So once a year I like to open up my Excel spreadsheet and make some assumptions as to how the calendar year will play out for the Ninja household….financially speaking that is. I’ve done this years past, and every single year I seemed to unintentionally underestimate our ability to save. Often meeting our annual goals three to five months earlier than planned. While that is definitely a good problem to have, it’s still a problem. I want my goals to be challenging. Something that would take a full twelve months to reach. Heck, maybe I shouldn’t even be able to reach my goal at all.
Well folks, it looks like my wildest dreams are coming true. We are on course to epically fail at reaching our 2012 personal finance goals. According to our budget, our accounts are supposed to have the following balances by years end:
- Checking Account: $1,000
- Savings Account: $100,000
- Roth IRA: $31,500
- 401K: $37,500
- Total Assets: $170,000
We started the year out with $114,622 in assets, meaning we had to move up $55,378 this year to achieve our $170k goal. For those that like things broken down, that would require an increase of $4,614 every month. A quick glance at the handy-dandy savings/net-worth meters on the side of my blog show that our current assets total up to about $135,000. Meaning we are 36% of the way to reaching our goals, but we are 58% of the way through the year.
While I’m extremely tempted to go in to my spreadsheet and make our 2012 goal be a $150,000 net worth, I know that would only cheat myself.
Think about it like this. Would you rather set a goal to run a mile in 6 minutes and run it in 5:45, or set a goal to run a mile in 5 minutes. but run it in 5:15? If you said 5:45, you are a) an idiot, b) lazy, or c) a lazy idiot.
I’m learning it’s not so much the goal that matters, but more so one’s desire to push themselves farther than they ever thought they could. That is what I want to do with our personal finances; Push ourselves to be responsible, to take risks, to have fun, and to be diligent. Ambitious goals promote these types of qualities. Easy goals promote a false sense of accomplishment.