Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future. Somehow the first half of the year is already over. It seems like just a few weeks ago I was reporting on my progress for the first quarter and now another quarter is over and done with. I think it's important to set specific, measurable goals at the beginning of each year to keep you focused and motivated towards hitting your goals. It's important for them to be measurable so you can see exactly how you're progressing. Back in January I set several goals covering budgeting, savings, investing, blogging, and personal goals, so it's high time I take a look and see how I'm doing.
|Grocery spending < $200 per month||$220.31||Needs Improvement|
|Restaurant spending < $110 per month||$124.68||Needs Improvement|
|Average monthly expenses < $2,350 per month||$2,641.54||Needs Improvement|
I'm still well behind where I'd like to be on my budgeting goals for the year and took a little step backwards as well. My grocery spending is still above my goal but I have decreased the monthly average by about $3 since the end of the first half. Baby steps! Unfortunately average restaurant spending has increased by $18 since the first half, so that's no good. There was a lot of unexpected dining out during the two middle quarters of the year and I hope to start limiting that. Although I'm not sure how that will go due to the issues with Luke and most likely quite a bit of restaurant expenses. There should be a decline in grocery spending though in the fourth quarter but probably not enough to counter the increase in restaurant spending. My monthly expenses are still well above my $2,350 goal but they only increased about $3 compared to where they were during at the halfway mark. If you back out the $300 debt payment then I'm beating my goal. Unfortunately that $300 payment won't be gone until early next year assuming I don't just pay off all of the debt early. The refrigerator is technically paid off but we're applying the snowball method to finish paying off some furniture from when we bought our house last year. It shouldn't be too much longer until there's no more debt payment at all. Overall it's been fairly steady as she goes on the budgeting side and I hope to make some more improvements especially with the grocery and restaurant spending.
|$450,000+ Net Worth ($125,000 increase)||$389,292.43 ($69,178.21)||Needs Improvement|
I changed the way I calculated my savings rate starting this year and I think it gives a truer picture of my savings rate. That calculated savings rate now shows just the after-tax income that is saved each month and directly marked for investment. My savings rate has increased by 2.93% from the first half but did average 66.25% throughout the third quarter. I increased my savings rate goal at the half way update from 50% to 65% for the year but I'm not sure if I'll get the full year average up to the 65% mark. It will take higher savings rates than I can normally expect to reach in order to reach that goal, 78%+, so my main focus will be on maintaining at least 65%+ levels for the quarter. The 3rd quarter wasn't quite as friendly for my net worth with the car purchase in July for my wife and the markets becoming more volatile. So I'm now well behind my goal with just 1/4 of the year left and needing almost a double from here. The net worth goal has always been a bit of a secondary goal though since so much of my net worth depends on the status of the stock market. If the markets are up my net worth flourishes, if it's down then my net worth follows. As long as I keep doing what I can by saving a high portion of my income and the dividends of companies I own stay in tact, then the net worth will take care of itself over the long run.
|Receive $4,500 in dividends||$3,215.63 (Proj. $4,489.25 )||Needs Improvement|
|Receive $1,500 in option premiums profit||$1,161.33||On Target|
|Increase invested assets by $100k ($361,500)||$61,283.24($322,771.41)||Needs Improvement|
Now let's get to the really fun goals. My goal was is to receive $4,500 in dividends this year and I'm currently on pace to receive $4,589. Things are looking pretty good there although I probably need to make one more investment to officially pass this mark. Originally my forward 12 month dividends goal was to pass $5,000 by the end of the year but I've already passed that and I'm working my way up to $5,500. It's always a good thing when you're increasing your goal! The rental property is out of the question for the time being but I will revisit this next year to see if it's an option I want to pursue. The 3rd quarter was very quiet on the options front so I'm still at $1,161. I'm still technically on pace to reach my goal but I will most likely lean more towards making outright purchases in my Portfolio rather than option trades unless the options are just that compelling. My invested assets have done decent this year but are still behind where they need to be to keep me on pace with my goal. This is asset value and not net contributions so it's still related to the movements of the market. This is very similar to the net worth so most likely I'll be modifying this goal when my 2015 goals come out. Probably to an invested capital goal.
|Surpass ||53,151 in August||Needs Improvement|
|Earn ||$1,230.48/$1,389.61||Needs Improvement|
|Average 2 stock analysis reports per month||1.22 average||Needs Improvement|
Pageviews did pretty well over the 3rd quarter considering my posting schedule was anything but consistent. I've essentially got no shot of hitting my 100k goal, well at least I highly doubt it, but maybe I can bump it up to 55k by the end of the year. I had passed my online earnings goal by the halfway mark and then increased it up to $2,500. Well with very little writing over at Seeking Alpha I didn't earn a whole lot during the 3rd quarter. I'm averaging just 1.22 stock analysis reports per month which is bad and well behind my goal of at least 2 per month. I've still been compiling data for the stock analyses but have been way too short on time to get the posts written up. I'm really hoping to get this corrected during the 4th quarter but I know the full year goal will not be reached because there's just too much ground to make up.
|Lose 20 lbs||Gained 5 lbs||Needs Improvement|
|Read 6 books||1 books read||Needs Improvement|
My personal goals have been a big disappointment but I'm hoping to get that corrected in the 4th quarter. I really need to figure out a way to keep me on track with both exercising and diet. Especially my diet. Any ideas will be appreciated! I've been absolutely horrible with reading this year but I did finally finish reading 1 book earlier this month. I'm working on another one and am almost halfway through it so I really just need to sit down and read.
If you look back there's a lot of needs improvement among my list of goals which is nowhere near where I expected to be sitting 3/4 of the way through the year. There's still a lot of work left to do and a little over 2 months to do it. So I need to get back on track. I'm not sure how the rest of the financial goals will go because I need to try and build up a bit more cash for expenses related to Lucas. I honestly have no idea how insurance works so if anyone can give some insight into that then please comment or email. My main concern is whether the annual out of pocket is truly the max you would pay each year or if that's only based on certain expenses. So I'm trying to build up some more cash in case it's not what I think. That's the good thing about never having to use insurance for anything other than checkups!
How did you do on your goals through the first 9 months of 2014? What's the number one goal you're going to focus on to close out the year strong?
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