Sunday, December 21, 2014
2015 Look Ahead Part 2: Goals
Expense rate: My goal for 2014 was to keep my expense rate under 50%, which I think is a pretty significant goal. I would like to take it one step further this year, but I don't want it to get too drastic, so I think I might shoot for 45-47%. I'll have to take a close look at my budget for next year and decide what goal would be both meaningful and achievable.
Emergency fund: I don't have much of an emergency fund right now; I usually just rely on my saving account having some extra funds. Instead I would like to have a dedicated account for emergency purposes. I am thinking that I will open a money market account in order to keep my emergency fund separate yet still accessible. Once I start the fund I think I will have it automatically draw from my paychecks.
Invest $2,500 per month: This amounts to $30,000 for the year which is about half of my net income from 2014. I think this is an achievable goal but it will certainly be challenging. Everything will have to go according to plan for this to remain possible.
Automated Investing: I would like to set up at least a small portion of money to be automatically invested. The purpose here is to make investing a habit and ensure that at least some of my money will be automatically set aside for investing every moneth.
Open a Loyal3 Account: My purpose here is to set up some fee-free investing but Loyal3 has some other advantages such as payment by credit card (hurray for miles), minimum transaction of only $10, and the ability to buy fractions of a shares, which lends itself well for the automated investing I mentioned above.
Pay for my vacations with overtime: I have some big vacation plans for 2015 and work is going to be extremely busy this year so voluntary overtime will be requested. To help with both of these situations I want to set a goal to pay for my vacations through overtime. That way I have an incentive to work the overtime and can keep some expensive vacations from ruining my budget.
Establish one new source of income: An important part of financial independence is a diversified stream of income. A lot of dividend investors accomplish this through a diversified dividend portfolio. While I will certainly pursue a diversified dividend portfolio I would like to explore additional options for earning money. Some possibilities are peer to peer lending (such as the Lending Club), ride-share driving, this blog, or performing odd jobs (TaskRabbit.com, etc.). Not all of this would be a consistent source of income but it would provide and opportunity to explore what other options exist for earning income.
Tough Mudder: I had so much fun at the 2014 Seattle Tough Mudder I am already signed up for 2015. I better start working on my pull ups!
Workout my legs 2x per week: I have some minor yet consistent knee pain and I believe that I could reduce my pain and swelling by strengthening my leg muscles. So, in 2014 I had a goal to work out my legs regularly. I didn't keep to my goal very well partly due to the vagueness of the goal. 2015's goal will be better defined. It will be VERY difficult to stick to because right now my schedule does not allow it. Currently I play basketball on Tuesdays and Thursdays but I can't work out my legs the day before or after basketball so I basically can't work out my legs Monday - Friday leaving only Saturday and Sunday but it would be pointless to work out my legs two days in a row.
Complete a Triathlon: I am still uncertain about this goal, it is definitely something I am interested in doing but my major concern is the swimming, currently I don't have anywhere to swim so I would need to find out what pools are available and the associated cost to see if I can really work this in or not.
Run at a faster Pace: In 2014 I completed a half marathon, a great accomplishment but it was especially apparent during the race that I need to run faster, my current pace is very slow. I had this same goal for 2014 but I did not complete it, partially because it is a poorly defined goal. So for 2015 I will probably try to a more specific goal of completing a certain distance in a certain amount of time.
Percent Body Fat: In 2014 I set a goal to get my weight under 200 lbs, that is not going to happen this year and given the amount I have been lifting weights lately I am not sure if getting fit will translate to my weight going under 200 lbs. Instead I will set a percent weight loss goal for 2015.
Reading List: I have a lot of books I would like to read, to help work through them I will probably set a number of books I want to read this year. I know I won't make it through this whole list and I plan to be continuously updated the reading list as I find other books I would like to read.
A Random Walk Down Wall Street
7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Rich Dad Poor Dad
One Up On Wall Street
The Intelligent Investor
Fooled By Randomness
Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits
Thinking, Fast and Slow
The Millionaire Next Door
Zen and The Art Of Motorcycle Maintainence
Winning is a Loser's Game
Straight Talk on Investing
Where Good Ideas Come From
This is How You Lose Her
Great Inventions that Change the World
A Guide to A Good Life
Take Online Class: This was another goal I set for 2014 that I did not accomplish. I have no idea when I will have the time though...
Average One Blog Post Per Week: Since I started my blog in September I have averaged one post per week. I would like to continue and hopefully improve this trend.
Travel Somewhere New: I would like to make this a recurring goal to travel somewhere new every year. This year will (hopefully) be New Zealand!