2018 End of Year Life Goals Review

How did 2018 go? Let’s take a look:

Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 9.33.23 AM

Health: I made a ton of progress this year; learned how to do some cooking, read a few health books that changed the way I think about food and significantly reduced my sugar intake, adding fiber to my diet in the process. I also started running regularly, even signed up for a crazy run coming up early in 2019!

End of Year Review: B+

Professional: By far my best year ever! I delivered all my projects on time and budget and went above and beyond the call of duty. I am expecting a promotion soon out of that work. Blog goal? total fail. My computer died towards the end of the year and work was very hectic. I am ok with that being the part that fell off.

End of Year Review: Blog D, work A.

Relationships:  Limited the number of people I focus on giving my attention to, but when I do I am doing better. And, we rescued a second dog! He is fantastic and completes our home.

End of Year Review: B.

Financial: We missed most of our goals, but we diversified, bought a lot for our future retirement home and killed our debt goal.

End of Year Review: B-

Wants: Putting money away specifically for our used electric car fund for replacing our old second carUpdate: Our old car died end of November 2017, before we even got to 2018 goals, so we bought a car. I guess we can cross this off the list!

End of Year Review: Achieved!

Experiences: It was a great year for our bucket list.

End of Year Review: B+, see below!

  • At least 5 bucket / travel list items:
    • Bali (with husband)
    • Canyoning,  private dinner at own villa & volcano hike (with husband)
    • Colonial Williamsburg (with kids)
    • Snow Tubing, ice skating, sleeping on a dome, theater play (with kids)
    • Rescue a non puppy dog
  • At least 3 personal challenges:
    • No buying clothes or ‘stuff’ for a year for me except personal hygiene and food items. Experiences and travel are allowed and encouraged.
    • Vegetarian for a month.
    • Reduce closet by 10 items by EOY (without replacing).
    • Rental of convertible (the one thing I failed to complete in 2017!)
  • Five zero waste changes:
    • In 2018 we have to find 5 small changes towards a less wasteful way of living. (mmm…I think we only got 2 changes but hey, we will build a net zero home for retirement, does it count?!).

I loved 2018, I grew a lot as a human and got back on track with some healthy habits. While the financials were not the strongest, work, mental health, experiences and family were very solid.  Overall an A- year!

Advertisements

Q4 2018 Financial Progress Report

This quarter was rough! For the first time since writing the blog we are in negative territory vs the previous quarter. Still, we remain positive; slow and steady wins the race!

Assets

Liquid assets stand at $608.3k; that is $67.5k less than Q3 this year.  Ouch! We have also put aside an additional $19,050k for our real estate venture ($37,550 total invested). If we combine both of those we are at $645,850k. The original goal for EOY was $704k – or $58,150 under asset goals.

We do also have $15k against a lot we purchased to build our retirement house, but we will not count it within our investment asset goal right now.

Our combined 529 balances (not counted above) ended at $57.1k or negative $6.8k from from Q3.

Debt

While our assets had a terrible end of the year, our total remaining debt, mortgage plus car loan, stands at $54.2k, destroying our original EOY debt balance goal of $101.7k.

Expenses

The saddest part of my update is our expenses. We had a few unexpected but necessary expenses in Q3 (branch fell on our car and we had to replace the windshield (under deductible still), we had to pre-pay almost $3k of vacation expenses that we will take Jan 2019 and my computer had liquid damage and had to be fully replaced), ending the year at $75,575, over our $70k budget.

While on the surface it seems like we had big misses this year, we are actually pleased with our progress. Our debt is way ahead of schedule and while our liquid assets are lower, we also are diversifying with real estate and adding one giant bucket list item to our plans: a lot near the beach to build our dream retirement home.

At the end of the day, isn’t the point to turn our dreams into reality?! 🙂

 

Q3 2018 Financial Progress Report

During the Q2 update, I mentioned that we were putting aside some money for alternative investments but I was not ready to share more info. I can tell you now that this money is going towards small scale real estate development abroad (single family home build to sell projects).

In addition, we bought a lot near the same area ($45k – not yet fully paid ($30k to go) but no interest payment plan though end of next year) that we hope to one day use as our retirement home base.

With that, let’s get into the financial progress YTD.

Assets

Liquid assets stand at $675.8k; an increase of $34.3k against Q2 this year. We have also put aside an additional $18.5k for our real estate venture. If we combine both of those we are at $694.1k. The original goal for EOY was $704k

Note that we will not count our retirement lot within these assets or our current home value (when we sell it, that money will be used to build on our other lot and bank the rest). We will stick to the liquid asset goal going forward, but thought the context is important to show why we are ‘behind’ the original goal and where the rest of the money is going.

