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Jana Says: Goals, not resolutions, for 2013

Jana L.
by Jana L., Dimespring 30 (@saysjana)

Ah, the new year. A time to make resolutions, break old habits, and transform ourselves into the perfect, healthy, financially responsible people we so desperately want to be.

For a month anyway.

But not me. No, in 2013 I plan to stick to all the goals I have planned (I don’t do resolutions. Those are too easy to break. I do goals, that way I’m striving for something) because I need to. I need to prove to myself that I can set goals and stick to them no matter how hard they seem at times. Hey, I won NaNoWriMo this year. Anything else should be easy, right?

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But what goals to set? That is the question (I’m good with the whole “to be or not be” thing). Ever since my husband and I paid off our consumer debt, establishing financial goals has been a bit strange. For so long that was our focus that, and now that it’s gone reorganizing is proving to be more difficult than I thought. I’ll give it shot, though.

Contribute money to my retirement account.

I had a decent one, including a pension, when I worked at my full-time job. Now that I don’t work there, it’s more on me to save for retirement. In 2013, I want to maximize my contribution to my IRA. It’s really, really important for my old age (which is creeping up faster than I had hoped).

Automate savings to my daughter’s 529 plan.

She’s in kindergarten now, which means that in 11 short years, she’ll be going off to college. We need to start bumping up the savings for her tuition now or we are screwed. While we know there’s assistance in the form of scholarships, loans and grants, I’ll feel better knowing that we have cash.

Buy a new house.

While my current house is affordable and easy to manage, I’m very tired of living on top of my neighbors. I mean, they’re nice and all but I want some space. Plus, we need to move closer to my husband’s job as we are destroying his car and our gas budget with his ridiculous commute. We need to make sure that the mortgage on a new house doesn’t exceed what we currently pay and that the house meets our needs.

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Increase our emergency fund to six months.

Although my husband’s job is about as secure as a non-government job can get, I can’t help but feel a little nervous. We have about two months saved right now and, with both of our part-time jobs, we’d survive for a while, but having money in the bank is comforting.

I’m sure there are a few things I’m missing, financially. I really need to discuss a few of them with my husband before I make them public (because, you know, if I write them down, I have to do them). But I think we’re on the right track to get even more of a solid financial footing in 2013.

Jana is a freelance writer and founder of the blogger mentoring program Bloggers Helping Bloggers. She's also the creator of Jana Says, a general lifestyle blog discussing money, life, family, pop culture and everything in between. Jana is a member of the Dimespring 30, a community of bloggers sharing their thoughts, experiences and perspectives on personal finance.