$80,000 of student loan debt paid off? Check.
Six month emergency fund fully funded? Check.
Another six months of expenses in taxable investments? Check.
Leave my job to focus growing my business? Check.
As you can see, my wife and I have accomplished a lot of big financial goals over the last few years.
However, now that we’ve got our bases covered, we no longer have any major financial goals.
Yes, we’re saving for retirement/financial independence, but that could be decades away.
It’s hard to stay motivated for something so far away.
Even though we have a plan for investing for retirement and we’re sticking to it, we’re a bit bored when it comes to our finances. That’s a bad thing, because it could lead to some big financial mistakes.
Why Financial Boredom Is Bad For Us
Financial boredom is bad for us because we start wondering what’s next. Normally, we’ve had a big goal that was next on our list, but as I have mentioned above, we’ve knocked some major accomplishments off of our list.
Now that we’re in a pretty stable spot financially, we’re looking at what to do with the money we earn that is above what we normally spend in a month.
My first instinct is to invest the money so that down the road we’ll have a huge nest egg and may be able to reach financial independence earlier.
However, there is another side of me that wonders what fun things we could do with that extra money. Where could we go on vacation? Could we buy an RV? What about a vacation home? What about a bigger house?
Stop Right There
See what happens when we get bored and don’t have goals for our money? We start thinking of ways to spend it! No matter why it happens, that’s exactly why so many people end up broke and living paycheck to paycheck in America.
As soon as we have anything that we perceive as extra money, we think of how to spend it. That’s why it is so important to never get bored with your finances.
Always Have Financial Goals
Always having financial goals you’re excited to work toward is part of never getting bored with your finances. This is something we’ve failed at since I’ve become self-employed.
Our most recent big goal was to get to the point where we could make self-employment work, but we never came up with what financial goals would be next. If you’re struggling to find some financial goals to work toward, here are a few to consider.
Complete Debt Freedom
Complete debt freedom is an awesome goal, because owning everything you have outright is pretty awesome. You won’t have to pay interest to anyone and you don’t have to worry about people taking your car, your house or your things away if you miss a payment.
Personally, we have paid off everything except our mortgages. Due to the extremely low interest rates we are paying on our primary residence mortgage and our rental property mortgage, we plan to pay both off according to the terms of the loan and invest instead.
Down the road, we can decide if we want to sell investments to pay off our mortgages in full or not.
A Full Emergency Fund
A full emergency fund is another awesome goal to have. Knowing that you’ll be able to provide for your family even if something unexpected happens is an awesome feeling.
Even if we didn’t bring in a penny of income, we could live for six months without touching our investments which is pretty awesome.
Of course, our emergency fund could also cover unexpected bills, like medical bills or having to repair or replace a car damaged in an accident.
Work Toward Financial Independence
As I’ve said before, financial independence is the ultimate financial goal. Working toward financial independence is a very long term goal, but if you need short term motivation you can set checkpoints on your way to the ultimate goal.
If you’ve calculated your financial independence number, you can have percentage checkpoints for when your reach 10%, 25%, 50%, etc of your financial independence number.
Alternatively, you can just set arbitrary dollar goals, such as $250,000, $500,000 or $1,000,000 as temporary goals on the way to financial independence.
Buy That Experience or Thing You Always Wanted
Buying things and experiences can make you wonder where all of your money disappeared to so quickly, but if you never spend any money, what’s the point of stockpiling it?
You should totally make financial goals that involve spending money on things or experiences, especially those that you’ve always wanted, assuming they’re reasonable. Set a time frame for when you want to purchase your thing or experience and work toward it.
Financial goals don’t always have to be about yourself. You can help others, too, either directly or indirectly. You can donate to organizations that support causes you believe in and are responsible with money.
There are so many people that legitimately need help and if you’re fortunate enough to be able to help, you should give it some serious consideration.
Our Plan Moving Forward To Cure Financial Boredom
We’re just now starting to make our plan for moving forward. Our ultimate financial goal is complete financial independence, but we’ve also come up with some shorter term goals.
We want to have enough money in taxable investments to pay off our house. Once we reach this goal we can decide if going for financial independence or living debt free is a better option for us in the short term.
Other than that, we’ll be working on coming up with some shorter term goals. It should be fun, but we’ll definitely have to do a bit of thinking to find goals worth working toward.
What goals do you have to keep your finances from getting boring? Share your ideas in the comments!