My 2018 Savings Goals

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This post is in partnership with SmartyPig. Regardless, all opinions are 100% my own and 100% honest.

What a nifty savings tool! Actually excited to use it so I can achieve my 2018 financial money goals.

As the year comes to a close, I’m forced to look back on my financial progress in 2017. Progress probably isn’t the right word. I struggled with money management over the past 12 months. While I renewed my resolve to get back on top of things, I’m still not where I’d like to be.

So I’m setting some savings goals for 2018.  Because there’s a lot of them, I’m using SmartyPig to break them all down and prioritize. This lets me put money into each bucket rather than having one big “savings” pot which may or may not end up allocated correctly.

Here are my priorities—in a very specific order:

Saving for Emergencies

Using Smarty Pig to save an emergency fund.

My emergency fund needs some TLC. Nuff said.

Saving for a New Place

Using Smarty Pig to save for a move.

We’ve been talking about moving for a while now. We seriously considered it after our last child was born, but decided we could learn to live with less space.

Now we’re looking to move not to upgrade our space, but to enhance the educational opportunities available to our children. Off to the suburbs we go.

I am considering using Jetty to help with the security deposit, but I’ll still have to have cash on hand to deal with a truck and all the other little expenses that come up when you’re moving house.

Saving for Japan

Using Smarty Pig to save for a trip to Japan.

I’m incredibly excited to visit my childhood friend in her hometown of Osaka. I’ve been saving miles for years, and this year I’ll finally be making the trip. Airfare was free as even the fees were covered by travel points, but I’m thinking a JR Rail pass and money for things like food will be important.

Saving for Disney World

Using Smarty Pig to save for a Disney World trip.

I lucked out and ended up with some free tickets to Disney World after our last trip. We have 20 years to use them, but my kids are at some of the perfect ages to go and can’t stop talking about the experience.

With tickets taken care of, I just have to focus on either airfare or gas, accommodations and food. I figure I can find a way to hack the airfare or accommodations, so we’ll primarily be saving for food and whichever aspect of the trip I decide is less travel-hack-worthy.

All in all, it will be an incredibly cheap Disney trip. But we’ll still need to have some money on hand.

Saving for a Home

Using Smarty Pig to save for a house down payment.

After I kick this nasty debt to the curb, I’m going full throttle on this goal again. Pittsburgh’s housing market is stable, but I’d rather not wait too many years to enter the market. Interest rates are moving up. I’d like to get in on the action before they get too high.

Goals Help You Establish Priorities

As I sat down to look at my goals this year, I realized pretty quickly what’s important to me and what’s not. First, I’m trying to get on solid financial footing again. You won’t see it above because it’s not a savings goal, but I want to get rid of my debt even though it’s sitting at zero percent interest. Another aspect of financial health I want to reestablish is that emergency fund.

After that is my children’s education. The only reason financial health comes before that is because I know I’ll need to be financially fit to facilitate that education long-term. Choice few things are more important to me.

Then, travel. It is a priority in my life and always has been. I have itchy feet. After having decided to permanently live in Pittsburgh, I need to know I can get out and see the rest of the world every once in a while.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to blow my budget doing it. I’ve figured out so many ways over the years to travel on the cheap and still see amazing things. But if I spend $1,000-$2,000/year on travel, I’m not freaking out. There are other areas where I spend virtually nothing like clothing and makeup and music and home décor. My one vice will not ruin me, and it will help me stay sane.

The house goal is last because it is long-term. I will save for it regularly, but I need to be okay with the fact that I’m not going to pull 20% out of thin air in a single day, month or year. I’m frustrated that there have been financial setbacks over the past year that thwarted the savings we already had towards this goal, but I’m also determined not to give up.

What are your financial priorities?

I love that SmartyPig lets me separate my goals into individual buckets, prioritizing my goals and tracking my progress.

What would your SmartyPig buckets look like?




Please note that Femme Frugality was compensated by Sallie Mae for the content in this post. However, all opinions expressed below are my own, based on my personal experience with Sallie Mae. Any requests for personal information are not associated with Sallie Mae, nor will any information collected be used or maintained by Sallie Mae.

11 thoughts on “My 2018 Savings Goals

  1. Done by Forty

    Those are all great goals!

