My 5 Grown-Up, Post-Grad Money Goals, And How I Plan To Reach Them
Now that I’ve graduated from college and have the time to work a lot more, a lot of things in my life are falling more easily into place. Although I’m currently in a weird transitional period financially (because I’m waiting for some new post-grad paychecks to roll in, and I’m moving before they’ll hit my account), I’ve come up with an entirely new set of money goals for my life now that I’ve finally actually graduated. Here are my five post-grad, actually-sort-of-grown-up money goals that I hope to accomplish over the next year (or few years — I’m not perfect).
1. $10,000 in a specific emergency fund by the end of this year.
This is an amount that Drew and I decided to save together — $5,000 each for a collective emergency fund of $10,000, should anything emergency-like happen. This is my most important savings goal at the moment, because while I’m doing well with a lot of things and am definitely getting by on what I earn, I don’t have a truly dedicated emergency fund. I have two separate places where money is saved, but they are just vague, general “savings accounts.” Drew is the same way. We decided that since we live together and share almost everything in our lives, we should each try to tuck away $5,000 by the end of this year (or not long after) to keep as a dedicated emergency fund. (I’m not really sure how we came up with the $10,000 amount — this may be something that is adjusted as we go on, but for now, it is a pretty firm goal.) Once we’ve saved that money, we’ll move on to savings goal number two:
2. $10,000 in a separate fund dedicated towards an eventual down payment.
This is a savings goal that I definitely have for over the next few years, but it isn’t quite as immediate as the emergency fund one. Drew and I both discussed this together, and decided that it is more important to have a solid emergency fund before we start thinking actively about buying a place (especially considering the fact that a lot of possible “emergencies” could be homeowner-related).
That said, it doesn’t hurt to start tossing little extra bits into the “future home” savings account. If there is extra money in my budget on any given month that isn’t accounted for, it may be tossed in the the emergency fund, or in the down payment fund (probably depending on my mood that day). This goal isn’t necessarily for any time soon, but I’m definitely thinking about it for the coming years.
3. Entirely paying off my car.
This was a goal of mine last time I wrote out a solid list of goals, but I didn’t quite reach it yet, so it has carried over to my new and improved list. I’ve got the tiniest bit left to pay off on my car, and my goal is to have it paid by the end of the summer. I’ve budgeted my life in the coming months in such a way that this goal seems entirely possible, and I will definitely prioritize this over almost anything else just because it is so stinkin’ close to being done.
4. Entirely paying off my student loans.
I got my very first post-grad email about my loans today (yikes!), and was pleased to find out that they don’t go into repayment for 14 months. That said, I’m definitely going to start paying them off in July. (I have a lot of random, one-time expenses ahead in June with my move and new puppy, so I’m going to sit that month out.)
When I do start repaying my loans later in the summer, I plan to pay at least double what the monthly payment is, since I budgeted a solid amount more for my student loan payment before finding out what it would actually be. Full disclosure: it is $129/month. I don’t have very much debt, so I definitely want it paid off ASAP so I don’t have to deal with paying tons of interest.
5. Taking a big break from “extra.”
I want to enjoy my summer (and my life, for that matter) as much as the next person. However, I’ve got a lot of financial balls in the air right now, and I need to scale back my lifestyle a bit while I find my feet in my new, post-grad life. That’s not to say I was living lavishly before, but it is true that I had less responsibilities and much less to worry about if I came up short one month on money. Now, with my rent going up (I was paying less than my boyfriend before, but we’re splitting it evenly now, so mine goes up about $200!) and a puppy to feed and care for, I know my money has much more important places to be than handed over to a Target cashier in exchange for snacks or makeup or shoes I’ll never wear. Once I settle into the routine of paying for my new necessities (rent, dog stuff, loans, and the money going toward my savings goals), I can see where there is room in my budget to “play around” and enjoy some ~extra~ things again.
Mary writes every day for TFD, and tweets every day for her own personal fulfillment. Talk to her about money and life at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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