Catch up here: Part 1.
This chapter focuses on writing out tangible goals that are in manageable increments throughout the finance, fun, and family parts of life. Having some goals to focus on makes those goals more likely to be achieved. Lapin means literally writing things down, it makes the goal much more real. I’m sharing them with the internet, does that make mine more real?
Step 2: Ask yourself what really matters to you.
Lapin suggests asking yourself these questions. And in all honesty, these are super hard so I am not sure I’ve given them all enough thought while writing this blog post.
1. What do you want to get out of your career? What’s more important: the money or the work you do? I started this blog series because I want to be more money focused, but knowing what I know about publishing, making a lot of money doesn’t happen until I become an Editor (capital E). But I chose this career, and decided to get into a lot of student loan debt from graduate school, knowing that I wouldn’t be in publishing for the money. I want to be successful and good at what I do.
2. If you’re at the beginning of your career now, or even well on your way, what does your job look like in five or ten years? In five years my job does have Editor in the title. That being said, I’m trying to transition from my current department into editorial, so depending on when that happens, then I’ll be able to concretely give the ‘5 year’ answer. And after that, my 10 year goal is to be Publisher (capital P). (These are easy answers, I have definitely spent a lot of time focusing on my career goals.)
3. Do you see yourself settling in one spot and buying your home someday, or do you imagine a globe-trotting life of travel and adventure? The easy answer is yes, I intend to settle down in NYC (the hub of publishing), but in reality, living in NYC is so difficult. The issue I am running into is space. And wanting a freaking washer/dryer, dishwasher, counter space, and safety within walking distance or short commute to the city. DO I HAVE TO MOVE TO JERSEY???
4. What do you like to do in your off hours? Be lazy. Go out to brunch with my girlfriends and then walk around the city afterward. I like shopping, reading, and watching HGTV. I like writing about books or blogging about my personal finance goals (apparently).
5. Do you see yourself being married? Having kids? Yes; no–I’m too selfish for that (also, see above career goals and things I like to do in my free time).
Having answers to these questions helps focus your short and long term goals with finance, fun, and family. Here are mine, though they are are subject to change depending on how my life is going.
Year 1: Create and maintain emergency fund.
Year 3: Pay off credit card.
Year 5: Live on my own.
Year 7: Save for my own home.
Year 10: Buy my own home.
Funny, I’ve already changed my one year goal. I originally started this finance blog series to figure out how to pay off credit card debt, but I find myself prioritizing the emergency fund because I want to move within the next year into a new apartment. Notice how none of these finance goals have to do with student loans, which is on purpose. Not going to bother worrying about those until I can see a tangible chunk of my debt reduced.
Year 1: Go to a Broadway show.
Year 3: Run a 10k.
Year 5: Get a kitten.
Year 7: USA Road Trip!
Year 10: Go on an international vacation.
This was the hardest section to write! My thoughts have been preoccupied with my career so thinking of fun things took a while!
Year 1: Dating.
Year 3: Semi-serious dating (intentionally vague).
Year 5: Monogamous relationship / living with Significant Other.
Year 7: Married.
Year 10: Married to the same person and we now have a dog and/or cat.
This task really makes you think about what is important. From what I can conclude, my goals for each branch of my ‘wants’ align with one another. At this point it’s easy for me to have sort of simple goals 10 years in the future because I don’t have any current financial obligations that should get in the way of them. And I’m still in the mind-set of an entry level earner, not someone who has worked their way up in their career path and might have loftier goals (to be fair, owning a home is pretty lofty). What are your short and long term goals? Let me know in the comments!