Lifehacker readers know that goal setting and New Year’s resolutions don’t always work out (resolutions, specifically, have a high potential to fail).
But if you there’s something you want to achieve, it’s also undeniable that naming it, making a plan and taking specific and consistent steps is the best way to accomplish it. And the new year is as good a time as any to start doing that, assuming you’re lenient with yourself and understand that everyone faces setbacks at some point. Particularly with money.
So, last year around this time, we asked if you had money goals for 2018. You said paying off student loans, keeping an emergency account funded and maxing out retirement accounts were at the top of your list. Now we’d like to know: Did you accomplish yours? If not completely, did you make progress?
My straight financial goals were to build up my savings and figure out how to live on my own. I focused on the latter, and that certainly hindered my ability to do the second. I also paid for a big trip, one of my general life goals for the year, which meant my bank account took another big hit. Basically, I did the opposite of saving this year.
But I’m OK with that. Travelling outside the U.S. has been on my “list” for five years, and every year I would tell myself I needed to save just a bit more to really be able to take a trip and enjoy. This year, a friend’s casual comment transformed into a trip that we’ve been anticipating for months. Turns out I could swing it after all.
I also checked off another item that’s been on my list for years that I just never got around to: Opening and funding a Roth IRA. It’s crazy it took me so long, particularly given how often I write about it, but that’s life. In terms of checking goals off my list, this year wasn’t half bad.
So, what about you? How did 2018 treat you? And if you’ve started planning ahead, tell us: What’s your financial goal or target for 2019?