Where are we at the half way point towards our 2019 goals? It’s time to do a check in as a logical mid-year measuring point.
As always, a reminder just because I use mid-year and year as a time to check status, that does not mean that these are the only times I check, nor does it really indicate any significant milestone to which we are measuring. A year or mid-year merely is a reminder to check.
Fostering a Child, Our Non Financial 2019 Goal
We will start with the big non-financial 2019 goal, fostering babies. We have to date had 2 foster child placements. Both have been short term. While no further towards our end goal of adopting a child, the experience has left us better educated in what to expect from the process. Also, our lives have been enriched by two fantastic young infants. The adventure will continue into the second half.
Saving Progress Mid-Year
If you recall from our 2019 goals post our target is to save 1.8x our expenses by end of year. This was an exact copy of our 2018 goals, which we felt was a potential stretch goal at the time. The reason this was a stretch goal was because of an unsure revenue situation for my wife’s business and expected increased expenses.
My wife’s income is in fact down slightly, as I was concerned it might be when we set our goals. The amount has had an impact on her savings rate. However, my own income has been slightly higher then expected. This has increased my savings rate. In general, these two forces have balanced leading us to an mid-year income number roughly in line with the same point in 2018.
Meanwhile on the expense side of the equation, I had predicted an increase in expenditures due to the purchase of a vehicle. While we did buy that vehicle, I also ended up selling my Corvette. I originally had not intended to do so. The funds from the car sale funded a large portion of the purchase price of our new vehicle. The ramification is this expense increase was significantly less then what I planned. Expenses are slightly up from 2019, but not a significant amount.
Travel Trailer Purchase Delayed
A note, also in my 2019 post I mentioned the possibility of purchasing a travel trailer. We have yet to do so, or even put a deposit on one. At this point in 2019 I am leaning towards waiting until next year to do so. With the market and economy in somewhat shaky condition I have decided to sit on this major purchase for a year and see what happens. While I do not believe in market timing for stocks, I do subject some of my expenses to market timing. The reality is I know if the economy does decline significantly in the next year or so the travel trailer will cost me significantly less. In the interim while fostering my usage of said trailer may be somewhat limited. As such it makes sense to wait a bit.
Combining the expenses and income our savings goal of matching 2018 at 1.8x is still progressing with a significant probability for success. As such at this time, I have no modifications to our 2019 savings goals.
Mortgage Payoff in Mid-Year 2019 Goal
Our second goal for 2019 was to payoff our mortgage. The purchase and timing of our purchase of a new vehicle threw off our mortgage payoff slightly. However, by slightly we really mean November rather then June. In reality, our mortgage is now at the point where with no additional payments it will be gone in April of next year. As such this particular goal is almost assured to succeed by end of 2019.
Continue to Purchase Instruments with Expected Return of 4%
At this time, the market is still up significantly since January. Now I would be remiss if I ignore that this is all a factor of when you measure from. If measured from October or April the market is down. So from a actual return perspective our net worth is down. I’m inclined to bring to the top again that net worth is a bad goal.
But if you recall this goal is more about investing at a potential return. IE not buying fixed income with a return below 4%. Stocks have a potential for exceeding 4% even if they do not actually exceed 4% return. We have not bought any bonds to date, instead finishing off my mortgage. As such so far this goal is being met.
Credit Card Hacking 2019 Goal
What about our goal to travel hack to $0 travel cost? Well, so far, we are surpassing that goal. Though honestly most of that is because we haven’t actually done any trips. I have been too busy with work and foster care to take any significant time off so far.
Year to date we did a weekend trip to Rhode Island tied to a work trip. Total cost was $0 above our normal at home costs. We also have planned a trip to D.C. for Fincon. I live within 2 hours of the site so the only potential costs here was hotel and tickets. My Marriott points from all my work travel has made the hotel stay for this trip free. For tickets the site revenue paid for the tickets as a business expense. As such I will not consider that as a travel expense.
Anyway, not only have we booked limited travel, but we also have about $2000 worth of Credit card points waiting for our bookings for the year. This includes points from the Chase Ink preferred card, the Capital One Venture card, and the United Explorer Card. Look for something to be booked in the fall timeline and written about around the time of the trip.
Donate at Minimum the Equivalent of 5% to Charity
Finally, on the financial side our charity 5% goal continues. We’ve donated significant amounts to Goodwill, our kids school, and an animal rescue so far this year. We are roughly on track to meeting our goal, sitting at about 5% of income so far to date.
Mid-Year Blog Report
If you recall our 2019 blog goal was to hit blog income levels such that our Fincon ticket and blogging expenses are covered by revenue. 2019 revenue continues at the same levels as 2018 currently. This means at current rate about 50% of the ticket would be paid for by this site as well as all blogging expenses by year end. I still need to work on this item as the year continues.
Page Views 2019 Goal
Finally I set a goal for page views for the site of 9,600 – 12,000 views a month for 2019. Honestly this one is a complete fail. We hit the bottom end of our target range one month in 2019 and have been below this range since then. Honestly, I’ve gotten to the point where I no longer care about page views and rarely check their levels. My personal motivation and goals have moved away from page views.
We as individuals tend to have an aversion for dropping goals. I see it at work all the time, goals don’t stop being measured so much as get ignored until they disappear. The simple reality is not all metrics and goals remain relevant over time. When a goal becomes irrelevant, like any other sunk cost, it is best to just drop that measurement and move on. As such I will be dropping the page view measure from our 2019 goals.
Anyway, that’s what I have for 2019 at the mid-year point. Where are you with your 2019 goals?