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2015 Goals: Boring, Boring, Boring

visiting all 50 states

We’re a little short on East Coast states!

I had a really hard time setting goals for the year. I’m not sure if it’s being tired and a little stressed from buying another rental property at the end of last year or if maybe I’m having a mid life indecision. I would not call it a crisis. I feel no need to go buy a convertible or take up with a younger man (do women do that or is it just middle aged men?) I almost skipped this post, but if you don’t put some sort of plan in writing, you run the risk of not accomplishing very much.

My Goals Are Boring

Last year was a really good year for our family. Jim got his dream job. I didn’t have to manage one employee crisis. We made good money. We lived on less that 50% of our income, and we invested lots. We also got to travel quite a bit. If this year is a repeat, I’ll be happy. Boring I know, but why mess with a good thing?

Does this mean I’ve lost the fire? Maybe. I’m not sure.

I know that ever since junior high, every year has been a push to be the best, whether that meant getting the best grades, getting scholarships, getting a good residency, buying a practice, making the practice the best, then finally realizing our error and working my a$$ off to get out of debt and into a better financial place. Β Heck, even selling the business took two years of what felt like mental gymnastics to pull off. Last year was awesome, but there was still that fear of what would happen without having my practice. Thankfully, it worked out.

We still have a long way to go and should probably have double the amount of money in retirement that we do at this age, but our plan is in place and we can still retire within a decade if we lather, rinse, repeat.

While, I could take on more work, I’m not sure that’s a good move at this time. Boring it is. I’ll take it and like it.

Financial Goals

I still have to have some goals, so even if they make your eyelids heavy. In 2015, we hope to….

Max out our HSA and the employee portion of my solo 401k

We are going to pull back on other investments to concentrate on…

Remodeling our 4-plex

The fourplex we bought at the end of last year already had tenants in 3 of the units. After reviewing their crappy leases, we need to make some changes, namely putting most of the utilities into the tenants names. Currently, they all have month to month leases, and none of them are consistent. One guy had to pay a $100 deposit while the next one didn’t have to pay anything. Two of them have no smoking clauses, the other does not, stuff like that. The former owner also paid all the bills, which is a chunk of change when you multiply by 4.

I believe two of the units will sign on with the new deal. The other is on the fence, so if he leaves, we’ll probably go ahead and do some updates in the kitchen and with some of the windows in his apartment.

The fourth unit is a whole other ball of wax. It was a commercial space at one point, but has been vacant for several years. We ended up changing the zoning to residential because the commercial aspect caused all sorts of problems with the loan, plus the insurance and utility deposits would be a couple grand extra to keep it commercial.

So we are going ahead with turning the space into an apartment. It needs just about everything except a front door. We even need a kitchen sink! We will have to hire out the big work, but I’m hoping to further my DIY skills to do what I can. Jim is crazy busy and out of town at least twice a month for the foreseeable future, so it’s all me.

This project will take lots of energy. I feel OK with not adding more financial goals at this time. I’m hoping to have it all done and rented before the end of the school year. When we have all four units rented, it should cash flow between $1000-$1200 per month.

Health Goals

Again, 2014 was a breakthrough year for me as far as health. After years of borderline cholesterol and an increase in my triglycerides, I really stuck to a pretty healthy eating plan with strenuous exercise at least 5 days a week, usually all 7. I know that I have to do this to escape my genetics and remain off medication (I’m speaking to you, Lipitor). Last spring’s lab tests were the best I’ve had in over a decade, so I’m hoping for a repeat this year.

My health goal is to continue to sweat every day and eat lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains (not at the same time). I’m so used to this now, that it makes my stomach hurt to think about a Sonic cheeseburger or a Krispy Kreme. I’m not saying I won’t treat myself on occasion, but it’s almost all healthy eating for life as far as I’m concerned. Also, since I’m not buying clothes this year, I can’t afford to gain weight!

Life Goals

Take a Trip To Europe

We already have this planned thanks to our credit card reward points. I’m hoping we can be adventurous and not be those type tourists that expect everything to be like it is back home.

Visit Some New States in the US

One of our family goals is to visit all 50 states with our daughter before she leaves home. We’ve been knocking off 3 or 4 per year since she has been old enough to enjoy trips. She has 18 crossed off her map so far, and we hope to add Massachusetts, Indiana, and New York in 2015, an odd mix I know, but it works with our travel plans.

Join a Charity Board/ Volunteer More

I took last year off after serving for 10 years on the humane society board. I need to find a new cause. Right now, I’m leaning toward the public library since we spend so much time there. The other things I’m looking into are Friends of Recreation, who work to fund ways for low income people who want get into fitness but maybe don’t have the tools or resources, or just volunteering at the city animal shelter.

I would also like to foster another dog, now or later this fall.

Enjoy Life

This is a continuous goal that I’ll have until I kick the bucket. During the years of working to keep up with credit card debt, I limited my opportunities. You can’t stray too far when you have that huge payment looming…..

From now on, I hope to have many choices about how I earn, spend, or save money, which ultimately leads to more enjoyment out of life.

Are your goals boring or dynamic? How many states have you visited?Β 

 

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.

