BOOM! 2016 is officially closed, the I’s have been dotted and the T’s are now crossed. There has been a lot of progress, set backs and steps taken forward in order to achieve goals, have a balanced life and new experiences. I set lofty goals back in December of 2015 for my 2016 year and with the year turning a page to 2017, this means it is now time to reflect on achieving or not hitting the goals established for the year. Let’s see how I was able to perform.
2016 Goals Re-cap
This post helps me stay on the right path in case that I have steered off of it and also helps keep me on the golden brick road to the 12/31/16 end goals. Below are the goals that I had established last December for 2016, as a way to re-cap what I wanted to accomplish:
- Projected Dividend Income at $8,000
- Keep Trading Costs Below $100
- Make 3 Trades > $3,000
- Monthly Plan Expenditures: Switch from Verizon, Reduce Auto Insurance to $70/month, Change Internet from AT&T
- Make $2,000 extra payments towards Mortgage in 4 quarterly installments
- Sell 3 Items on eBay
- Go on a Trip
Phew, that’s a mouthful above and fun seeing that I kept it to a solid 7 goals. From just reading them I know that the monthly plan expenditures are hard and the projected income is always a beast to take down, given that I missed the mark in 2015 (UGH!). One thing that always helps the monetary goals is – Saving over 60% of your income each and every month, but sometimes life happens. Enough of the rant here… how the heck did I do in relation to these goals??!
December 31, 2016 final goals update
- Projected Dividend Income at $8,000: LOOK OUT BELOW!!! As the anvil drops, due to me CRUSHING over $8,000 in projected income going forward! This was a well-timed accomplishment, occurring during the month of December. Not only that, but after my posting of my final December 2016 reinvested Dividend Income, I sit at $8,067 at 12/31. This has paved the way for new opportunities into 2017! Quite a bit has to do with my new tax-efficient investment strategies, which had maintained my consistent investment purchases through the end of the year. Conclusion: GOAL ACCOMPLISHED.
- Keep Trading Costs below $100: Here we go, on to another goal. I wanted to make sure that I made EVERY DOLLAR count on this endless pursuit to financial freedom. I used quite a few free trades and in total, outside of company-tax-incentive purchases that have no fees, I had 8 trades and it cost me $34.75 for the year. Talk about cost savings, especially knowing that this cost was 5x that amount in the past!!! This year, I would expect this to increase slightly, however, by not that much and should still maintain below $100 in total trade costs going forward. Conclusion: GOAL ACCOMPLISHED.
- Make 3 trades > $3,000: As we knew from my post on why I want to make larger purchases for investments, and with the two Q1 purchases. However, with the market going on a roller coaster and capital not being as strong, I did not achieve this goal and did not make another $3K purchase to finish the year. It’s okay, I have a new plan for 2017 that I believe works much better for my overall pursuit. Nothing too crazy in regards to the strategy, just more of finding the way that makes the most sense to purchase dividend stocks I love : ) All while keeping trading costs low. Conclusion: GOAL FAILED.
- Monthly Plan Expenditures: Well, well, well. To start, we all know that I switched from AT&T (T) a month back to WOW! network provider. My new internet is $10 cheaper and more than 5x faster, it is amazing. For Verizon Wireless (VZW) cell phone switch – I am a mere 7 days away from performing the switch. My auto insurance was recently reduced at the end of April and I am currently at approximately $65/month = success. Even though my employer pays my phone service bill, I switched to Google’s Project Fi Network, and am absolutely loving it. I may even come out with an article over their phone and service. My normal cost is $20/month for the line and $10/GB usage, which will credit me on my next bill if I use less than the prepaid amount. My bills have been $22-$32, also known as – kicking ass. The networks have been great and I have actually enjoyed having a pure Google phone, as they have the latest/greatest software before other devices receive the updates. Conclusion: GOAL ACCOMPLISHED.
- Make $2,000 extra towards the Mortgage: Currently I have chipped in the 4 $500 payments and am DONE! I made an extra $500 payment on 1/1, 4/1, 7/1 and 10/7. I always want to point out about the BIG debate always is do you either pay off the mortgage or invest, something I’m always curious on individual’s feedback. Are you doing something similar? Conclusion: GOAL ACCOMPLISHED.
- Sell 3 Items on eBay – 1 so far in this category, my LG G3. I have donated quite a bit of clothes and have some clothes to sell as well. See the 5 reasons why you need to side hustle! I also placed more items on eBay that didn’t sell, but I made about $40 or so on the LG G3 that had a cracked screen and broken digitizer, not too bad. Over the last quarter, I did not sell anymore items on this, but I have donated quite a bit of clothing and do receive a small tax benefit for it, due to itemizing my expenses. Conclusion: GOAL FAILED.
- Go on a Trip: Cha-Ching! Luckily – my wonderful girlfriend was able to fly me out to Burlington, Vermont as part of her work program at no cost. I spent 3 days approximately there and went to a few fun restaurants, a brewery tour, did karaoke (no videos to be released haha) and had a fun time in the early part of busy-season. Secondly, we also went to Punta Cana for a week that started on 4/29. We have a bucket list for Akron and Cleveland things, that we’d also like to get through. Additionally, we took a weekend getaway to Chicago at the end of September, and almost 30 miles of walking later, it was a great experience for us. Cannot wait for next year’s journeys. Conclusion: GOAL ACCOMPLISHED.
Overall 2016 goal conclusion
Alright, so 5/7 isn’t the worst, right? 2016 was a wild year, with many changes in my life, adventures, big life events (though I can’t talk – Bert got married this year!!!) and further getting closer to financial freedom. Given what 2016 was like, this has truly helped me also define my 2017 goals. I was able to invest heavily, find new tax-efficient strategies (saving a boatload of tax dollars), grow that portfolio & projected income, explore/travel and be a part of some fairly big events (4 weddings this year, best man in Bert’s and was in one of the other 4). The biggest piece of all – I have learned so, so much more about myself and the purpose of doing what it is I’m even doing. I’m ever certain that 2017 will be even more of a transition for me, I can feel it.
How did you guys all do this past year? Accomplish most of your goals? Did you find it harder to do financial or non-financial goals? Also – how much of an impact of 2016’s goal items impacted your 2017 goal establishment? Any tips for me or items that I’m missing? Appreciate it everyone and thanks for reading, talk soon!