Setting Goals For My Finances In 2013 + $100 Giveaway

New Years Eve 2011 LondonHappy New Year everyone!

I hope all of you start out 2013 on the right path and Debt Roundup is always here to help.  To end 2012 on a good note, I compiled a fantastic list of personal finance tips from some of the best bloggers around.  If you haven’t had time to check it out, please do so.  These tips can help you start 2013 on the right foot and get your finances in check before you hit your new weight loss goal!

For the new year, I am co-hosting another great $100 cash giveaway.  Please enter to win with the widget at the end of this post.  Giveaway ends on 1/12/13.  Enter Now!

As the new year begins, we all have goals that we want to achieve during the year.  These might be to lose weight, make more money, buy a house, save money, buy a car, or whatever else.  Goals are extremely important for any aspect of life, but they really mean a lot when it comes down to personal finance.  If we don’t have goals to achieve, then how will we know if we are doing the right things with our money?  Please take some time this month to put your goals down on paper and find ways to feasibly achieve those goals.  Maybe even reward yourself for each one that you check off your list.  Rewards can be a great way to keep you on track.

Since 2013 is just starting today, I figured I would jot down some of my financial goals.  I am sure there will be a lot going on this year and getting my goals in front of my face will only make them more attainable.  I can create a game plan early and hopefully execute them before the end of 2013.  Here are my goals for my 2013 finances.

Juggling Baby Costs

As some of you know, my wife and I had a baby at the end of December.  My son was born on 12/27 and has been a blessing to our family.  As a first time parent, I didn’t know what to expect, but everything has been awesome so far.  I can’t wait to see what the future brings.

Speaking of the future, I will be using 2013 to figure out how to deal with the rising costs of being a parent.  Since my wife and I did not have kids before, we have had a pretty solid budget and our finances under control.  This will all change this year.  I will need to figure out what I want to do to start saving for college, paying for day care, clothing, food, diapers, doctor’s visits, and all the other things that babies need to survive.  I have no idea what to expect in this area, so I will be learning as I go.  If you have any tips, please let me know!


I am a fan of being able to retire and live off of the money that I saved up.  I don’t want to have to work while I am retired because I made some financial mistakes.  I have a 401(k) through work, so I have been pretty happy with that.  I will need to change my allocations and amount being saved in order to catch up from when I was paying off my credit cards.  I also have a Roth IRA through Betterment.  This has been great so far, but I want to fund more of it and hopefully max it out in 2013.  The baby costs might through a wrench in this plan.


Investing has been something that I have never really understood fully.  Until recently, I didn’t even know how to login to my 401(k) account and check it progress.  This all changed back in July 2012 when I finished paying off the credit cards.  I wanted to get a grip of my investments and make more.

I would like to dive into personal investing with a site like Prosper or Lending Club.  I think there could be some potential with these types of investments, but I don’t want to dive in fully in order to stave off any potential losses.  I would also like to start getting into the stock market and dividend stocks.  There are quite a few great dividend stocks out there and I want to get in on them.

Home Down Payment

We have been in our current home for 6 years, but it is time for a change and get out of the neighborhood that we are in.  It is not the best to raise a child, but it has been fine as a first time home and neighborhood.  My wife and I are looking to purchase a home by the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014.  We want to be able to put down 20% on the house in order to keep away PMI, which is something that we pay now and that I dread completely.  I don’t hate a lot of things, but I hate PMI!  This will be a big goal to hit, but I think we can do it if we get disciplined with our budget and baby spending.

Credit Card Rewards

This is my last goal for 2013.  I have used credit cards for many years, but the only reward I got from them was the feeling of being in debt.  Not the type of reward that I want.  Now that I have better control of my finances and buying emotions, I want to harness the power of credit card rewards.  There is nothing better than getting rewards for doing the spending that you normally would.  I enjoy cash back credit cards, as I don’t travel by airplane much, so these are the type of rewards that I am looking for.

