I started this blog with the hope of becoming consumer debt free by thirty. I have achieved that and more. However, lists are fun and I would like to see where I stand.
The bulk part of this list is from Gen Y Weath's Financial Milestones to Reach In Your Twenties. There were originally twenty milestones and I added ten to make it thirty before thirty. I'm a dork like that.
Let's see if I have to burn some midnight oil
in order to complete this list before I turn thirty.
1. Finance a dream vacation with cash
We did this before we were 20. We paid for a trip to Turks and Caicos. It was an amazing vacation!
2. Pay off your student loans
This one doesn't really apply to me. Before we lived in the middle of no where, I was enrolled in school. I was paying for those expenses out of pocket. When we move to a normal town that actually has a secondary education system I hope to continue my schooling. Paying cash for it, of course.
3. Automate paying your credit card in full every month
Yes, we have got this down.
4. Get rid of all bad debt
Very happy about this one. We are sitting pretty with no consumer debt.
5. Build an adequate emergency fund
This is not completely finished but I like where we are at with this one too. Sometime next year I hope to have our liquid efund complete.
6. Make your first and last investment mistake
This I have done, it was a really really bad one. Never again.
7. Develop a statement of cash flows
I am on top of this. I make statements of cash flows in my sleep!
8. Max out your Roth IRA
Blurg! But I am on my way within the next few years I see this happening.
9. Contribute to your 401(k)
Yes! We contribute to a TSP (military equivalent) This program doesn't match but we contribute 5% anyway. We started doing this about seven years ago.
10. Get a degree or certificate to increase your earning power
This is something else that looks like it will be happening in the near future.
11. Take a career risk
I think not having or continuing my career is a risk.
12. Negotiate something
We have done this few times with purchasing a car and a little bit with our house. I would love to take this to a smaller level more often. Something to think about.
13. Earn you first side grand
Yes! I have been doing this and it really is awesome.
14. Start a sub-savings account
Yes! I am a huge fan of sub-savings accounts. That's how we save for car emergencies, home repairs and vacations! <-- Oprah voice
15. Set a target retirement date
This is a fail. We know that the Sailor will be retiring from the Navy in about 6 years but that won't be a true retirement. He will be getting another job, he can't retire fully at 38. I guess this date depends on his next career move.
16. Monitor your credit
I usually do this, but I have not in about a year. I know what I am doing today.
17. Say no to a financial salesman
We haven't really done this but we haven't said yes to one either.
18. Give enough to make it hurt
I don't do this. We give monthly automatically but it really isn't enough to hurt. This month I have really been trying to give and do more.
19. Invest $1 for every $1 you spend
Nope, this one is a super fail but I really believe that this is for those over achievers.
20. Start a 529 plan
Done! Started these a few months back.
21. Save at least 10% a month
Last time I checked this we were at about 29%. At this point I feel like we are playing catch up, since we were so much in debt a year and a half ago. This percentage will probably go down. I think eventually I would like to be saving 15% solely for retirement in a couple years.
22. Meet with a financial adviser
We have not done this yet. I think this is something we will look into this year. Unless reading PF blogs count. Does that count?
23. Have a serious talk about financial goals with spouse/partner
We do this on a weekly basis. Talking to my husband about our financial goals has helped keep us on track. When we are on the same page, things seem to go much more smoothly.
24. Set up a will
We have life insurance but not a will or a trust. We will be looking into this soon as well.
25. Make extra payments to your mortgage
I guess this only applies if you have a mortgage. We make one and a half extra payments a year.
26. Fix something
This isn't necessarily personal finance related but I am a huge believer in learning how to do things for yourself. I can not even begin tell you how much money has been saved by figuring out a problem before calling a professional. This is one of those things that made me say to myself, "Well, I am an adult now. I just fixed the garbage disposal".
27. Make a five year plan
I have been working on one of these for a while now. Because of our military life things are always getting moved around. Our pay changes based on where we live and we move a lot, so sometimes plans don't always go accordingly. With that said I am still hashing a five year plan out.
28. Start tracking your net worth
We have started doing this for almost a year now. We use NetworthIQ.
29. Find a bank or credit union that is right for you
I love my credit union, Navy Federal. I feel very fortunate that to have found a place that is respectful. We pay no fees, customer service is always wonderful and they listen. This is a place where we will keep our money for the long haul. I also love ING and USAA, I feel they exhibit the same qualities too.
30. Start a blog
I keed, I keed. Okay, I am only half kidding, but I do have to say a blog is what turned my financial life around.
Okay, not too shabby. There is always room for improvement but I am happy with where we stand. I love lists like this because it does remind me that there are few things we could or should be doing that easily slip my mind. Like checking the credit report or setting up a will.
How do you measure up against the list? Or are these kind of lists for suckers?