Wow — 2014 has come and gone fairly quick. We have roughly two months left of this roller coast of a year and to me that is reflection but also — looking forward. Typically between November 1st and end of December I meet with a few friends (you guys know who you are), where we establish life, financial and personal type goals. Goals such as traveling, improving your quality of life, portfolio of stocks, dividend income and other financial endeavors. This will be the first time that I will publicly discuss my 2015 year goals and see if I can make those happen with action beginning now, but theoretically – January 1, 2015. I will break down the 2015 year goals and show you what I can do to gear those up to the finish line by December 31, 2015.
Lanny’s 2015 Year Goals
This is always a big decision for me. It helps me to have items set in stone/written down – as I hold myself accountable and push/do whatever it takes to reach these milestones. These will be a mix of personal, life and financial related goals, reasons/methods on why and how I will get there.
- Projected Dividend Income at $5,750 by December 31, 2015. I currently, as of this writing, am sitting a hash over $4,400 ($4,415) in Dividend Income projected. Why do I want to get there or to $5,750? That equates to approximately $479/$480 per month and would cover my mortgage payment (Principal + Interest). It would be great to know that my dividend income alone covers my biggest monthly payment. Additionally, having $480 being pumped back into my portfolio (as us Diplomats DRIP our investments) would feel great, as starting January 2016 – I would know that my portfolio has added capital at a large amount by itself on a monthly basis. I will get to this by adding in 5% of my salary into my Roth 401k with my employer, employer matching contributions, as well as having over $4,415+ being added in already from my forward looking 2015 dividend income, dividend increases, as well as fresh capital to the tune of $24-26K added in through my 60% savings plan (both individual Roth IRA + Taxable account). This obviously depends on the yield that I invest into as well. So far this year, through all of my purchases as of 10/25/14, I have added in over $34,600 to the stock market (this includes Roth 401k, Roth IRA, Individual stock account) and also this is without dividend reinvestment. I am guessing, my aim to save 60% of my income has helped me get there! Which is funny – I still have 2 months left to go, so I expect my close to 2014 to be higher than the $34.6K… it’s insane thinking that’s how much I’ve put in, I almost have to wash out the blur from my eyes. Goal is set: $5,750 in projected forward looking dividend income.
- Make $1,000 from the Dividend Diplomats Brand. Since Bert & I went live with our blog, we are experimenting with new ways to earn a passive income stream from our brand. We have a few ideas up our sleeves for us to earn revenue, but I will set a lofty goal of $1,000 this year. Obviously split in half = $500/piece. This isn’t anything too crazy, as it’s under $100/month. I guess to ask the readers who have performed this – any tips, ideas, different methods to earn this? We are currently experimenting with advertising revenue, but are debating other ways to have cash flow for our LLC. Thanks everyone for the tips with this. Why do we want this/I want this? It’s another income stream, I am eager to see if following the passions of writing, helping financial literacy for others, analyzing stocks, etc.. bears the fruit. As they say – follow your heart and money will be there regardless of thinking about it. Bert, you can hate it or love it but I think I will say Goal is set: Make $1,000 from the Dividend Diplomats.
- Pay $2,000 extra towards my Mortgage. As I’ve discussed in a post a little bit of time back about paying the mortgage or invest, I have come to the conclusion that I want to pay down a little extra towards the mortgage. This will be a small $500 every 3 months to be added. I know this detracts away from my capital, but I think I should feel the stretch of doing this goal with my capital and I love that feeling. Plus, $167 extra per month isn’t really that much in all honesty. With a busy season coming up, I doubt how much money I’ll be spending as I’ll be grinding between 65-75 hours per week and will be traveling a little bit. I believe the goal is to get the $500 out in the beginning of the month, say January 1, 2015, April 1, 2015, July 1, 2015 and October 1, 2015. This way – that’s it! No more and it’s already out the door. I will be using this from the 60% that I am aiming to save every month, so it won’t be an “expense” to me. Why do I want to do this? well, it helps pay the house off faster, I continue to build equity into my home, and also it will help get me to $80,000 or less remaining on my mortgage (which conservatively will show I have $25-$35K in equity). Therefore, in case in the future if I rent my house again – more will be pure profits at an earlier date OR, last case scenario, I sell the house because I don’t want the ownership – I’ll have the cash back. We all know making extra payments earlier on in the mortgage term shaves off MANY years off the life – such as one extra payment per year for the life of a 30 year mortgage should allow you to pay it off in 23-24 years; therefore – making more than 4 extra payments, would drill it down even further (as my payment is around $447). I wanted a balanced approach, as most of the comments I received toed that line. I won’t go huge on paying down the mortgage, as my yield on investments typically ends up being higher than the after-tax interest rate on my mortgage. Personally, if I can set aside over $34K that I did this year to invest into the market – $2K or 5.89% of that can be used towards this area. Goal is set: $2,000 extra mortgage payments in 2015, to be set on schedule for 1st day of each quarter.
