After working out all of the tax numbers last time, I started immediately thinking about our overall plan of attack for 2016. We have many plates spinning in the air at once, and I rather they didn’t go splat (I could have said “crashing down” but splat sounded better).
In the expenses department, we have income taxes to save for, property taxes on two houses to save for, one mortgage, health insurance, one car payment right now (0.9%…I’m keeping it), and then the stuff like food, utilities, life insurance, monthly fun, pets, etc. Altogether, a monthly nut between $5500-$6000. We generally bring in $7000-$9,000. We use the extra for savings and fun.
Current Savings and Plans
In retirement savings, our main accounts are two Roth IRA’s and a SEP IRA. I am aiming to save around 25% of all of our pre-tax earnings into those accounts every year. That means $20,000-$25,000 per year. In 2015, it was $11,000 into the Roth IRA’s and $11,000 into our new SEP IRA. For 2016, we’ve already funded the $11,000 into the Roth IRA’s and will need to put aside the $10,000+ for the SEP IRA over the next 8 months.
In day-to-day savings, we try to keep 6 months of cash on hand. Generally, that is $20,000 padding in our blog income account (the one we pay ourselves from every 2 weeks) as well as a healthy emergency fund. That fund has been at $15,000 for a couple of years but we just boosted that to $20,000.
Current Fun Money
In fun, we are hoping to fund a trip to Nebraska this year for our friends’ wedding ($500-ish), our annual trip to the Board Game Geek Convention ($500-ish), and maybe even another 7 day cruise for $1500 or less if possible. I am also trying to make it to the Financial Blogger Conference like I do every year, but it’s an expensive one, so I’m trying to get sponsored. It’s going to run around $1000 if I share a hotel room or $1500 if I don’t. But if I can find someone to be a brand ambassador for, they will most likely cover all of that or at least the $500 for my part of a shared hotel room.
Before you ask, yes, we are still trying to get me pregnant. That hopeful expense is why we boosted our emergency fund by $5000. We also probably won’t splurge on another $1500 cruise if I get pregnant. And we can cut down on some of our monthly expenses to take into account a little of the baby-on-the-way stuff. Our max out of pocket with our health insurance is around $13,000, so the $20,000 emergency fund is just to be safe and to have something other than our health insurance money covered, lol.
All in all, I know I just pretty much said we need to bring in at least $66,000 for our expenses, $22,000 for retirement accounts, the $5000 we added to boost our emergency fund, and at least $3000 for travel. That is at least $96,000.
We’re currently around $35,000+ this year total between our online stuff, pet sitting, rental income, and sports officiating.
That is pretty much right on track BUT we’ll need to make more online this year or get another major pet sitting client or two. Our largest client, the two Pomeranians that lived with us every other month, moved to Florida. We had gotten a daily dog walking job that covered about half of that loss, but their house was very sadly flooded out recently and we don’t know if or when they’ll need us again. So I am on the hunt for 3 daily jobs Monday-Friday to fill in the void.
How does your financial plan look this year? On track? Need to vent?
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!). Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!