Growth and Goals

Reviewing Financial Goals – 2019 Halfway Point Review

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s already the halfway point of 2019. That means it’s time for us to be reviewing financial goals.

Financial goals are great. However, they’re no good if you never check in to see how you’re doing. It’s like when you’re cooking something. You want to taste it once in a while before it’s done to see if you need to season more. Otherwise, you’ll end up with something that tastes like a boot; no flavor! It’s the same with goals!

That’s why reviewing financial goals is important if you set some. After all, how the hell are you supposed to know how you’re doing? The best part of doing a mid year review is that you can make some adjustments if things are amiss.

That’s like adding salt to food if you were wondering why I mentioned food up there. That’s what you call a simile, or is it a metaphor or is just a comparison? I don’t really know English.

Anyway, at the start of 2019, I set nine financial goals for 2019. I’ve been doing this for a few years and have found it very useful in motivating me. I’ve also found that these mid year reviews have been a key part of that. The reason for that is that I’ve often been behind the mark on my goals at this time of year. When I see that, I want to get my ass in gear and get going.

The goals I set are multi faceted. There’s an Olympic theme in them in that I set a bronze, silver and gold goals. Just like in the Olympics, the bronze is doable, the silver is hard and the gold is a real stretch.

I really like this method of goal setting. I believe that financial goals should be doable. After all, they are meant as motivators and failing every goal at the end of the year can be demotivating and make you not want to try next year.

That’s where the bronze medal goal comes into play. It’s meant to be something I think I can without extraordinary effort. However, I also don’t want the goals to be easy which is where the other medals come into play.

In essence, if I hit all bronzes, it’s a pretty decent year and it motivates me to do better next year. However, I also have a set of goals to strive for if I want to go the extra mile. That’s where those other medals come in and provide a little more incentive to hit some harder goals.

What’s the point of those medals? Do I get a reward? Nope, it’s all nonsense but after all, isn’t nonsense what life is all about?

Now that we’ve covered that nonsense, let’s get down to the goals. I think I’m doing pretty well so far this year but I’ll see what the numbers say. After all, this is the first time I’m looking at these goals in quote some time so I don’t even remember what I targeted! Another reason why reviewing financial goals mid year makes sense.

Reviewing Financial Goals

Goal One

  • Bronze – Invest more new capital than in 2018
  • Silver – Invest 15% more new capital than in 2018
  • Gold – Invest 30% more new capital than in 2018

So far this year, I’ve invested 40% more capital than in 2018 at this same point of the year. That’s a pretty big jump and speaks to the great year I’ve been having. Given that last year’s August and September were crap months for me in terms of savings, I’m thinking this goal was a bit too lenient.

I really under estimated how much of an impact the wedding and honeymoon had on my expenses. On top of that, I lost my car payment as well now that the car is paid off. I do have a vacation I just started planning for October but I think overall costs in 2019 will be a lot lower than in 2018.

That means that savings will go up quite a bit too. On top of that, I’ve started doing some beer money side hustles too. That means even more income!

I think this has a pretty good chance for a gold before the year is over.

Goal Two

  • Bronze – Collect $12,750 in dividends
  • Silver – Collect $13,750 in dividends
  • Gold – Collect $14,750 in dividends

Dividends right now sit at $5,441.46 through the end of June. That may seem like I’m behind but the graph below shows that my biggest quarters are still ahead.

Reviewing financial goals

At this time last year, I was at $4k which means my total this year has grown 34.8%. It’s important to see how these goals differ from my actual 2018 dividend totals. My 2018 total was $10.7k. That means bronze is a 19.1% growth rate, silver is a 28.4% growth rate and gold is a 37.8% growth rate. That means I’m on pace for silver right now which is pretty good.

However, I still hold out hope that I can hit gold as I’ll keep pushing money into the market.

Goal Three

  • Bronze – Gross income savings rate of 33%+
  • Silver – Gross income savings rate of 36%+
  • Gold – Gross income savings rate of 40.5%+

My savings rate this year has been out of this world. It’s a lot more than I expected. That’s because of three reasons. One is no wedding, two is no honeymoon and three is no car payment. On top of that, I’m making more money this year due to a raise at work and some side hustles.

More money and less expenses = good times for savings rate. Right now, my gross income savings rate is 46.9%!

You can see where the rest of my money is going. Almost half my paycheck is savings which is crazy to see! I generally want to see this number above 33% and it’s WAY above that right now. So far, this is a great year for savings.

Goal Four

  • Bronze – Savings rate of 43%
  • Silver – Savings rate of 48%
  • Gold – Savings rate of 53%

Savings rate and gross income savings rate go hand in hand. When one does well so does the other. The difference in this one is that it’s a direct comparison of expenses versus savings with no accounting for taxes.

Below you can find my expense break out.

61.4% of my post tax income goes towards savings. That’s a great number. So far this year, my biggest expenses have been rent, health insurance and groceries. Honestly, we’ve been pretty boring so far this year which is why expenses have been pretty low.

However, that’s because we had such a great year last year with the wedding and long honeymoon. We were OK with simply taking it easy this year and not doing much. On top of that, we were planning and came close to buying a home so we were assuming that would kill our expenses for the year.

However, that didn’t happen which meant low expenses and a high savings rate.

