I’m starting to think about my 2011 goals, and as I was reading through some of my favorite blogs, I found this interesting list from Gen Y Wealth of 20 Financial Milestones for your 20s.
I found the list after one of my favorite bloggers, meinmillions, posted the list and her answers. Call me a sucker (like those people on Facebook and Myspace who would spend hours answering stupid questions about themselves) but I took the bait.
Let’s see if, at 25 years old, I’ve met any of these milestones I’m supposed to achieve before I’m 30.
#1 – Finance a dream vacation…in cash
Went to Europe with my signing bonus from work three summers ago. I’ll need to write a whole post on this thing because it was phenomenal. This was the birth of FAT KEVIN!
#2 – Pay off your student loans
I disagree with this one. Why would I pay off loans at 2.43% where the interest is tax deductible when I can take that money and invest it for a 10%+ gain? You might say that’s risky, but I’ll take a little chance for an 8% increase. That’s what being young and aggressive is all about!
#3 – Automate paying your credit card bill in full
I automate my credit card bill and all of my other bills. The only check I write every month is for rent. EXTRA CREDIT!
#4 – Get rid of all bad debt
What’s the definition of bad debt? I think the worst debt is probably money owed to a bookie with ties to the mob, but I bet he’s talking about high interest debt here. Student loans are good debt as far as I’m concerned, so I’m good here. I haven’t had any bad debt since I sold my last car.
#5 – Build an adequate emergency fund
Roth IRA + Checking + Investment Accounts would cover me for at least six months if needed to pull it out. Here’s to hoping I don’t need to touch that stuff.
#6 – Make your first, and last, investment mistake
– I was up over 150% on some C options and didn’t sell. Ended up getting about a 5% gain.
– I’m currently down 80% on some GE options and will probably take a loss here.
– I invested $200 in Washington Mutual right before they went bankrupt.
– I sold a bunch of CBS at about $13 earlier this year. It’s around $18 today.
– I sold Netflix at about $130 and it’s at about $190 now.
I could go on. No one is perfect. I will continue to make mistakes, and I will also continue to make lots of money. If you have a goal to never make an investment mistake, then you better be really happy with 0-3% interest. Nobody buys at the bottom and sells at the top every time. I’ll calling “stupid” on this one.
#7 – Develop a statement of cash flows
I know exactly what comes in and goes out. It’s called a budget. I don’t know what this statement of cash flows is, but I’m counting my budget for this one.
#8 & 9 Max out a Roth & Contribute to your 401(k)
Roth is maxed out, 401k contributions are in up to my company match, AND maxed out my HSA. MORE EXTRA CREDIT!
#10 – Get a degree or certification that increases your earning power
B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis FTW! (that means “for the win” for you old people)
#11 – Take a career risk
I broke into a very important man’s office and put pictures of myself all over and basically took over his office. Risky? You betcha! I actually take career risks pretty frequently. I’ll write a full post on one of my most substantial career risks soon.
#12 – Negotiate something
The street vendor in Spain wanted 75 Euros for his painting. I bought it for trienta Euros. (That’s Spanish for 30).
#13 – Earn your first side grand
I’m negative $2,213.47 on this blog so far, so this appears to be an EPIC FAIL!
#14 – Start a sub-savings account for an upcoming financial goal
I don’t agree with this one either. Savings accounts have too low interest for me. If I were going to save for anything, it’d probably be a house, and I’d use at least CDs and probably dividend stocks to increase my return rate.
#15 – Set a target retirement date
My 70th birthday. Done. 70 isn’t old anyway.
#16 – Monitor your credit
I monitor my expenses to the penny every month, and get my free credit report once a year. That’s good enough for me.
#17 – Say no to a financial salesman
I say no every time I call a credit card company and they ask me to buy an add-on. I yearn for the automated system so I can hang up and not feel bad.
#18 – Give just enough to make it hurt
I will be donating over $500 a month next year. It will hurt quite a bit, but it hurts so good! This is the execution of my plan to combine two years of non-profit donations into one for tax benefits.
Two Milestones for the Over Achiever
#19 – Invest $1 for every $1 you spend
No way. I invested well over $10,000 this year when you combine everything, and that’s nowhere near what I spend (rent alone is $829 a month). This might be a good and worthy goal for some people, but I don’t like it and would never intentionally try to reach it.
#20 – Start a 529 College Savings Plan
I started one years ago for my niece. Instead of presents for her birthday and Christmas, she gets money in this account. I may not be the cool uncle now, but I’ll be her favorite when she’s old enough to realize how awesome the 529 is (and conveniently also old enough to babysit my future children).
Of the 20 Goals, here are my stats:
15 – Completed
4 – I disagree with these goals and have no intention of reaching them
1 – EPIC FAIL
If I don’t make $1,000 on this website in the next 4.5 years, I am truly the biggest failure in the history of personal finance blogging. That’s a good goal for 2011. To make at least $1,000 from my blog (not necessary profit, but just bring in $1,000 in revenue).
How do you stack up to these 16 Good / 4 Bad milestones?