Well, apparently this is my first update for this year’s goals. I’d completely forgotten that I hadn’t even officially written them down until March, so I suppose it make sense than my first check in is in July.

While I may not think about these goals daily, I do enjoy having somewhat of a framework to guide my year. I’ve learned that I personally do much better when I’m intentional with my goals (and time, and money…) so it’s worth writing them down and being accountable by publishing them here.

So let’s go back and dive into the goals I first shaped in January and then put down on paper in March, shall we? No pressure this year – the last year and a half has had pressure enough – but a gentle lookback is always helpful.

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Money Goals

1. Achieve a 50% savings rate for the year.

Through June, we are sitting at a 43% savings rate for the year, though that number is a bit disingenuous. We have ~$2,500 of sinking funds that were used (truck fixes) that I haven’t included in the monthly calculations but will be added in when I look at our overall picture of the year.

We’re both working 80% schedules – which means 80% pay – thanks to Covid and childcare needs, and that trade off has been 1000% worth it. Four days a week is infinitely better than five at work. We may save less for it, but we’re reaping the rewards of that now.

2. Max out my IRA again.

I maxed out my 2020 IRA before the deadline, but it’s been slow going with 2021 thus far. That reduced income – and my want of more cash these days – means that maxing out that account will likely take until next year’s deadline.

That’s perfectly okay though, in my book. I do have the cash savings to pull to max out if need be, but I prefer to squeeze out that money from elsewhere and preserve my cash. So far, my 2021 IRA has a paltry $510 in it.

Tracking with Personal Capital

It’s been more than three years since I initially downloaded Personal Capital and started actually tracking our net worth. While savings rate is still more important to me because it’s what we can actually control, there is something to be said for having a sense of your overall net worth.

I was unconvinced for a long time that I even needed to track our net worth, but I’m so glad that I finally set up an account where I could track it all. I especially appreciate being able to look at the graphs for individual area, like investment accounts and cash savings. 

We have a bunch of separate accounts, so it’s really nice to see them all in one place. I’m also working on growing our overall cash savings, and Personal Capital aggregates them all across four different banks, which makes things a lot simpler.

If you haven’t set up a way to track your net worth, I’d recommend Personal Capital for that purpose. If you use this link to sign up, you’ll also get a $20 Amazon gift card for doing so.

Life Goals

1. Continue with my clothes buying ban for as long as it makes sense.

So far so good. As I mentioned in a recent Frugal Five, a friend handed me down a bag of clothes, to include a number of lovely cardigans. (I’m wearing one of them today as I write this post)

At some point, I’ll not be able to keep up this ban forever and will need to supplement my clothing, but today is not that day. The longer I go, the less I feel the need to buy anything.

2. Hike 24 new trails, near or far.

We started off the year strong here, and our trip to Montana and Idaho meant we hiked a bunch of new trails. Since we got back two months ago, though, I don’t think we’ve hiked a single new trail.

We aren’t doing any overnights until the chickens are a bit older, but I think it’s time to be intentional and find some new to us hiking trails these upcoming weekends. Summer is harder though, because everything within a reasonable drive gets very busy.

Not a new trail, but still lovely.

3. Read 52 books.

Between listening to audiobooks in the car and while I work in the garden, plus our bedtime reads with the kiddo, I expect I’ll finish at least the 55 books I read the last two years as I’ve been tracking.

The number itself may not need to be a goal, but I really do enjoy writing down my reads and looking back at them at the end of the year. Most recently, I’ve been loving the Alanna books (and the other related series). The kiddo and I have started listening to them on audiobook too, and I’m so happy to have him love a story about an amazing young girl. Why is it that stories where the main character is a boy is for “everyone” but female protagonists are “just for girls”?

4. Get chickens.

Check. We’ve had the chickens for a month now and I’m in love. Seriously. Can I call myself a chicken lady yet? Because I’m pretty sure I’m there. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have noticed that my stories pretty much daily include the chicks.

We have a few months yet until they will start laying, but even now we are able to feed them scraps from the kitchen. While we compost everything already, most of it goes out to the street to be picked up and industrially composted. There’s something even better about knowing the food scraps we feed the chickens will turn into awesome compost that will then feed the garden.

I’ve had a big garden for a while now and do other “homesteady” things like canning and pickling and baking bread, but there’s something about having livestock that makes this whole urban homestead feel so much more legitimate in my brain. And I’m loving it.

Blogging Goals

1. Continue writing here at Tread Lightly Retire Early 2-3 days a week.

Make that 1-2 times a week, now that we’ve moved the Women’s Personal Finance Wednesday Roundup over to Women’s Personal Finance. Though that means I’m still writing the same number of posts each week, just splitting the places they get published now.

Other than that, I’m very happy not to have any other goals for Tread Lightly Retire Early this year. That said….. it literally just dawned on me that I hit four years of blogging over the weekend (July 10th). Apparently I’ve gone so low key here these days that the milestone completely slipped by me. But yay! Here to four years here at TLRE. I’m so glad I decided to take the plunge and start blogging.

2. Curate something magical at WomensPersonalFinance.org

I’d say we’ve done that for sure. I’m so, so lucky to have the perfect business partner in Regina, and so freaking lucky to get to do this women’s personal finance thing as a business these days. A business that makes money, supports women, teaches women, and pays women. Magical, indeed.

Four years on this blog. Thanks for following along, friends. I’m so glad you’re here on this journey with me.

9 thoughts on “2021 Goals: July Quarterly Update

  1. You may have addressed this in an earlier post, but if you are working an 80% schedule, do you still receive health insurance coverage and other benefits?

    1. I do! “Full time” for health insurance etc is considered 30 hours. Most places actually have that threshold 🙂

  2. The chickens are getting big! It has been so awesome to see WPF grow so much over the years. Great update!

  3. If you do not already have an account, you may enjoy setting up an account with Goodreads. Great way to track the books you have read and look back over the years.

  4. Hiking 24 new trails is such a good goal! How many have you actually done so far? I just started hiking more regularly about a year ago and at some point I plan to tally up how many new trails I’ve done in that time. I know I did 2 new ones in the past 3 weeks!

    1. I think like 10-12? I’ve done a terrrrrible job at keeping track. Oops.

  5. I love the Alanna series. I think my favorite series in that world is the Protector of the Small quartet. An “ordinary” non magical girl who persevers to achieve her goals ❤️

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