This year is going by so fast – I can’t believe we’re already halfway through! So far, I’m doing better than expected. My very conservative budget and difficult goals made me feel like I needed to push to to accomplish everything I wanted. I earned more overtime and cut back on spending, and that has been helping with my financial goals. I finally feel like I can relax and let myself enjoy things for the rest of the year!
1. Max out my 401K.
So far, so good! My contrubtions are currently are right where they need to be, and I’d have to seriously need money to consider conntributing less.
2. Max out both of our Roth IRAs.
Right now we’re saving everything in cash, but before the contribution deadline next April, I will max out both. It makes sense, especially since Chad didn’t get the job we were so sure he was going to get (I counted my chickens, you guys, and that made the bad news even worse), so we’ll definitely be a lower tax bracket for 2010.
3. Combine our savings accounts.
Done, mostly. Chad still has one investment account that he can’t remember the login information for (*facepalm*), so while I’m aware there is an account with some amount of money in it, I’m not really sure how much money or what it’s invested in. I know, it seems as though I’m just begging for the Worst Example from a PF Blgger award for 2010.
4. Save $5,000 in addition to Roth IRA contributions.
Thanks to a decent bonus, a huge tax refund, and mucho overtime, we’re going to beat this goal!
5. No buying new clothes until April.
Done! I allowed myself to buy accessories, so there was a purchase of oxford flats and a faux fur scarf in there. Of course, as soon as April came along, I spent a ton, but justified it as birthday clothes. It didn’t really save me any money, but then again, that wasn’t really the point. I’m trying very hard to control myself so I can allow another little spree before winter. I’m still trying to build up my extreme weather wardrobes – after living in mild California temps for 4 years, I had very few clothes that were useful for very hot or very cold temperatures. I was able to take care of the “very hot” clothes, but I’m thinking that high-quality cold-weather clothes (e.g. coats, boots, warm sweaters) might be a little more expensive.
6. Earn $1000 on top of wages from my job.
So. I’m not doing that great on this, unless you could that we’ll probably get close enough with the interest we earn in our savings accounts. I also have earned a bunch of overtime this year, but I don’t remember if that was going to count or not…
1. Exceed expectations on my year-end performance review.
So far, so good. My boss has seemed pretty happy with my performance, and if I continue working the way I have been, there’s a good chance I’ll get an above-average rating. As far as my own expectations go, I’ve managed to surprise myself a few times this year – just catching some issues that others have missed – although I do think I could step it up a little bit more on the whole effort thing.
2. Create at least one new tool to do my job.
I built up a tool to use for myself, but I’ve felt weird actually bringing to anyone else. All the guys I work with have been doing this for about 20 years longer than I have, so it feels awkward to give them my little Excel tool to use! They could probably build something better if they had a mind too, but they seem to distrust computers and prefer to hand-check everything.
1. Average at least 2 posts per week.
I believe the couple of crappy weeks I’ve had have been offset by some excellent (read: 3-post) weeks, so I’m going to say so far so good on this one.
2. Increase traffic by at least 50%.
Maybe? In all honesty, I started to try to really get the blog going, but it sucked the fun out of it. I don’t think I really want to turn this blog into a job. Right now, I’m posting and reading and commenting because I like it. Once I thought about monetizing it, I started to get stressed out about posting, and I was trying to think of subjects that would draw more traffic. In reality, though, I probably don’t have any great insights or knowledge about personal finance. All I can do – all I want to do – is share my journey, and there’s probably no way to profit off of that.
1. Read 10,000 pages in books.
Uhhhhh. I’ve been doing a crappy job of keeping up with this. I’ve been reading more than in past years, but whether I’m on track to read more than 10,000 pages this year is anyone’s guess. I guess I’ll start to keep track of the books I’ve read, and figure out the page counts later.
2. Run the whole of the 10-mile race in April.
Done! Although I promptly stopped running regularly as soon as the race was over, I’ve still been consistently working out. I guess I’ll amend this goal to keep up a decent workout routine for the rest of the year: 3-4 days per week, no excuses!