Half of the year has gone by! It’s already July! Talk about a crazy year so far right? 2020 has been…not exactly how anyone had planned for it to be. Australia was on fire, Kobe passed (R.I.P. MAMBA), COVID-19 shut down the world and the killing of George Floyd that has sparked peaceful protests around the country (please donate if you can, BLACK LIVES MATTER, it’s a movement, not a moment)! With the way 2020 has gone, there have been so many unexpected twists and turns that we don’t even know what is going to happen this month. Will professional sports really return? That possible new swine flu? Aliens? What else is coming? Well, regardless of what happens next, I hope this month and the 2nd half of the year is full of positivity, prosperity and peace for you all.
With the 1st half of the year gone, I would love to share with you the goals I have set for myself for 2020. I have been tracking my finances and setting goals for myself since 2016. And for the past 2 years, I have been “pinning” my financial goals for the year on my Twitter account:
The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely helped me with some of my financial goals for 2020.
Eating out has been one of my achilles heel when it comes to cutting expenses. Since I started tracking my spending and my earnings have increased each year, my spending on eating out has also increased each year (LOL). However, the first six months of the year, my eating out has drastically decreased (mainly due to COVID-19).
From 01/01/2020 – 06/30/2020: Total Eating Out (which includes dine-in, take-out, alcohol, drinks/snacks from a bodega) = $1235.68
Roughly $205.95 per month! This time last year after six months, I had already spent $3,626.59 or $604.43 per month! Yikes!!! Part of me doesn’t want this year to count in terms of lessening my spending for eating out because of the pandemic, but nonetheless, this is still some progress! Me and my significant other have been cooking at home and eating out less (as I am eating Chinese Takeout while writing this). Even if restrictions are being lifted in New Jersey, we are still being very cautious about being in large groups or dining out because of the virus. Cooking at home has definitely helped us.
Reading more books
I have not read a book this year and I have to!! My significant other suggested to me to read some fictional books so that I’m not always reading financial/investment books. However, the past six months, I have not gotten any reading done 😦 I am committed to reading more the 2nd half of the year. However I did start this blog in the first half of the year, that could be some sort of consolation prize right?
Due to COVID-19, I have saved a lot more money so far this year because of quarantine. It’s definitely cause of not eating out (LOL). Me and my significant other’s grocery bills have gone up, but our eating out has significantly dropped. I haven’t been drinking alcohol as much either which helps a lot (especially not buying a round of shots)! In 2019, I had a savings goal of $10,000 and for this year my goal was to double that. Well, I have been able to double my savings goal this year and we’re not even all the way through yet!!! (yay!!) Since I am earning rental income now, I am able to save more of my salaried income. Since I already doubled my savings for this year, I am moving $6,000 to my Roth IRA, which will complete another goal that I will talk about. For the rest of the year I will replenish the $6,000 that was moved to my Roth IRA and re-complete the goal! I am also expected to spend a lot of money this month because I will be putting money into my investment property. We are getting the driveway and backyard asphalted, gardening and getting the trees in the backyard trimmed.
Network with other investors
I have networked with a couple of investors so far this year and am excited to work with some in the future! I have also kept in close touch with my real estate agent from my first deal, who checks up on me regularly. Networking is so important in any field. You learn so much from others and it’s important to stay connected! I often have a problem with wanting to constantly socialize because I like to be on my own. I am slowly getting myself out there more and this blog definitely is helping me.
Max Out My Roth IRA
As mentioned earlier, I finished the process of moving $6,000 to my Roth IRA @ Interactive Brokers. This will complete my final goal for the year of maxing out this account! A Roth IRA isa type of retirement account which investors can put a maximum of $6,000 after-tax dollars into the account and use it to invest for retirement. You can withdraw funds penalty and tax free on only the money you put in, not money you make. You can withdraw profits from the account after five years without incurring a penalty, however, you will have to pay capital gains taxes on the profits you take out. This is another way of investing for retirement with after-tax dollars! I also was able to contribute an extra $1,500 for my 2019 contribution due to the COVID-19 extension for contributing to retirement accounts. I did not max out last year due to buying my rental property, but was given the opportunity to max out for 2019!
Setting goals keeps you motivated throughout the year to save and build wealth! Here are some goals you can add to your 2nd half of the year! Or if you don’t feel confident right now, it’s a good time to start planning for 2021!
- Eat out less or spend less when eating out (I kid you not, this is on my list of goals every year)
- Maybe don’t buy that extra beer/mixed drink when you’re out at the bar
- Try cooking at home, even if it’s one day a week!
- Cut out or decrease one bill (phone, cable, car insurance, etc.)
- Ask if yourself if you really need to spend $100+ per month on phone or cable
- Contact your car insurance provider and ask if there are better deals or shop around for a new insurance (there’s no rule to jump around insurances)
- Does your service have a landline that is adding extra costs to your monthly bill? People still use landlines?
- Minimize your subscriptions (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, HBO, etc.)
- Ask yourself, do you really need subscriptions to five different services? Do you have cable on top of streaming services? Is it really necessary to have both?
- Think about it before buying it
- Building a habit of thinking and asking yourself before buying something can really save you a lot of money in the long run
- Sign up for your employer’s 401(k) plan
- If you haven’t signed up for your employer’s 401(k) plan, do it! It’s the easiest way to start investing
- Read one book about personal finance or real estate investing
- This is not exactly a financial goal, but it will definitely motivate and guide you to reaching financial goals
- Pay yourself first
- When you get paid, throw something into savings before paying bills, even if it’s a dollar (Will have a topic in the future of paying yourself first)
There are so many goals out there! Find one that will find your financial needs and stick to it! Send them to me if you need an accountability buddy, I’ll be happy to check in with you to make sure you are meeting your goals! Enjoy the 2nd half of the year and make sure you are doing what you can to live a financially healthy life!