Hey there! It’s that time of year again… goal setting season! January is a great time to set yearly goals as it gives you the maximum time to achieve them within the allotted time.
To be clear, you don’t have to only set annual goals in January, (one thing I liked about Cait Flanders’ book The Year of Less, is that she started her year-long shopping ban in July), but if you’re trying to track to a calendar year, this is the time it makes the most sense.
It’s been a bit since posting, as I opted for a complete break from all things blog and regular work (as much as I could) related for the last couple weeks of 2018. It was the perfect time to unwind and relax after an exciting, hectic and quite frankly, exhausting year.
The time off was great. I was really able to sit back, recharge my batteries and take a look at how the year went, assess where I’m at, and figure out what I want to change going forwards.
After thinking through all this, I’m ready to take on 2019 head on!
I’ve thought of some lofty goals for the year, and kept many of the same from 2018 (year end recap forthcoming after compiling the numbers!) as I thought they were good goals to keep.
The nature of some of these goals are going to be tough. It means I’m going to have to push myself outside my comfort zone, put the work in and really make the full use of my available time if I want to achieve them.
It’s both exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. I’m looking forward to seeing what the year brings, and what I can achieve!
Without further ado, here’s the YFK 2019 Goals:
Max Out 401K/HSA
This goal is one I (spoiler alert) accomplished in 2018! Given my high salary, it is one that is not as difficult to achieve, as I have automated it all completely.
That being said, given that I’m in the so called “Accumulation Phase” of FI, I think it’s important to keep funneling as much money as I can into these pretax accounts for two reasons:
First, it provides an easy and automated way to save money and add money into the stock market every couple weeks upon payday.
Second, it gives me an immediate tax savings where I can utilize that to my benefit in the here and now. We’ll worry about being taxed on that money at some later point (though there’s a possibility I won’t have to do even that!)
Low hanging fruit? Maybe, but with some of these other goals I’m going to need it!
Purchase Rental Property #1
While I had put the possibility of this goal out there in 2018, it was not to be. I did not find a deal I felt comfortable enough pursuing but learned a ton listening to podcasts, reading posts and speaking with people about real estate.
However, in 2019 I want this to be the year I finally pull the trigger. With a fully paid off car and no other personal debt (yay!), I’m out of excuses. All of the extra money from my paychecks will be going towards my down payment fund for this goal.
I’m hoping by mid to end of the year I can find a good enough deal and make it happen! In the meantime, I’ll be scouring the markets, and searching around to get my team in place.
Fully Fund Roth IRA… with ONLY Side Hustles
This is the big, and scary, one. With the goal of all my paycheck savings going towards my rental property down payment fund, I was debating just skipping contributing to the Roth this year.
However, energized by making a couple hundred dollars a month charging electric scooters, I had the idea that I could maybe fund the Roth through my side hustle efforts!
The Roth contribution limit was increased to $6,000 for 2019, which would mean I’d need to make roughly $500/month.
So long as conditions remain the same, I’m confident I could make at least half of that, $250/month, through the scooters. The tricky part is figuring out where the other $250/month, or $3,000 on the year is going to come from.
I’ve got twelve months to figure that out, but I won’t be waiting that long! I have several ideas planned, and will keep you all updated along the way!
Savings Rate of 65%
Speaking of big goals, woah! That’s a high number.
As I’ve been narrowing in on 55% for 2018 as of my last update, this represents a huge jump, and one that will be very tough to reach. Why the big change?
Well, first off, as mentioned before, I’ve eliminated my car payment for next year. This will save me nearly $3,600 each year and naturally increase my savings rate.
If the previous side hustle goal is accomplished, that will provide a significant boost to income which would help as well.
Even with these two, 65% is going to be very tough. I’m going to have to lower my expenses even further while simultaneously increasing my income which is no easy feat.
Speaking of which…
Raise My Pre-tax Income > $100K
In tandem with the savings rate goal, my big goal this year is the earn a pretax income of over $100K.
