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Q3 2019 Goals Check In

It’s been quite the quarter I must say. From July to September I feel like an insane amount of things occurred, and the 4th of July holiday seems as if it was a lifetime ago.

Highs and lows. Moving. Vacations galore. Discovering new routines. All the above and more.

It’s been quite a lot to unpack and as my life has been experiencing many changes I’ve noticed that my priorities and desires have been similarly changing. As I focus on new things and the path forward, it’s important to take a look at how I’m doing against some goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the year.

Holding myself accountable is necessary when attempting to achieve the goals I set out to accomplish! Let’s see how these have been going throughout all the life changes.

Financial Goals

Max Out 401K/HSA

I’m well on my way to contributing the $19,000 IRS maximum to the 401k and $2,750 to my HSA (my employer contributes $750 to my HSA for a total of $3,500 maximum).

These contributions are taken out automatically each paycheck so I really don’t spend too much time on this goal. Despite it being a relatively easy one given my higher salary, it’s one that important to me and a great savings vehicle to take advantage of!

Status: On Track

Purchase Rental Property #1

I’ve given this one a good attempt this year, maybe not my best shot, but I went for it. Back in May/June I submitted offers and was ultimately outbid on two properties in the DC area, and toured numerous others. To be fair, whatever property I bought would’ve technically been my primary residence at least for a few years, but eventually it would’ve turned into a rental property, as neither my partner nor I see ourselves staying in DC for the long term.

Since then, we haven’t found any deals in the area worth considering, plus we signed a yearlong lease to rent a couple months ago which pretty much ended the search, at least for this year.

If I want to complete this goal this year I’d likely have to look a rentals in a different market. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit this makes me nervous, which is partly the reason I’ve been hesitant to get more serious about that. The other reason is my personal thoughts that there will be a market downturn in the near future (who knows actually when) which could make a rental property more difficult in numerous ways, but especially if tenants lose their job and can’t pay rent.

A market down turn would also be a great buying opportunity, and I’d hate to have money tied up in a rental property when I could either a) buy stocks on sale, or b) purchase that same rental property at a much cheaper price!

All that being said, the rental search has taken a back seat to other things in the last quarter, and I think there would need to be a miracle for me to accomplish it this year.

Status: Needs Work

Fully Fund Roth IRA… with ONLY Side Hustles

Place this one in the “I had lofty ideas” section for the year. At the beginning of the year I was all about side hustling and very motivated to start something and make more money on the side.

As the year went on, I’ve been plagued by indecision on what I want to get started on, for fear of wasting my already very limited time. My current full time work schedule and commute has me away for nearly 12 hours each day, and I also highly value spending quality time with my partner, and giving myself a mental break to unwind from the inevitable work stress that pops up.

What I really need to do is just choose, get started on something and realize that even if it doesn’t work out, it’s not wasting my time. Sometimes the most learning you can do is in failure, and I’ve just got to get over that fear that whatever I choose won’t work out.

The indecision is just another thing to stress about so getting started and committing to an idea is truly the right move for me going forward.

Status: Needs Work

Savings Rate of 65%

I knew at the start of the year that this one was going to be tough! After saving 55% of my After-Tax income last year, a full 10% increase was certainly a stretch, but I thought it was possible.

It relied upon me getting a promotion at work (success!) but also would’ve required me to earn a decent amount of side hustle income as well (fail). I also needed to manage my expenses and bring them much lower than where I ended up last year.

I’ve got my yearly budget set for $29,400 (from $31,811 in 2018) which I’m working hard to stay under – though paying double rent for nearly a month has been a killer on that front!

Realistically I’d need to come in closer to $27,000 if I want to get to 65% at my current income projections. This just isn’t going to happen as I still have nearly $1,800 in donations that I’ll be giving out at the end of this year. Giving is something I think that’s important so it’s not something I’m willing to sacrifice just to hit a desired savings rate on the year.

So unfortunately this one is also looking like a fail, unless you can convince me I shouldn’t count my donations as part of my spending and thus my overall savings rate! 😉 (Just kidding, expenses are expenses no matter where they go 🙂 )

Status: Needs Work

Raise My Pre-tax Income > $100K

Another goal that was going to be dependent on some side hustle income… man I really was all in on that earlier this year! I did my job on the full time work income front, increasing my annual salary from $83K at the beginning of the year to just over $97K through a merit raise and then a promotion, but it unfortunately just wasn’t enough to push me over the mark.

My year to date pre-tax income stands at about $74K, signaling that I’m going to fall just short on this goal. I’ll probably end up somewhere between $97-98K in pre-tax income on the year. Man if only I could’ve gotten something going on those side hustles!

A look at my Pre-tax Savings Rate through September. The overall Savings (Income – Expenses) is the same as After Tax (show in Sept Net Worth Update) this just includes my entire paycheck, taxes, medical premiums, etc)

Status: Needs Work

Personal Goals

Read at least 12 Books

I do most of my reading via the internet through blogs/articles. I also really enjoy listening to and learning from podcasts and blow through those at 2x speed on my commutes.

