The first six months definitely have been fun, interesting, lessons have been learned, passions explored and a renewed focus has developed. I cannot wait to look at the half of the year coming up, sort of in a “the glass is half full” kind of way. Learning more about yourself/oneself in a much more rapid pace, but still focusing on the areas that make me happy, as well as the true goal of financial independence. This quarter marks another quarter closer to these goals and I’m excited to talk about what progress was made.
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
3050+ 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 I simply wanted 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’ve been very passionate about, creating space & time and adding value to someone else who would gain more value in an item than I would. It’s been one helluva 2nd quarter, I will tell you that much.
June 30, 2017 Goals Progress
- Projected Dividend Income at $10,000: As of this quarter end of 6/30, I am sitting at a projected forward dividend income of $8,909.30 . This is up from $8,453.45 back in Q1, or is an increase of $455.85 (5.39%). First quarter I had an increase of $386.67, so what happened? Well, first the bad news, Mattel (MAT), cut their dividend, quite a bit, negatively impact my forward income amount. Next, my company does their once per year matching contribution to their retirement plan based on the previous 12 months, so I had a one-time “addition” to that portfolio (wish so bad they matched at each pay interval, as I am finding it more commonplace that companies do that). Of course there was the dividend reinvestment of approximately $2,229 over the last 3 months and stock purchases, such as a few purchases into Grainger (GWW), and then a new stock of Cisco (CSCO) and Kroger Grocery (KR). The combination of these capital additions, dividend increases, reinvestment, slightly offset by dividend cut, has allowed the income to grow by 5.39%, or an annualized amount of 21.56%, if only looking at this past quarter. When looking at the six month period, my forward income is up $842.52 since end of last year, or 10.44%. If we annualized the progress based on the six months, the annualized growth rate will be 20.88%. Therefore, the 2nd quarter, obviously, was a tad better than the first quarter. How am I doing, though? I am in the yellow here, paying off my auto loan is still a priority, and I have less than $2K officially to go. I need to increase my side hustles to bring in some extra capital to invest. Conclusion: 40-45% chance I reach the goal and am in Yellow, territory here.
- Donate 50+ Pieces of Clothing: Now to begin – the original goal was 30, but I blew that out of the water in the first 3 months. I have now increased to 50. 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, de-clutter, 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. I have donated an additional 11 pieces of clothing through the end of June. Amazing, I had 31 pieces in the first quarter, plus 11 new pieces. 42 clothing items have been donated and no – this does not include socks, underwear or undershirts. The last round was a never used track jacket, never used sweater, a few button polos, etc.. things that any individual could considering wearing and a few items were new! This leaves me with 8 additional pieces of clothing to go, no changing the goal this quarter, but we’ll see what happens in Q3! Conclusion: Green light, on track.
- Increase Salary > Normal Increase: I am currently in progress here, dang it! More to come within the next 45 days, that I will be sure to write about. Stay tuned, stay very in tuned to this one… (Bert knows what I’m talking about) Also, “merit” increases are occurring these next 3 weeks, which take effect on August 1st, so there is a discussion for sure happening.
- Travel: BOOM! Done Baby!! We have completed our roadtrip from 12:00PM on May 31st through June 7th. We traveled from Cleveland, to Charlotte (1 night), to Charleston, SC (2 nights), to Hilton Head (2 nights) and then finished off with Savannah, GA (2 nights) before swinging on back home. Over 1,600 miles and plenty of pictures & memories were definitely had. I believe we would reduce Hilton Head time and increase Charleston time with Folly beach and reduce the overall trip by a day if we were to do it again. We shall see if that trip will be in the cards in the future or not, but all in all – saw so much! Here are a few pictures below:
5. Study/New Certification: No progress here, I blame myself for not taking advantage of every hour, as there is still time that isn’t that useful, I know I don’t procrastinate as much, but there are still ways for improvement, no doubt. Conclusion: Not even on the radar screen.
Overall Q2 2017 Goals Conclusion
Not too bad of progress thus far. As I stated in my June dividend income summary, there are some more dividends to makeup after Mattel (MAT) cut their dividend. Additionally, I do have 6 months of dividend reinvestment and dividend growth to occur. I plan to spend the next few weeks to continue to go through my clothes and possessions (actually, in between this writing – I have donated 3 coffee mugs to the office I work at – does that count???). This will further reduce things I own, give back to someone who can gain more value from an older possession of mine.
Further, Bert & I have been putting more efforts into our side hustles, earning more income – whether that is selling items on eBay or one of the other areas we talk about on that article – we are pushing and wanting to make every dollar count, no doubt. Though not one of the goals, this has been taking a focal point lately. What’s been amazing about selling these items on eBay (as I believe I’m at 6-7 items through the last handful of weeks), is the space and “free-ing” feeling you receive, definitely addictive. Also, I’ve been more serious about health and eating and similarly that it is not a goal, this is something I want to keep up and begin to question, “Do I want that in my body?”? It has changed quite a bit.
How about you? Making massive progress on the things you want to do? Following what provides you happiness and helping others along the way? Learning anything new? Coming across any challenges that you ended up learning from that we could all take something from? Please share, would love your feedback, stories, to hear your progress and how you feel about my progress above. Enjoy summer, take the warmth it and go at everything with 100% of you, 100% of the time! Talk soon and thanks again for stopping by!