2014 Goals - Full Year Recap

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.

2014 Budgeting Goals - Full Year Results
Goal 2014 Amounts Status
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.

2014 Saving Goals - Full Year Results
Goal 2014 Amounts Status
50%65%+ Investment Savings Rate 62.25% Failed
$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.

2014 Investing Goals - Full Year Results
Goal 2014 Amounts Status
Receive $4,500 in dividends $4,557.17 Reached
$5,000 $5,500 Forward 12-month dividends $5,465.98 Failed
Rental property providing $150+ per month in cash flow -- --
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.

2014 Blogging Goals - Full Year Results
Goal 2014 Amounts Status
Surpass 50k 100k monthly pageviews Peak at 53,151 in August Failed
Earn $1,000 $2,500 from online activities $1,389.61 paid / $1,724.37 earned Failed
Average 2 stock analysis reports per month 0.75 average / 9 total Failed
Increase Decrease Alexa Rank to < 70,000 696,321 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.

2014 Personal Goals - Full Year Results
Goal 2014 Amounts Status
Lose 20 lbs  Gained 5 lbs Failed
Read 6 books 2 books read Failed
Travel More

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?

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net


  1. Even though you've written failed on a lot of those goals, I would chalk up 2014 as a great successful year. Your dividends and FY are fantastic. A jump of nearly $100K in net worth is phenomenal. Keep up the great work and best wishes for 2015 and beyond.


    1. R2R,

      Yeah I'm pretty happy with the progress even though the success/failure level was not good. Dividends increased, savings rate increased, net worth increased...so there's no complaints with where I ended up.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. On the surface it may look like you "failed" your goals, but that's only because you set the bar so high to begin with. And if you aren't going to set challenging goals, then what's the point? Regardless, I think you did a great job and made a lot of progress along the way.

    You increased your net worth by $100k, surpassed your $4.5k passive income goal, and continued to build the blog/readership and even earned a good chunk of side hustle income.

    2014 was a success in my book. Hope you have an even better 2015!

    1. FI,

      Definitely no real complaints about the progress that was made. Even though I technically failed to achieve my goals I was on pace to smash through a lot of them had everything been status quo for the last 3 months of so of the year. I guess it was about as successful of a failure that I could have hoped for.

      I'm looking forward to 2015 but especially for my son to get better and things to even out on the financial side. It's much better and easier to plan when you have at least a rough estimate of what's to come.

      Thanks for stopping by and get well soon!

  3. At the end of the day there is nothing more important than family, and if you look at the collective "failure" of your goals, most all of them were sacrificed so you could provide for your wife and son both financially and emotionally. That is real success, and something that shouldn't be discounted when reviewing your year. I imagine you'll have no problem getting back on top of things as you get closer to normalcy on the home front.

    Glad your back my friend, you, your wife, and baby Lucas were certainly in all our thoughts.

    1. w2r,

      While financial goals are nice and important I would have gladly failed every single one of them if it meant that I got to be with both my wife and son while dealing with all of this. I'm definitely not disheartened or let down at all on the financial goals and would gladly wipe out my net worth to zero if it meant that our son was healthy and we could take him home. The only thing I really wish is that I could realistically be there through the whole process. But since my wife quit her job it doesn't make sense for both of us to be out of work. I know our son still has a very long ways to go before there will be talks of getting to take him home, I'd guess another 3 months easily, probably more, and there's just too much that's up in the air right now. It's bittersweet to be back but it had to be done.

      I'm hoping by May-ish the income/expense side should level out so then I can start trying to invest a bit more aggressively.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. JC,
    Awesome year! Every angle I look at is great, you are on the right track on increasing your net worth and your passive income.
    Keep up the great work and keep inspiring :)

  5. Although you failed a bunch of goals I think you still had a very successful year. A lot of these financial goals you were very close in reach them. Continue setting your goals and work hard reaching them.

  6. PIP,
    Great job on your goals. I also failed about half of my last years goals but I was nearly their. Cheers to a successful 2015 ahead of us.

  7. You may not have hit the mark, but most all of those failures put you way ahead of the game. Time to up the workout game.

  8. JC,

    You shot for the stars and still landed on the moon. Not too shabby, especially considering your personal circumstances. I wouldn't be too worried about any of it, especially seeing as you're still far, far ahead of most people your age. You're killing it!

    Hope all is well with the fam.

    Best regards.

  9. JC,

    I agree with DM. I still think you're killing it. I'm a fellow financial writer and I still enjoy reading your blog. Now if only I could encourage more people to do the same I would be landing on the Moon instead of in the pond at the end of the cul-de-sac.

    Keep up the good work,

  10. Thank you for taking FMLA! You're one of the first men I've heard of actually taking FMLA and that's great!! Congrats on the new baby and I'm glad he's doing better - that sounds really scary. Plus, you kicked butt financially in 2014 - you set super aggressive goals and came close to hitting them.


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