Reading actual books has mostly taken a back seat to these other areas, but I know the value of reading a good book which is why I make it a goal to average reading at least one a month.

I’m currently almost done with my 9th book, so a little behind (considering the timing of this post in October…) but I’m confident I’ll be able to catch up with some time off for the holidays coming around the corner!

Status: In Progress

Work Out More Consistently

Ah the perennial struggle of working out on a consistent basis. I started tracking this in an app back in April, and it has yielded mixed results. Since then I’ve reached my goal of getting a workout in (minimum of 3 times a week) 22 out of 29 weeks – or about 76% of the time, with my longest streak being 10 weeks in a row of doing it.

76% of the time may not seem great, but it’s a step in the right direction. I can easily guarantee this is loads better than it’s been in the past two years. Although this isn’t exactly where I want to be, it’s important to acknowledge how far I’ve come, while realizing there’s still room to improve.

In addition to tracking workouts, I’ve also been steadily building a streak of consecutive days in a row of doing 100 push-ups. As of 10/24 (day before this post comes out… classic) I’ve now hit 90 days in a row (and 220 of 222 days) of doing 100 push-ups!

This has been a wonderful streak to track as I know at the very minimum, I’m giving my body daily exercise, even if it’s not a full workout. If 90 days in a row of push-ups isn’t consistency, I don’t know what is!

Status: In Progress

At Least One Long Walk/Run/Hike Per Week

This is one that I wish I had started tracking, but for some reason have not, so it’s tough to tell how well I’ve accomplished this goal.

My partner and I have gone hiking 18 times this year through September which is an awesome amount I’d like to see get even bigger.

Prior to moving in with my girlfriend, any time I went into my office that was closer to where I lived, I would walk to 2 miles there and back, which certainly helped with this goal! After moving to DC, I’m now too far to walk, so I usually metro to the closer office. However, on Friday afternoons I’ve made it a point to use my bike share membership to bike the entire 9 miles back home. It’s a great workout! Maybe I should insert bike into the title of this goal too…

Status: In Progress

Meditate, Yoga, or Stretch every day

I did really well with this goal in the first half of the year… and then there was the move. With all the craziness of the move, and the fact that we had very little available free space in the new apartment for a good month and a half as we sorted through things and organized, there really wasn’t much room to move around in the apartment, let alone stretch out.

Since then I’ve slowly gotten back into stretching and doing some yoga practice. I’m pretty fortunate that I feel like I’m right where I left off in terms of flexibility. That month and a half didn’t set me back!

I will say it’s now a little tougher to get myself to stretch out daily given the much smaller apartment now than I previously had, and that I now have hardwood floors (instead of a carpet) so I actually need to roll out my yoga mat every day (it seems a simple step, but why is it so hard!?)

Status: In Progress

Post (at least) Once Per Week on Blog

Ha… see above comment. I managed to post every week through the 3rd week of July. I even wrote the 2nd and 3rd weeks’ of July posts in advance since I was on vacation which is when you know I’m serious about it as I never write posts in advance!

Then the move happened, and it’s been a struggle to get back to writing consistently ever since. This post now makes 3 weeks in a row again, so I’m hoping I’ve turned a corner and I’m aiming to finish the year strong with a post every week for the remainder of the year. Let’s hope I’ve got this one in me!

Status: FAIL!

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All in all, a lot of yellows and reds, and very few green… But strangely I’m ok with this. It’s tough to look back so far on this year and not consider it anything but a success.

I have a tendency to be hard on myself and constantly push myself to be better. That was the reason for some of these goals. To help me in my quest to be better than I was before and accomplish the things I want to do.

But as I take a step back from these individual goals and look at the big picture, it’s been a darn good year, despite what the goals standing may show!

As I look to finish out the year, I’m less focused on the past, and more focused on what I want out of the future, and how I can make some of my dreams into a reality.

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How did your quarter go? Any goals you have accomplished, on track or are struggling with? Let me know!

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5 thoughts to “Q3 2019 Goals Check In”

  1. Those are all very ambitious goals, so naturally you are going to fall short on a few. But that’s nothing to be ashamed of as you said, it has still been a very good year for you it seems. Your intentions are good but sometimes life gets in the way!

    More importantly, you haven’t forgotten or abandoned these goals so there is always room to continue growing.

    1. I do think I set the bar pretty high and had several goals hinging on starting a successful side hustle, and once that didn’t happen it made it very tough to get a lot of these. Lesson learned though and absolutely, always room to grow and improve!

    1. Yes! Finally getting back into the swing of things. For now I’m just keeping them in an Ally savings account though. The balance is starting to get fairly high though so trying to figure out what I want to do on that front, especially if the rental is going to wait another year…

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