Goals are great but reviewing goals is key to actually achieving them. There’s no point in setting them without a plan to achieve them in place.
Last year I did a Q3 review, saw I was behind and kicked myself into gear. Through that, I was able to do pretty well when it came to my 2017 goals.
This year, I’m doing that same review a bit earlier in the year. It’s right at the midpoint mark of the year. I set my goals when it was freezing outside so it’s nice to have some warm weather around for this mid-year review. It’ll be good to see how I’m doing so far and if I need to make any adjustments.
If you didn’t read my goal post, you can check it out below. I set my goals using a three tier approach and base it on Olympic medals! It’s more fun that way and gives me bigger hills to climb.
There’s a bronze tier that’s the easiest, a silver one that’s somewhat hard and a gold one that’s hard to hit. Last year I ended up with 6 bronze medals, 4 silver medals and 4 complete whiffs.
I was relatively happy with that and it showed that I set the right goals. I didn’t raise my goals too much this year since I have a wedding and honeymoon coming up. Those will be expensive and impact my ability to save in the latter part of the year so I wanted to make the goals reasonable.
That’s also why I’ve been trying my best to kick ass in the first six months. I know that the second half of the year will be expensive so it’s important to get a good start here.
Let’s take a look how things are going. To keep things simple, I’ll list the targets for each goal in the following order bronze/silver/goal.
Goal One – Invest at least 31k/36k/41k in new capital in 2018
This blog is all about time in the market and saving money. That means money saved is as apt a goal as any and shows up at #1!
Right now, I saved slightly north of 20k. That might make it seem like I’m on pace for the gold medal. However, I have the wedding and honeymoon expenses coming up which will seriously impact my ability to save in the next few months.
Still, I believe I’m on pace to hit at least Bronze here given that I need to average about 1600 each month to do that and that’s probably doable.
Goal Two – Collect 9.25k/9.75k/10.25k in dividends in 2018
Dividends are looking good right now. The graph below shows my progress by quarter since 2016. There’s definitely a nice upward trend there.
I’m at $4,036.81 YTD which is 24.3% above where I was this time last year($3246.79).
I’d be at $9,100 even if I saw 0 growth for Q3 and Q4. That means bronze is pretty much a lock as It’s unlikely that I see no growth. However, I’m also not expecting 24% growth for Q3 and Q4.
I think this is one where at least a silver is doable and I might even break 10k and potentially go for my first gold! It seems like companies have been raising dividends quite a bit this year!
Goal Three – Gross income savings rate of 30.5%/33.5%/38%+ overall
I’m sitting at 39.5% YTD which is good for gold. It won’t last but I think I’m in a good spot and on pace to hit at least bronze here.
Goal Four – Savings rate of 40.5%/45.5%/50.5%+ overall
51.1% at the halfway point is good for gold right now. The gross income and regular savings rate run in tandem. You beat on one, you beat on the other. As with the one above, this won’t last but it’s nice to see the savings pie be more than half!
I think I’m on pace for bronze or better here even with the expensive months coming up.
Goal Five – Savings rate of 50%+ in 3/4/5 months
I hit the magic 50%+ mark three times last year. This year, I’m three in already after the first six months of the year. February(bonus), April and June(three paycheck month) were the lucky winners. I have another three paycheck month coming up so it’s possible I can hit the silver here.
Goal Six – Reduce 1/2/3 bills in 2018
I was able to reduce my cell phone and internet bills last year but so far I’m sitting at a big fat 0 here. In fact, I just got my car insurance bill and that’s going up a little bit so I’m moving in the wrong direction! Rent’s going up too!
I’ll have to look around and see if I can call Verizon or Comcast and haggle a better price but I’m not sure since I did that last year already. It’s possible I’ll be looking at a failure here!
Goal Seven – Pay more than just my standard payment on my car loan in 2/4 months OR for gold, pay off my car loan
If you’ve read my savings rate and expense reports lately, you know that the car loan has been on my mind. As of today, my car loan is down to $1300 as I made sizable extra payments in the last three months. I want to ditch that thing before the year is over and potentially even before my wedding at the end of September.
I’m on pace for gold here and all the extra cash flow that comes with it!
Goal Eight – Reduce my restaurant expenses by more than 0%/10%/20%
I think I’m on pace to hit this although our honeymoon might be expensive on the food costs. Right now, my Q2 costs are over 30% lower than my 2017 total on a per month average.
That means there’s some wiggle room but Hawaii is expensive so who knows if that lasts.
We do have AirBnBs with kitchens so we’ll probably stay in and cook quite often although we’ll still have plenty of fish tacos. I’m on the fence here and this might end up being a miss as I have no plans to be too frugal in Hawaii.
Goal Nine – Increase my income by 3%/6%/10%
My raise was 2% but my bonus was slightly larger than the year before and the timing of the raises may mean my overall income goes up by more than 3% this year.
I think I’m on pace for bronze here. I’m also waiting to hear back on a new job I recently interviewed for so I could see a bigger bump there as well.
Reviewing goals is important and now that I’ve done it, I feel pretty good about heading into the second part of the year.
Goals are meant to be met and the important part of that is actually keeping track of them.
Knowing where you are in relation to your targets is a big motivational tool that will drive you to get better if things aren’t looking good. I’m not behind right now but I still want to keep my eye on the ball because the golds are going to be hard to reach with my expensive months coming up.
It’s easy to set a goal in January and then just forget about it but that’s not what I’m trying to do here. This is all about keeping myself on track and reviewing goals is a big part of that.
I know I have lots of expenses coming up. I don’t know if you’ve heard but weddings are pretty expensive! We’re not going crazy on it but the costs add up. Those costs will have a big impact on my savings in those months. We’ve paid a few things for the wedding already but most of those costs are still to come.
After that, we’ve got the honeymoon and I won’t hesitate to spend money there to make it an awesome experience.
That’s why I started this year saving as much as I can. I didn’t limit myself too much but I was a lot more cognizant of where my money went. Part of that is tracking my expenses and seeing where things are going. I firmly believe that tracking is as important as setting goals when it comes to actually achieving results.
My improvement in savings rate since I start this blog is a testament to that.
However, life is not just about saving money. It’s about living the life you want while you do it.
For me, this is going to be a good year. I’m getting married to the girl of my dreams and life is pretty good. I’m happy, we’re both healthy and we have great things to look forward to as well.
Hawaii is one of those things and probably won’t be half bad either! I’m super excited about that and can’t wait to blog about it too.
However, I also want it to be a good year on the financial front and things are looking good there too.
I’m glad to be in a great spot to head into the exciting second part of 2018.
It’s crazy that the halfway point is already here. Time really does pass by quickly when you have things in order. I’m sure I’ll say the same thing when I do my final 2018 goal review in January but it really rings true. It’s easy to get lost in the flow when you don’t pay attention. That’s why it’s always good to sit down and revisit goals like these and see how things are going.
Hope things are going well for you and remember, it’s never too late to set some goals if you didn’t to start the year!