Em’s Journey to Millions: Hello World & 2012 Goals

One day before my 26th birthday, Evan approached me with a chance to be a cowriter on this blog. Could I share the progress I make on my personal and financial goals, and give insight on my strategies for achieving these goals? I was immediately ecstatic at the thought of having a place that holds me accountable for staying on track. The possibility of being an inspiration to others, like so many personal finance bloggers have been to me, was a huge reason I wanted to accept his offer.

Once the elation subsided I became horrified of what I had just signed up for. What could I possibly have to say that people cared about? Would his readers become invested in my progress and posts like they are with his? Am I really a good enough writer to do this? Those and a dozen other negative questions bombarded my brain until I made the decision to ignore them and just introduce myself to you, stop being just another commenter in the blogging world, and write what I know.

I’m Em, a 26 year old wife, stay at home mom of 2 (3rd on the way), small business owner, and an avid saver. I categorize myself as a saver rather than an earner because my family prioritizes happiness over income and the things that make us happy aren’t earning us a lot of money. Therefore, in order to achieve our short term goals and pave the way for financial freedom, I had to learn to become organized and save aggressively.

Two years ago, I got serious about securing our financial future and implemented a system in which I set up a list of goals at the beginning of the year and evaluate it weekly to keep myself on track all year long. 2012 has been my most aggressive year in terms of goal creation because I am finally confident with my ability to be successful at completing multiple huge goals.

2012 Financial Goals:

  • Pay additional $2000 to mortgage
  • Max out emergency fund at $12,000 (add $6000 to it) (Achieved in March 2012)
  • Research investment strategies
  • Refinance mortgage
  • Stay within monthly budget
  • Increase annual income 10%
  • Purchase life insurance policy for myself and husband

2012 Personal goals:

  • Write Will (Achieved Feb 2012)
  • Remodel bedroom
  • New windows
  • Read 1 book per month
  • Potty train Simon (Achieved March 2012)
  • Teach Rosalyn the alphabet
  • Lose 30 lbs (No longer goal because I am pregnant)
  • Replace cabinet doors in kitchen
  • Switch to free range eggs
  • Purchase CSA (Achieved May 2012)
  • Remodel 1 bathroom (Achieved June 2012)
  • Switch to 100% grass fed, hormone and antibiotic free beef (Achieved April 2012)

What to expect from my posts:
I will be making weekly updates on my progress, which will generally involve me focusing on 3 of my goals and what I did that week to get me closer to achieving said goals. I hope you enjoy reading about my progress and I hope you are able to gain some useful tips and ideas that help you on your path to financial freedom.

Readers: What are some of the goals you have set for yourself this year and have you been successful at achieving some?

46 Responses to Em’s Journey to Millions: Hello World & 2012 Goals

  1. Elle says:

    I can’t wait to read about your journey Emily! We still got some work to do with our goals this year. Earlier we listed our goals as:

    >Get our finances prepare should something happen to us.
    >Purchase a family car.
    >Pay down the student loan.

    We bought the car in April -> loving the Accord! We’ve been sending extra on the student loan every month which is whittling it down.

    Unfortunately the most important goal we set hasn’t been completed yet. Life insurance has been adjusted, but we still have to update our wills. I have got to find a lawyer so we can get this paperwork done. This motivated me to call some more friends to see if anyone has recommendations. Thanks Em!

  2. I LOVE goals! I’ve achieved several of them already, but the two I am focusing on now is finishing grad school (december, as long as I can write this thesis) and increasing net worth by 50% which is hard when paying for grad school in cash.

    • Emily says:

      I love them as well!! I think without them I would be a lazy bum! Good luck on the thesis writing and net worth increase.

  3. a blinkin says:

    Congrats on the writing gig! I look forward to reading more about you and your goals. I have set a lot of goals for myself this year. I’ve aced just about each of them (surprisingly).

    • Emily says:

      Awesome job on acing them all! I’m getting there. A lot that aren’t marked off yet will be before summer is out. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Great goals! Can’t wait to read more from you.

  5. Cassi says:

    Congrats on baby #3! i know that personally, I write down my goals everyday and try hard to get most or all of them done. This seems like a bigger scale of what I do! I might have to have year long goals when 2013 rolls around. It will be here very soon!

    • Emily says:

      Thank you! Writing down goals daily would never work for me. I have the ‘I’ll just do that tomorrow’ mentality. At least when I pick 3 to focus on each week I know it’ll get done. But its good you found a system that works for you.

  6. C The Writer says:

    Ugh. Having kids SUCKS.

    • Emily says:

      I understand that some feel that way while others’ feel the complete opposite. I’m happily in the love having kids category.

      • Evan says:

        I couldn’t believe how much my life changed when my Son was born. Suck would NOT be the word I’d use.

        • C The Writer says:

          Super suck?

          Btw, was it fun not getting any sleep for months and months? I bet that made work interesting.

          Not to mention changing diapers. As someone who was punished (at the age of 11) having to change my cousin’s diaper as my aunt was passed out drunk upstairs, I will never be able to utter the enviable statement “I have never changed a diaper.” At least I can say I will never again change a diaper.

          • Evan says:

            Jebus did your family fuck you up.

            • C The Writer says:

              That’s nice, Evan. Really nice.

              Luckily, my uncle divorced that mess. But I’m still stuck with her because of my cousin. He’s 17 now and beginning to realize …well…that his mother is a pathetic drunk.

              I’m sure everyone cares.

              I’m glad that you agree that 11 year olds should be able to be kids and shouldn’t be changing diapers.

            • C The Writer says:

              Also, yes Evan, not everyone was as fortunate as you to have a perfect family. You should be grateful, not be a smartass.

