Three quarters are officially in the books! What does that mean for dividend investors and those pursuing financial independence? This represents a great opportunity to review your goals and progress that has been made. The year has come and gone in the blink of an eye, and with only three months remaining, we better make every minute count! Through this point in the year, I will be able to identify if I will or will not achieve my goals, for the most part. This also provides one last chance to change or alter my actions, in order to achieve the goals I set almost one year ago.
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 complete my 2017 goals. Below are the goals that I established in January and is a short summary of what I set out to accomplish at the turn of the year:
- 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 are 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). However, there is one action that always helps to achieve the monetary goals and that is the action of 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. De-cluttering creates space, time and could add value to someone else’s life. For further details on de-cluttering, here are 5 benefits of getting rid of your “stuff”. Now, onward to the progress made through quarter 3!
September 30, 2017 Goals Progress
- Projected Dividend Income at $10,000: As of this quarter end, I am sitting at a projected forward dividend income of $9,349.05. This is up from $8,909.30 in Quarter 2 and from $8,453.45 back in Quarter 1. The calculated increase from Quarter 2 to Quarter 3 was $439.75 (4.94%). The growth in the forward dividend income was down in the third quarter versus the second quarter, as the prior quarter had an increase of $455.85 (5.39%). One reason is due to more dividends were reinvested in the 2nd quarter, than the 3rd quarter, by approximately $93. Secondly, I bought $6.4K of stock in the 2nd quarter (not including 401k, HSA or dividends) but only $3.4K in the 3rd quarter. The combination of these two did not allow my dividends to grow at the same rate as they grew in the second quarter. Next, I will breakdown how I was able to set a new milestone (See how this is common for dividend investors!) and increase my forward dividend income beyond $9,000 during this quarter end. To get to this forward dividend income achievement, as a proud dividend investor, investments were made. I made purchases into: Cisco (CSCO), Delta AIrlines (DAL) and a Roth IRA small purchase of Citizens & Northern (CZNC). As I stated above, I invested about $3.4 over those three stock purchases. When looking at the nine month period, my forward income is up $1,282.27 since the end of last year, or a 15.9% growth. If we annualized the progress on the nine months, the annualized growth rate would be 21.19%. How am I doing, though? Still am in the yellow, as I still have $650.95 to go. I do need to start deploying capital, if I want to reach my goal and to do that at a strong clip than the 2nd quarter even. I could and should increase my side hustles to bring in some extra capital to invest. Conclusion: 40% chance I reach the goal (as adding $650.95 with straight investing at a 3.50% dividend yield would take almost $19,000…) 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. The donation goal was 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 provide value to others. 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 5 items in the third quarter. I say items, as these were lunch boxes and cases for children that I donated, not necessary clothing. However, they were very nice lunch holders for children, some that I even see business professionals use in the kitchen. I stick to just old paper or plastic bags I have around the house, so I had no use for them. Through 9 months, I am up to 48 in donated items and no – this does not include socks, underwear or undershirts. I am two articles of clothing or other donatable items away from my goal. I will make sure to do this before the end of this month. Conclusion: Green light, on track.
- Increase Salary > Normal Increase: Honestly, I received a raise this year from my current employer and this raise exceeded my expectations and was greater than the average raised I have received by about 10-15%. Therefore, this goal was achieved without extra effort on my part. However, I am still in the midst of other items… goal is achieved, but I am not done, yet. Conclusion: DONE.
- Travel: BOOM! Done Baby!! We have completed our roadtrip during quarter 2, actually. 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! This goal was achieved and we also have a cabin weekend with friends coming up in October. Conclusion: DONE
- 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 Q3 2017 Goals Conclusion
When I look back at the goals I set for the year, I was aggressive. I wanted to add almost $2,000 in forward dividend, which breaks down to $500 per quarter of dividends added. After 3 quarters of results towards this goal, I never even was able to add $500 in a quarter, let alone to average that across three. However, I came close in 2 of the 3 quarters, that’s for sure. Sometimes when you set goals, you may end up not achieving them. However, if you don’t set high goals for yourself, you may end up not pushing yourself to be better and go the extra mile. For the goals that are money driven, I will be happy where I ended up, because I know I’ve been pushing myself past my limits on them.
However, I’m sitting here and I know my 5th goal I will not deliver on. I am admitting now that I have and will fail at least 1 of the 5 of my goals. I did, though, succeed in three of my goals already. I have traveled, gained a better than normal increase to my salary and I have donated so many items to charity. Did I get better this year? Of course. Is there room for improvement? Hell yes there is. That’s what life’s journey is all about, helping others, spending time doing what you love and try to be as happy as possible.
How are your goals going thus far? Knocking them out and can sail on easy street to the end of December? Are you behind on some of your goals, like I am? Doing any tweaking to your strategy for the final few months here? Please share your posts below, always curious to see how everyone is doing! Further, and as always, thank you again for stopping by, truly appreciate it and talk soon!