Our Financial Goals: Where We're Headed
Our specific goals are always changing. However, the general idea behind our goals stays the same; we want to achieve a level of financial freedom that allows us to create an acceptable (to us) balance between work and play. Throughout the years, we have felt forced to stay at certain jobs and work extra hours because of financial obligations and we want to feel as though we have more of a say in this. (We realize that we are responsible for our actions and that we always have a choice as to what we do, but we have sometimes felt that the monetarily responsible choices in our situations aren't very agreeable when they mean staying in an exceptionally stressful work situation or seeing less of our family than we desire.)
Our mantra of late has been to increase our income and decrease our ongoing expenses. We also want to diversify our sources of income so that if one dries up or we decide to discontinue it, we have another standing by. We are willing to sacrifice certain things (cable tv, brand new cars..) to have other things that are more important to us (motorcycles, less hours at work..).
One way that we would like to increase our income in the future (and diversify it) is to buy real estate either to be fixed up for quick resale or for rental income. We have enjoyed the real estate industry since buying and fixing up our own home and are lucky to be handy enough (in the case of my husband) to be able to do most home repairs ourselves.
Currently, we are working to pay down enough of our mortgage (M1 account) to be able to repurpose the money as a downpayment on a second property. We won't be able to do this terribly soon. We would need to pay down at least $35,000 of our mortgage to be able to do this and on our limited income now that we've started a family, this will take us a while but it is what we are looking ahead to.
Perhaps our circumstances will adjust over the years and we will change our minds but currently this is our long-term goal. It is helpful to be able to think about this as we decide where and where not to spend our money and certainly gives us something to dream about.