Do any of you have any suggestions of a great cash back credit card?  I have good credit history, so I am not in need of anything for bad credit.

Well, these are my finance goals for 2013.  There are not many of them, but they are pretty big.  I want to achieve financial greatness this year and I think I might be able to do it.

What are your 2013 financial goals?  What do you hope to do with your money?

Photos via ň σ я α н ♥ and Sean MacEntee

The Giveaway is Over!

Want to Start Investing?

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Grayson Bell

Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $50,000 in debt. I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a blog management company, along with another blog. It is Empowered Shopper, which helps people get information about products they want to buy. You can also check out Eyes on the Dollar, which is a great blog that I co-own.


  1. January 1, 2013 at 9:23 am — Reply

    Investing can be scary at first, but sometimes you just need to jump in and give it a go to see what it is all about. Provided you don’t play with more than you can afford to lose you might find it to be a good money maker for you.

    I’m also concerned about the impact a child is going to have on my plans of financial freedom. I guess time will tell…

    • Grayson
      January 1, 2013 at 10:54 am — Reply

      Yes it can be. I plan on allocating some funds this year in order to jump into investing. I know I can lose it all, so I want to make sure it is “play” money!

      Good luck with the baby Glen!

  2. January 1, 2013 at 10:52 am — Reply

    This year I’m trying to save at least 12.5K. It should be more than “doable” and will be part of a downpayment (probably) if the bf and I decide to move to the suburbs in the next few years.

    I’ve been curious about lending club for a while, but haven’t jumped in just yet. I’ll be interested to hear what your experiences are like.

    • Grayson
      January 1, 2013 at 10:55 am — Reply

      Good luck with your goal KK. I am leaning more toward Prosper, than Lending Club, but either way, I will let everyone know once I jump in!

  3. January 1, 2013 at 11:58 am — Reply

    Discover by far has the best cash back rewards. I use ours whenever possible solely because I love the cash back rewards. There is partner gift cards, too, that allow you to technically gain even more “free” money! I would highly recommend it : ) I wrote a post about it here: http://www.youngadultmoney.com/2012/11/20/why-credit-cards-are-good/

    If you have any more questions about Discover let me know!

    • Grayson
      January 1, 2013 at 12:51 pm — Reply

      I will have to check them out. Thanks DC!

  4. January 1, 2013 at 11:59 am — Reply

    Great giveaway Grayson. This year I plan to pay off all credit card debt within the first 6 months and increase my blog income and finally build an emergency fund of $10,000 or greater. I know these are going to be some tough goals since I’m in the process of building a new house right now, but I’m always up for a challenge.

    • Grayson
      January 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm — Reply

      Good luck Chris. Those are great goals. Aim high!

  5. January 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm — Reply

    Best of luck in 2013 with your goals. I look forward to tracking your progress on your blog. The moving goal will be a big challenge i’m sure but definitely do-able!

    • Grayson
      January 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm — Reply

      Thank you Kyle. I know it might be difficult to move, but at least I am putting the goal out there. If I fail on this one, then I will not be upset.

  6. January 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm — Reply

    Congrats again on the new baby! Not sure if you guys are using cloth diapers or disposable with your new one, but if you are using disposable, Huggies and Pampers always have coupons for their diapers/wipes. Also not sure if you have a Babies R Us near you, but they have a rewards program. You sign up for their rewards card and after you spend a certain amount, they start sending you coupons which really help. Also they offer discounts on products that are only available to rewards members.

    Happy New Year!

    • Grayson
      January 1, 2013 at 4:12 pm — Reply

      Hello Mackenzie, we are using a combination of both. Right now we are using disposable, but we will soon be using both to offset costs. We are members of the rewards program along with getting coupons for the diapers. I appreciate the tips.

  7. January 1, 2013 at 2:54 pm — Reply

    Good luck with your 2013 goals and with juggling everything. I’m sure it will be a great year for the 3 of you!!

