This past year has been one for the books. I’ve seen a lot of blessings, but I want to make 2016 even better. Most of 2015 was spent trying to get my life on track. 2016 is the year that everything settles down and starts to feel focused. I have a great new career in the Air Force; we’re moving to Denver; and we finally have a solid (yet moldable) plan to become debt-free and financially stable.
My goals and resolutions for 2016 are big. Even though it can be difficult to think that far in advance, I have a solid list of priorities that need to be accomplished. Here they are:
1. Pay off 5 debts.
Using a combination of the debt snowball and debt avalanche methods, Mike and I want to pay off 5 debts by the end of 2016. Right now, that’s looking like all the credit cards and Mike’s truck. I know it’s a lofty goal, but I think we can do it with the right focus and some possible windfalls.
As I mentioned in the December Pay-Off Report, I’m getting really tired of the small loans (under $5k each) sitting there every month, and I know we can get a handful of them paid off within the year if we just stay motivated. If we could get those paid off fast, it would be an emotional and financial win – making us feel like we were closer to debt freedom.
2. Boost our Emergency Fund to $5000
Since we’re focusing on paying off debt over the next few years, I feel like a $5000 emergency fund is acceptable. That will easily cover a car repair, tires, or small emergency. Will this be possible while also shooting to have the truck paid off? Who knows – but I’m making it a goal anyhow!
3. Explore Denver
I’m concocting a list right now of all the things we want to do our first year in Denver. Of course, while we must also be frugal, there are lots of things to see and do in Colorado that are free – Denver included. I’m so excited to start living there.
4. Complete my CDC’s
CDC’s are continued courses that allow you to advance your AFSC skill level. I’ll go more into depth about my Air Force job in another post, but just know that CDC’s are like continued education after technical training. Once you complete your CDC’s, you are given more responsibilities. Many people take over a year to complete their CDC’s. I want to finish mine before the end of 2016.
5. Complete my CCAF degree for Client Systems
Something else you have to do within the first couple of years in the Air Force is complete your Associate’s Degree in your career field. From what I’ve heard, my degree will be in something like Information Technology. Don’t quote me on that though. Anyways, since I already have my Bachelor’s and a ton of credits, I think I can finish this degree before the end of 2016. My CDC’s count for some of the classes, and all my general education requirements should already be covered.
6. Open a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
I’ve talked about the TSP before, but as a refresh, it’s basically a 401k (without a match) for government employees. Mike has one through the Guard, and I am going to get one for me. Once we get settled in Colorado, I plan on investing 10% of each paycheck. Once we kill some of our major debts, I plan on upping it to 15%. It’s a small start, but at least it’s something.
Those are 2016 resolutions I have. Let’s hope I can accomplish everything I’ve set my mind to. My biggest priorities are the schooling and debt pay-off. Those will be the most stressful aspects of the year, but also the most rewarding when completed.