Every year, many of us pause to think about good new year’s resolutions and figure out which goals make the most sense for us to take on--ones we want to accomplish, and ones that are actually achievable.
Lose weight? Save money? Do both at the same time?
We created Fabric because we have families and financial goals, too. Here are some of the faces behind Fabric, and the real-life new year’s resolutions they’re making for 2018.
My goal is to continue being able to afford life in NYC with two kids--it’s hard. We’ll do that by spending as little as possible, and making sure we continue to prioritize important things like school and eating and paying our mortgage. That comes with some tradeoffs, like going out to eat less often.
That’s the one that will grow at the fastest rate, so by paying that off I’ll lower how much I need to pay over the lifetime of all my loans. I think I can probably get that done by June of 2019. When I do, I’ll feel so proud!
-Liz, software engineer
I want to do more budgeting to see where I’m spending money. About six months ago I just got kind of tired of tracking my expenses and ran out of steam, but now I’m looking at our bills and saying to myself, “Hm, this seems like a lot.” Sometimes, when I track my expenses, I see something where I’m like, “I can and should reduce this,” but generally my goal is more like, “Oh, OK, we started going out to dinner more, so food expenses are going up. Am I comfortable with that tradeoff?” A lot of times, I am. I just want to know what the tradeoffs are so I can make a conscious decision.
-Julian, software engineer
I try to keep my resolutions super achievable. Right now I deal with financial things ad hoc. Especially because I’m getting married next year and the financial complexity of my life will increase, I’m resolving to spend regular time thinking about money in order to get ahead of stuff. I’ll probably make myself a Google Calendar appointment to look at my finances weekly. That’s not a different time expenditure from what I do now, but I want to move from only executing on things impromptu to taking a little time to think and strategize.
-Scotty, engineering manager
We don’t have a 529 savings plan, plus we have a little bit of debt we’re trying to shave off. Both of those to-dos fall under the mantle of “have more money than you spend.” Same as last year!
-Saadiq, product manager
My husband and I used to have semi-regular sit-downs to figure out where we stood on our finances, including poring over all of our bank statements in detail to figure out precisely how much we’ve saved and spent, and how much we gave to charity. But especially since both of our job situations changed, we haven’t done another one of those sit-downs, and I’m embarrassed to say I don’t have a great handle on where we stand anymore. My resolution is to hunker down and really do a state of the union to get back in sync.
-Allison, editorial director
I currently have a few months of emergency savings stored up, and I want to increase that by three months more in order to help myself have more security. People keep saying maybe there will be an economic crash--whether or not that happens in the future, I want to make sure I’m as prepared as I can be.
-Jin, software engineer
I’d like to try to move my money into smaller banks because of their reputation as a whole. This is hard, since so much of our financial system runs around the incumbents and some of the smaller companies have potential branch or ATM issues. I’ve been thinking about it for a while but haven’t done it because of uncertainty. But it’s on my list of things to explore more deeply in the future.
-Lev, software engineer
Previously, all our savings went into the same bucket. But we have some long-term goals, like eventually living abroad for a year, which we think would be an incredible experience for our daughters. (We’d love to live in Spain, and want our kids to be fluent in Spanish.) My resolution this year is to explicitly put those savings in a different account keep things earmarked and organized. An electric skateboard? Expensive furniture? I feel like if I earmark this money, I won’t spend it on frivolous other things.
Since December 2016, I’ve used You Need a Budget to manage my finances, so soon I’ll have a full two years of spending habits to analyze. Using YNAB has helped me with my goal-setting and financial habits tremendously. Last year, I got lucky gambling in cryptocurrencies and managed to finish my six-year quest to pay off my parents’ major debts. I also managed to save $20,000 as runway for my future business ventures. With my parents in a better place financially, I’d like to start focusing more on my own goals. In 2019, I’m setting an aggressive savings target of $28,000 to add to my runway.
I’m able to save so aggressively because I’m lucky to have a good job, plus I am really conscious about improving my budgeting from one year to the next. Two years ago, I spent a little over $5,600 on my martial arts practice. The next year, I got it down to less than $5,000. When I went to Burning Man for the first time, I spent almost $2,900. Ouch. I plan to attend again, but I’d like to keep my budget at under $1,500 this time. It’s still a lot of money, but I’m focused on constantly whittling it down.
-Matt, software engineer
We want to save an actual summer camp budget. In the past, my son mostly went to the park with his friends all summer, but now he’s a little older and needs a little more structure for the day. We’ll contribute a certain percent of each paycheck to make sure that the large expenses of summertime activities and camp don’t creep up on us as a surprise.
It’s looking like I will finally be able to finish off my student loans in 2019! I was pretty lucky with help from my parents, so I have a manageable amount between college and the coding bootcamp I attended, Grace Hopper. That said, learning to balance what I want lifestyle-wise in NYC with my desire to pay down the loans very aggressively has been a bit tough. I think achieving the right balance of career moves, lifestyle desires and thinking more concretely about my future savings has been a really important piece of 2018, and I’m really excited to take it over the finish line in 2019.
-Kaitlin, software engineer
Looking to get your finances in order this year? We came up with 10 money moves you can do today.
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