2021 Financial Goals

Hey kids, it’s that time of year for us boring actuaries.

I’m going to be a little bit behind where I’d normally like to be, as renovating this old house is a bit more expensive than planned. We’re pretty on-budget for what we had planned, but now that we’re here I’ve added to my wish list, I’m planning on re-building the covered porch that used to be on the front of the house. It will be about 12 x 35, with a fair amount of decorative woodwork and stucco, so it’s not going to be cheap.

That said, 2021 goals are a lot like 2020.

  1. Max out 401k
  2. Max out HSA
  3. Add at least $26k to brokerage, I was aiming for ~$35k but need some remodel money
  4. On top of the $24k, invest at least half of my bonus, normally I’d do more, but remodel
  5. I typically pay a few hundred bucks per month extra on the mortgage, but I’m at 2 5/8%, so I’m going to take the risk of stopping this and I’ve added that to my brokerage estimate.

I’m also going to take a look at the budget again this month. I don’t think there is any spending that’s really a concern but I might see if I think there is a few hundred bucks per month I could wring out.

The cable bill usually screws you if you’ve been with them at least 2 years. In fact I think it’s optimal to switch every 2 years back and forth between members of the infuriating duopoly to maintain the relevant “deal”.

Internet can do the same. We don’t have cable, just Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Amazon. I’d have Amazon anyway, so I figure it’s about $50/mo for the rest, which isn’t crazy, IMO. I’m kind of screwed on internet, we have AT&T which has been fast and reliable. The other option is some local company, and I’ve heard horrible things.

2020 notes

So 2021:

  1. Max HSA - 7200 + 1000 = already set up to meet (we also didn’t reimburse ourselves for anything in 2020, would like to repeat that)
  2. Retirement savings between 48,000 and 61,000 (the 13k difference is funding 2 roth IRAs, spouse is over 50)
  3. Spend some of the money we pulled out of the house, fascia/eaves/painting still hasn’t been scheduled, spouse decided against new countertops (and they’re the cook, so I’m not arguing), need to get an arborist out for our eucalyptus tree, it’s so sad looking.
  4. Kid tuition is a mixed bag, COVID is really messing with motivations. Figure out what the plan is going forward, and deal with it, is basically this goal.

That’s it. I don’t have the motivation/inclination to even put get healthier on this list, because I’m so damn tired all the time.

Before sitting down to write these out, I didn’t fully realize we were debt free except for the house (because of the refinance last year). I feel like I should be saving more for the next car purchase (sinking fund of $300/month currently) but considering one car is a 2017, and the other is an electric 2015, I don’t expect us to get another car for at least 8 years, and it will likely be pre-owned like our others, so that’s probably the right number.