There have been a few goal posts lately as we’ve entered the last quarter of 2014. It’s always fun to see how others have done toward their goals. As I’m about to put my 40th year on this earth to bed, it’s time to see how I’m doing with my goals.
1) Set up a solo 401k and contribute 25% of my income. Pass
One of the great benefits of being self employed is that you can open a solo 401k and contribute more than you’d be able to with a traditional employer sponsored plan. Since one of the worst things about self employment is taxes, it’s nice to be able to offset as much income as possible into a tax deferred account. With a solo 401k, you can contribute the standard $17,500 PLUS 25% of your income up to $52,000 for people under age 50. I wasn’t able to do that much, but should be right on track for investing 25% of my income into my solo plan this year.
2) Max out our family HSA. Pass
This year we decided to invest our HSA into Vanguard funds. We don’t plan on touching this money until retirement and are on track to have this account maxed out by the end of the year.
3) Run a half marathon. Fail
I’ve pretty much given up on this one. After seeing Tonya’s long recovery time, it made me reconsider. I can run a 10K pretty easily but start to have problems if I try to do much over 7 or 8 miles. Also, I get really bored running that long. I just don’t think being a distance runner is in my wheelhouse. I keep telling myself that maybe if I lose 10 pounds or start eating only spinach and protein powder, I might do better, but I still don’t think it’s happening.
4) Contribute 5% of my income to charity. Fail
Our large rental repair pretty much wiped this goal out. I’m closer to 2.5%. I feel kind of bad, but honestly, retirement savings and investing goals have taken top billing. When we are financially independent, this can become a bigger part of our monthly expenses. I have done a couple of pretty time intensive projects for the Humane Society. Hopefully that counts for something.
5) Increase blog income by 50%. Fail
This was a pretty big stretch, and I’ve completely changed direction by taking on a blogging partner and giving up control over much of the blog. While income has not skyrocketed, hopefully we’re working to make the blog more sustainable for the long term. I was pretty burned out earlier this year, and I don’t feel that way at all now.
6) Remember how lucky I am and smile more. Pass
I have no real way of grading this one, but I think I do remember how lucky I am at least once a day. I was driving home from Telluride this week and just grinning like a big idiot because the fall color and early snow on the mountains is just so freakin’ amazing. Warts and all, I could not live in a more beautiful place. I have a healthy family. We have gotten to enjoy the outdoors a ton this year, plus we took some awesome trips. What more could I ask for?
Looking purely at statistics, you could say I suck at goals because I’m only batting 50%. On the other hand, our plans for financial independence are on track, we have another rental property, our net worth is up almost 27% since last year, and my triglycerides are down.
I don’t mention Jim’s goals on the blog. He got his dream job as a principal this year, and while he’s crazy busy, I think he finally feels that he is living up to his potential. He was recently interviewed in a national education magazine that would be like getting on Rockstar Finance for us PF bloggers. Bill Gates and his Legacy Foundation are paying his way to New Orleans for a conference on peer coaching later this month. I keep hoping he can rub elbows with Bill personally, but I guess we’ll just take the paycheck and be happy with that. All in all, I can’t complain so far about 2014. Here’s to hoping we can finish the year strong.
How are your goals going this year? Does it upset you when you have to give up on a goal?