Our combined 529 balances (not counted above) had a decent Q3 and show $63.9k or a an $2.4k gain from Q2, all from market gains.

Debt

Our total remaining debt, mortgage plus car loan, stands at $58.4k, or $9.2k less than end of Q2 – destroying our original EOY debt balance goal of $101.7k!

While at the end of last quarter our plan was to be done with the mortgage payments by Jan 2019 (currently around $43k) we are shifting gears and instead using that money towards the real estate investment venture mentioned above. In this plan, we are still about 4 years away from paying all our existing debts, which is still way ahead of schedule.

Expenses

Our goal remains $70k this year.  Not sure we will make it, but it will be close!

YTD we have spent $52,736k or $5,860 per month on average, slightly behind goal.

In October we get hit with $1,300 for yearly annual life insurance policies (2 people). Also a branch fell on our car’s windshield, so we will have to replace that ($1k deductible won’t hit). Hope it is not too crazy expensive. This will put a strain on that budget.

That said, September was extra expensive because I put on a good amount of spending ($880) I promised I could not do (towards 2019 vacation which I wanted to pay in 2019 but by doing it now we will save later on miles and points earned). Calculated move. I am ok with that even if we are a little over EOY because of these charges.

 

There you have it. Now let’s finish strong!

 

 

No Purchases Challenge Update

Here we are, end of Q3, how is it going with the no material purchases for myself year long challenge? Well, I would say 95% great, which I consider a pretty darn good score :).

As a reminder, this challenge is to not purchase anything for myself this year that is not either an experience or food, excluding basic grooming products.

In 9 months, I have only bought (once each) shampoo, conditioner, and deodorant. All of this allowed. However, I sort of cheated with two things: a gift from my husband (mason jars for our new obsession with making our own flour and cooking clean – a post for another day) and a popcorn popper that I got for the house. Not bad I say,

I admit, up to this point it had been quite easy and it does take away that anxiety to buy. That said, I am starting to put a few things on the list for next year (example, replace shoes, and a white basic shirt for work) which are starting to make me feel like extreme constraint is not an ideal permanent state.

All in all a good exercise that helps understand how and when you spend money on impulse buys. And while the anxious need to buy stuff just because was there but not super strong to begin with, this exercise has really further reduced after it a few months of saying no.

I recommend you try it out!

Luxury Bali For Less

This year we took one of our most favorite trips ever celebrating several important life milestones.

We went to Bali for 2 weeks and spent $6,310 total for 2 adults, in luxury accommodations, eating at some of the best restaurants around and taking advantage of many incredible tours, traveling in business class.

Here is the breakdown:

  • 2 flights business class – Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong (and access to all their amazing lounges!): 140k AA miles + $314 in taxes.
  • 2 nights hotel at Sofitel Nusa Dua – free with Citi Thank you points. Try their weekend buffet! Amazing hotel room with private plunge pool
  • 6 nights LUXE Villas, Ubud (best hotel we have ever stayed at, ever!) inclusive of several excursions, below, all breakfasts, private transport, couples massage in our own roof deck and many surprises that wow you along the way – $3,180 (could have been cheaper using 4th night free from Citi, but booked this in advance and did not take advantage).
    • Eco bike tour
    • Canyoning
    • Cultural tour
    • Balinese dance performance
    • Volcano (Mt Batur) hike at sunrise, coffee plantation and terraces
    • Chef’s table – custom made 6 course meal – Yum!
  • 4 nights Seminyak Equilibria Villa and 2 one hour massages, inclusive of breakfast and canapés each day. We had our own butler and plunge pool!  – $695 using 4th night free from Citi Prestige
  • 1 night Hong Kong Regal Airport Hotel on way back – free with Citi thank you points.
  • Food and transportation, plus an extra massage, a bottle of duty free champaign and drinks at the beach a few times; including some of the best restaurants in Asia like Mozaic (omg yum!) and Locavore. $2,120.

Highly recommend this trip as a highlight!

2018 Life Goals Mid Year Report

Time for a mid year review of the wider life goals – how am I doing? Let’s take a look:

Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 9.33.23 AM

Health: I need to do way better in the eating department, all else keep doing what I am doing. Despite my best intentions, I don’t go for fruits or veggies so hope juicing as a supplement helps.

Mid Year Review: I would give this a meh! Earlier this year I took one of the best vacations ever and I ate like it was my job. And no, it was not healthy. But since I have been trying to get back on track; perhaps second part of the year will be better. Definitely need to focus here now. So far a C.