- Lower my insurance from $77 per month to below $69 per month. This one should not be too difficult. I recently changed a thing or two up by raising my deductible earlier, about a month or so ago, which reduced my expense on a monthly basis by almost $20 ($18 I belief to be more approximate). Therefore, a reduction of $8 per month or $96/year is the goal. I wanted something near $100 annually. This will be performed via these methods: Speeding ticket from July 2012 falling off as well as further research and gaining competitive bids. Why do I want to do this? Simply to save money on my monthly cash flow, though it isn’t a lot of money I’m aiming to save. I drive a Honda Accord with remaining financing of what will be projected around $13.6K going into January 2015, by the end of 2015 – should be approx. $12.4k. Therefore, my exposure is a lot less, the car is a year older and the value to replace will be a lot less. I will be surprised if my current insurance doesn’t lower after my 6 month premium is up in April 2015. Time will tell on that. Goal is set: Save $96 in 2015 on auto insurance.
- Go on a new Road Trip with friends and/or family. This is something I didn’t do at all, thus far, in 2014. In 2013 I did a few things – went to Punta Cana with a group of friends and then went on a road trip with one of my best friends from.. Cleveland –> Columbus –> Cincinnati –> Louisville –> Nashville –> Tuscaloosa –> New Orleans –> Cleveland, Tennessee –> Lexington –> Columbus –> Cleveland/Home. It was awesome and it was epic. I would love to do something different with either close friends/even those that I don’t really know yet or family. Cities in the US that come to mind: Memphis, New York City, Chicago, random cities in Virginia/West Virginia, DC. It really depends on what makes sense logistically/geographically from a road trip stand point. For international endeavors, I wouldn’t mind: Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada, Ireland and… I’ll put the homeland out there – Italy. Thought I’m torn on how I want my first trip to the “land” to be – wether it be me backpacking through Europe or on a honeymoon with the future wife that I am not dating yet… hence that is up in the air. Road trips are fun though because of the impromptu things that can happen/get thrown into the mix. To conclude and establish this goal, I will say taking at least 7 days to do something fun/different with my vacation hours. Goal is Set: Go travel for 7 days, at a minimum in 2015.
- Join a Group – whether it be for work/business/pleasure – that I truly am passionate about. I feel this will be good for my life, to get involved into other aspects of my community. As my traveling for work starts to decline, I would like to be a part of a group within a 30 minute radius of where I currently live. Why? To meet people that share the same interests as me. Build up my own network for either friend or work purposes. To also explore other areas that I haven’t explored for where I live and life in general. I think the topics can be things such as: Running/workout group; a sports group/team, an investing group, possibly a volunteer for financial literacy to individuals/families in our own backyard. That is my goal – to join one and to be a thriving member of it. How can I do this? I think scouring the web, asking around people that I know, as well as other mobile applications that could assist as well. Goal is set: Join one organization/group within my community that my heart is 100% can be or is passionate about.
- Learn a language or musical instrument. I have, for quite some time, beat myself up over learning a language or an instrument and gosh damn if I let another year go by that I don’t develop another skill that I’ve been yearning to have for so long. I would love to learn Italian to speak to my Nona Gina more fluidly. I have the CDs to learn it, I believe now it is just setting the time aside to divulge by being into it. Further, my cousins, uncles, aunts and other relatives all speak the language. Also – this would be quite the ode to a certain someone if I do it. Screw it, I will work my ass off doing this one this year. I know who I will do this for and I owe it to him. I am 50%+ Italian and not having this makes me shake my head, shameful! Well – I’ll get back to my roots & my heritage, I’m excited. Goal is Set: Spend time learning Italian in 2015 – minimum 10 hours on average per week. If possible, learn an instrument as an added bonus.
I know there are quite a few lofty goals, but at least you know what you want to get out of life and you have defined a time of 365 days to accomplish this. Not only are you pushing your mind, but you are developing yourself. You are testing your abilities, your desires, motivation and this generally will help further shape your life, moreso, for the better. I am all about the community here – so any tips/heads-ups/things to look out for – would be tremendously appreciated. The 2015 year goals are set, they are a stretch, but – as the saying goes – reach for that moon, and hopefully you land at least on the stars. You never know where you can go until you take that leap of faith or that jump and with the 2015 year goals set – I am jumping hard, fast and high. Thank you to everyone who has made 2014 a success, Bert and I will come out with a 2014 goals look back and see how we performed this year through the journey. Thank you, talk soon!