Amy Clark

Personal Finance Corner: Creating & Meeting Financial Goals

I love reading personal finance blogs and have learned so much through these blogger’s entries. I am not a personal finance guru, but enjoy reading the advice from the experts.

This past month we sat down and evaluated our financial goals for the future. We currently are carrying a mortgage on our house, have two car payments to make, a small amount of credit card debt (from when my husband was unemployed), and a sizable amount of student loans. I am a big fan of Mary Hunt and her website, and for her members she offers a rapid debt repayment calculator, that can help assist you in figuring out how to become debt free. Her idea, like many financial advisors, is to snowball the debt to get rid of it. When we pay off a debt, we simply move our payment over to the next debt and pay that off. Then we move those two payments over to the next debt, and so forth. Using this idea helps you pay your debts down quicker without putting any additional money into it (unless you choose so) and requires little effort on your part.

Once we put all of this information into the calculator, we were able to see that we could potentially own everything that we have and pay off all of our debt by 2014. What an achievement that would be for our family. All of this rides on the fact that our cars hold out that long, that my husband stays employed, and that no major catastrophes occur that could deter us from reaching these goals.

My husband was not too keen on keeping our cars for another seven years (his is a 2000 & mine is a 1999) and he didn’t know if he wanted to stay in our house that long either.

My theory on the housing issue is no matter where we live, we will have to put work into our home in order for us to live within our budget. When we did searches on houses in our area, even the million dollar homes would need to be adapted to our taste. The more updating we do to the house we already live in, the more I love where we are. We have plenty of room and there are always things that we could do to the home we are currently living in that could make it special for us. This is also our first home, as we have previously lived in a townhouse and apartments, and I am proud of the home we have. Think back on your own first home…Was it everything you ever dreamed of? Maybe, but maybe not. This is our first home and being in our twenties, I am proud of what we have.

The cars are not the best cars on the block, but I have never felt the pressures of keeping up with anyone in the car department. In a sea of SUV’s and fancy minivans, my Subaru Outback is different, but it is safe and functional. Aren’t those the most important things about a car? If we care for the cars that we have, doing the routine maintenance of owning a car, they could run for many more years.

Have you set financial goals for yourself? Do you find them achievable?

Just some food for thought, but read this article on a woman who is living on 12,000 a year and struggling to get by. She has some creative ideas for staying within her budget. Likewise, how about a family who is struggling to live on $150,000 a year. What do you think about these two situations? How do they compare to your own?

Finally, just to put it all in perspective, did you realize that if you make $2,200 that you are considered rich according to a global study. I bet many of you never thought you are rich, but after reading this article, it might help you to realize just how blessed you really are.

I hope this offers some food for thought! I will continue to share our progress as we tackle our financial goals and will also continue to share ways (on our site and the blog) that you can reach your own goals!

Published February 06, 2007 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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