Yesterday I broke down the 2014 goals for HBS. Today I’m going to break down my personal goals for 2014.
(This was right before I started a climb with some friends in New Hampshire…see mom, I do wear my helmet!)
1) Finish wood stove room – Well, this item has been hanging around my ‘to do’ list for a LONG time. We were set to begin work tearing apart my 2nd floor, but right before I was going to put a hammer through the wall, my wife asked if I would consider finishing some of the ‘open’ projects on my list. I agreed. My goal is to complete this project myself (while still having it look nice). I admit, I will miss the foam stalactites hanging from my ceiling.
2) Get master bedroom finished to the drywall – I want to get the 2nd floor mostly finished this year. Combined with the wood stove room, the completion of the 2nd floor would give me a sense of accomplishment with my house.
3) Enter, run and finish a marathon – I’ve had this goal for a while, but something has always come up which either prevented me from running or simply didn’t allow me from running (which is pretty much the same as preventing me from running…). Well, this year is different. I actually wanted to compete in an ultra-marathon (on trails), but decided it would be a better next step to try 26.2 miles rather than 30+ miles.
4) Bike to work 160 days this year – I admit, I fell off the bike-to-work band wagon five or six (or more) years ago. It’s a long story, but basically, one car’s engine exploded, so we purchased a second car. My parents were more than generous to offer to fix the bad-engine-car, so we fixed that car and had two cars, so why bike to work anymore? Now we’re back down to one car. Today, I just put a lot of money into the car for new spark plugs, wheel bearings and break pads. To top it all off, the car was out of gas, so I had to put $50 into her. That’s all to get me back and forth from work. Following in Mr. Money Mustache’s footsteps, I’ve decided to start biking to work. I will need to invest in some good lights for the bike, but I estimate I can save between $750 and $1,000 by biking to work (gas money only; wear and tear would be extra savings).
5) Increase passive cash flow to $500/month, excluding real estate investment – This is basically my dividend income. I currently earn almost $80/year in dividend income. Every month, I invest approximately $85 in dividend paying stocks. With the new year, I will be increasing this monthly investment by almost $200, to a total of $260 per month. I have found that if I start this, there is pain for a few months until I adjust to the ‘lost’ income, but after a while, I look at my portfolio and think “Holy Cow, look at that! I didn’t even feel the loss!” Again, this is forward looking, meaning that the $500 won’t show up on my tax returns for 2014, but rather for 2015.
6) Invest a minimum of $100/month into my daughter’s stock account – Around the end of the year, Sharebuilder.com fired out an email that offered to give $50 to any custodial accounts that were funded or made a trade by Jan 15th. I’ve wanted to open a custodial account for my daughter for a while, so this $50 was just the push I needed. My wife and I had been ‘setting aside’ $100/month in our savings account, only we would raid the account when we needed the cash. Well, I decided the money is better invested for my daughter, so I closed the savings account (used the remaining $42.66 to buy a year’s supply of TP) and now I direct our $100/month towards my daughter’s account. Any extra money she gets (at least for now) goes into that account to be invested.
7) Repay my daughter what we owe her – We had a 40+ year old roof on my house when I was finishing my daughter’s room. When I was working on the room, there were a few days I went up stairs and found liquid on the floor. I just thought that one of our animals had had an accident, so I cleaned up the ‘mess’. That was a great way to deal with it…until one day, when it was raining and I was working in the room and….DRIP…on the end of my nose (yes, think Tom Hanks in “The Money Pit”). I thought what the HECK was that? That’s when I saw the leak. My 40+ year old roof finally decided to give up the ghost. I had a friend come over and tear the entire roof off and put a new roof on. A totally unexpected expense. We had to raid my daughter’s college savings for the roof (but it kept her room dry!). So, we figured a 16% return on her money wasn’t too bad, so we’ll be paying that back this year.
8) Invest all unplanned or ‘windfall’ income this year – Last year, because of the rental properties, I got a sizable tax return. I should get a reasonably good return this year as well (I’ve since adjusted my W-2 so that I’m not giving the government any of my money throughout the year. Let them take my depreciation at the end of the year!). At work, we are supposed to get a bonus this year. Rather than pay for day-to-day expenses, all of that money will be invested, either in dividend paying stocks (to meet Goal #5 or #6) or in HBS.