I’m starting to see a trend with the second quarter of each year for me…it is ridiculously busy. In 2016, my wife and I had our wedding. In 2017, we attended a few weddings, purchased a “new” used car, and oh yeah, we purchased our first home! Life truly comes at you fast, and that was a statement that I never truly appreciated until recently. So much can change in the blink of an eye, it makes you realize that you have to make sure you enjoy as much of it as possible before it is too late. With the second quarter in the rear view mirror, Lanny and I take some time to assess our progress towards knocking out the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year. Here is my Q2 2017 Goals review!
Q2 2017 Goals Review
Goal #1: Add at Least $45,000* to Our Portfolio – Here is a summary of the total capital invested in my portfolio this quarter and the source of the funds:
- Purchases – $5,079.30
- 401k Contributions – $8,048.55
- HSA Contributions – $1,909.73
- Dividend Re-Investment – $2,318.91
- Total – $17,356.49
I am only 38% towards accomplishing this goal, so my wife and I are behind where we need to be. Quite frankly though, I’m a little shocked that this number is as high as it was at the end of June. After the first quarter, we had invested $7,842.74 in our portfolios, meaning that we invested $9,513.75. I’m so shocked with this one due to the fact that my wife and I went into hardcore cash hoarding mode once the offer sheet was signed for a house. We are preparing for the worst (in terms of moving and unexpected expenses), so I have slowed down the amount that we are investing outside of automated 401k and HSA investments. If all goes according to plan, we will resume investing heavily once the dust settles, we move in, and can establish a routine with our new mortgage payment. So for now, the majority of my new investments will come via DRIP and automated investments.
That being said, we still had a little wiggle room to make several small purchases during the quarter. We initiated new positions in CVS and Kroger, both of which we barely over $1,000 a piece. Also, I received my employer’s 401k match during the quarter, which added over $2,000 to my 401k balance. My takeaway from this assessment is that the power of automated investing has had a profound impact for me YTD and it has allowed my investment balance, and dividend income, to continue growing despite the fact my wife and I were saving extra cash for our new home. After the dust settles, I want to re-visit my investment and tax strategy. I know automating my investing is going to play a major role in my revised investment strategy. Hopefully we will start to get back on track in the third quarter.
Goal #2: Cross $6,250* in Forward Dividend Income – $4,676.03 – Again, I am behind where I would like and where I need to be to knock this goal off by the end of the year. At the end of March, we had a forward dividend income of $4,641.01. I know investing in CVS, KR, and index funds are not the highest yielding investments, but I would have expected my forward income to increase more that $35 in the quarter with all of the additional investments. What happened? A few things. First, I made some slight tweaks to forward income estimates in my mutual funds based on recent dividend announcements. It sucks, but the dividend amounts were slightly decreased to reflect the 2017 results. Second, my wife’s 401k provided pulled a fast one on us. They stopped offering the S&P500 Index fund that we were invested in as an option and replaced it with another option. I have no clue why they did this and it is aggravating that they did because the new fund has a slightly lower dividend payout than the old one. Mutual funds played a huge role in our massive increase in June dividend income. But in the second quarter, it also caused our forward dividend income to decrease slightly. Hopefully we will being seeing this amount increase in the third quarter once we start cranking up our investments again!
Goal #3: Stick to My Student Loan Payoff Plan – Failure! After paying off $4,000 towards my wife’s student loans in the first quarter, we paid $0 towards her student loans in the second quarter. She is still in deferment and the mandatory monthly payments begin in July, so we weren’t required to make any payments. I mentioned earlier that we went into cash hoarding mode in the second quarter, so we will resume this plan once we are settled into our house. We will begin making the mandatory monthly payments in July and will look to pay-off $4,000 in total by the end of September. I’m going to prioritize paying off her student loans before our mortgage and auto loans due to the higher interest rate. We need to de-lever a bit, so I’m going to attack the highest interest rate debt first and then decide where to strike next.
Goal #4: Read 1 Book per Month – Another failure, and quite frankly, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I did not finish ANY books in the second quarter of 2017. I recently published my first book review of The Millionaire Next Door, which I started in June but did not complete until July. Unfortunately, that does not count towards my Q2 goal. I’m a third of the way through another book and I expect to finish it within the next few weeks, so there is some serious progress being made towards this goal.
But I feel like I really need to figure this one out and develop a routine for reading and quite frankly, my life. I’ve traveled a lot in May and June for personal and work related reasons, and by the end of the day, I have felt so drained that all I want to do is watch a little TV before bed. It isn’t a great habit, I know. But that has been how I have felt recently. Luckily, in July, my wife and I have focused on taking an hour or two to go to a park and read outside. It is peaceful, we have enjoyed the beautiful weather, and it is a great way to read during the day rather than right before bed where I am exhausted and can only make it through a few pages. It has worked so far and we love spending the time together!
Goal #5: Travel to 3 new places – At least I made progress towards completing this goal! In May, I attended my friend’s bachelor party in a city that I have never been to before…Atlanta, Georgia. We went to a Braves game, several breweries, and checked out the local bar scene. It was a fun city and I’m happy they selected there for the bachelor party. My wife and I have talked about taking a trip after the move is complete so that we can relax and take a step out of the madness of moving for a weekend. We aren’t sure where we are going to go, but we want to explore a new, relaxing area together. This won’t be a crazy sightseeing trip, but rather a beach or lake house trip. I’ll keep you all updated with where we eventually select!
Q2 2017 Goals Summary
I’m far behind where I would like to be in 2017. There is no hiding behind that fact and I’m not that thrilled about it quite frankly. Over the next few months, I am going to take a hard look at my goals and see if they are still realistic given our change in cash flow. These goals were set when my wife and I did not own a house and had a much different balance sheet/cash flow projection. With a sudden change in cash flow, I think it may be appropriate to re-assess and re-rack our goals where needed. But in the meantime, we are going to keep scraping every dollar we can together and keep on side-hustling so that we can earn every dollar we can and apply that to either paying down our mortgage early or investing. I’m looking forward to the challenge that this new phase in our life has presented to us. But most of all, I am so excited to begin this new chapter with my wife, begin living in OUR house, and making it our home for our future family. That’s whats the most important thing to me.
How did you perform this quarter? Are you crushing your goals? If not, what adjustments are you planning to get there?