This would be a big increase!
I currently have about an $83K pretax salary at my corporate job. I’m scheduled for a merit increase in April, at a TBD %, though it usually comes out somewhere between 3-5%. This could add a couple thousand to my pretax earnings on the year. My employer matches in 401K and HSA should be around $4K next year too.
If you add the $6K from the (hopeful) side hustles goal that’ll get me to somewhere between $93K-$95K.
There’s a shortfall here, and my goal is to get an ahead of schedule promotion this year to make up the difference.
With the hours I put in last year and the knowledge, skills and experience I acquired, I’ve significantly increased my value to my company, and believe I should be properly compensated for it.
My plan is to speak with my boss about this in the coming months, and figure out a plan based on the response I get.
The answer I get will determine my actions. I’m not opposed to moving again in the summer when my lease is up to go elsewhere within the company for a promotion if need be.
If that fails as well… well, I like my company, but there are dozens of others like it, and I’m also not opposed to going elsewhere if they fail to compensate me what I think is fair for the value I provide.
So, TBD, but I have a plan in place, lets hope it works out!
Read at least 12 Books
I don’t want to spoil too much of my future 2018 recap post (as several of these goals here are the same) so lets just say I really liked this personal goal (and other repeats) and found them worth doing again.
I feel like, personally, this is about the right minimum to have where I don’t feel overwhelmed, but is definitely achievable.
With my big income producing goals, I’m going to have to prioritize my time, but I think reading, is extremely important as well. Not only for learning, but sometimes as an escape into a different world.
Work Out More Consistently
Another repeat, and this is one I need to get serious about. Health is just too important to keep letting it slip past and “figure it out later”.
Last year I actually ended up losing weight. Good thing right?!
Nope, not when you were already at a healthy weight to begin with. I eat somewhat healthily, so when I don’t consistently workout, I actually lose weight, and not the good kind of weight – it’s muscle mass I lose.
So my goal this year is to get back to about the size and weight of when I was in college playing football. This means I’ll need to put on 10-15 pounds of muscle! This will for sure be a tough one, but this kind of athletic challenge is what I was meant for 🙂
At Least One Long Walk/Run/Hike Per Week
I pride myself on being active, and anyone that’s followed along knows I love being outdoors and hiking when the weather is nice.
This goal should not be an issue in the nicer months, but I find during the winter months I tend to go and hibernate indoors as it gets cold out.
I want to change this and make the effort to go see the beautiful outdoors at least one time a week, even in the cold! Looks like I’ll need to bundle up 🙂
I included a run in here as late in the year I think it would be cool to sign up for a long run. The furthest “race” I’ve ran is 10 miles, so I think it would be fun to cross off running a half marathon to get that on my accomplishments list.
Meditate, Yoga, or Stretch every day
I thought this one was a great goal from last year, and really helped me to stay sane when life was getting crazy.
Being flexible, both mentally, emotionally and physically is very important, and can’t be stressed enough.
I saw notable improvements in my flexibility last year, something I wish to build further upon.
Ever since starting up yoga I’ve had the goals of doing handstands and being able to do a full split. The handstands I accomplished last year and am getting even better at! The splits are more of a work in progress.
I’m hoping by the end of the year I can report back that I can do those as well!
Post (at least) Once Per Week on Blog
Last, but certainly not least, I want to make sure I post at least once per week on the blog this year.
I was fairly good at this last year, but there were a few notable weeks where I failed to get one out (including the aforementioned holiday break).
This means even during week long vacations I’ll have to write my posts beforehand and schedule them out (gasp!) I think it’s very achievable, but something I want to hold myself to.
When I have more to say, and/or the time for it I’ll absolutely post twice a week! But as with other things, I want to ensure consistency and at least once per week is not biting off more than I can chew.
That’s all I’ve got for you all! 2019 should be a fun and exciting year and I can’t wait to tackle it head on and put the work in! What goals do you have for 2019!?