It’s goal review time, the part of the year where I judge myself on how successful I’ve been in achieving the random goals I set at the start of the year.
Last year’s Q3 Goal Review got me into gear. That exercise was a big reason as to why I met my goals.
I’m hoping this year is more of the same although the circumstances are a bit different.
When I did my halfway point goal review, things were looking great. I was killing it in every area and looking good. However, I knew that I had some expenses coming up that would impact that negatively.
First, there was my awesome wedding which has come and gone. I’m now married and slightly more poor than I was before. It was a great time and well worth it but I’m not here to talk about weddings and their value; I’m talking goals people!
In the goals area, it was definitely a negative. In fact, now I’m pretty sure those great looking results I just talked about will look a lot worse after Q3.
Second, and upcoming, is my honeymoon in November. Goals or no goals, I have no qualms about spending money to make it the best honeymoon ever.
That means I may not be as motivated to kill it in these last three months as I was last year if my results are lackluster.
That’s because Hawaii takes precedence over saving money this year. Last I heard that place is pretty expensive too so we’ll see how November looks. I don’t think it will be too pretty.
If you’re not familiar with my goals, I do an Olympic medal style tiered approach. There’s a bronze goal which is easier, silver which is harder and goal which requires a lot of work.
The idea this year was to kick ass in the first six months due to my wedding and honeymoon. Based on my halfway results, I think I did that.
Now, it’ll be time to recover from my wedding expenses and do well enough in October and December to offset my honeymoon costs. November probably won’t be too terrible either as it’s a 3 paycheck month.
Hopefully I haven’t fallen too far behind but that’s the point of this entire post. It’s time to take stock of my position now and see where I need to go from 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.
Q3 Goal Review
Goal One – Invest at least 31k/36k/41k in new capital in 2018
I was just north of 20k saved in the last update.
Now, I’m just north of 20k saved this update! The pace I set early on was good but then it died down in the 3rd quarter due to my wedding costs.
Based on the amount saved not changing, you can probably see where my savings rate will be for those months!
Spoilers; not good.
Goal Two – Collect 9.25k/9.75k/10.25k in dividends in 2018
Dividends are still looking great. Q3 was solid as heck and this year continues to grow at a very solid pace.
I might have underestimated my goals since we’ve seen a lot of dividend bumps this year due to the new tax law. The additional cash flowing into the market certainly helps too.
Below you can see my dividend payouts by quarter and the trend is certainly solid.
I am now at $6518.59 YTD. That puts me ahead of my pace after Q2 and I now sit at a 27.2% growth rate for the year. The power of additional money and dividend reinvestment at work!
I’ve still got Q4 ahead which is my biggest quarter of the year. I don’t expect Q4 growth to be as huge but even some small growth would put me above $10k for the year.
I’m looking good for at least a silver here.
Goal Three – Gross income savings rate of 30.5%/33.5%/38%+ overall
You might wonder how I went from being just north of 20k saved after Q2 to just north of 20k saved after Q3.
Did I save anything? Well…not really.
I had a negative savings rate in two out of three months! That’s gonna do bad things for the overall rate as seen below.
I was at a 39.5% rate after Q2. Now I’m down to 26% after some expensive months. Hello wedding expenses!
I still have months ahead of me to recover but I don’t expect to get above bronze with my honeymoon coming up in November. I might fail this goal all together depending on how that month goes.
Goal Four – Savings rate of 40.5%/45.5%/50.5%+ overall
Here’s another good picture to illustrate why my savings rate dropped so precipitously between Q2 and Q3.
Above is my monthly savings rate since I started tracking the data.
I’ve had two negative months and they both came in the last three months! That’s one of the reasons my gross savings rate dropped so much between Q2 and Q3.
That’s what a wedding will do to savings! Those things are expensive gang!
Take takes my savings rate down quite a bit from where I was after the halfway point.
I drop from 51.1% after Q2 to 34%. That’s right in line with the drop in the gross savings rate as those go in tandem.
I have three more months to make changes and get this back up into bronze range. I don’t expect more negative months but who knows what’ll happen in November.
Goal Five – Savings rate of 50%+ in 3/4/5 months
February, April and June were 50% months which is one of the reasons my results are so good despite two negative months.
I’ve kept costs relatively low in October so we’ll see how that turns out although I did have to buy a new PC monitor since mine just died yesterday!
November’s gonna be ugly as that’s my honeymoon month. However, it is a 3 paycheck month which should cushion some of those expenses. Hopefully I can make up for any shortfalls there with a good October and an extra strong December.
Goal Six – Reduce 1/2/3 bills in 2018
Right now, I haven’t reduced any bills this year.
This is something I have to look into before the year is over and see if I can find some places to cut costs.
I did get a Costco membership and I get cheaper gas there now. I wonder if that counts.
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
This is locked in as a gold!
I paid off my car loan this month and have some cash flexibility going forward that should help my savings on a go forward basis.
Even if I fail in other areas, this is a good thing to have off the books.
Goal Eight – Reduce my restaurant expenses by more than 0%/10%/20%
I’m actually more than 40% below where I was at this time last year on the restaurant front.
We have been eating out quite a bit less this year. However, we’re off to Hawaii in a few weeks and that might change that since we’ll be eating out there most days.
We do have an airBnB so the plan is to cook in often but we likely won’t be near the home 100% of the time. I also like myself some fancy food so I’m eager to check out some places on the island.
Hopefully I can at least get a bronze here but we’ll see after November.
Goal Nine – Increase my income by 3%/6%/10%
I got a new job since my last update and this is going to be a gold at least based on forward salary; the job offered a very fair raise given the new job I was taking and I’m enjoying the bigger paychecks.
Hopefully the extra money and the additional cash from not having a car payment will help offset the negative savings rate months and November expenses.
It’s interesting to see how much of an impact a few bad months can have on your savings picture.
I knew that this 3rd quarter would be bad so I’m glad I took an active approach and saved more earlier in the year.
Weddings are expensive and they impacted my August and September savings rate but they’re also awesome and totally worth it.
It’s a once in a lifetime experience and expense and was a great way to bring our families together. Now, we have the honeymoon to look forward to and I certainly don’t plan to skimp on that. We’ll be doing all of the excursions even if they cost a lot!
I’m blessed to be able to save nearly 1/3rd of my money even in a year such as this one where I have a wedding to pay for.
There’s also some discipline involved in that and the blog is certainly a big part of that; seeing these numbers drives me and motivates me and I know that my 2017 Q3 review had a big impact on my final results for the year.
At this point last year, I was sitting on a 37.5% savings rate. I ended the year at 42.2% after some good months to finish out 2017.
Right now, I’m sitting at a 34.0% savings rate so a bit behind where I was last year.
However, there’s a few things that are on my side this year that I didn’t have last year. I’m making a bit more money and my car loan is off the books as of October 2017. That’s some extra cash that can be moved from the expense side to the savings side going forward.
It’s a bit late in the year but that’ll also be a boon in 2019 and going forward!
I think as long as my November isn’t a complete disaster due to my honeymoon, I should be able to hit at least bronze in most of my goals.
If not, oh well, after all, it’s my honeymoon and I plan to make it a great one!
Plus, even if I don’t get a bronze in certain areas, I’m sure I’ll still end up saving quite a bit of my money in 2018 and that’s nothing to complain about especially in a great year where I got married and am going to Hawaii.
That’s it for the Q3 goal review. I have some work ahead of me.
However, I won’t be too sad if I can’t make it happen this year. After all, you don’t get get married and go to Hawaii every year and spend 2+ weeks there with the love of your life.