              • Evan says:

                Didn’t mean that 11 year old didn’t have to change diapers, I meant that you can’t possibly see the good in having children.

                • C The Writer says:

                  An 11 year old should be playing and having fun, not changing a diaper. Totally unacceptable.

                  I really don’t see the good in it. I guess if people want to adopt, that’s good, but there are already way, way too many people.

                  Saying you love children doesn’t really make sense. If you love children, be a babysitter or childcare provider. Help children with crappy parents, show them that some adults care.

                  I don’t know. Some people don’t have kids because they love children.

                  I choose not to have kids because I like my life the way it is, and I don’t want some needy and dependent being draining all my resources. I don’t want to be tied down to a ball and chain.

                  To me, having kids ruins everything. I find it depressing that Em is younger than me and she’ll never get to enjoy a childfree life. I may not like much in my life, but one thing I LOVE is that it’s bratfree.

          • Emily says:

            Actually, I slept fine after my children were born. And for those who didn’t, losing some sleep is a sacrifice worth that is overshadowed by the happiness a child bring them if they wanted the child.

            You don’t know what its like to change your own child’s diaper so your argument isn’t solid at all. One’s mind set is completely different when changing someone else’s kids, especially if they are forced to do so.

            • C The Writer says:

              Exactly. Because as soon as they come up with a safer way to be sterilized other than cutting women’s bodies open, I will do it. I do not want children. I want to enjoy my life.

              I know we haven’t talked in awhile, and you didn’t plan on talking to me again, but it makes me sad to think of you, two years younger than me, saddled with three kids. You’d never admit it, but it must suck some days. Don’t you ever wish you could just do what you wanted?

              • Evan says:

                Exactly why your family has messed you up something fierce. Why can’t having children be what Emily wanted?

                Interestingly she seems to have more freedom and options than you do.

                • C The Writer says:

                  Not really. I could take my last $300, hop on a bus and go to some crazy place. I’m not saying it would go well, but the point is I’m free to do what I want. She isn’t.

                  Just because I think having kids sucks ass doesn’t mean my family messed me up. Yes, I had a screwed up family but plenty of people who don’t want kids had great childhoods and perfect families. The only thing we all have in common is that we don’t want brats.

                • C The Writer says:

                  Also, when potty training a kid (shudder) is a GOAL of yours, you have to wonder about your life. My goal is to go to Paris, hers is to wipe butts and snotty noses.

                  Oh well.

              • Em says:

                I never said I didn’t plan on talking to again, just not on your blog. I have no intentions of supporting a blog in which the blogger constantly attacks their readers and shows no respect to anyone.

                Of course it sucks some days. Any good parent would admit that. It doesn’t mean that I’m unhappy with my decision to have kids on those days, just stressed out like any normal person. I can do whatever I want. i have an amazing family and support system so if I decide I want to go travel without my kids I can.

  7. Congrats on landing the gig! It’ll be awesome to follow your journey. I look forward to your updates!

  8. Squeezer says:

    The title reminds me of my programming days of PHP.

  9. DebtsnTaxes says:

    That is so awesome that you are writing Em. I look forward to reading your posts. As for our 2012 goals we didn’t have too many. Our main goal was to get our mortgage refinanced which we finally completed in June as you know. The only other big goal we have is to pay off the rest of our debt other than the mortgage by the end of the year and so far it is going as planned. Good luck with the rest of your goals for the year.

  10. Kim says:

    Good luck with your goals. Looking forward to reading more posts. Congrats on the pregnancy. I’ve never met a third child who wasn’t mellow.

    • Emily says:

      Haha I hope the 3rd is mellow. The 1st is as mellow as they come and the 2nd is a huge drama queen! So a little more mellow will be great!

  11. Em you’re already on to something if you’ve gotten snarky comments already! :)

  12. Evan says:

    C,

    “Not really. I could take my last $300, hop on a bus and go to some crazy place. I’m not saying it would go well, but the point is I’m free to do what I want. She isn’t.”

    Why are you more free than her? She could ditch her kids as easily as you could leave your mom and siblings. Would she no.

    Lastly, I didn’t mean that because you don’t want children you are damaged. What I meant was that you see them as leeches to suck your life force and that in my opinion is someone whose family messed them up pretty badly.

    If you could possibly say “I want freedom and thus no kids” without adding they are terrible brats who just shit everywhere and love doesn’t exist…I would perceive you differently.

    • C The Writer says:

      When did I say love doesn’t exist? A lot of kids are brats. Did you forget I worked at ShitMart for 4.5 years? I’ve seen the worst child behavior you can imagine. But even before that, I didn’t want kids. I’ve known since I was 19 that I didn’t want ‘em.

      And it has nothing to do with my family fucking me up. Kids are leeches even if you had a perfect life, as evidenced by childfree people with great parents and families and generally nice lives.

    • C The Writer says:

      Also, if she were to ditch her kids, people would look down on her. She pretty much chose the responsibility when she chose to reproduce. I can leave anytime, nobody would look down on me for leaving my annoying situation. The only reason I can’t leave is because I have no money.

      • Evan says:

        I am sorry who is the trapped one? You live in this world where everyone that doesn’t have the same views or goals or makes a financial move you frankly just don’t understand is a “douchecake.”

        It has to be exhausting.

  13. Glad to have you on the blogosphere! I don’t really have goals for 2012 in particular, but long term I want to make $1,000/month in side income (through blogging and spreadsheet consulting). I’m doing alright, but only 5 weeks into blogging so I’m relatively new ;)

    • Em says:

      That sounds like an awesome long term goal! That is one of my unofficial long term goals. I say unofficial because it hasn’t made it onto the long term goals list yet since I’ve been focusing more on saving rather than earning. But that is slowly changing

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