Last year I did something on this blog that I normally don’t do–I set goals.
I know, I know. There are all these statistics out there about how the best of the best and the richest of the rich live and die by their goals and people who don’t set goals end up in poverty and become drug addicts and have to eat rice and beans the rest of their lives. I suck at setting goals, so I feel pretty good that I did have a couple last year that I threw out there. From the 11 total, I’ve reached 4 and should have a 5th by the end of the month. Here are my 2014 goals in review.
1. Become debt-free. Fail. This was definitely my pie-in-the-sky not-going-to-happen goals, but I wanted to put it up there to remind me of what our priorities are if we have some leftover money. We obviously didn’t get there, but we did carve a good chunk out of it, going from $21,810.67 in January to $15,814.78 as of today. That’s over a fourth in one year! It may not be as sexy as all those people who pay off tens of thousands of debt while living on peanut butter and jelly, but we’re happy with it. We’ve even paid a couple of our debts off completely and are finishing off one next month as well.
2. Get rocked by baby expenses. Pass. “Hopefully things will work out and we’ll get to welcome a mini-me into the world before the end of 2014. Unfortunately, we’re not going to be able to claim him for our taxes this year, but our mini-me is coming February 18th! Actually it may be sooner than that. Mrs. Wealth Gospel went in for her 31-week checkup yesterday and apparently his weight is at 33 weeks and his head size is at 35 weeks! It’s probably all brains 🙂
3. Attend FinCon 2014. Pass. What a blessing that was! I was all geared up to go to New Orleans for a financial media conference for bloggers and podcasters, and then we got hit with expenses from moving, an ER visit, and also my wife taking time off work for health reasons. Just a couple of months before, though, the organizer Philip Taylor decided to give out scholarships to a few, so I applied and got it! The walk down Bourbon Street wasn’t really my cup of tea, but I loved meeting and hanging out with all my Internet friends and I ended up meeting my newest client there, so I ended up recouping all my expenses within a month of working with them. I’ve already signed up to go next year, so nothing will stop me this time. 🙂
4. Max out my Roth IRA. Fail. Ha. This was another one of those shoot for the moon type of things. We’ve been trying so hard to build up our emergency fund and make sure I can afford to pay my taxes from freelancing income next year that we haven’t really been able to put money into the IRA (We are getting 13.5% of my income into my 401(k), though). I did talk with my financial advisor, though, and we’re starting monthly contributions to the IRA in January. It won’t be a lot, but it starts with the baby steps.
5. Be completely self-employed on or before December 31, 2014. Fail. No, that wasn’t a mistake. The reason why that fail is green is because I failed and succeeded on this one. The goal, of course, was to earn enough from my freelancing that I could quit my job. Last month I earned about $3,200, which is more than I earn from my day job. For all intents and purposes, if my wife were still teaching, I would have been able to quit a couple of months ago. But life has thrown us some curve balls and we’re learning to adapt. So yes, I did reach my goal to earn more from my freelancing than from my day job, but taking the plunge into self-employment is going to have to wait a little while longer.
6. Ride my bike more. Pass. When we moved to Texas, I wanted to live as closely to my job as possible. We ended up finding an apartment just over three miles away, so for a while I was riding my bike regularly to work. I ended up stopping, though, because I was writing so much that I just didn’t have the time. I’ve been thinking lately of starting it up again because I have a smaller workload, but now it’s getting cold again, and I’m a wuss.
7. Break into the positive on our net worth. Will pass. This one has probably been the most important financial goal for me. Our net worth last December was -$13,570.64, and the fact that we weren’t earning much at the time made it a bold one. So I’m happy to say that we ended last month at -$672.46 and we’re on track to break into the positive by the end of this month. Of course, there’s still that fear that something will pop up and ruin it for us, but overall we’re optimistic. 🙂
8. Write a book. Fail. This will always be a goal of mine, but between my hiatus at the beginning of the year and increasing my freelancing business since then, I haven’t had much time to think about or do much else. It’s going to happen though, and you’re all going to read it and you’re going to say nice things to me even if it sucks. Because that’s what friends are for.
9. Visit my family twice. Pass. Because of the pregnancy, we’re not heading to Utah for Christmas, but we did get to go out there for the 4th of July (my awesome dad used some air miles to get us out there for family pictures) and we got to hang out with them for a few days at Disneyland at the end of October, which was the bomb dot org.
10. Set better goals. Fail. This one obviously failed the SMART goals test, so yeah it didn’t happen. I will be setting goals for 2015, though, so does that count?
11. Get Naked with Consumerism Commentary. Fail. This was a program where you basically put all your finances out there and you get specific advice from a bunch of financial advisors and other experts. It definitely would’ve been fun, but I didn’t even get a response to my application, so whatevs.
So there you have it. My goals for 2014. I didn’t even reach half of them, but based on how the year has gone, and how much better it was than 2013, I’m as happy as a clam. Or maybe not…
How did your 2014 go? Do you have any sick goals for the coming year?