2020 Financial Goals from People in the Tiller Money Community

Just before Christmas, we asked people in the Tiller Money…

Financial Goals

Just before Christmas, we asked people in the Tiller Money Community to share their top financial goals for the new year.

Over 60 people (and counting) shared their specific 2020 goals. They’re thoughtful, ambitious and inspiring, so we gathered some of them below. They generally follow the top money goals reported in several surveys: pay down debt, spend less, save more, and most notably, earn more money.

Read the entire thread and share your goals here.


Spend less on eating out/getting coffee at work. We have a great cafeteria and great coffee shops in my office building, but it adds up quickly. I would like to reduce it to once a week for food and once a week for coffee. I’ll check in at the end of each month and see how I’m doing by checking my transactions in Tiller.

Pay off more of my student loans. If I stick to my spending budget, I can put more toward paying down my student loans. I have a goal of how much from each paycheck to pay into my loans, and I will assess each pay period how well I’m doing to stick to that.

Be better about updating my Tiller transactions and categories to track spending. I have a really detailed spreadsheet from Tiller that I love and have put a lot of work into personalizing, but I don’t do a good job of staying on top of categorizing transactions and looking at trends. I want to make a point of organizing my transactions every week, on Sundays as part of a morning ritual – coffee, breakfast, Tiller organization.


Limit my ability to easily spend money by building in physical roadblocks/habits that force me to not spend money. An example of this would be to remove all tap pay/wallet apps from phone.

Another would be to shame yourself every time you spend money by enabling transactional email notifications from your bank to yourself so that you have to face each transaction in your inbox.


Planning to pay down debt and work hard to build our net worth as well as working on some FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) goals.


I tapped into my rainy day savings funds this year to make some renovations and due to unexpected health care bills. My goal is to build those back up close to or exceed my high water mark of 2019. I will have to maintain a positive cash flow despite another reduction in income due leaning deeper into semi-retirement towards full retirement.


I have used Tiller for two years now to help me understand better where my money is heading.

Going into 2020, I will continue to do so and begin the process of re-directing extra funds towards paying off my credit card. That should be done by the end of January. After that, my goal is to pay down my car loan by $5,000 over the course of the year.


Pretty sure it’s the new word kids use to describe something they find interesting.


Some good suggestions here so far!

The biggest goal for my family is to buy a house early next year. We’ve been saving for years, found the perfect place to live, and are just waiting for the right house to pop up (of course for the right price). I’m continually reminded how blessed we are to be in this position. I think a lot of times we can get caught up in always reaching for the next goal, and forget to spend time reflecting on how far we’ve come already. I’m so proud of where my wife and I have come financially, even if we’re still many years away from our early-ish retirement goals.

I like the other goal of categorizing transactions every Sunday. I let that habit slip earlier this year so I’d love to pick it back up in 2020.


My 2019 goal is to get more specific with my categories and develop budgets with more rigor so I can get really clear on my spending habits and figure out how to be sure I’m putting at least $500 into my savings account every month.



My 2020 will include getting married, which is a great thing! But it also means bringing on my fiances student loan debt in addition to mine. While I’ve been tracking and increasing my net worth the last 2.5 years since I graduated college, it will go back down to almost zero when we get married : (

No worries though! I still want to anticipate that dip in our combined net worth by saving 25-30% of my income in 2020 and also I plan to max out my HSA account this year as well as my Roth IRA. I want to start out our new life together on a strong financial footing (no matter what that net worth number says!)


My goal is to invest at least half of my take-home pay.


Hello fellow Tillerers!

Here are financial goals for my household for 2020 after operating with Tiller for 6 months:

  1. Maintain and/or improve 50/30/20 split for our spending i.e. 50% of after tax income on Needs, 30% on Wants, 20% savings.
  2. Pay off car loan in Q1 2020.
  3. Spend less than $200/month on coffee (yes, we love great coffee)
  4. Spend less than $800/month on groceries
  5. Lower “home improvement/maintenance” annual spending by 10%
  6. Do not go over budgeted amount for “Miscellaneous” category (hello Amazon!)
  7. Grow Emergency Fund by +15%


Contrary to most, my financial goal for 2020 is to spend more on things that add some value or spontenuity to my life.

Over the past few years I’ve got my finances in order and understood; set aside recurring payments to savings, pension and dozens of ‘pots’ for planned outgoings (£20 a month for a new phone in 2 years, £30 a month for my insurance this year, etc)

One thing I’m not great at, is spending this money when it comes to it. I want to get better at not worrying when I spend £60 on a meal out now and again, or treat myself to a shirt once in a while. If I’ve budgeted for it and can afford, I want to get more comfortable with purchases that make me happy.

The happy fund.


I’ve been using tiller to track my spending in 2019. My main goal is to reduce my obsurdly large spending category of “Misc”


My biggest goal is to identify saving opportunities to help facilitate some large projects we’d like to complete in the next year including new floors!


Started using Tiller in late August and for the first time I feel like I finally understand where all my money is going.

My goals for 2020 are:

  1. Stay focused on paying down credit card debt using avalanche method First credit card was just paid off this month. Pay off two more in 2020.
  2. End the year by having paid off the final auto loan for our family.
  3. Increase the amount of our emergency savings.


