2012 Year-End Financial Goals Review and Progress Update

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401k's, estimated taxes, financial goals, Individual 401k, New Years, Roth IRA, self-employed retirement accounts, taxes, Vanguard, financial goals, personal goals

Happy New Year everyone! 2013 is finally upon us! I hope you’ve had a nice holiday season, full of some fun vacations and spending time with family. 

Back in January of 2012, I set my financial goals for 2012. Since the year is now over, I figured it would be a good time to sit down and take a few minutes to review how I’ve done in reaching or NOT reaching (in some cases) the various targets I set for myself almost a year ago today.

Overall, I would financially rate the 2012 year as being quite phenomenal! 
I’ve been able to establish a good doggy emergency fund, max out my Roth IRA, contribute significantly to my Individual 401k, invest in my site’s future growth, and my net worth has increased 40% during the past year. Of course, I’ll go in to more details on each of these points below. Read on! 

So, here goes, a progress update (in bold below) on how I did in 2012 reaching my financial goals. 
Enjoy, and I look forward to reading any comments you all have!  

Short Term (less than 1 year) Goals
  • Contribute $5000 (or ~$420 per month) to my Roth IRA with Vanguard this year (maximum allowed).
    • Done. Nice! 
  • Reach net worth target for this year (not displayed here).
    • Done and surpassed! Nice! 
  • Maintain target 6-9 months of expenses in cash reserve emergency fund in Dollar Savings Direct account.
    • Done. 
  • Rebalance mutual fund portfolio to meet asset allocation target %’s (75% equity, 25% fixed income overall). 
    • Done.
  • Obtain 30% ownership / equity in condominium. Pay $500 per month for condo mortgage payment.
    • Decided to delete this goal. Instead, I have been focusing on putting more money away in my Individual 401k account. 
  • Put together a will and have it reviewed by a lawyer.
    • Not done. Oops! Dropped the ball on this one.
  • Continue to save money for trip to Grand Canyon. 
    • On track – Currently have saved $1670 for this trip. 
  • Invest $500 in Microloans with Microplace.com to support Latin American micro entrepreneurship. This equates to $41.67 to invest per month. 
    • Done.
  • Donate $1,150 to Multiple Sclerosis Foundation in 2012 (5% of take-home pay in my graduate school research assistantship job).
    • Done – Donated probably close to $1,500 this year.
  • Fund raise $7500 for MS 150 bike event in June 2012.
    • Did not achieve. Raised $6,000 though! 🙂
  • Save 3% of take home pay each month (after taxes) for Dream Account.
    • Done.
  • $30 per month save for doing running races as part of health life values account.
    • Done. 
    • Was not able to do as many running and bike races/rides towards the end of the year since I twisted my ankle pretty badly in October.
  • $20 per month save for buying fresh vegetables as part of health life values account.
    • Done.
  • Save ~33% of blogging income (if any) + untaxed graduate fellowship income from my research job in a high yield online savings account in preparation for 2012 taxes.
    • Done.
  • $30 per month save for trips to visit friends in other states I have not seen in a long time.
    • Done.
  • $10 per month save for purchasing food for backpacking trips in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
    • Done and was able to take a nice backpacking trip along the Appalachian Trail this summer!  
  • Contribute 20% of blogging income to Individual 401(k) with Vanguard.
    • Done and surpassed. I just ran the calculation, and it appears that I contributed 67% of my net income from blogging to my Individual 401k account. Nice! 
  • Investigate and execute any business tax deductions I can for 2011 taxes.
    • Done. Deducted home as a business expense with the help of my accountant.
    • Use 1% home value home maintenance fund to fix various small things that are broken around my condo after 2 years of use. These things include a closet door off the hinges, the light-switch in the bathroom not working all the time, and some pipes under the sink that need to be re-caulked. Once I get these things repaired, I will then need to replenish the depleted funds in the home maintenance account. 
      • Not yet done. Need to do!
      • Execute 4 estimated tax payments for blogging + graduate research fellowship income on the following dates – 1) April 17, 2012, 2) June 15, 2012, 3) Sept. 17, 2012, and 4) Jan. 15, 2013.
        • Done. I’ll be doing this again in 2013! 
      • Organize move in of my girlfriend in to my condo in June-July 2012. 
        • Done. She moved in during June 2012.
        • Start saving a little money each month to attend the Financial Bloggers Conference, 2012 in Denver in September. 
          • Cancelled due to lack of vacation in graduate school. 
        • Save $111 per month until have a total of $1600 for health expenses for new Greyhound we adopted (for annual health checkup, Frontline/Interceptor, and miscellaneous health emergencies/treatments needed – Greyhounds can have a lot of health issues because they were bread for racing!).
          • On track – It actually worked out pretty well since I just am using the money that I was accumulating for the FINCON12 above towards savings for the dogs.
          • I will have the $1600 total after March 2013.

            Mid-Term (3-5 years out) Goals:
            • Continue contributing $5000 to Roth IRA each year and using dollar cost averaging.
            • Reach intermediate net worth target (not displayed here, but is 1.42X my current net worth).
            • Own a rental property by 2016.

            Long-Term (greater than 5 years out) Goals:
            • Obtain a net worth of $1,000,000.
            • Own a home free of mortgage payments.
            • Own a vacation home in the mountains or a ski resort.
            • Accumulate enough funds not have to work, but will probably anyways because I would get bored. 

            In reviewing my progress, it appears that there were only 3 items that I was not able to achieve during 2012 that I laid out for myself. Overall, I am highly satisfied with this! Thanks to everyone that helped out to make this year great! 

            How about you all? How did you do in reaching the goals you laid out for yourself in 2012? What techniques do you find most effective in holding yourself accountable and on-track for your goals you set?  

            Share your experiences by commenting below!

            ***Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/4805089632/sizes/l/in/photostream/


            1. krantcents says:

              Happy New Year! Savings goals have always been easy for me because I just take a payroll deduction. I like how you reviewed your short and long term goals. It is good to reflect on long range goals annually.
              My recent post Happy New Year!

            2. Lots of goals! Congrats on getting so many done! I guess I need to start writing mine down!
              My recent post Don’t Call It A “New Year’s Resolution”

            3. studentdebtsurvivor says:

              I think you had a really successful year. One of my old bosses had greyhounds and they were the sweetest dogs. I think it's smart to have an emergency fund just for pet expenses. When one of our cats had some urinary issues it was not cheap to have all the testing he needed done. Wishing you a happy, healthy and financially prosperous New Year!
              My recent post 2012 Wrap-up & Welcome 2013!

            4. Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence says:

              Happy New Year and congrats on smashing most of your goals! I only started writing down precise goals for 2013, and I really like your idea of writing down mid term and long term goals as well, so I will start doing that. Thank you for the idea!
              My recent post 13 money resolutions for 2013: #1 start somewhere!

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