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. After 9 months, here’s how I’m doing:
1. Earn $10,000 From Non-Blog Related Side Income
Last quarter, I had made basically no progress toward this goal, but the last 3 months have been great. I won’t give an exact number because Monday’s post will contain an exciting announcement related to the blog carnival submission service I started. While there is no way way I’m going to hit this goal, I’m at least making some progress to the point where next year, it may be possible if we are able to grow and I start another successful side business.
2. Save 50% of My Post-Tax Income
Once again, we spent more this quarter than last quarter. Just about all of that was paying tuition for Lauren’s graduate school, so it was not unexpected. We didn’t increase income much, so we failed this pretty hard. We’re not going to hit our goal for the year, but at least we tried.
I knew our expenses would be higher but I was hoping I could increase income at the same time to mitigate some of the effects. I was wrong. In the third quarter, we saved just over 18% of our after-tax income, which I’m not that excited about. Still, we’re at 39.5% for the year, which is hard to complain about. If we can get over 40% for the year, I think that would be a very nice consolation prize. Here’s to a big boost in fourth quarter earnings!
Looking Forward To The Fourth Quarter
I know we can do better than 18%, and I am confident that we will in the fourth quarter. The quarter was not great for side businesses, but on a positive note, I had some online income earned in September that was paid in October (so counts towards 4th quarter earnings). That gives us a head start, and since there are no estimated tax payments due in the fourth quarter (I’ve paid 4 times in 2013 already: January, April, June, and September), everything I earn on the side will be considered after-tax. I also think I’m set up to get a large tax refund come tax season, so maybe our after-tax income should have been higher earlier in the year, too.
This quarter, we still owe money for a summer vacation that we’re waiting on a bill for and a few friends owe us a bit of money for tickets we paid for the past few months. I’m unsure if we’ll owe tuition for the Spring semester (she will be student-teaching), but I assume the school will justify collecting tuition for it.
Readers, have you made any progress toward your financial goals the past 3 months?