As the calendar turned to 2019, I listed my goals for the upcoming year. Now that the first month is coming to a close, I thought it would make sense to do a check-up and see how I am doing on my goals so far. I tried to break down a few of my goals into smaller, more achievable chunks that would be easier to track along the way so this would be a good time to see if I am on track. If I am behind, I will need to alter my behavior and play catch-up. If I am on track or even ahead of the game, I can analyze whether it would make sense to alter my goals upward and shoot for something higher than I originally thought.
1. Keep Weight under 235 (see above for incremental goals):
I further broke this goal down to say that I hoped to be down to 240 by February 1st and then 235 by March 1st before remaining in that range the remainder of the year. As of this morning, the evil scale spit out a number of 241.5. This is a bit short of my goal, but I do have to admit that I have not been as dedicated as I should have been. Just in the past week, I have caught a bug of some sort and have not been exercising as I normally do. Since today is not February 1st yet, I am not officially behind schedule but regardless, it is a signal that I need to buckle down and re-dedicate myself.
2. Max my 401K contributions:
Based on my current withdrawal percentage, I am on track to max out my 401K again this year. The allowable amount was increased in 2019 to $19,000 from last year’s $18,500. Even with this increase, my percentage will max this out at some point in the 4th quarter of 2019.
3. Fully Fund Wife’s ROTH IRA (Stretch Goal: Fully Fund my ROTH IRA as well):
I have no yet contributed to either ROTH IRA.
4. Read at least 24 Books & Listen to at least 24 audio books:
As of this writing, I have completed 3 books and 4 audio books. If this pace continues, I should reach 36 books and 48 audio books, which would destroy my goal. While my pace is way ahead of schedule, I will leave my goal where it is until a few more months of data collection. I have noticed that my reading can come in waves. If this faster pace holds for another month or two, I will adjust my goal upward.
5. Re-read “The Millionaire Fastlane” by MJ DeMarco & “Set for Life” by Scott Trench:
I have not yet re-read either of these books. Last year, I targeted two previous books for a re-read and had to rush at the end of the year to meet this goal. My plan for this year is to read this years target books earlier in the year so I do not fall into this same predicament.
6. Get Vanguard Taxable Investment Account over $55k
At present, my Vanguard account has a total value of: $44,520.10. I have upped my regular bi-weekly auto-savings from $525 to $550 so I will be adding approximately $1,100 more per month. That contribution alone should help me to reach my goal. However, the market is the market so being on track to hit that goal does not guarantee that it will happen.
7. Pay Credit Cards in full each month:
Thus far, I have paid both credit cards in full each month of 2019.
8. Get HELOC Balance under $30K:
The current balance on my HELOC is: $34,270.93. I have been paying a low amount on this debt monthly as I work to build a robust emergency fund. Now that my emergency fund is nearing full funding, I plan to increase my payments on the HELOC debt so later in the year, this balance should be paid down at a faster pace than it has been thus far.
9. Continue to Blog weekly:
So far, I have maintained a weekly publishing schedule. I plan to continue this pace and possible even add to this with additional irregular posts about topics that I find interesting and would like to write about.
10. Earn additional $100 per month in income through various side hustles:
In January 2019, I was able to “find” an additional $200. Most of this, $150, came in the form of credit card points. My primary credit card offers reward points. I have not yet researched more robust credit card rewards and that is something that I plan to do in the future but I did check the website for my current card and realized that I had accumulated a nice amount of points. In reviewing the options on what I could do with those points, I decided to cash them in for Amazon gift cards. I had enough points for 3 $50 gift cards. The remaining $50 came in another Amazon gift card that I received as a redemption from Swagbucks.com. This is a site where users can answer surveys or watch videos, among other tasks, to earn rewards points. I had accumulated enough points to redeem for a $50 Amazon gift card. If anyone would like to check out Swagbucks, you can do so by following this link: http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/tomfalz. (NOTE: This link is a referral link and if you use the link and use the site, I may receive some small reward for any activity you have)