October Goals Update

Fall color in Telluride Colorado
View from my office in Telluride

There have been a few goal posts lately as we’ve entered the last quarter of 2014. It’s always fun to see how others have done toward their goals. As I’m about to put my 40th year on this earth to bed, it’s time to see how I’m doing with my goals.

2014 Goals

1) Set up a solo 401k and contribute 25% of my income.  Pass

One of the great benefits of being self employed is that you can open a solo 401k and contribute more than you’d be able to with a traditional employer sponsored plan.  Since one of the worst things about self employment is taxes, it’s nice to be able to offset as much income as possible into a tax deferred account. With a solo 401k, you can contribute the standard $17,500 PLUS 25% of your income up to $52,000 for people under age 50. I wasn’t able to do that much, but should be right on track for investing 25% of my income into my solo plan this year.

2) Max out our family HSA. Pass

This year we decided to invest our HSA into Vanguard funds. We don’t plan on touching this money until retirement and are on track to have this account maxed out by the end of the year.

3) Run a half marathon. Fail

House at top of Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls, Telluride

I’ve pretty much given up on this one. After seeing Tonya’s long recovery time, it made me reconsider. I can run a 10K pretty easily but start to have problems if I try to do much over 7 or 8 miles. Also, I get really bored running that long. I just don’t think being a distance runner is in my wheelhouse. I keep telling myself that maybe if I lose 10 pounds or start eating only spinach and protein powder, I might do better, but I still don’t think it’s happening.

4) Contribute 5% of my income to charity. Fail

Our large rental repair pretty much wiped this goal out. I’m closer to 2.5%. I feel kind of bad, but honestly, retirement savings and investing goals have taken top billing. When we are financially independent, this can become a bigger part of our monthly expenses. I have done a couple of pretty time intensive projects for the Humane Society. Hopefully that counts for something.

5) Increase blog income by 50%. Fail

This was a pretty big stretch, and I’ve completely changed direction by taking on a blogging partner and giving up control over much of the blog. While income has not skyrocketed, hopefully we’re working to make the blog more sustainable for the long term. I was pretty burned out earlier this year, and I don’t feel that way at all now.

Million Dollar Highway in Colorado
Fall in Southwest Colorado

6) Remember how lucky I am and smile more. Pass

I have no real way of grading this one, but I think I do remember how lucky I am at least once a day. I was driving home from Telluride this week and just grinning like a big idiot because the fall color and early snow on the mountains is just so freakin’ amazing. Warts and all, I could not live in a more beautiful place. I have a healthy family. We have gotten to enjoy the outdoors a ton this year, plus we took some awesome trips. What more could I ask for?

Only 50%?

Hiking in southwest colorado
My little hiker!

Looking purely at statistics, you could say I suck at goals because I’m only batting 50%. On the other hand, our plans for financial independence are on track, we have another rental property, our net worth is up almost 27% since last year, and my triglycerides are down.

I don’t mention Jim’s goals on the blog. He got his dream job as a principal this year, and while he’s crazy busy, I think he finally feels that he is living up to his potential. He was recently interviewed in a national education magazine that would be like getting on Rockstar Finance for us PF bloggers. Bill Gates and his Legacy Foundation are paying his way to New Orleans for a conference on peer coaching later this month. I keep hoping he can rub elbows with Bill personally, but I guess we’ll just take the paycheck and be happy with that. All in all, I can’t complain so far about 2014. Here’s to hoping we can finish the year strong.

How are your goals going this year? Does it upset you when you have to give up on a goal? 


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  1. Looks like you are doing really well! I love your hiking photos! I too have discovered that I am just not a runner. I made it up to a 10K and realized I wasn’t enjoying it anymore and had a lot of joint pain. It was actually liberating to me to stop running and instead pursue the exercise that really makes me happy (yoga and hiking). At any rate, running is a goal I gave up on and I must say, I’m glad I did!

    1. i’m so glad to hear that I’m not alone. I will always exercise for my health and mind, but I think it’s much more enjoyable if you’re doing things you like and look forward to. I was starting to dread running, so I’m glad I cut back.

  2. It’s awesome you are able to put 25% into a 401K! My hubby is an assistant principal so I understand when you talk about the hard work! Sounds like he’s doing very well! I need to revisit my goals … I don’t really think about them too often but should!

    1. I think about the main goal, things that lead to our financial independence, pretty often. The others, I’d forgotten. I’m glad I did an update.

    1. I can’t now that I don’t own the practice, but I used to do that all the time. Honestly, now with Obamacare, Medicaid, which is the low income government funded program for health care, is based solely on income, poor people are generally covered if they take the time to sign up for coverage.

  3. I fully supports maxing out HSA’s as well. I was able to do that this year and it feels great. I would love to contribute 25% of my pay to a 401k, but right now it’s going to student loans! Someday, someday. This was a motivating post thank you.

  4. I think you’re doing great, Kim. Goals certainly give us something to strive for but they also need to be flexible with our lives too. So many people are too rigid with their goals, which in turn, makes them afraid to actually commit to any. To me, I’d rather set aggressive goals and not quite meet them, than have no goals and be stagnant. And congrats to Jim! That’s a huge achievement and I hope he gets to hobnob with Bill Gates too. Beautiful pics of Telluride too, just gorgeous. Have a great weekend!

    1. I am with you on aiming high and adjusting if necessary. I don’t feel bad at all at not hitting all my goals because we were able to do the two main ones and make progress toward the others, except the half marathon, which is OK.

  5. I’d say you’re doing great! And just because you didn’t complete all your goals last month doesn’t mean you didn’t try (which is half the battle) and doesn’t mean you’re quitting (the other half): you’ll just roll them forward a month. You’re doing great!

  6. You’re doing terrific, Kim!! IMHO, time definitely counts as charitable giving, maybe even more so. It’s easier to throw a check at someone than it is to carve out a few hours of time to help with a project. I haven’t even looked over our goals to see how we’re doing yet. I need to do that!

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