepare for a baby and set us on a 3 year trajectory towards home ownership. We also had an appointment with a financial advisor to gain insight on our (woefully lacking) investments - arguably the weakest point of our financial portfolio. (Incidentally, the advisor said he had never heard such “lofty and comprehensive goals” from any 23 year olds after we had finished our explication).
Goals in Progress
Because of the novel coronavirus, the aforementioned car repair is just now being scheduled, and we eagerly await that vehicle’s return to functionality :) Additional goals in progress include my husband earning a tech certification (after which he will receive another raise) and me earning a different tech credential that will likely lead to additional job opportunities (with accompanied pay increase). With a focus on work that can be performed from home, we hope to permanently slash our spending by eliminating commutes and remove temptations to buy unnecessary crap. Looking further downstream in our lives, working from home also often coordinates with more flexible work hours, which corresponds with less money spent on child care for the future little we are hoping for within the next two years.
Ironically, the only tabled goals we have from 2020 have provided a financial net profit. Rather than take a trip to see my folks to celebrate my graduation, I spent that time applying for jobs and taking the much less expensive route of eating too much ice cream. That being said, my husband’s certification may indeed be pushed into 2021 if in-person proctoring services do not resume before then (or online proctoring services for his particular certificate do not emerge). We are playing it by ear and praying for rapid breakthroughs in combating this virus while simultaneously doing our part to stop its spread.
Even in the middle of a global pandemic, there are opportunities. The very best thing that we can do financially in 2020 is expand our revenue streams, revamp savings to an appropriate emergency fund, and stimulate local and national economy by making wise purchases.
What goals has the pandemic enabled you to achieve?
I spend most of my spare time playing with spreadsheets, my violin, or planting vegetables in my garden in hopes of bringing new insights into frugal living. Please enjoy, and don't forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter here.
Disclaimer - Mrs. FB is not a financial advisor. Nothing in these articles should be construed as investment or other professional advice, but rather personal opinion. Some links in these posts may be to affiliate sites - no products are advertised through this site that have not been personally used by the FB family unless expressly labeled.