Category Archives: Check-In

2013 Goals

new yearsJust like that another year is gone and it’s time to make some new year’s resolutions. For the next month gyms all across the country will be overcrowded with people who made the resolution to get back in shape. By mid-February things will revert back to normal as over-zealous resolutionaries (best made up word so far this year!) lose their enthusiasm and return to their sedentary lifestyles. One of the nice things about having a blog is that by writing out my goals for the new year and keeping a link to them right at the top of my blog, I can’t pretend they don’t exist once my fervor has waned.

I did a pretty good job with my goals in 2012, and hopefully I can be just as successful this year. Last year my goals were mainly financial goals, with one health/fitness goal that turned out to be too difficult to measure accurately. With that in mind, I tried to expand my goals a little to cover a few more aspects of my life and make sure they’re measurable.

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Check-In and Carnival Mentions

I took yesterday off work and I feel like I fell off the face of the planet for weeks after a mere three days away from my computer. Is this what they refer to as addiction? Anyway, it’s the beginning of the third quarter of the year, so I thought I’d check in on my yearly goals now that the end is in sight.

Down Payment Fund – Reach $10k by the end of the year
Current value – $6502.04

Ouch, I don’t think I’m going to reach this goal. I’ll get to around $9000 by the end of the year, and won’t get over $10k until February 2013.

Other Taxable Accounts – Reach $13k by the end of the year
Current value – $10,962.25

I’m probably going to be about $1000 short on this goal too. And I’m counting the money in my money market account toward this goal right now, but I’ll probably end up using it to max out my IRA, so I’ll actually be a little further away from the goal.

Dividend Income – Earn $400 over the course of the year across all taxable accounts
Current earnings – $284.42

I’m going to make this goal! Hooray, something I’m going to achieve!

Retirement – Max out IRA, invest in a REIT
2012 contributions so far – $1987.50

My automated contributions will get me up to $3000 by the end of the year, and then I’m going to use the last $2000 to invest in a REIT. I’m looking at HCN and SNH as possibilities.

Health/Fitness – Get my body fat percentage down to 25%
Current status – I have no idea

I haven’t been able to measure my body fat percentage since my scale stopped working properly, but I know I haven’t been doing as well this past month. Time to get my butt in gear!

Many of these goals were best-case scenarios, so I can’t beat myself up too much over not meeting all of them. Life rarely goes according to the best-case, and that’s ok. It means you have to reevaluate your goals and prioritize, which is a good thing to do anyway. Maxing out the IRA is the number one goal, so if I have to sacrifice some others a bit to meet it, so be it.

Carnival Mentions

Tie the Money Knot hosted this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance and included my article on the importance of reevaluating your spending.

Young and Thrifty hosted this week’s Carnival of MoneyPros and included my article, How Did We Wind Up Here?

I Am 1 Percent hosted this week’s Yakezie Carnival and also included my article, How Did We Wind Up Here?

Fitness Check In

I’m going to be leaving tomorrow for a business conference, so I probably won’t be making any new posts until September. I thought today would be a good day to check in again on my fitness progress.

I’ve been struggling a lot with how to set fitness goals. Should I go by weight? Inches? Body fat percentage? Aerobic ability? Anaerobic ability? Strength? I still don’t know the right answer, but I’m fast approaching a weight milestone, so I’m positively giddy! I’m currently sitting just a smidge above 150 pounds, and I cannot wait to see the 140′s. It’s going to be glorious. I don’t know if my hotel will have a scale. If not, it will be like not having a TV or internet connection during the Superbowl. I’ll just have to wait it out and hope I like the results when I get back on August 31.


In addition to closing in on the 140′s, I’m also close to another weight milestone: I’m 4 pounds away from having lost 20 pounds from my highest weight. When I realized a couple days ago how close I was to losing 20 pounds, I was filled with an emotion I wasn’t expecting: embarrassment.

When I hit my highest weight of 167 pounds, I knew I was slightly overweight, but I thought that at most I only needed to lose 10 pounds, and even that would just be nice, not necessary. I made excuses for why I weighed so much at 5’6″. I have a large frame, I have a lot of muscle, I have a slow metabolism, and so on. But now that I’ve lost nearly 20 pounds while building muscle, there’s no escaping the fact that I weighed too much before. And I’m embarrassed that I didn’t realize it at the time.

The interesting thing is that when I weighed 167, I thought I only needed to lose a maximum of 10 pounds, and now that I’m 151, I think I could still lose another 10, maybe more. Once you start to make real progress, you realize that your excuses were all that was holding you back, and without those excuses you can achieve some really amazing things.

Of course, this has gotten me thinking about how you know when you’ve reached your final goal. My original goal of 10 pounds turned out to be just a stepping stone on my fitness journey, 20 pounds is now within reach and 30 doesn’t seem so far fetched. But when do I stop losing weight? Will I get to a weight where I look at the scale and feel content with the number? For my own sanity, I should probably stop paying attention to the scale. But after I get into the 140′s.

In other news, I look really hot now.

Midyear Check-In

I set some ambitious yearly goals for myself when I started this blog back in May, and now that it’s past the halfway point for the year, I thought I should revisit those goals and see how I’m doing. Overall, I’m not going to achieve all of my goals unless I put some serious effort into earning extra income in the second half of the year.


2012 Goals

Down Payment Fund – Reach $10k by the end of the year
Midyear value – $4707.56. Unless the market takes a huge upswing in the remainder of the year, I’m probably not going to hit this target. I’ll need to invest roughly $880 each month, which is a tall order unless I sacrifice some other goals, which as you’ll see I’m only willing to do in one place.


Other Taxable Accounts – Reach $13k by the end of the year
Midyear value – $9863.84. I don’t have as far to go on this one, but it’s also a lower priority than the down payment fund, so I may sacrifice this one a bit to get closer to the down payment goal.


Dividend Income – Earn $400 over the course of the year across all taxable accounts
Income earned so far – $166.54. This is a rather dependent goal. If I end up sacrificing the taxable accounts goal, this one will be affected as well since the down payment fund doesn’t have a great dividend yield.


Retirement – Max out IRA, invest in a REIT
This one is going to happen. I’ll see to it. I’m making rather small monthly contributions to my IRA and plan to buy one or two REITs closer to the end of the year to get me up to the max. I will not sacrifice this goal.


Replenish Emergency Fund (new goal since repairing my car)
Since I ended up spending $3000 on car repairs, my emergency fund isn’t looking so great right now. I added this to my list of goals for the year, and it will definitely derail the others, but it has to be done.


Health/Fitness – Get my body fat percentage down to 25%
I have no idea where I’m at with this one because my scale will no longer tell me what my body fat percentage is. It just beeps loudly at me and says “error.” I may see about getting my body fat measured professionally to get an accurate reading. I’ve been working out like crazy with only a few short periods of delinquency, so I’m feeling very good about this one.


At the end of the day, it should work out that my goals should come in around $3000 shy since I have to replenish my emergency fund. I think I’m going to aim to have most of the $3000 come from the non-down payment taxable investments. I still haven’t gotten around to selling a few things on eBay, and this check-in is a great motivation to get off my butt and do that. All I need to do is make a few sales and I’ll be right back on track!