Three months are in the book baby! Given that 90 days have past, it’s time to look back at the goals I previously set back in November of 2014 and to see what lane I am in on this track to accomplishing them. I went into the 2015 year with full of positivity and motivation to line them up and knock them out of the park. How big has the bat been this winter? Time for the quarterly update.
During November I established 7 monster goals to accomplish, with the main target of $5,750 in dividend income 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 in the first weekend of April, I currently am sitting at an expected/projection of dividend income in the amount of $5,489 or 81% there. Holy smokes, right? I still feel behind though, it’s weird. This is an increase of over $400 since the December 31, 2014. How am I able to jump that much? All of the capital plays, such as buying Caterpillar a few times, and all of the saving that I’ve been trying to do. The combination of purchases, automatic 401K per my employer + dividends reinvested, the total capital that has plowed in to make this happen is $8,163, not including any of the ever-so-loving dividend increases (why we love that dividend growth rate!). I have 9 months to go for this goal to achieve a whopping $1,261 more in projected income. Maybe I’ll invest into one of the aristocrats increasing this month? Maybe this will come from further reinvestment or dividend growth (which I believe PG and IBM will have strong increases this month)? However, I need to limit any potential setback as well – defense and offense wins games.
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 cleared so far? Well, through 3/31 we have earned $117 or we are 11.7% there. We aren’t making enough revenue as we expected, but we both are hoping we bounce back on track for a record month this April, now that our busier times have passed us. Can we hit over $100 this month to make up for the lack luster previous months? I think so. Why are we trying to accomplish this? To see if we can gain some green fruit from our site to help fulfill further purchases of dividend stocks, to further the brand and our outreach and simply because we are having fun with the challenge. How can we accomplish this? Consistent posting of relative information and fun articles –> with that, definitely critique us if we aren’t having fun articles here. Maybe I need to throw some jabs at the small Jewish co-partner in this in Bert (I make fun because I’m Catholic) – he’s currently eating his Passover meal this weekend, while we are out hiding Easter eggs before a two hour mass, Bert – you love this my dude! Also, Bert – you need to step your dividend income game up, c’mon now, throw a whopper of $1,500 to $2,000 purchase in there, let’s see that happen son.
3. Pay $2,000 extra towards the mortgage – Well due to my savings rate attempt of over 60% (see February’s and the overall page here), 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 and 4/1/15 so $1,000 is finished and I am already 50% 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 – This is just more of a frustrating battle, as I hate having fixed personal expenses. I know I’ve had my car expenses in the past (with 2015 so far being clean, phew, knock on wood), but auto insurance should decrease over time, not increase. Well, just recently received my annual premium for this upcoming 12 month period (beginning mid-April) and the damn thing increased about $200? I sent e-mails to my agent, to which he stated the area I live in experienced increases across the board. Well, I’m not settling for this. I already messaged him back saying that my goal was to have a lower amount per month not more and to see what he can do or I’ll leave, as it doesn’t make sense – I even had a speeding ticket fall off, which would mean a decrease. He has already tossed other types of discounts such as a plug in to monitor my driving for 5% off the top savings + a “potential 25% discount if I pass those tests within 90 days” type deal. I asked more about that program, more so in terms of – what can I REALLY save (as 25% more means another $280 off annually, which would be sweet), because I’m curious if there is a “cap” to it. So far – this goal has not been accomplished, but I am NOT finished yet!
Final 3 Personal/Non-Monetary Goals
5. Go on a Road Trip – Hasn’t happened yet, there have been some discussions but I’m in 3 weddings this year and am planning to attend a total of 7. Ouch, we will have to see.
6. Join a new group – there is a new running group on Wednesdays starting up soon from our friend Jessica, may have to join that starting the 8th – love running and would love to meet new people. This is more close to being in progress or checked off. Excited for it, especially since I used Swagbucks redemption for amazon gift cards to purchase these new Jabra wireless sport plus headphones – pumped! And… it didn’t cost me a single one of my own dollars.
7. Learn a language or musical instrument – Well, well… with busy season – it truly didn’t leave much time – which Bert did argue and state when I was talking to him about my goals. However, without furtherado, I am $3 away with amazon bucks from swagbucks, to purchase the Living Language Italian Set. I believe I’ll put the order in for this at some point this week with my last amazon redemption – so that it’s virtually free or $0 out of my pocket. Looks like I’ll begin on Monday April 11th and try to do 1-3 hours per day, and make a schedule to follow this. I hope that by September I’ll be able to speak basic sentences and to understand/hear more of what my family is saying when they talk. I’m definitely looking forward to this. One of the romance languages right? haha.
Overall Q1 Goals Conclusion
It seems that the monetary goals are slightly on track, except my projected dividend income I’d like to pump up earlier rather than later. However, as you can see – the more “soft” goals need the work. I need to make those happen and it looks like the group and language are set to start in motion this week, I’m looking forward to it.