We’re almost halfway through the year! I thought I’d share an update about where I’m at with my goals so far for accountability.
Plus, I feel like I’ve been a little silent about my huge goal to quit my job to freelance this year. I’ll share what I’ve been up to with that toward the end of the post. Would you like to hear more about my preparation for the big leap? Let me know in the comments!
Progress on 2016 Goals
Pay off as much debt as I can – Still on track
More specifically, I wanted to get my student loans down to $10k or less by the end of this year. This is still a possibility so I’m trying to continue with aggressive debt repayment, but now I’ve devised a plan for my husband’s debt as well.
Since the only debt I have is student loans, I’m working on eliminating that while we’ve already paid off the little credit card debt we have and will start chipping away at his car loan this year too. Our monthly debt payments vary, but they usually average out to be $1500+ per month so we are making lots of progress.
Get my emergency fund to $5,000 by December 31, 2016 – nearly complete
We should reach this goal by the end of the month. This was very important to me since I ended last year without much savings. This year, I really cracked down and made sure I paid myself first to hit my target each month. Now, I feel much more secure and can start setting aside money for some business expenses.
Improve my work-life balance – Making progress
I’m happy to say this has improved since my last goal update. Even though I’m still busy, I still make time for myself and that’s what matters most. I try to stick to my weekday work schedule of 8am-4:30pm and use my time off wisely so as to not let my work overwhelm me when it comes to freelancing. I recently started meeting with a few other people in a mastermind group as well to help stay on track with my freelancing goals and work flow.
I also gave in and purchased a gym membership. I’ve been against gym memberships for the longest, mainly because I viewed it as an unnecessary expense since most people can work out at home for free. However, recently I’ve had a change of heart.
I’ve tried almost everything to get in shape and lose the weight I’ve gained these past 4 years and I always lose motivation as quickly as I gain it. It was frustrating, so I decided a membership at my local park district might help motivate me to make exercise a priority since I’d go to the gym to make sure I’m getting my money’s worth even if I become unmotivated. My membership is only $36 per month which is not much at all, and if it helps me get healthier, it’s totally worth the price. I’m committing to going to the gym 4-days per week and doing two group fitness classes which are going very well.
I still feel like I have time to spend time with my family, hang out with friends, and practice self care when I need to. If I miss a night of freelancing to do something else, it’s not the end of the work and I usually can catch back up quickly.
Start earning $5,000 per month in online income and leave my job by the end of the year – On track
This goal has been a huge focus for me this year and even though I may not always talk about it every month, I’m working toward it. My income goal is not directly tied to my goal of quitting my job because I could live off less than $5,000 per month or whatever I’m left with after taxes easily because my expenses are so low.
With freelancing however, I find that while it can be extremely rewarding, it’s also pretty unpredictable as well. Earning way more than I really need would be ideal because it would help create the extra cash cushion I need during slower months.
Being completely honest, I had thoughts about leaving my job back in November last year – 9 months ago! I was hoping to make the leap this summer, but a few weeks ago I decided to delay my gratification more and try to stick it out at my job until October or November this year.
It would have been wonderful to be a full-time freelancer this summer, but I knew that things would be slower both at my day job and with freelancing during this time of year and they have been. With things being slower at my job this summer, I feel less stressed and have more energy to keep building my freelancing career and getting caught up on my own projects for this blog which is working out perfectly.
I also want to have a little more saved up for businesses expenses that may come up. Plus, there’s the healthcare issue. I’m still with Liberty HealthShare which is fine, but my husband may be able to get insurance for the whole family through his new job so we’ll review which options they have next month. If I can get on his health insurance policy, that would be one less drawback of self-employment I’d have to deal with.
Then there’s our debt situation. The less debt we have when I walk away from my job, the lower the liability is so it makes perfect sense to squeeze in a few extra debt payments these next few months since my budget will most likely be tighter when I start freelancing full-time.
Overall, everything is slowly trickling into place. It’s not happening as fast as I thought it would but that’s the reality of life. The beginning and the end of your journey are often the most exciting, but the middle matters just as much as well which is why I’m trying to be positive and enjoy my current state.
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