For November’s personal finance goals, I decided to revisit my original 2013 new years resolutions to make sure I’m on track to finish them off.
I’ve mentioned before that I think it’s important to tie short-term goals to long-term goals. I believe my monthly goals generally do that, but in November, I want to tie them more explicitly.
2013 goal #1: Pay off all $35,000 of my credit card debt in two years, starting with my high-interest debt
I started the year with $35,000 in credit card debt, but saw the $21,000 at 20% or 22% as most pressing. You can understand why I, sitting in the shadow of this monster, made attacking it my number 1 goal.
Back in March, I did a huge balance transfer with a 0% teaser interest rate to free me up from accruing a lot of interest. A big income tax refund in April (yes, it’s dumb to give the Treasury a 0% loan; I know) and some aggressive credit card payments got me down to a level that was manageable enough to let me focus on student loans.
November 2013 goal #1: Pay off $2,500 of my remaining $5,000 in credit card debt
Because that 0% teaser interest rate resets in January, I’d like to knock out the remaining $5,000 by the end of the year. I’m going to try to do half of that this month and half of it next month.
2013 goal #2: Get smart about my options for student loan debt, and make a plan for paying it off.
My student loan payments were deferred until July, which gave me a chance to do a ton of research into the available options.
The plan I went with was picking income-based repayment, which lowered my payments overall and let me focus my payments on the loan with the highest interest rates.
Using this method, I managed to knock $10,000 off my student loans.
November 2013 goal #2: Pay $800 toward my student loans, and blog about making a plan
Sadly, this month, they’ll have to take a back seat to my credit card payments, but I’ll pay the $800 in interest that will accrue and I’ll write a blog post on steps I’d suggest together a plan to pay off student loan debt.
2013 goal #3: Do better accounting for my rental properties, and refinance both mortgages.
At the beginning of the year, my rental income was only starting to recover from the hit it took during the recent economic downturn, and my property value has yet to bounce back.
To make matters worse, I found myself in a bit of a catch–22, where I didn’t have the net rental income nor the equity to refinance, but was taking a constant hit to my net rental income and watching my equity stagnate because I couldn’t refinance.
Since then, I used a special refinance program for veterans to refinance the first property and am now in the process of refinancing the second.
November 2013 goal #3: Refinance my second rental property; and pull back the curtain a bit with a blog post on accounting for my rental property
After all, who wouldn’t be excited to read a blog post on accounting?
2013 goal #4: Blog often to keep myself honest and to keep learning.
At the beginning of the year, I didn’t trust myself to keep any of these resolutions, so I put my finances out there to subject to the judgment of the Internet.
Back then, I considered “blogging often” to be two posts a month. Obviously, I do much more than that now, and wouldn’t mind doing more.
November 2013 goal #4: Speak to 10 other bloggers to collaborate in some way and blog four times about my own personal finances
The first is pretty self-explanatory — it helps out other bloggers and helps me out in some way, probably.
The second is to keep this blog true to its roots by getting away from general topics and putting my own situation out there for the world to see and potentially judge unfavorably.
In other words, get ready for some over-sharing, y’all.
Bonus November 2013 goal #5: Give thanks
Because that’s what November is all about.
And that’s that. What are you all trying to bang out in November?