My goal for 2020 is to split my “fun” budget into experiences and material items (i.e. buying a ticket to a football game would be an experience and buying new jersey would be a material item). Once I have a grasp on this breakdown, I would like to focus on shifting my spend away from material things that usually don’t add any value to my life


We started using Tiller after getting married – I was used to manually inputting all my expenses into a spreadsheet, and my husband never really had a budget. Lots of adjusting and recalibrating over the past several months, but now we’re settled into combined finances enough to have clear goals and strategies to meet them!

Main goal for 2020 is to consistently save $1,000 a month so we can knock out our emergency fund goal in early 2021 and start saving for a home down payment.


Mine are fairly simple.

  1. Pay off mortgage by the end of 2020. Our only debt is a small mortgage (but with high interest rate) and very large student loans. Paying off the mortgage will go a long way to getting a handle on the more daunting student loans. The mortgage amount may be small, but paying it all off will require quite a bit of active money management in order to pull off in only a year.
  2. Determine our true net worth. I’ve tried many different systems (spreadsheets and your semi-competitors) and I never found one where I could track EVERYTHING before – manual and automated, static and dynamic – without a lot of work. So I only have a figure in the general ballpark. I’m fairly confident I can use Tiller to track everything like I’ve always wanted to do and get a very clear picture of where we’re at. That’s my goal for Q1.


I want to spend less on eating out. My wife’s an amazing cook, and we often look at each other at our dinner table and say, “…and why are we eating out?” Awesome.


Happy Holidays, everyone. Thank you so much for sharing the ideas, it’s good to read about how we’re all setting into motion a strategy to meet our short/long term goals. What fun it would be to have this thread become a “throw back 2020 post” when this is brought up again (?) as a topic in December 2020 to see how we all did?

My goals this year are to just trust the plan that we have in place, which is:

-Continue saving at least 15% of our income for retirement (automatically deducted from pay, no choice!). Trust that we’re doing the right thing by investing instead of paying off our HELOC for home improvements which is hovering around $12K right now (making minimal payments to it since we net earn more money by investing than paying off the debt).

-Help with meal planning in a way that minimizes food waste (that can add up $$). It’s always so disheartening to open the fridge at random times during the week and in the process of looking for that ingredient or container of _____, come across 4 or 5 things that need to be tossed because they’re becoming goop! Yuck, and what a waste of resources!

-Make at least $3500K in contributions (total) to our 2 kids’ college funds.

Good luck, everyone!


Well the plan is to pay more money towards higher interest student loan debt to eliminate some of it this year. I have to stick more to our budget and actually record our expenses. Then I can see how much extra cash I have to stick to the outstanding debt!


My financial goals for 2020 are:

  1. Fully fund my Roth IRA and 401k
  2. Save 50% of my income
  3. Create a form of passive income that will earn me money year after year without putting more money into it (put time into it instead)
  4. Build up a 6-month emergency fund


I have two goals – (1) win a Mug! and (2) i am getting married in 2020, so want to be able to use tiller to bring on my fiancé’s finances to plan for the future, which would include moving, buying a house, and starting planning for our family’s future. We both use tiller, but would like to use it to continue to see where we are spending our money and how we can save more, as well as plan for what our spending is going to look like in the future.


Get more aggressive with my investment strategy.

I have quite a bit of cash in an online savings account. Every month the interest rate drops. Because I have a very accurate picture of my finances using the Zero Sum Budgeting sheet in Tiller, I have identified money that I don’t absolutely need in the near term. I can put that money in investment products that are slightly less conservative.


  1. I would like to pay off a car loan – have about $6500 left on that.
  2. Reduce my grocery bill to less than $1000 – I do buy organic and from whole food and health food conscious stores – so that is challenging some – but I want to try and bring that down. Have just 1 kid at home now instead of 3, so that should be feasible. Even would like to get smarter and do more like $800.
  3. Review subscriptions – maybe remove 1 or 2?
  4. Pay off new computer I bought – but really needed – $3000 apple barclay card no interest loan I want to pay off.
  5. Save for holidays better so not charging like always.
  6. Start saving more for my 14 year old for college – just have not been able to do that. Other 2 kids in college now – one on ROTC – smart kid! – other will be getting loans her 3rd or 4th year because we simply don’t have enough to pay for her out of state.
  7. My BIG financial goal is to downsize – not even own a home and mortgage pit type of investment and simplify. But spouse not in agreement yet. I want a simple life without all the bills and headaches that come with home ownership, etc.

This year I got a ton better about paying off credit card as I charged so I was not paying interest, but building points. We have multiple credit cards to build up miles – with 2 kids away at college and visits home – it adds up.


Financial Goals for 2020:

  1. Savings rate of 30+%
  2. Purchase spouse new car (no debt)
  3. Spend less than $800/month on groceries and restaurants


Interesting question! My goals are:

  • Put more money toward paying off student loans.
  • Put more money toward my retirement account
  • Put more money toward charitable giving.

Since all of my goals are about increasing spending, I will naturally either have to cut spending elsewhere or increase income. Both are things I’m looking into, but I don’t consider those goals, more a means to accomplish the goals above.


Very interesting thread…

My goals are:

  • Work on aggressively paying down mortgage
  • Increase total savings to 50% (gross)
  • Decrease spending on restaurants. Cook more at home.
  • Wean myself off of YNAB. Looking forward to building my own budget spreadsheet with Tiller.

Thanks, and happy new year!

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