Now that 2 full quarter’s are in the book, it’s a great time to see where I stand in comparison to Q1, but also to the 2015 goals I set for myself towards the end of last year. It has been such a unique year thus far, and 6 months have come and gone. Question I have to find out now is – am I hitting my goals? Am I on pace to somehow reach those items I set? After all of the traveling, weddings, bachelor parties and making fun of Bert, am I on track? Let’s find out!
During November I established 7 monster goals to accomplish, with the main target of $5,750 in dividend income which quickly changed to $6,750 after MyDividendPipeline pushed my envelope and my Italian nature to be ballsy. Here is the quick summary:
- Projected Dividend Income at $6,750
- Make $1,000 off of the Dividend Diplomats Brand
- Pay and additional $2,000 towards my mortgage
- Lower my insurance to below $69/month
- Go on a new road trip with family and/or friends
- Join a new group (business or pleasure) that I an truly passionate about
- Learn a language or musical instrument
They were very big goals, stretch goals more specifically, and I wanted to see how far my wingspan could go. I knew that I had contributed more than $45,000 in capital last year and that, given the same track record or even scaling it back to accomplish other items, I could hit these targets. Out of all of these items listed above, the language/musical instrument was going to be the hardest/most challenging aspect by far. Why would it be? One word = Time. Those two take the most time, without a shadow of a doubt in my mind. However, it’s one of my main goals to either be able to learn the piano/guitar or speak Italian – my true native language – as a good portion of my family speaks it, as they came over on that good ol boat back in the day. What helps supplement, these goals, however? Online community here is a HUGE help and I cannot thank you all enough. Saving over 60% of your income each and every month allows a great portion of the monetary goals listed above. Further, discipline in your life, staying focused and possibly tuning yourself to oneself (say you can look back at my emotional memoir) to define and accomplish the non-monetary goals. Establishing the “why’s?” of your goals allows these goals to be easier to accomplish, as they are your more pure passion plays.
First 4 Monetary Goals
1. Projected Dividend Income at $6,750 – Well, as of this writing coming on two weeks into July, I currently am sitting at an expected/projection of dividend income in the amount of $5,901 or 87.4% there (see my portfolio). This is up an astonishing $412 since the first quarter post for my results or 7.5% higher. Which is even more than the $400 I increased during Q1 by a tad. How am I able to jump that much? All of the capital plays, such as buying JNJ a few times, and all of the saving that I’ve been trying to do. The combination of purchases, automatic 401K per my employer, my match hit at the end of June + dividends reinvested, the total capital that has plowed in to make this happen is between $11-$12k, not including any of the ever-so-loving dividend increases (why we love that dividend growth rate!). I have 6 months to go for this goal to achieve a whopping $849 more in projected income. Doing the math, I have paced myself to increase my income $812 so far this year… so what’s another $37 added to the last 6 months, right? I only have 2 more weddings on the docket, so that definitely plays well with me, a potential year end bonus coming at the end of July, as well as a potential salary increase. I think I can make a strong push for this during the last 6 months.
2. Make $1,000 off of our website! This is a fun one, as we primarily aren’t writing for revenue – we actually just love this stuff, want our analyses to be reviewed and have our journey to be tracked by us all = more of a motivational and jounralizing point for us, but we love to teach and spread any knowledge we can. How have we fared so far? Well, through 6/30, as Bert stated in his quarterly goal review article, we have earned $276 or we are 27.6% there. This is actually a MUCH bigger growth from Q1, as Q2 figures alone brought in $159 vs the $117 during Q1 or a 36% increase. How is this happening? Well, our page views at Q1 were only 41K rounded and during Q2 were 51K, rounded and our advertisement clicks were MUCH better also. Furthermore, we both ended our busy season, which led to more writing and more involvement int his community. All of this paired to provide more earnings for us. However, we have a STEEP hill to climb, essentially, we would need a good split of $370 per quarter going forward or more than double what we did during Q2, yikes. I think Q4 should be our strongest, and we should see some sort of improvement in Q3. Dang!
3. Pay $2,000 extra towards the mortgage – Well due to my savings rate attempt of over 60%, I have the ability to place $500 per quarter for this year to the mortgage. How am I doing? Crushing this and have made a payment on 1/1/15, 4/1/15 and 7/1/15 so $1,500 is finished and I am already 75% there. Enough said. Why do I want to accomplish this? Well, my county is experiencing a real estate market surge in a way, so I want to benefit from this further, as well as my mortgage rate of 4.375% pre-tax deduction impact is also on my mind, as well as a little “defense” in that if I do own this house for “life”, making these payments is already DRASTICALLY cutting the life right on down. Looking solid so far. This is fun as I was looking how to balance either paying off the mortgage or investing, something I’m always curious on individual’s feedback.
4. Lower my Auto Insurance to $69/month – alright, so I signed on the “right track” for my auto insurance company – Liberty Mutual to save upwards of 25% as I described in last quarter’s post. I have 15 days left for this little plug in and am sitting at a potential savings of 18%. Come on!! So my annual amount is $1,110 currently or $91.67 per month. 18% savings off of this amount is $198 off or $16.50 less per month. This then reduces my auto insurance to $75.17… aka I am $6.17 short. BUT I have 15 days left… I am hoping that with less driving in total, less night time driving and to be more aware of hard breaking that I could keep this up to 20%, MAYBE. I am not sure if it’s possible, but that would be only another ~$2 off per month. Further, I had a ticket July 4, 2012 that fell off, and based on the re-update of my profile, could then reduce it further, right? any thoughts to this one? Also – my coverage should go down as my car gets older/depreciates, as well as my auto loan decreases. Here’s a screen of the right track program:
Final 3 Personal/Non-Monetary Goals
5. Go on a Road Trip – Still not there yet. Dang. May go to West Virginia or Charleston. But who knows. This summer, as of this writing, I have attended 5 weddings and have been in 3 of them. It’s been a whirlwind. Technically, I did a road trip to the gully for a bachelor party for 2 nights in a cabin for a bachelor party, does that count?
6. Join a new group – Everyone… I joined a basketball league thanks to Bert and his high school friends. It’s been sweet so far, when I’m in town, I’m playing decent, I’ve missed a bunch of games. Currently averaging at about 10.2 points per game, but I’ll say this – I dropped 15 last game and the game before that I feel was around 12 or so. I threw down a dunk in warm ups and “feel” like I’m gaining the strength and confidence back into basketball. Playoff game on Monday, time to get amped and ready…
7. Learn a language or musical instrument – I did cash out Amazon gift cards on swagbucks, to purchase the Living Language Italian Set. However, I have sad news – I have read it for an hour so far and haven’t picked it back up. With all of the major weddings coming to a close and being home/in town for the upcoming 5 weeks, I think I can be back on track to put 5-10 hours in per week to start this up again, beginning this upcoming/current week. I am Italian damnit!
Overall Q2 Goals Conclusion
From the goals set back in November of 2014, I feel like we are steadying the course with 2 big challenges ahead – the income for our Dividend Diplomats brand and the learning a language, posing as the biggest 2. The next two behind that, in order, will be hitting a forward income mark of $6,750 (December will be a huge reinvestment month, as well as September) but to maintain high savings and consistent investing will be key for the next 6 months. Heck – already have started with my first purchase in Norfolk Southern (NSC) last week and may even do it again if they drop. Please also check out Bert’s goals update as he is doing a stellar job, congratulations to you, my friend. Thanks everyone – please share your feedback, guidance and tips on over, much appreciated!