In 2019 I’ve committed to NOT going overboard with my goals. In the past I’ve crafted extensive lists of goals and often experienced overwhelm and burnout as a result.
But not this year.
At the end of 2018 I proclaimed that my word for the year is ‘Enough’ and so far I’m doing a pretty good job of honoring that.
So I’ve kept it really, really simple and basic this year, and today I want to share my progress so far in the first quarter of 2019.
First Quarter Highlight:
Without a doubt the highlight of Q1 was being able to pay cash for my new’ used’ car!
I’ve had a complicated relationship with cars and car buying, but I was determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. So for the past 2.5 years I’ve been saving incrementally with the plan of eventually buying a car in cash, for the first time EVER.
It was a really great feeling!! I secretly miss my old car though… I had that car longer than I’ve had my oldest kid.
Q1 Goals Update (Money Goals):
Max Out Roth IRA (2018 contributions)
Because of a series of job changes in 2018 I didn’t have a ton of funds leftover to max out my Roth before the end of the calendar year. I had also made an intentional decision to travel more in 2018 because I had more time off due to the job changes.
The change in cash flow was expected but still jarring.
And for the first time in many years I wasn’t able to max out my Roth before the end of the calendar year.
By the end of 2018 I had only contributed $1,000 towards the $5,500 contribution max. And, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed in myself for not maxing out. Thankfully the deadline for 2018 Roth IRA contributions is April 15, 2019 so I had some time to play catch of up, which I did throughout January, February , and March. And on April 4th I added the last $1,500 that I needed to max out the Roth for 2018.
In Q2 I will begin focusing on 2019 Roth contributions. For 2019 the new annual contribution max is $6,000.
Year-long savings challenge:
At the end of 2018 I made the decision to challenge myself to a year-long savings challenge and save/invest $200 from every paycheck that I receive. By year end I should have $4,800.
In Q1 I accomplished that goal and put $200 per paycheck into my Vanguard account. As of now the plan is to use the money towards a future rental property down payment.
Lowering our Cell Phone Bill:
For the past couple of years our cell phone bill has gradually increased inch by inch. Most recently, we’ve been paying almost $160 per month for unlimited calls and text and 8GB of data, which my husband and I shared.
This past month we made the switch from Sprint to Tello and we are now saving $110 per month on our cell phone bill.
Whenever I think I can’t trim anything else from my budget I always come up with a new way.
If you’re looking for frugal inspiration check out the 31 Frugal Living Tips That Will Save You Thousands.
With cutting my schedule back to part-time at my regular job I now have more time to focus on FrugalChicLife, the business. But I also want to be careful not to get too crazy and obsessive about the business, which I have a tendency to do when I get focused on something. To avoid burning out, I set a goal of earning $1,500 to $2,000 dollars per month consistently from the business. This is a realistic goal that I know I can accomplish while only working on the business two days per week.
Thus far, for Q1 I have exceeded this income goal each month.
Sure I could earn more by taking on more sponsorship offers and speaking engagements but I want to honor my commitment to self-care and undoing years or workaholism.
If your curious, my business model consists of content creation (blogging and Youtube), money coaching (both one-on-one and group coaching), and courses/live workshops.
In 2019 my ‘word’ for my business is implementation. As an entrepreneur it can be extremely easy to get caught up in consuming information, forever reading and learning, but never actually doing. This year I am intentionally not taking many classes, attending lots of conferences, or hiring a coach because I know that I need to take time to implement the many strategies that I’ve already learned but failed to implement.
My main personal goal for 2019 is to increase my physical activity. I’ve always been a skinny girl, so weight isn’t the issue. But after 3 kids, I’m starting to feel my age a bit more acutely! I’m also pretty de-conditioned and cringe to think about what would happen if I had to jog a mile.
Since January I’ve been doing Pilates roughly two days per week (just some free videos on Youtube), walking on my treadmill at home, and lifting 10 lb. free weights. I’m already feeling better physically and have had more energy.
It’s also a goal of mine to eat more consistently. In the past I’ve had the bad habit of skipping meals when I get busy. And unlike many people who stress eat and gain weight, I tend to lose my appetite when stressed out and instead lose weight.
So on days when I’m working from home especially, I make sure to sit down and eat a solid breakfast before answering email or recording for my Youtube channel. And on ‘work outside of the home days’ I pack breakfast and lunch to eat at work.
My second personal goal is to get back to reading consistently as much as possible. I had fallen off for a little bit and wasn’t reading the way that I used to you back in a day. For the month of March and April I’m wrapping up three books, two finance related, and one just for fun.
Here are my current reads:
Since I commute 3 days per week, and on other days am driving my kids around to various lessons and extra-curriculars, I find it most convenient to ‘read’ audiobooks on the go. I currently use Audible, a monthly audiobook subscription to get the bulk of my reading done.
Travel is a perpetual goal of mine. I want to travel to all 50 US States eventually, but so far I’ve only traveled to about 1/3 of them. In June I’ll get a chance to check another one off the list. Eric and I will be traveling to Hawaii for our 15-year anniversary! We originally budgeted $6,000 for the trip but we found a great deal on Expedia for a 9-day trip to Kona, for about $3,700, not including food, but housing, flight, and rental car are included. In August we hope to take the kids on a road trip to hit a few more states, perhaps in New England. And in 2020 I have my heart set on visiting Alaska.
So that’s it for my Q1 goals wrap-up. Things have been going pretty well for me. I’m enjoying a more flexible work schedule and have been enjoying growing my business and finding new ways to save more money in my household budget.
Overall I give myself an A- for Q1.
I hope that your goals are going well also.
What grade would you give yourself for Q1?
What will you improve upon in Q2?
Until next time…Live well and be blessed!
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- 18 Must-Read Personal Finance Books
- The Beyond the Budget Planner is the best budget planner around, especially if you like to budget with pen and paper
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