We’re just about halfway through the year so that means it’s time to check in with my annual goals after the second quarter. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far. I know I’m trying to before it’s gone and it’s back to cold weather again in the Midwest.
It’s scary to think that I only have 6 more months to work on my goals but that just motivates me to keep pushing. Here’s how my progress has been shaping out so far.
Goals For My Finances
1. Open a Roth IRA and contribute regularly
I think I mentioned during my last check-up that I chose to open a Roth IRA with Betterment but I’m sad to say that not much has been going on in this department. I still try to set aside what I can but this year my main focus has been destroying this debt.
It bothers me though, because I know about the importance of saving for retirement, but I can’t do everything at once so I’m not going to stress about it. I had to make a choice and this time I chose to make becoming debt free my main priority for better peace-of-mind. I know some people who choose to do it the other way and focus on investing super early and efficiently and take their time paying back low interest debt and that’s a great option as well.
I still want to reap the benefits of compound interest, so I will have to be more deliberate with this goal during the remainder of the year.
2. Make at least $300/month in side income and establish new side hustles
Done. Done. And done. I’m so pleased that my freelance writing side hustle has taken off this year. I love to write and earning extra money from it has always been a dream. I initially wanted to earn extra money to add to my debt payments and speed up the process of becoming debt free and it’s definitely working. Plus, freelancing writing has started to open up the door for several other goals and opportunities.
To see how my progress has been going, I calculated my earnings since I started taking freelancing seriously back in February of this year. This is what I’ve made each month after PayPal fees but before deducting taxes.
June $742.05 – so far. I did about $1019 worth of freelance work this month, but I’ll probably be compensated for a portion of it in July so I can’t count everything just yet.
I would love to earn enough to cover my basic monthly expenses since I’m living on such a low amount and I can definitely see that happening if I remain persistent this year. If I can make money from freelance writing to help meet my financial goals, you can too.
My former coach and mentor, Cat Alford from BudgetBlonde.com has created a new online course to help new and aspiring freelance writers learn how to earn good money by writing for blogs. Cat has written for Huffinton Post, Life Hack, The Simple Dollar and other notable sites. It’s safe to say I never would have gotten this far with freelance writing in such a short amount of time and with such a busy schedule to begin with if I didn’t have Cat’s industry expertise and encouragement.
I truly feel like I learned from the best because she certainly knows what she’s doing. If you’re ready to start earning money from writing as well, the course will be available June 30 and you can get 15% off my using my affiliate link here.
3. Get emergency fund to a solid $2,000 balance and pay off $8,000 + the rest of my car loan
I’m on track to meet my emergency fund goal by mid July! I had to lower my emergency fund goal by $1000 earlier this year just to ensure I’d be able to pay off my car in full by December. Of course I’d like it to be more but I figure at least I have something to fall back on should any unexpected expenses come up.
Thanks to side hustle income and living below my means, I’m on track to pay off the remaining $4,185.75 principal balance on my car loan. If you check out my debt updates, you’ll see that I’ve paid $6,370.59 on my debt already this year so I’m definitely on track to meet this goal.
Goals For My Life
4. Declutter My Home
I feel like we threw away a lot of stuff during the move but we can always be more efficient with decluttering. I love seeing items that offer sentimental value but other than that I can’t stand clutter. I like my house to be clean and organized at all times but it’s hard with a child.
The best thing is that we’re no longer buying anything additional unless we truly need it. I’m not clothes shopping for the time being and not even going overboard with my son’s toys. Things just look and feel so much better when you declutter.
5. Be more appreciative of life’s blessings and enjoy each day
Like always, this is continually a work in progress but I feel like I’m doing very well. I used to take life and a lot of people for granted but I’ve been getting better at slowing down and taking the time to thank and enjoy the people around me.
A few months ago back when we still lived about 45 minutes away from my job I got stuck the expressway during my commute home due to a bad accident. The expressway was completely shut down and I remember freaking out because I had no idea how I was going to pick my son up from daycare by 5:30pm. The daycare charges a late fee if you don’t make it in time but besides that, I didn’t want him to be stuck there just because I was stuck. That was the worst feeling in the world.
Thankfully I called Ray (my boyfriend) and he just happened to be off work that day and able to go get him. He was walking to the library when I called him 15 minutes before the daycare closed and he literally ran over there to grab our son (luckily we live super close to the daycare and he wasn’t far away). I remember being so grateful that I could depend on him because I didn’t end up getting home until 7 p.m. that hectic day.
At the end of the day, I’m truly grateful for all the little things that he does and I’m getting better at letting him know that.
I also appreciate my mom and sister being able to watch my son during the week while I work since we live so close now. I’m grateful for my job and my boss who is super understanding, laid back and doesn’t make a big deal when I have to call off work for whatever reason. The amazing environment at my workplace is a dime a dozen.
Goals to achieve with my son
6. Keep teaching him about money and life
A person who hasn’t been so grateful lately, is my kiddo. He’s a lovable child overall. He’s still doing chores and I’m still teaching him about money.
But lately he’s been going through an ungrateful phase and even though he’s young, it’s my responsibility to teach him important life lessons like the fact that parents work hard to provide for their kids and nothing is handed to anyone.
This summer as we knock out the fun items on my bucket list I’d also like to do some type of volunteering activity or provide a service to the community together. It doesn’t have to be something major, I just want him to understand what it means to give back to others.
In addition, we’re also talking about our day more together each night, and I’ve added in a request that he share something he’s grateful for with me each night.
Kids are and the stages they go through are super interesting to say the least!
How are your goals for 2015 shaping up?
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