We do have a trip to Atlanta we’re planning in October but other than that, the rest of the year shouldn’t suffer too much and I think a gold is possible here.

Goal Five

  • Bronze – Savings rate of 50%+ in 6 months
  • Silver – Savings rate of 50%+ in 8 months
  • Gold – Savings rate of 50%+ in 12 months

The savings rate above is driven by 5 months that were 50%+ in the six months we’ve had so far this year. That’s pretty damn good. I wont hit the full 12 months but I do believe that silver is within reach. There’s another 3 paycheck month this year plus I don’t foresee expenses ticking up too much.

Goal Six – FAIL

  • Bronze – Reduce one bill in 2019
  • Silver – Reduce two bills in 2019
  • Gold – Reduce three bills in 2019

This is a straight fail so far. I haven’t reduced any bills. I do have to call Comcast and tell them to stop raising my bill every 3 months.

Goal Seven

  • Bronze – Reduce utility costs
  • Silver – Reduce utility costs by 10%
  • Gold – Reduce utility costs by 20%

Home bills are down 3.1% so far. That’s purely by luck since I haven’t really done anything specifically to help save money. I’m not sure this is a great idea anyway. For example, the biggest output of energy in my home is cooling and heating. However, since I have a dog and bunny at home, I have to keep it climate controlled all the time.

Look at that face! I gotta keep that little lady happy. Still, it’s lower this year but not sure I can do anything beyond bronze here. Plus, it’s like an oven out there this summer and the A/C is cranking so it’s possible this will be a fail too.

Goal Eight

  • Bronze – Increase income(2019 vs. 2018) by 7%
  • Silver – Increase income by 10%
  • Gold – Increase income by 13%

I got a raise towards the latter part of 2018. It wasn’t huge but it was barely felt in 2018 since it happened near the end of the year.

Now, 2019 has that salary for the full year which will naturally increase my income on a comparative basis. My bonus in 2019 was also pretty decent which helped the comparison. On top of that, I’ve added some side hustles each month that have added a surprisingly decent amount in the last few months.

As such, my income so far this year is up 18.2%. Another reason why my savings rate is so great. I think I can bet on gold here if I continue with my side hustles.

Goal Nine – FAIL

  • Bronze – Make a profit on the blog and donate it to a charity
  • Silver – Make $100 on the blog and donate it to a charity
  • Gold – Make $200 on the blog and donate it to a charity

I think I’m right on the cusp of bronze here but my costs still outweigh the minor revenue I make on this blog. However, I think I might be able to hit bronze before the year is over if my recent uptick in viewership holds up. I’ll have to figure out a charity to donate it to as well!

Financial Goal Results

Overall, things are looking very good so far.

At the end of 2018, I had 3 golds, 1 silver, 3 bronzes and 2 fails. I felt that was pretty good and assumed similar results going into 2019.

Well, halfway through the year, I sit at 4 golds, 2 silvers, 1 bronze and 2 fails. That means I’m ahead of where I was last year despite setting harder goals. The harder goals were on purpose since I had some big one-time expenses last year(wedding/honeymoon) and had paid off my car.

However, I’m still impressed by the results so far this year. That’s especially true of the most important goals; the ones that deal with savings rate. It’s awesome to see those numbers float well above 60% and while I think that number will come down as the year progresses(bonus at the start of the year really spikes it), I’m hopeful I can still end above 50% for the first time in my life.

That’d be great and if I can hit 4 golds this year versus 3 last year, I’ll be pretty damn happy with those results.

Do I need to make any changes? Well, one of my failures is pretty easy to fix.

I just need to call Comcast and reduce my internet costs. Another is a bit out of my control(the blog profit) but I’ll keep writing and see where that goes. It’d be nice to end the year with a nice check to some nice charity!

As far as the rest goes, I think I’m in a very good spot in terms of savings and dividends. However, I don’t plan to let my foot off the gas and hope I can do great in the latter part of the year as well. Perhaps with all these new investment dollars flowing into the market, I can even hit gold in dividends and that’d be pretty awesome.


  • Dividend Diplomats

    Time –

    Nice job, overall.

    Looking forward to seeing you generate a little more revenue from this blog, which comes with time and consistency.

    Further, you are crushing your goals and want to see that savings trajectory continue to trend upward. You got this, no slowing down now.


  • thefullpotentialblog

    You are doing a good job! Especially regarding the goals that don’t need your attention (regular savings rate and investment) and that is great, because it means that your strategy works. For the remainder of 2019 it would be nice to see you reach the other goals that need some efforts too, but youhave plenty of time for that!

    Good luck!

  • Frankie @ Fully Franked Finance

    Haha love all the nonsense, certainly keeps life interesting!

    Good luck with turning a profit on the blog, fantastic to hear you’re looking to donate it to charity – very timely reading this as I’ve recently set up a little ‘F’hilanthropy’ fund on my own site. If you’re stuck for ideas feel free to look into my selected charities – and if you donate through my site I even match part of the contribution! 🙂

    Keep up the good work!

    Cheers, Frankie

  • Radical FIRE

    What a cute doggo, that’s worth to keep your house climate controlled at all times for sure. You’re doing a great job on majority of your goals, it would be nice to see you hit those goals & you’re right on track! Let’s see how the second half of 2019 will treat you, keep up the good work!

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