Spring time is in the air and Easter has now been celebrated. Busy season is over, the snow is melted and the NBA playoffs have started. Baseball season is underway and the Cleveland Browns still have no idea what’s going on. I set my goals earlier on and it’s time to check back in after a rough few months to see how I am doing. Time to check in after 90 days of the pursuit of 2017’s goals, which is hopefully propelling and pushing 2018 soon-to-be goals to new levels.
2017 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 12/31/17 end goals. Below are the goals that I had established in January for this year, as a way to re-cap what I wanted to accomplish:
- Projected Dividend Income at $10,000
- Donate 30+ pieces of clothing
- Increase Salary > Normal Increase
- Study/New Certification
These goals, as you recall, are very different from 2016 – and shorter as well. They are different because we all change over time, and they are shorter, to focus on a few things rather than 30 things. Focusing on more is hard, especially when you are a public accountant, grinding 65-75+ hours per week in busy season and still have a heavy work load during the “off-season”, if there ever is one… One thing that always helps the monetary goals however, which has been proven time and time again is – Saving over 60% of your income each and every month (however, life does happen sometimes!). Further, the giving back and de-cluttering of a house has been something I’m looking forward to doing and clothes has been a huge part in that, sadly.
March 31, 2017 Goals Progress
- Projected Dividend Income at $10,000: As of the first quarter end, I am sitting at a projected $8,453.45 in dividend income. From 12/31, this is actually up $386.67 in just a 3 month time frame. Subsequent event update, as of 4/16 – I am over $8,512 (that’s another ~$60 right there!). So what happened? Well, I had a bit of idle cash, that’s almost sitting under the couch cushion earning 0.75%, but I’ve made a few decisions with it, one being an investment into CVS Health Corp. (CVS). In addition, from three quarters or dividends – I’ve ha reinvestment of $1,928.11 – which is a purchase in and of itself! We’ve had a few dividend increases and other stock purchases, but not the progress that’s needed to hit the goal. I needed to be at $8,500 by the time this quarter was over to have $500 added each upcoming quarter to even it out. I won’t be throwing cash at overvalued items, just do add income. Patience is key. However, my 3rd quarter usually ends up turning up hill like last year, due to further dividend increases and the compounding/snowball effect from the first handful of months of the year really start to bear fruit. Conclusion: Cautiously okay, but will say I’m at a 40% chance at the moment of reaching this goal.
- Donate 30+ Pieces of Clothing: Now to begin – this goal was really about how nice it is to provide your clothing to others. Not only that – but you get to clear out space in your own area, declutter, and someone can get value out of something that you aren’t currently receiving. Lastly – there is a nice impact from a tax standpoint, since I itemize my deductions and this falls onto the Schedule A on the tax form. So far, through just a few months, I have donated 31 pieces of clothing! Goal has been reached, but then I realized – it doesn’t STOP there. I will MOVE this to 50 pieces of clothing now! Conclusion: Goal was reached, MOVED UP TO 50!
- Increase Salary > Normal Increase: There is no progress here… yet. Something tells me April & May will have moves made here. This is primarily to make sure I’m getting paid for what I’m worth in the industry. Money isn’t the full focus, but to speed financial freedom, it’s key. Conclusion: Not achieved.
- Travel: The girlfriend & I have officially planned a road trip that I am excited to write about. The trip will primarily be 7 days long and associate, at least, 4 major cities that are all along the path. Not letting the full details out just yet until it is all officially booked! Road trips are awesome – great times to explore, listen to music, talk and also experience a very spontaneous adventure. Looking forward to putting some information on the docket for this one! Additionally, come June/July, we would like to visit our relatives in Canada, so there may be a mini weekend trip in the mix here, as well. Conclusion: Cautiously optimistic this will occur.
- Study/New Certification: So… I did sign up for the Certified Financial Planner’s website, in order to take the exam, however, I have not fully decided if that’s something that is doable with what’s occurring in the life of Lanny right now. This busy/work season has been kicking my ass, straight up and each day is becoming more difficult to manage time. Additionally I wanted to listen to my Italian language CDs, however, that has been difficult when you are in the car with others for countless hours related to client travel. I am not doing well in this category and the warning signs are up. However, I have been fighting my butt off to have more of a balance in my life and it’s just really pissing me off that it isn’t swaying in my direction with the actions I am making/taking. In order to progress in this area, I have to discipline myself with leaving the client/office when I am finished, telling people No – even if that means helping a co-worker; as well as waking up early to get a head start on learning. Conclusion: Failing, terribly.
Overall Q1 2017 Goals Conclusion
Similarly to other goals – not too worried about the financial goals, more than likely that’s because it is automated. I love these challenges right now and I know the aspect of travel is my #1 priority right now to get on the books. I would say my second category has to do with working on my life balance to couple that up with increasing my wage income. I have pays that occur twice per month, so the 401k and HSA are being funded no matter what, which is helping the push continue on the dividend income front, however, a few stocks are on my mind to purchase if they hit my price points. I am excited for what Q2 will bring, as I am now officially paying off my auto loan over the next 6 months, and have already made one other move with my idle cash from buying CVS Health Corp. (CVS). Looking forward to making progress, experiencing life and being in control more of what occurs, goes on and the reactions from triggers.
What does everyone else think so far? Struggling to find a way to achieve your goals? Way ahead or slightly behind? Any suggestions or tips to help achieve mine? Thank you all very much, keep kicking ass, making every dollar count and getting the most out of life! Congrats to everyone, as well, on finishing up a solid quarter for this year – as well as huge strides made from putting together the March Dividend Income from YOU the Bloggers! Keep it up everyone and stay focused!