I changed my goals for 2014, going with 3 goals that keep us accountable both on a personal and business level. Now that the year it’s over, it’s time to review my performance and see how I did.
I’ve left out steps on the way to achieving my goals (like fully funding out Roth IRAs and contributing to 401(k)s) because they would have simply been checkboxes. I don’t believe in setting goals that are more of a given than anything else. It’s not impressive to make a long list of achievable goals and when you accomplish 18 out of 20, to claim that 90% were completed when those last 2 might have been the most important.
1. Grow My Blog Carnival Submission Service To Over $500/Month
I did not hit this goal, and for the past 6 months it’s been clear I was not going to be able to grow this business without putting a lot of time and effort into it. This has been stagnant, but that’s something I’m ok with. I don’t see a huge opportunity to grow the business, and the time that would be required to grow this to $500/month might outweigh the benefit. I definitely haven’t put in effort to recruit new users, for a few reasons: I have been lazy and haven’t made it a priority, and I don’t want to step on the toes of friends and other bloggers who have similar services. It does seem like a few carnivals have stopped in the past few months, and for some, it’s been harder to find hosts. If I see things go back to normal and bloggers are more willing to host, I will renew my search for new users.
2. Create At Least Two New Streams Of Income That Bring In $100 Per Month.
At the beginning of the year, I said I had an idea for one of these income streams, and in March, I achieved that mark. With a friend, we buy some items in bulk and resell them individually for more on eBay. It worked very well, but due to circumstances outside of our control, we had to shut the operation down. It was a great run while it lasted and netted me more than $1,200 (or $100/month for a whole year), so I’m going to consider that a success. It certainly wasn’t a failure, or if it was, I hope all my ventures “fail” as spectacularly as this one did. However, this isn’t something that we’ll be carrying over into 2015.
My perk farm is now earning over $150/month, which is awesome. It takes very little time to run, so this one is a huge success. Anyone can do this at home if you want to earn a few hundred dollars extra per month. Check out my post about perk if you’d like to earn that much, too!
3. Keep Discretionary Spending to 105% of 2013 Levels
I the 4th quarter, our discretionary spending was 47% higher than it was in the 4th quarter last year. WOW! However, this wasn’t really surprising considering that we took a 10 day international trip. We saved money by finding great deals on AirBnb, but we did eat out a lot, pay for entrance to museums, and much much more. We wouldn’t have missed it for the world, but it did cost us a lot of money.
For the year, we spend 31.5% more than we did last year. I guess we set our sights too high, and we lost it all on this one trip. Excluding the two international trips, we actually spent less than we did last year. That’s definitely encouraging, and while I didn’t hit my goal, I know that our spending is in check and this is likely the last large vacation we’ll take for the considerable future.
As a reminder, our new car is not included in this calculation (we decided to pay it off over 5 years instead of paying in cash). Our typical grocery bill, insurance, charity, tuition and student loan payments, rent, and utilities won’t count toward this goal, but everything else does. We want to see if we can keep our discretionary spending in check, because that’s all we can really control.
Rating Our Results
In terms of business goals, we did really well. I’m proud to have made $1,200+ in one venture and be making $150+/month in another. I thought that maybe this would be a stretch, so achieving this one is a point of pride for me. It definitely takes the sting out of spending a bit more this year. In terms of our personal spending, we really did keep it in check, and separately, we took a big, expensive trip and enjoyed it immensely. Overall grade? B