It’s not quite the end of the year yet, but I thought I’d take a moment to look back on my goals for 2012 and see how I did. When I started up this blog back in May, I set several goals for myself. They were stretch goals – I would need to be close to perfect with my finances to meet them. But what’s the point in setting goals you know you’re going to reach, anyway? The whole idea of setting goals is to give you something that’s just out of reach to shoot for.
I set four financial goals and one health goal for myself:
Down Payment Fund – Reach $10k by the end of the year
Other Taxable Investments – Reach $13k by the end of the year
Dividend Income – Earn $400 over the course of the year across all taxable accounts
Retirement – Max out IRA and invest in a REIT
Weight Loss – Get my body fat percentage down to 25%
So how did I do?
Down Payment Fund – As of right now, my down payment fund is sitting at $10,075.50. I made it! My ultimate goal is to reach $50k in the down payment fund, and I’d like to do that within the next three years. $10k is a great start, but I’ve got a lot of work left to do! Realistically, it might take me more than three years, especially since I’ll likely want to move this money into a less risky savings account in the next year or so.
Other Taxable Investments – I didn’t quite reach my goal of $13k. I have $11,030.25 in my other taxable investments. These are investments intended for long-term growth, separate from my checking account and emergency fund. I don’t plan on touching this money for a very, very long time. However, because there’s no specific purpose for this money, it was the category that got pushed to the bottom of the priority list. In fact, I haven’t even added to these investments in several months while I focused on my other goals. Hopefully I can build this up a bit more next year.
Dividend Income – Success! All my dividends in taxable accounts have come in for the year, and the total is $408.09! One thing to note is that my down payment fund pays dividends, so when I move that money into a savings account, a lot of my dividends will go away and I’ll need to really focus on my other investments to continue growing my dividends.
Retirement – I invested in a couple REITs back in October, and just last week I maxed out my IRA. I’m pretty happy with the state of my retirement funds, especially since I only opened an IRA in 2011 (technically I opened it early in 2012, but I opened it with a $5k contribution for tax year 2011) and I wasn’t putting nearly enough into my 401(k) when I first started working. But now I’ve maxed out my IRA two years in a row and increased my 401(k) contribution to 15% of my salary, so I think I’m doing a pretty good job. I will certainly continue to max out my IRA next year, but I haven’t quite figured out if I’m going to make any changes to my 401(k) contribution.
Weight Loss – Since my method of measuring my body fat percentage broke and I never replaced it, I have no idea if I reached this goal! What I do know is I’ve lost 20 pounds since I started my weight loss journey and I like what I see when I look in the mirror. So I’m going to consider that a success! I’ve already shot down below the weight listed on my driver’s license, and my next goal is to reach the weight I claim to be on my acting resume! It’ll be a wonderful day when I’m not lying to directors any more!
I haven’t been completely honest with you up to this point. It looks like I did amazingly well, accomplishing three of my four finance goals for the year. But that’s not telling you the whole story. The truth is, my parents will occasionally send me some money to help pay for large or unexpected expenses. They did so twice this year: after my car was totaled and to pay for my engagement party. I didn’t ask them to send me money (in fact, in both cases I called up my mom to tell her how unnecessary it was), but the fact is the money did help. It allowed me to stay on track and meet most of my goals despite some sizable expenses that weren’t part of my original plan when I first created these goals. So thank you, mom and dad. I really appreciate your generosity.