    Even though the PF community has convinced me that renting might be smarter than owning in the medium term, I have a feeling that staying in a house for 30 years ends up being the smart move as inflation rears its ugly head. Of course, that’s contingent on staying put, too.

    And yeah, rates are really low now. We refi-ed in our first year down to 3.75% and doubt we’ll ever touch it again, but never say never, I guess.

    When my mom was raising us in Pittsburgh, we went to Disney once and it really was pretty amazing. I’ll always remember it.

    Have a great 2018 and best of luck on all the goals!

    1. Femme

      I’m really trying to make our first house our last house, which is another major reason it feels so daunting. I don’t want to have my profits cut into by realtor fees. Because buying and holding for 30 years seems to make more financial sense in this market than renting when I run the numbers. Know it’s not like that everywhere, but here…as long as we don’t do a starter house and upgrade over and over again. Which could end up being profitable, too, but the equations get a lot less certain.

      Thanks so much! Hope you have a great 2018, too!

  2. Chonce

    Love this! I remember categorizing my debts and my savings goals, and it’s funny at how much it inspires you to pay or save more. I’ve never tried Smarty Pig, but now I want to!

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      For sure! Giving each dollar a job is a good way to stay motivated, and I love how SmartyPig’s system allows me to do that. Knowing the buckets in your head is one thing, but seeing all the money separated in your savings account is another!

  3. Kristen Knorr

    Fairly new reader here, sent from Revanche! For your emergency fund, do you keep that in cash or in an account? I need to work on ours as well and I’m wondering how I should go about doing it! Love this post.

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      So glad to meet you, Kristen! And I love Revanche!

      Great question, btw.

      I almost never use cash anymore. Even if I did, I’d probably keep my emergency fund in an account. It gains interest (this particular account in this post is over 1% which is pretty good for a savings account) and it’s insured by the FDIC up to $250,000. Money hidden around the house can get stolen or lost. (We’ve had the latter happen before–so frustrating!)

      I also kind of like using online-only savings accounts because it takes a couple days to transfer the funds between my savings and my checking account at my more traditional financial institution. This makes it so I can’t just click a few buttons and spend the money. I’m going to have a couple days to think over my decisions.

      If you do need something more accessible, I recommend having a slush fund on top of an emergency fund. My slush fund is attached to my traditional checking. The interest rate isn’t as high, but I can pull that money out whenever I need it. So if I need to cover an unexpected bill or pick up a birthday present for that party I totally forgot about, it’s easily accessible, but the bulk of my emergency fund is a little more protected (from myself if that makes sense.) That way the summer concert season doesn’t get justified as an emergency ha.

      I hope that helps! Excited to get to know you! Because you’re working on that efund, you’ll probably like tomorrow’s post. 😉

  4. Kiki

    I know what I want and have a huge birthday coming in a year and 1 month. I want to have money for land and retirement for my husband. Been living small but promised him when we got married we would always go on vacation , so I have to save for that also. The save every $ 5.00 works nicely for that. I take it to the bank every week and it is in a seperate saving account. Most years it is over $2 grand and we can go somewhere nice on with a home is hard because land prices are so high but still working on it. Retirement is every extra cent after those are taken out. I agree, you need to have seperate goal areas and save for each. If not you will never get some of the things you want in life.

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Wow, what a gift that will be! Cheering you on here–this is awesome. Love that you use the $5 challenge to fund vacations–that’s huge!

      And that’s a great point about retirement. I should have noted that money does get stashed away for that every month, too–just in a tax-advantaged account.

  5. The Frugal Exerciser

    I will be doing the same thing on my blog this year. I’m trying to build a hill and valley savings account for someone who has an irregular income stream. I hate to dip into my emergency fund on months that my income is low.

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Nice! And that’s the hard thing when you have such a variable income. It can wreak havoc on your finances. I’m excited to see this and will be following along!

  6. NZ Muse

    Disney on the cheap? You are amazing!!!

    Hurrah for Japan. Depending on the time you’re there and where you’re going a JR pass could be really great value like it was for us … or not. Just be sure to order it ahead of time if you do go for them. We found food was actually very affordable there (but then again our baseline is NZ prices haha)


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