I started 2015 with the overall goal that this year will truly be different. No more resolutions! Be consistent with creating content for the blog! No more making un-SMART (strategic + measurable + achievable + realistic + timely) goals. I was tired of making resolutions and forgetting what they were – much less completing them every year. Writing my goals down and defining clear check points has definitely helped keep me accountable; not only because I wrote them down but because it’s been published in a public place where people can also hold me accountable.
For me, the first half of 2015 has been both eventful and unremarkable- all at the same time.
- Open a taxable account in a discount brokerage firm with $2,500 by 3/1/2015. (FAIL. Hoping to achieve in the second half of the year- Stay tuned..)
- Allocate at least $400 per month to my taxable account. (PARTIAL: Jan- $400; Feb-$214; Mar- $306; Apr- $375; May- $387; June- $400)
- Allocate an extra $50 per month to my car loan principal. (PASS)
- Give at least two hours of my time every month to helping someone in need. (PASS)
- Donate at least $50 every month to church or a reputable charitable organization. (PASS)
- Sign up for a 5K run by April 2015. (COMPLETED)
- Allocate $50 per month to my travel fund. (PASS)
- Take at least 4 local, stateside, or international trips by 12/31/2015. (PARTIAL: 2 of 4 completed)
January was largely quiet. I suppose the calm could be attributed to the fact that we are typically in “holiday recover” during this time. Financially, socially, mentally/emotionally. Even as it relates to our health. We are typically tapped out financially from all of the holiday spending. Socially, we’ve seen our friends and families more often in November and December alone than we have throughout the other ten months of the year combined. Mentally/emotionally, we may be drained from the first two examples! (As an introvert, this is my constant struggle- I’m conflicted between having quiet moments to myself + my own thoughts and going out to celebrate the various holidays with people I love + cherish.) I appreciated the stillness of January because the next two months were less than slow.
February was definitely the most chaotic month of the quarter. I spent the first few days in NOLA for the start of Mardi Gras- which was a blast! While I largely pulled from my travel fund (which I saved for throughout all of 2014), I still had some small expenses that I needed to pull funds for from my monthly budget. I also had some doctor’s appointment co-pays that I needed to pay for ($60 for an eye exam and trial contact lenses, as well as, $35 for a gyn appointment in December- more information than you probably needed to know but, hey, I told you I’m being completely honest!). I also bit the bullet and purchased the iPhone 6 (my iPhone 4 was seriously holding me back, ya’ll) on a two-year contract, which set me back another $199 + taxes. Yikes. However, I did manage to get some community service in by participating with co-workers in an Operation Welcome Home event.
March was much better in terms of staying on track financially and health-wise. Although I had to pay for my cell service twice this month (since switching from Sprint to Verizon), I started training for my first 5K. The threat of snow was no longer imminent, the birds started their chirping once more and the thought of running three miles straight seemed possible. While I’m still at the point of mostly completing the 3.1 miles
wheezing, with a flushed face, and praying for the sweet relief of death in a record time that I am ashamed to admit as a former high school track runner, I am confident that I will be able to get to the finish line when I run my first race.
April and May were great for my health/spirituality and travel goals. In April, I celebrated my 25th birthday by taking a trip to Puerto Rico. Don’t worry- Again, I paid for the vacation in full by using my savings from my 52 week savings challenge/ travel fund from 2014 and still had money to spare. I also signed up and ran my first 5K with the Ronald McDonald House Charities. It was actually pretty fun! May was also pretty quiet…until the end of the month when I wrote about the scary possibility of a job loss. I am still gainfully employed and therefore my ability to meet my financial goals are still possible. But if I weren’t? I would be grateful to have my emergency fund in place to cover me financially for 6 months!
June has been wonderful and also largely quiet (are you seeing a trend here?! LOL). I was able to re-evaluate my goals for the year and start making necessary changes to achieve them. I’ve started researching online discount brokerage firms and even opened my first account (stay tuned to see which one I chose and my experience with opening my first account). Overall, it has been a great month across all of my goals.
Whether you realize it or not, thanks for holding me accountable! Share some of your goals and your first quarter progress below.
Thanks for reading.
Image: Death to the Stock Photo with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.