Professional: Keep hitting my day job goals. I will also like to focus more on the blog, aiming for one post a week, on average. This is definitely a guide only, I don’t want to add content where it adds no value or it becomes a chore, so this goal will likely evolve a lot.

Mid Year Review: Not good on the blog goals; I have been slacking! That said, I am absolutely making up for it at work. I am doing better than expected and really hope things pay off at end of year with a promotion. Blogging, I give a C-, work I give myself an A +

Relationships:  Purposeful time allocation to those most important to me. This was going well in 2017 so keep doing what I am doing!

Mid Year Review: I have kept this up to an acceptable standard. Happy with my results. I am even going to go on a trip alone with my favorite friend; a first one for me (just me and a friend trip). I could still do a little more with my kids, but it has significantly improved. B+.

Financial: More specifics here, but the summary above hits the major points. The biggest change is our expense side (need to cut $5k from 2017 budget).We also must complete our will and testament – we have the paperwork just not notarized and with young kids this keeps me up at night.

Mid Year Review: On the financials excellent, on the will and testament; slacking! Urgh. A and D. lol.

Wants: Putting money away specifically for our used electric car fund for replacing our old second carUpdate: Our old car died end of November 2017, before we even got to 2018 goals, so we bought a car. I guess we can cross this off the list!

Mid Year Review: Achieved!

Experiences: What I am MOST excited about and where my planning helped most to do a ton in 2017. Here some ideas for 2018:

Mid Year Review: See crossed out items below; getting there! A for progress.

  • At least 5 bucket / travel list items:
    • Bali (with husband)
    • Canyoning,  private dinner at own villa & volcano hike (with husband)
    • Colonial Williamsburg (with kids)
    • Snow Tubing, ice skating, sleeping on a dome, theater play (with kids)
    • Rescue a non puppy dog
  • At least 3 personal challenges:
    • No buying clothes or ‘stuff’ for a year for me except personal hygiene and food items. Experiences and travel are allowed and encouraged.
    • Vegetarian for a month.
    • Reduce closet by 10 items by EOY (without replacing).
    • Rental of convertible (the one thing I failed to complete in 2017!)
  • Five zero waste changes:
    • In 2017, we traded plastic bags for reusables, changed to waste free period pads cups and underwear and entered a journey into minimalism. In 2018 we have to find 5 small changes towards a less wasteful way of living.

How are you doing with your goals this year? 

Q2 2018 Financial Progress Report

It has been a while since my last post, I know. I have been very busy traveling, working hard and had a bit of an issue with my computer breaking down then got too lazy to blog on my phone. However, I am back now just in time to catch up see were we are at the end of Q2:

Assets & Debt

Liquid assets stand at $641,5k; an increase of $16,700 against Q1 this year. We have also put aside an additional $15k for an alternative investment we are eying, but not going to divulge the details just yet… more on that next time!

Our original EOY goal was $704k, however, we are still pushing through on our decision to  start putting more money towards our mortgage vs fully funding post tax accounts. As a result, we are falling behind on our asset goal. That is ok, we are killing our debt goal already!

Our combined 529 balances (not counted above) remain stable, at $61,440, or an $870 gain from Q1, all from market gains.

Our total remaining debt, mortgage plus car loan, stands at $67.7k, or $24.9 less than end of Q1 – destroying our original EOY debt balance goal of $101.7k! We hope to be done with the mortgage payments by Jan 2019 (about $50k of total debt, approx $290k-$300k market value); let’s see how we go!

Expenses

Our goal remains to cut down from last year’s $75k to $70k this year.  We have been slowly lowering our costs for the past few years and it has been relatively easy until now.  Our new expense goal is still very doable (heck so high still compared to most people’s budgets I know!), however, we are starting to feel a little bit of the pain of having to make conscious choices more often to keep on track. All in all however we are still generally on track and think we can hit our expense goal.

With half of the year behind us, we have spent $34.2k, or about $5.7k per month; putting us on track for the $70k spent (inclusive of having to pay car and life insurance); details below.

 Category Budgeted YTD Avg Variance
Mortgage $1,400 $1,400 $0
Utilities/cell phone $500 $462 $38
Groceries $500 $500 $0
Restaurants $200 $125 $75
Personal /entertainment $570 $610 -$40
Gas/Car expenses $750 $635 $115
Medical expenses $480 $363 $117
Vacation/travel $580 $829 -$249
Kids $500 $480 $20
Pet $300 $247 $53
Other $50 $51 -$1
Total Monthly $5,830 $5,702 $128