Tag Archives: goal setting

Identify Your Obstacles

Identify Your Obstacles

This post is meant to immediately follow last week’s piece about your idea of what being rich means. If you haven’t had a chance to read last week’s post, I highly suggest you do before reading this post. I strongly believe that you can’t get started on identifying your obstacles unless you’ve defined your destination.

Now that you’ve determined what being rich means for you , you must now identify your obstacles.

Identify Your Obstacles

In our case, The Husband and I looked at our definitions of being rich and went from there. As a refresher, here is what being rich means to us –

Being rich means being debt-free

Being rich means not worrying about money

Being rich means being incredibly generous

If you’re a visual person, like I am, imagine your ideas of being rich at the top of a mountain. On the way up this mountain, there are obstacles and set backs on the way, such as a steep cliff, or a tall boulder in the way.

Right now, you are simply looking toward your destination – in this case, your ideas of being rich – and want to identify your obstacles that you can see right ahead of you on the way toward the top of the mountain of financial freedom.

For example, The Husband and I literally looked at our ideas of being rich one by one and identified our obstacles for each. Here is what we came up with.

Being rich means being debt-free

Obstacle #1: Credit card debt

If you’re new to the blog, you must get familiar with my complicated relationship with credit. If you’ve been a reader for some time, you’re probably sick of me talking about it. Well – so am I! This is the first obstacle The Husband and I face when we look to being debt-free.

Obstacle #2: Student loan debt

The Husband and I both went to pretty expensive private colleges. The only difference is that I came out of it with a ton of loans and he didn’t. Hey, what’s mine is yours now, right? 😉 This is clearly #2 on the debt list.

Obstacle #3: Car loan debt

This debt is only slightly less annoying than my student loan debt, but it definitely makes a dent in our monthly expenses. Plus, now that we’re married, we have two car loans to worry about.

Obstacle #4: Mortgage debt

The biggest debt on the balance sheet, but the last in priority for us. I locked in a pretty great interest rate on this loan and we’ve got other debt to focus on in the meantime. Until then, this debt will remain last on the list.

Being rich means not worrying about money

Obstacle #1: Emergency fund

Currently, we have $1k set aside for emergencies. Ideally, we’d like to have much more, preferably 3-6 months worth of expenses.

Obstacle #2: Retirement funds

I’m a huge advocate for taking care of Future You. I don’t want retirement to be a source of stress for us when we’re older. Specifically, this goal means having fully funded Roth IRAs AND 401 k (or 403 b in The Husband’s case).

Obstacle #3: Saving for fun goals/expenses

The Husband and I want to do some major traveling before we start, you know, multiplying. Saving for this is incredibly important – we don’ like traveling broke!

Speaking of multiplying, we’re also thinking of starting a college fund for our future kid(s) (God willing).

There are other expenses we might want in the future, like a new car (when the time comes), moving out (hopefully), etc. We want to be ready for all of these expenses.

Obstacle #4: Diversifying income

To diversify your income means to have different kinds of income streams flowing in as opposed to just having one main job each. We want to do this because it spreads out the risk of unemployment. When you have multiple streams of income, it’s not a huge deal if one of them doesn’t work out – you’ve got all the other “jobs” you can depend on! The more risk we can lower, the better!

Being rich means being incredibly generous

Obstacle #1: Weekly giving

As a Catholic, I firmly believe in tithing when able. What you lack in money, you can give in time. For The Husband and I, I think we are able to give both right now. I want us to start giving weekly to our church so we can start building the habit of generosity.

Obstacle #2: Monthly service

Even though it’s important to give money or even material possessions, I think that giving of one’s time is very valuable, as well. Right now, The Husband and I serve at mass once in a while at our home parish. I also serve in a choir that sings every week at different parishes.

Eventually, though, I’d love to give my time in other ways, like participating in Habitat for Humanity, or volunteering at a local shelter or food drive. I know that a lot of places depend on the time donated by many volunteers and I’d love to regularly be a part of that.

Obstacle #3: Outrageous generosity

Dave Ramsey likes to encourage outrageous generosity and I totally buy it! When we have more than enough, it’s a witness to Christ when we choose to use our riches for others and not only ourselves.

There are so many ideas that I have for this. From sponsoring a family during the holidays, to setting up a socially-aware business, and even paying for all of our family/friends to spend some time together – outrageous giving is something I want to have as a part of our every day lives.