30 comments

  1. Sometimes boring is good! You’ve made so many changes in the last few years — this is a great time to run on autopilot. Especially with the rental property renovation; it sounds like that’s going to occupy most of your time/energy/spare cash for a while.

  2. I think renovating the 4 Plex will take the bore out of 2015. Like you said, it’s going to take a lot of energy. Renovations always seem to come with stories. Hopefully, yours are of the non-horror variety.

    My goals are boring! I haven’t finalized everything yet, but what’s swimming in my head is a continuation of last year. My biggest push will be in the health and fitness area. I got semi-serious about running last year and would love to get super serious this year.

    I’ve been to 21 states!

    • Best of luck with running. I love to run, but only for about 3-4 miles. I’m sure the renovation project will be full of surprises that will take the bore out of the first part of the year.

  3. I think boring is good! You’ve made a ton of good changes the past few years so staying on that course would likely be a good one. πŸ™‚ It also sounds like you’re making the right decision by focusing on the 4 plex and getting it up to snuff.

    I can totally relate to you on the fast food. I’ve not had it in a little over a year now and my stomach just churns when I smell it now. I still get tempted every once in awhile but it’s just not worth it. I’ve visited right around 40 States and hoping to add one or two more to the list this year.

    • I think when you eat whatever you want, you get desensitized to how bad some of that stuff actually is. It doesn’t even taste good, except for french fries. French fries are good even if they clog your arteries!

  4. I don’t think your goals are boring at all! And hey if you think they are you must be on a nice path, so that’s great! I love the friends of recreation idea! I’ve always been interested myself in low income areas and how they are full of fast food, not enough access to healthy food, and not as many opportunities for good fitness. Hope you get lots of trips in this year. I’m jealous about that! πŸ™‚

    • Friends of Rec is a great charity. In all honestly, if you want to get healthy and are poor, there are resources available. I don’t think anyone is turned away if they qualify based on income. There is one morbidly obese lady who has been working out in the mornings for about 6 months that I’ve gotten to know a little bit. She is on a scholarship from Friends of Rec and is really taking advantage. I love when people put in the work to become better, and I’d love to be able to help with that.

  5. This is probably one of the better goals posts I have read. You’re trying to maintain the good parts of your life and improve what you need to. Food is a big theme for me this year, as I am starting to cook more and would like to eat healthy. Great motivation thanks for this post!

    • hanks Syed. Health gets more and more important to me as I get older. I can’t get away with the foods I used to be able to eat.

  6. I think your goals sound great! I’m not sure how many states I’ve visited, but thanks to last year I probably doubled the amount that I’ve visited in my entire lifetime πŸ™‚

  7. A trip to Europe? Remodeling a Fourplex? You call these goals BORING?!? If those goals are boring, I need a more interesting life (and goals) haha.

  8. Sometimes boring is good for a break!

  9. Sounds like you are in a good place. Hope 2015 is a great year for you!

  10. Could boring actually mean you are content where you’re at?! Some of my goals may seem boring and others are exciting! It’s probably good to have a mix. I have lived in five states and visited many more … especially if you count driving through;0) I should probably figure out which ones I haven’t been to. The Northeast would be a goal some day.

    • I think I am feeling a little contentment, which worries me a little bit, but I’m sure it’s probably a good thing. I do count driving through. There is no way I’d plan a vacation to Kansas or Oklahoma!

  11. I would classify my goals as dynamic, although I don’t thing yours are boring – maybe realistic.

    I plan of increase my number of speeches and seminars to one per month. I also plan to make a radio or television appearance once a month. I need to stretch my limits more.

    As Abraham Lincoln said,

    “Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored.” (Not that I’m a towering genius!)

  12. I’ve been thinking our 2015 financial goals are sort of boring too–lots of staying the course and just not messing it up for us! But, I feel like it’s kind of a good thing too. I’m happy to have arrived in a place where I don’t feel like I need to make radical changes this year. Kind of nice to just continue on and enjoy the ride. Best of luck to you this year, Kim!

    • I do kind of feel like I need some grand, exciting thing in the works, but we’ve had several grand, exciting things over the past few years, so hopefully maintenance is OK for a while.

  13. I think your goals are awesome, Kim!!! I love that you plan to travel more – that’s always good. Our goal is “gazelle intense” regarding our goals. Sounds boring to others, maybe, but we’re PUMPED! πŸ™‚

  14. These are awesome goals and 50 states before your daughter goes to college is no small feat!! My son is a year older than her and I am feeling woefully unprepared now that you have said this. I can’t wait to hear about your Europe trip since I plan to replicate it myself and if you come to NY and need a place to stay, let me know, we have plenty of room as long as no one is allergic to cats. πŸ™‚

  15. My goals this year is dynamic. I have drastic change in my saving plan. I know this kinda results in boring life at first. But later on, we’ll reap it and it will work for us Kim. Nice to know Kim that you have so many travels to make this year! I am pretty excited about your preparation and the trip itself. Happy saving! Enjoy!

  16. Goals might seem boring but its a given to have them so you can crush them. IF you don’t have any how do you know you’ve improved year over year. Good luck in 2015.

  17. I wouldn’t call your goals boring at all! One thing you should ask yourself is, are all your goals just things you’d like to do, or do they also stretch your skills and help you grow as a person? continuous improvement is what makes life fun! πŸ™‚

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