2017 Financial Goals Recap

2017 has come to a close.  The year has treated me well and I think creating goals to keep me on track helped me climb each mountain to reach the peak.  I had support from my wife, friends, and family, readers of the blog, and many others who I look to for inspiration.  Thank you for your support.

One of my favorite quotes, as I prepare to discuss my 2017 goal recap, is as follows:

” If you don’t know where you are today, you will never know where you are going.”

I mention this because I am a believer in keeping track of your income, expenses, and investments. Personally, I use Personal Capital to do all of the heavy lifting for me. Personal Capital acts as motivation for me as I see my net worth increase or a gentle reminder of my asset allocation and where they recommend I put my investments.  I get fancy graphs, top-notch technology-driven data, and a clear picture of where I am at today, where I was in the past, and projecting my future.  Sounds like an infomercial I know, but seriously I use Personal Capital as my primary source in tracking the overall picture of our finances.  I recommend signing up because the whole thing is FREE and I believe once you get all of your financial data into one place to see how it works and what it looks like, you will be impressed.  I now bring to you my 2017 Financial Goals Recap.

Financial Independence Unicorn

2017 Goal Recap Presented by the Financial Independence Unicorn

Max Out Mr. and Mrs. Even Steven 401K, H.S.A.Success! I am happy to report that we both hit the max or $18,000 goal in the 4th quarter of 2017 for a total of $36,000 of tax-deferred contributions.  Our last paychecks will hit the limit for our H.S.A. of $6,750 (.02 short actually, I literally despise even mentioning this fact since I have no control of it to my knowledge).

Our contributions are heavily placed in index funds with a small amount in bonds and company stock, this goes for our 401K and H.S.A.  It is nice hitting our 401K goal a little early since our paychecks get much bigger for the rest of the year.

Max Out Mr. and Mrs. Even Steven Roth IRA for 2016 and 2017 contributions-Fail Now, Success Later?!  Closing out 2017 we have contributed exactly $0 to our Roth IRA, similar to 2016 we will be waiting until the early part of 2018 to add the applicable $11,000 or $5,500 each.  Most likely in late February or early March when our bonus and any tax refund will come our way.  I personally don’t love our current strategy the last 2 years and I will change that in 2018 to make it automatic.  Starting in January we will have the $458.33 taken out on a monthly basis.

Eliminate PMI on our Chicago PropertySuccess, sort of!  The success is the PMI has been eliminated.  The $200+ has finally stopped in the 5th year of owning the home, as we hit the lender mandatory 78% LTV with our 203K loan.  That is the good news.

In 2017 we had some unexpected property damage and needed repairs.  This also led to taking the opportunity to remodel much of the unit we currently reside in.  We had considered trying to cash flow the entire amount, but it would have just been too difficult and in the end, the numbers did not work.  So we now have a HELOC on the Chicago property that has a balance of  23K, but some of this money, approximately 16K, was used to pay down the Chicago property, thus eliminating the PMI.  One way to look at it is we currently have 7K left from the damage, repairs, and remodel.  Either we eliminated the PMI, but currently have 23K in a HELOC that I would rather not have, look for this to be a 2018 goal!

Build a Cash Reserve for a Down Payment on a HouseSuccess!  The goal we set was to reach our mystery savings number has been reached and is currently sitting in a Vanguard money market earning about 0.71%.  I am excited that we were able to put this large amount of money aside in one year.  Depending on the final number of savings, which is above our original goal, we may decide to take some of the savings and apply them to our 2017 Roth IRA contributions.

Build a Personal Taxable Investment Portfolio in the 5 Figures-Success!  It’s been fun to send money over to my brokerage account each month and buy individual stocks (YES, I am a believer in index fund investing).  I was able to reach the 5 figure mark with help from Mr. Market, as many of us were this year.  I am proud to announce I am officially a Berkshire Hathaway stockholder which makes me smile having some of the smartest investing minds on the planet deciding what companies to invest in.

I was able hit the 5 figure mark by saving monthly, using my extra paychecks (26 paychecks-24 paychecks), bonus, and increase in paycheck after my 401K limit was reached.  It’s been fun and I hope to continue this in 2018 with a new goal.

Summary

Max out tax-deferred accounts, eliminate PMI, create a large cash reserve, and go from $0 to 5 figures in my personal taxable accounts.  I suppose if I had just written that on Twitter, but since I like being long-winded and sharing all the fun details I came to Even Steven Money.

In 2017 we have reached many if not all (I’m looking at you ROTH IRA!) of our financial goals.  The year was filled with extra spending and we were still able to battle through “adversity” and reach our goals, which makes me happy.  2017 was geared towards flexibility as we lowered our expenses with PMI (despite adding a HELOC payment) and added a much larger cash reserve so our options in 2018 are not limited by the 9-5.

It’s going to be an interesting 2018, but for now, thank you to all who were able to read the very few articles I clicked publish.  I have gotten away from spreading myself thin on different projects, side hustles, writing, social media, that took away from some of the things I realized was much more important to me. Thanks for reading and I wish you and yours the best in 2018!!!

 

 

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