Happy New Year!  Tonight we say goodbye to 2012 and tomorrow we welcome the year 2013.  New Year’s Resolutions will be made by the millions but I’m more of a goals gal; I prefer to set goals rather than make resolutions and every year I sit down and make a list of personal finance goals for the New Year.

The first step in this process is to look back at my personal finance goals for 2012.  I had three main goals:  increase retirement savings to 15 percent of our gross household income, create a nine-month emergency savings account and pay off my student loans.  

Unfortunately, I didn’t complete all of these goals. I’m only human and I’m not afraid to share my failure because I did make progress and in hindsight, I’ve realized that perhaps I was a bit aggressive with my goal setting.  Paying off my student loans didn’t happen – that was a very aggressive goal and while it would have been nice, it just wasn’t very realistic.

Nine months of savings also proved to be just beyond our reach.  Our savings did grow throughout the year, though, and so this is still a work-in-progress.  We did boost our retirement savings, not quite to the 15 percent level but pretty close.  Last year we managed to save about 12 percent of our household income for retirement.  

Now that I’ve reflected, its time to look to the future and share a few of my personal finance goals for 2013

  • Continue increasing retirement savings until we reach the 15 percent mark
  • Have a will drawn up
  • Reduce my energy costs by 10 percent
  • Reduce my food and grocery budget by 10 percent
These goals certainly look achievable; notice I didn’t set a goal of paying off my student loans this year?  That’s not going to happen for a few more years.  See, I learned from last year’s financial goal faux pas.

What are your personal finance goals for 2013?

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