This year I’ve consolidated my goals for 2013 to focus on things I care about and things that are doable. I set my sights too high last year and sort of failed. I left out a lot of steps on the way to achieving my goals (like fully funding out Roth IRAs) because they would have simply been checkboxes and I don’t believe in setting goals that are more of a given than anything else. Now that 2014 is upon us, it’s time to review.
1. Earn $10,000 From Non-Blog Related Side Income
Continuing from the 3rd quarter, when I launched my blog carnival submission service, we’re fully profitable and pulling in a decent amount each month. Nothing more than spending money, but for the year, we netted over $1,200, after all expenses. It’s been about 5 months since we started, and I’m happy with our profitability. We’ve got a great opportunity to grow in 2014 if we work hard. There was some other minor earnings from side hustles, but it totaled in the hundreds, not thousands, so I was still far away from my goal.
I definitely failed in my quest to get to $10,000, but I’ll be renewing this one in 2014. I’m glad to have started something real and sustainable, even if it only brings in a few hundred dollars a month. That’s a few hundred more than I was earning before, and we’re getting more efficient, so it’s been taking up less time as we learn little tricks to help us. I give myself a B- in this category. I missed pretty badly, but at least I set myself up to have a more successful 2014 in this category.
2. Save 50% of My Post-Tax Income
The end of the year was an interesting time for this. We got a nearly $10,000 check from insurance for a totaled car, which I’m counting as income. We bought a new car, and those monthly payments will count as spending, so it’s only fair for this to count as income. Since we’ll have car payments of $374 each month, I’ll have to lower our outlook on this goal for 2014, but I still think we got a great deal on a car!
More good news: we didn’t end up paying tuition for Lauren’s graduate school until 2014, which was unexpected, so we ended 2014 with less spending than I anticipated.
In the 4th quarter, we saved 70.4% of our income. That’s a crazy high number and was obviously inflated by the car settlement. We kept our expenses low with no tuition payments and no estimated tax payments being due. I’m very pleased with that number, even if it’s not sustainable.
For the year, we saved 49.4% of our after-tax income, just shy of out 50% goal, but I have to give us an A+ from this one. We had a little help at the end of the year, but getting close to 50% is fantastic and I couldn’t be prouder.
Taking A Minute To Reflect
I’ll do a separate post for 2014 goals, but looking back at 2013, it was a very good year financially. I don’t know if we’ll be able to keep pace in 2014, but there are a few encouraging signs, mostly on the side business front. Nothing lasts forever, so the side businesses become even more important.
Readers, how would you rate my progress and how did you do on your 2013 goals?