Looking at our obstacles can get overwhelming. But it’s important to remember that we aren’t tackling each obstacle all at once. We will take these obstacles and build out a more detailed battle plan in my next post.

But for now – what are your obstacles on your way to being rich?


Lisa vs. the 2014 Goals – Checking In

On January 1st of this year, I posted Lisa vs. the 2014 Goals for all to see.

Part of goal setting is, well, achieving those goals. Although we aren’t quite at the end of the year yet, I decided to go back to these goals and provide a quick update. Constantly updating yourself on how your goals are doing is a great way to ensure that you’ll actually do it! Without further ado, let’s get to it!

Financial Goals

Rebuild emergency fund to $1,000 – Complete!

This was one of the first goals I knocked out this year! I sleep much better knowing that I have a little money saved in case something were to come up unexpectedly.

Stay out of credit card debt – In progress…

At the end of 2013, I paid off my credit cards for good… If “for good” meant “for now”. Currently, I’m still involved in this CC debt drama. But hopefully, I’ll be able to get rid of it by the end of this year – maybe sooner!

Begin saving for travel goals – Ongoing

This is more of an ongoing goal that I’m adopting into my monthly finance routine. Every month, I’ve been setting aside $100 into a separate “travel” account for spending money whenever I (you guessed it) travel. I’ve successfully saved for my birthday weekend in Las Vegas and a trip with friends to San Diego. My next biggest trip is coming up which is New Orleans next month for FinCon14!!!

Bulk up emergency fund to 3-6 months worth of expenses – Postpone

I don’t think this is the year I’ll be able to bulk up my emergency fund. Why? 1) I’m satisfied with the $1,000 I have in there right now, and 2) I’d rather get rid of my credit card debt first.

Start throwing extra money at student loans (again) – Ongoing

After being frustrated of seeing my student loan balances decrease by only $50 each month, I decided to throw more money at these bad boys. If you read my last net worth update, my student loans finally dipped by 3 figures. I’m not exactly going all out on this, since I’m still fighting that damned CC debt, but these are the next to go!

Blogging Goals

Go to FinCon14 – Upcoming
Enough said

Enough said

Expand content – Changing

I’ve done a lot of thinking about the direction of this blog. Originally, this goal meant that I would ask more guest bloggers to come on board. There were some great guests posts on here! For example Ben from The Wealth Gospel’s guest post is still one of my most popular posts on here! Also, my IRL friend Zherr-Anne’s Wedding Tip Wednesday series was a hit! But with the good came the bad. I’m thinking of deleting the couple of guest posts here that just isn’t in line with my blog.

Other than that, I’m still trying to come up with ways to make this blog right here stand out. Part of that is making it a more personal blog, and another part of that is perhaps starting a video series! I’m so indecisive, so I don’t really know how this is all going to happen, but just know that I’m working on it 😉

Get Social – Ongoing

As of today, I have 591 followers on Twitter (follow me if you haven’t yet)! My Facebook page isn’t quite ready to launch yet, but it should be up by the time I board the plane to FinCon! I’m also planning on sharing my personal Instagram on here soon!

Personal Goals

Land a new day job – Complete

After a stressful job hunt, I’m proud to say that in February, I landed a new day job! The past six months have flown by at this new company! We’re growing like cuh-ray-zee and I’ve been putting in a ton of hours, but I absolutely love it! I love my company’s mission, and I feel like everything I do is making an impact on people’s lives.

Complete Lean and Lovely Program – Complete

Lean and Lovely is a kettlebell training program written by the beautiful Neghar Fonooni. I finished the program earlier this year! I didn’t necessarily see a change on the scale, but I felt more flexible and limber after completing the program.

Unfortunately, my fitness routine just hasn’t been 100% lately. I’ve signed up for her other program, Super Heroine Fitness, but have stopped midway. I’ll either get back into SHF soon or redo L&L.

Wake Up Early – Failing so hard

Honestly, I totally forgot that this was a goal for this year! What a wake up call… (pun entirely intended). Currently, I get up around 7 and chill in bed until about 7:20. Then I rush to get ready for the day and head out to work. I don’t have time to pack a lunch, or make myself breakfast. This needs to change! I’m going to try and get up 15 minutes earlier this week, then 15 minutes earlier the following week, and so on until I get to a 5:30 wake up time.

I’ve completed some goals already, I’m making progress on others, and I’ve already declared some early fails. The year isn’t over, so I’m not giving up on the goals I’ve decided to keep pursuing!

How about you? How are your 2014 goals coming along?