It’s time for my first quarterly check up on my annual goals. I know I haven’t said too much about my 2015 goals since I posted them back in January, but they’ve just been a work in progress and each month I’m taking the necessary steps to get there by the end of the year. I can’t really determine whether I’ve ‘passed’ or ‘failed’ yet but I can certainly give you all an update on where I’m at so far.
Goals For My Finances
1. Open a Roth IRA and Contribute Regularly
I mentioned how I’ve always put off saving for retirement but it’s a must because my current job doesn’t offer any type of 401K so I’m pretty much on my own with retirement savings. It’s been hard to get started on this goal since I’ve hit a few rough patches financially in January and February where I was recovering from the holidays and putting all my extra money into my car.
I did however, open a Roth IRA with Betterment and I’m trying to contribute at least $100/month to start, but I will see how it works out when I create my new budget. I’m really liking Betterment so far because it’s making investing pretty much a no brainer with everything being so automated. I hope to do a formal review on Betterment in a few months.
2. Make at least $300/month in side income and establish new side hustles
I’m excited to say I’m really making progress with this goal! I started picking up freelance writing gigs again this year and I’ve been working with Cat over at Budget Blonde through her freelance writing coaching class. I scored three new clients after just 6 weeks of her coaching program and I’ve made about $240 to start since I haven’t been paid for all my writing yet, but I know my side income will only increase as I keep at it. Cat is amazingly supportive and offers some really great resources so if you’re interested in breaking into the freelance writing industry, I’d definitely recommend her class.
Another side hustle I’ve been working on somewhat is monetizing this blog. As you can see, I haven’t gotten far with that yet but that’s because I’m taking it extremely slow. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was reading How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul and guess what? I’m still reading it! I’m taking things extremely slow because my goal has always been to monetize, but it’s just so overwhelming to try to do everything at once.
I’ve been too busy working on creating awesome and consistent content for this blog and increasing my readership and that’s what I believe is most important. After I increase my pageviews, I plan on taking everything one step at a time. So one day in the future, you may see some ads on here but believe me, I will always keep it tasteful and remain true to myself.
To help with branding and blog stuff, I’ve been working with Maya Elious through her Blogademics course. Maya followed me on Instagram one day through her course account and I became extremely interested in and enrolled in Blogademics. The rest has been history and I love how I can work at my own pace, since I’m so slow with all of this 🙂
3. Get emergency fund to a steady $3,000 and pay off $8,000 in debt
If you haven’t heard yet, I’m changing this goal! I’m eager to pay off my debt so I can move on to other goals so I’ve decided to lower my emergency fund goal to $2,000 and pay off my entire car note this year. I’m hoping I can get by with a low EF for now and that $1000 difference would be best used on my debt.
I should meet my emergency fund goal by July and I’m planning on using some of my tax refund to pay off a large chunk of debt. Then for the remainder of the year, I want to almost triple the amount I am currently putting toward my car note each month using side hustle income.
To track my debt repayment progress with me, be sure to check out my debt updates.
Goals For My Life
4. Declutter My Home
I’m currently working on this goal over the next few weeks. Since we plan on moving in June, I’m trying to get a head start on cleaning and decluttering so it won’t make packing such a hassle. My house is pretty neat and organized to the naked eye, but I do have some hiding spots where I stash paper and hold on to clutter that I think will be useful one day.
I’m putting an end to all of that though. As I declutter I’m hoping to find some items I can sell so I will be sure to write a post about that in April. Nothing beats a clean and clutter free house in my opinion. Christina’s Simplified Spring Cleaning and Decluttering Series is a great read if you are looking to declutter as well this season.
5. Be More Appreciate of Life’s Blessings and Enjoy Each Day
I’m still not really sure how I’m going to measure my success with this goal, but the idea was just to stop being negative and taking things for granted. My life is never going to be perfect and I know some days I’m going to be tired, annoyed and just plain pissed off but I don’t want to waste a lot of my time on these emotions. Right now I’m content with my life and that’s a step in the right direction. I haven’t settled, but I’m able to make the best of my current situation while being excited for the future as well this time of year.
Goals to Achieve With My Son
6. Keep teaching him about money and life
When my kiddo turned 5 in January, I started giving him official chores and putting $2/week in his Ninja Turtle bank if he complied. Turns out everything has been going really well and he’s welcoming more responsibility. When I deposit money into his bank he has the option of saving the money or spending it on a small item each month. Regardless of his choice, I teach him to never spend all the money in his bank at once and to always leave/save something.
Right now his chores include making up his bed in the morning, picking up after himself at night, and clearing his plate and cup from the table after he eats. Most of the time he forgets to remove his plate but after I remind him he’s happy to do it. I’m really proud of the way he’s stepped up lately and how he puts on his own night clothes before bed and picks out matching socks to wear in the morning. My little guy is growing up!
As far as teaching him about life, I really want to teach him how to become street smart. We’ve recently read books about strangers and I want him to feel comfortable dialing 911 in the case of an emergency and being aware of his surroundings.
So that’s the latest news when it comes to my annual goals. If you’ve noticed I used to post Mon/Wed/Fri but I’ve recently changed my posting schedule to Tues/Thurs in the hopes of getting more done and finding a nice balance and so far so good. If you’re interested in reading more of my writing, you can still check me out on some of the other sites I’ve written for this month.
My Writing Around The Web This Month
Jump Start Your Savings in 2015 With an Online Savings Account – Young Finances
Avoid Lifestyle Inflation By Living Like a Broke College Student – Young Finances
How I Save $6220/yr By Living a Frugal Lifestyle – Financial Sumo
6 Stress Free Ways to Spring Clean Your Financial House – Financial Sumo
The ABCs of Establishing a Solid Emergency Fund – Financial Sumo
How To Start Saving When You Have a Low Income – Financial Sumo
Grow Your Blog By Getting Out of Your Own Way – Brown Girl Bloggers
How I started Thriving and Finding Financial Stability as a Single Mom – Single Moms Income
So I’m curious to know, how have your annual goals been shaping up so far this year?
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