I know it's after mid-February and I'm just now getting out my 2014 goals update ,but there's been so much going on that I had to step away from the blog for a few months. I still have no idea what happened to 2014. The first half was a blur and the second half was even blurrier. Now that I have a bit more time on my hands I need to check on my goals for last year. There were a lot of "failures" but the good thing about those failures is that I still made good progress on the majority of my goals. It's important to set specific, measurable goals so you have something to compare it to and keep motivated along your journey. Enough stalling, let's get into the goals.
|Grocery spending < $200 per month||$190.16||Reached|
|Restaurant spending < $110 per month||$208.49||Failed|
|Average monthly expenses < $2,350 per month||$2,676.59||Failed|
Hrrmmmm....one out of three is good in baseball, not so good when it comes to budgeting goals. Grocery spending dipped under my $200 goal but that was mainly thanks to spending essentially nothing on groceries in November and December. However, restaurant spending took a big jump higher also thanks to November and December. My wife and I were spent every day at the hospital after our son was born and between being born and year end I think we only went home once. So yeah, that led to really high restaurant spending since we were eating out 2 meals per day. My average monthly expenses were well above my goal but they only increased slightly from the 3Q update. I don't have my budget spreadsheet completely optimized for the time I was away but it's good enough to give a good picture of expenses from the last 3 months. If you back out the $300 debt payment though I'd be just barely over my target. One of the debts is currently paid off but there's still some furniture that we're paying for so the $300 remains. Overall I'm not exactly happy with the results but I'm not that disappointed either.
|$450,000+ Net Worth ($125,000 increase)||$417,912.82 ($97,798.60)||Failed|
Uh oh, not one goal reached here. This was pretty disappointing actually but I guess I technically beat my original investment savings rate goal of 50%. I came pretty close to my investment savings rate goal though coming up just a little bit short. If I had continued being able to work the last 2 months of the year I probably would have hit this goal but I'm so glad that I took FMLA to be with my son. I still made really solid progress on my net worth goal with almost a $100k increase in one year. Not too shabby at all but I did technically come up short of my $125k target increase so it falls in the failed category. I'm not overly concerned with my net worth since the majority of it is tied to the stock markets which are anything but steady. As long as the companies I own continue to pay and increase their dividends the net worth will take care of itself in the long run. No real complaints about either of these goals failing because of how much progress I made towards them.
|Receive $4,500 in dividends||$4,557.17||Reached|
|Receive $1,500 in option premiums profit||$1,161.33||Failed|
|Increase invested assets by $100k ($361,500)||+$85,158.25 ($346,646.42)||Failed|
Now let's get to the really fun goals. Let's see: reached, failed, gave up on, failed, failed. Yikes! I just barely squeaked by my dividends received goal with just $57 to spare. That's a 79% increase from 2013's dividends received so I'm quite happy with how that shaped up. Originally my forward 12 month dividends goal was to pass $5,000 by the end of the year but I passed that earlier in the year and ended up just short of the increased goal of $5,500. If everything remained "normal" with my son then I would have exceeded this mark rather handily, but there were so many question marks in the air that I had to start hoarding cash leading up delivery. I scratched the idea of purchasing a rental property because it just wasn't for my wife and I while I continue to work out of town. While I'd love to add some rental properties to the mix, we'll have to revisit this matter in 2015 once expenses settle down and we adjust to life with our son. I didn't earn any additional profits from options premium after the 3rd quarter so I came up short on this goal as well. Invested assets increased by $85k but that was still $15k short of where they needed to be to satisfy my goal. For the most part I'm pretty happy with my progress on my investing goals despite a rather disappointing one out of four success rate.
|Surpass ||Peak at 53,151 in August||Failed|
|Earn ||$1,389.61 paid / $1,724.37 earned||Failed|
|Average 2 stock analysis reports per month||0.75 average / 9 total||Failed|
Another 0-fer. My original goal was to reach 50k monthly pageviews which I had reached earlier in the year and then reached again in August but my hiatus from the blog really messed all of my blogging goals up. Pageviews dropped like a rock which was completely expected considering that there was no fresh content. Also since I wasn't writing, my income from online activities stagnated. However, I will be working on remedying that lack of posts both here and at Seeking Alpha once I work through catching up all of my spreadsheets from while I was gone. I was already behind on my stock analysis goals after 3Q, but was in the process of trying to get several written before my wife delivered. Alas they didn't get completed because the end of 3Q and all of 4Q were just plain crazy. What's really amazing to me though is that there were over 500k pageviews of my little place on the internet last year. Sometime this year I should reach the 1M total lifetime pageviews, so I have that to look forward to while I get back to writing and start building up readership again.
|Lose 20 lbs||Gained 5 lbs||Failed|
|Read 6 books||2 books read||Failed|
My personal goals were probably the biggest disappointment for me this year. All of the financial goals I made solid progress on but I backtracked on my weight loss goal and there's really no excuse for reading just two books all year. I'm still trying to figure out how to best set up a system to keep myself accountable for my diet/weight loss/exercise that is easy to understand and update to have all of you help keep me accountable. So far since heading back to work I've been good with tracking my calories and exercising at least a little bit every day. Once I hit a month of this it should become a habit that is much harder to break. I'm also already on book number two for the year so I'm well ahead of last years pace.
If you look back at my goals and take them at face value it was a resounding failure. I only succeeded on two of my fifteen goals for the year; however, I don't view the failures as such. My forward 12-month dividends increased by almost $2k from the previous year and my net worth jumped up almost $100k. I'll gladly take another failure like that in 2015. Going forward for this year I will probably set fewer and more conservative goals that are most likely for the first half of the year. There's just so much in flux right now financially with our son still in the hospital, my wife quitting her job, me possibly losing mine because of the price of oil so I expect to build up cash reserves a bit more over the next couple months rather than investing the difference. I'm excited for 2015 to be here and look forward to keeping tabs on my goals as well as all of yours. Best of luck in 2015!
How did you do on your goals for 2014? What's the number one goal you want to focus on for 2015?
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