Where We’re Headed in 2014 – A Look Into The Future

Hey everyone! Welcome to the New Year! I hope you had a ton of fun when the ball dropped and hopefully no one had to go to work the next morning. As a new year begins, I like to take a bit of time to think about what I want to accomplish in the year ahead.

I figured I’d share what’s ahead for Tori and I so you can get an idea of what we’ll be dealing with this year and where I’ll be drawing inspiration for Money Life and More from.

Student Loan Debt Destruction

Destroying my wife’s student loan debt should hopefully happen in the first half of 2014 and we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve been working on this goal for over two and a half years and have paid off over $60,000 in student loan debt so far! Only about $20,000 left to go. Look out for the next update in a couple of weeks.

Increasing Retirement Contributions

Once Tori’s student loan debt is gone we’ll have a ton of extra money in our monthly budget. The first thing we’ll do once we make that last payment is increase our retirement contributions. I’m already contributing about 20% of my salary toward our retirement, but Tori is only contributing enough to get the match at her work.

Once her loans are paid off we’ll be increasing Tori’s retirement contributions to 20% of her income as well. We might adjust our retirement contributions up even more toward the end of the year. Time will tell as our lives evolve.

Decorating Our New Home

Tori might be as excited about finally being able to decorate our new home as she will be that her student loan debt is gone. We’ve held off on making any big purchases or decorating decision for our home until the student loan debt was gone.

We’ll need some new living room furniture and a dining room table for sure, since we don’t even have one yet! We’ll be painting the entire house, too, so it should make for a busy second half of the year.

Saving A Bigger Cash Buffer

We already have a decent sized emergency fund, but we’d feel comfortable with a bigger cash buffer. Considering how we’re already saving a ton for retirement and we’re in a pretty decent financial position we don’t see any problem with increasing our cash buffer. Once we’re at a level we’re comfortable with we’ll find another use for our surplus in our budget.

Increasing Side Income

Even though we’re doing great financially, it never hurts to continue increasing our side income. If you look in the top right hand corner of the site, you’ll see I’ve added a Hire Me page to Money Life and More. I’m putting myself out there as a freelance writer for hire to hopefully bring in some more stable side income.

In addition to continuing to increase my income from Money Life and More and beginning freelancing, I’ve begun seriously resurrecting what was once Tori’s blog, Adventuring Dollars. Tori decided she didn’t like blogging all that much, but that doesn’t mean I should give up on an awesome blog!

Make sure to check out Adventuring Dollars¬†as I’ll be writing there at least once a week throughout the year.

Enough About Me – What About You?

I’ve shared a lot of what I’ll be doing in 2014, but I’m more interested in what will be happening with you in 2014. Do you have any big goals you’ll be trying to achieve? Whether they’re related to money or just regular goals related to your life, please, share in the comments below!

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.


  1. Sounds like a solid plan for the year Lance – you’re rocking it on the debt and saving! I’ll be sharing my goals in about a week, but most of ours are related to the business and ramping up our retirement savings. Have a great weekend!

  2. I love that blog name… Adventure Dollar! Sounds like there is a ton of potential as a niche site!

    These are great goals, and please tell Tori that she can come over to my house and decorate (for free! HA!).

  3. Wow, now that’s a serious plan. Can’t wait to read about the debt being paid off, keep us posted.

    In our case it’s just the usual, earn money and try to save as much as possible for everything we have planned (and not planned) for this year. 2014 is gonna be pretty big for us (we’ll become parents in less than 2 months), so we need to be well prepared.

  4. Hey Lance,
    Increasing to 20% will that hit the max. I would shoot for that for both of you, it won’t be as expensive as you think and the tax break is worth it. Good luck on your free lancing this year.

    • It won’t hit the max. We do, however, contribute in Roth accounts, so there is no tax break associated with that right now. We’ll like not paying taxes down the road though!

  5. You’ve got some great goals for 2014 and I wish you well with them all. This year I hope to pay off my credit card balances and my car loan. Actually I hope to be debt free by December, we’ll see how that goes.

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