    When do you go back to work?

    • Grayson
      January 1, 2013 at 4:13 pm — Reply

      Thank you Sicorra. I go back to work tomorrow, so I can’t say that I am excited about that.

  8. January 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm — Reply

    I’ll be interested to read how your year plays out with your new baby and your solid budget structure. We don’t have a child yet but are living the debt free life but don’t know what to expect when we are expecting and how it will affect our budget. Happy New Years mate and congrats again! Mr.CBB

    • Grayson
      January 1, 2013 at 7:37 pm — Reply

      I’ll be interested to see how it turns out. I have a lot of goals, but I am not sure if I will be able to achieve all of them. I am trying to reach high this year. Thanks Mr. CBB and have a great new year!

  9. January 1, 2013 at 10:39 pm — Reply

    Congrats on the new baby! Sorry you have to go back to work so soon. Good luck with your goals, and happy new year!

    • Grayson
      January 1, 2013 at 10:50 pm — Reply

      Thank you Pauline. I am not a fan of having to go back so soon, but they provide me with some flexibility, so I can’t complain too much!

  10. January 2, 2013 at 11:39 am — Reply

    First off, congratulations on the new baby, Grayson! What a way to start 2013!

    I’ll be very interested in hearing about your experiences with Prosper or other P2P lending platforms. I’ve spoken with some people who’ve had very good returns and experiences with this type of investing.

    • Grayson
      January 2, 2013 at 11:41 am — Reply

      Thank you Taylor, I appreciate it! I am not sure when in 2013 I will start with Prosper or Lending Club, but I am sure I will do it sooner rather than later. Have a happy new year.

  11. January 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm — Reply

    Best of luck with your goals!

    I love my Capital One cash back rewards card–no annual fee, automatic 50% bonus on each year’s anniversary date of when you opened the account and lots of options for how to actually use the rewards (I always opt for statement credits and account for the rewards as a bit of extra income in my budget).

    • Grayson
      January 2, 2013 at 2:19 pm — Reply

      Thanks for the information about Capital One. That card is on my list.

  12. January 2, 2013 at 2:22 pm — Reply

    I’m excited to see what you will do with your credit card rewards! I love reading about credit card churners but don’t think I spend enough money to get the most use out of those tactics. Still, when people take their families on trips with their points, I get pretty excited for them. Did you and your wife try to have a nest egg before having your baby or did you just try to be as secure as possible? I know people say you can never have enough money for kids, but I always like to ask since we are a year or two out from trying ourselves.
    Cat @ BudgetBlonde

    • Grayson
      January 2, 2013 at 2:47 pm — Reply

      I am interested to see how we do with the rewards as well. My wife and I didn’t have a “nest egg” before having a baby. We did have money in savings and cash on hand, but we would probably have a baby when we were 50 if we waited until we were financially ready. We will get by ok.

  13. Justin@TheFrugalPath
    January 2, 2013 at 10:58 pm — Reply

    Congrats on the new baby and getting out of debt. Your goals are very similar to mine, although some may have a longer time horizon for me.
    If we ever have children I’d like to move from our house as well, it’s a safe neighborhood. However, the schools are not great so we’d like to move when they’re in kindergartner.
    Good luck with your goals.

    • Grayson
      January 2, 2013 at 11:55 pm — Reply

      Thank you Justin. I made my goals to be almost unattainable this year because I want to push myself to achieve more than what I typically would. Hopefully it works. Good luck on yours.

  14. domestic diva
    January 6, 2013 at 10:53 pm — Reply

    We’re trying to simplify everything.

    • Grayson
      January 6, 2013 at 10:54 pm — Reply

      There is nothing wrong with that. Once you start to simplify, you realize how much you really can live on.

  15. January 7, 2013 at 10:49 am — Reply

    Good luck with your contest!

    • Grayson
      January 7, 2013 at 11:02 am — Reply

      Thank you Marie.

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