This quarter I want to try something different. Sure, I set my annual goals back in December. Those goals are the big goals that I want to make sure I can accomplish over the course of twelve mounts and they are supposed to take time to complete (which they definitely are). However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a ton of other short-term goals that I want to accomplish along the way. During the fourth quarter, I want to create some shorter term personal finance and life goals that I also want to complete over the next three months. Some are large and some are small. But all will have a meaningful impact if I can accomplish them.
First I can’t take credit for the idea. This inspiration for trying this came from some awesome conversations that Lanny had with one of his close friends (you know who you are!). Lanny was telling me about the conversations and they have been on my mind a lot over the last few days. I want to hold myself more accountable and start crossing some items off of my growing “to-do” list. Putting together this listing should help me focus more on crushing these goals that are designed to bring me closer to financial freedom, become healthier, or even just enjoy life a little more. There is no reason why I cannot accomplish these goals and if I can’t make enough time to complete them, than shame on me. I know you all are at the edge of your seat eagerly awaiting what I have in store for the next three months. So enough talk, here are my fourth quarter goals.
Solve My Cable Situation – I am in the battle of all battles with my cable provider. This may be reminiscent of when Lanny finally became so frustrated with his situation that he ditched the services of one of his favorite stocks (AT&T) in favor of another provider. Here is the situation. Last year, I signed a 2 year price lock contract for $99.99 per month plus taxes and fees. My interpretation of a “price lock” is that the price does not change for 24 months. My cable company has a different interpretation. To them, a 2 year price lock means that the first 12 months of my contract are at the agreed upon price and the second 12 months of my contract are $25 more expensive per month. Their customer service has been a pain to deal with throughout this process, so I am considering paying the $110 one time termination fee for other services. All options are on the table. This includes cutting the cord and finding a streaming service for the right price. I have been reluctant to do so; however, I am finally pissed off enough where I am willing to consider any option!
Shop My Insurance and Reduce My Insurance Cost – Ah yes, insurance. The expense that we all find ourselves having to pay. With two cars, a house, and some expensive personal items we want insured, the monthly bill has added up quickly. Even with bundling, I know I am probably paying too much for my insurance through State Farm. I know State Farm is pricier, but I have been willing to tolerate this because they have provided me with awesome customer service over the years and have quickly handled every claim I have thrown their way.
That being said, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t shop their services. There are plenty of great insurance companies out there that offer great customer service. I have been thinking about shop insurance over the last year and a half. The reason I have not actively shopped services is because we have planned on purchasing a new car and house during that time frame. I didn’t want to receive a quote over a portion of the items to insure and have to deal with the negotiating process each time I wanted to add a new line. What if I would have switched providers before purchasing my house and learning after my purchase that my new premiums would have skyrocketed with the addition of homeowners insurance? My wife and I have all of our big purchases behind us now and any quote from an insurer that we receive will reflect our complete customer needs. They won’t have the opportunity to make up a discount when we add an insurance line later on. Now that the purchases are out-of-the-way, I am really looking forward to shopping these services around and seeing how much I can lower these costs.
Drink More Water Each Day – Everyone knows the benefits of being properly hydrated. You feel better, have fewer headaches, increases your energy, and so on. What’s funny is that I have known these benefits and yet, there are many days where I do not hydrate enough. On top of it, I drink a lot of coffee and this just compounds the problem. My body can tell when I am under-hydrated and the results are not great. I’m lethargic, angrier, and just feel terrible. Not conducive to living a great life, blogging, or enjoying a casual conversation with my wife at the end of the day.
This quarter, I am making it a goal to drink enough water each day. Hopefully this will become a habit after three months and I’ll never have to think of it again. I’ve read websites today that offer a wide spectrum of recommend ounces of water to drink in a day. The lowest total on one website was 64 ounces while the highest total was 125 ounces on a different website. Another website suggested that you multiply your weight by two-thirds and add 12 ounces for every 30 minutes you are active to calculate the number of ounces to drink in a day. This would require me to drink about 112 ounces of water each day.
I thought it was crazy how large of a disparity there was on the topic. But to be safe, my goal is to drink between 90 and 125 ounces of water each day and I’m sure this amount will fluctuated based on how active I am. This should be quite the change and like my insurance goal above, I am really excited to report the results and how I am feeling after three months.
Take My Wife to Her Birthday Dinner…Finally – Last but not least, a goal that should never have been on this list to begin with. This will definitely be the easiest to accomplish on my list; however, I have been slow with crossing it off my list. My wife’s birthday was August 31. I know what you are all thinking. You are a terrible husband. How could you not have taken her out for her birthday dinner over a month later?! Well, it isn’t that simple. We actually moved houses on her birthday. So we were busy unpacking our new house and getting set up throughout the whole day. By the time dinner arrived, we were both wiped out. Our weekends after have been crazy too, so we haven’t had a great opportunity to have a nice dinner together. She is a nurse that works night shift and has worked a lot of weekends recently. Plus, when she hasn’t worked the weekend shift, we have been busy working on our house every chance we get and a few family parties/friends birthday parties have taken up the limited free time that we have had. Rather than trying to cram a dinner in, I have opted to wait until we have a nice night where we can relax and enjoy the night out. So my goal is to take her out to a nice birthday dinner at SOME point over the next three months. That shouldn’t be that tough to accomplish, right?
Four goals that I am as determined as heck to knock out during the fourth quarter. These should complement my annual goals very well, particularly the finance goals. Every dollar I can save by switching cable and insurance providers will help me pay down my debt that much faster. Then, once the debt is behind me (or at least my wife’s student loans), you can tell my portfolio to watch out because it will hopefully get one heck of a jolt. I just have to remind myself two lessons. First, every dollar counts and I need to be relentless in my pursuit of achieving lower monthly rates. Second, it can’t hurt to ask for a discount or a lower price. Even if the company tells me they provided me with their best offer. What’s the worst that can happen, they tell me no? Now it is time to act and make these four goals happen. LETS GO!
What are your thoughts on these goals? Any advice as I get ready to battle cable/internet and insurance companies? Do you have any suggestions for great insurance providers with affordable rates?