With everything going on these days, hitting the goals I laid out in the spring doesn’t feel like that important of a thing. But I’ve learned from four and a half years of blogging that the accountability piece of setting and writing down goals (and then sharing them publicly here) has been huge for making them happen.
Since I began writing this blog, our net worth has doubled. While a lot of that does have to do with bananas stock and real estate markets, we’ve also consistently saved a good portion of our incomes, which has boosted that increase even more. I have to admit, our net worth feels like a whole lot of Monopoly money these days, but I am proud of the hard work we’ve put in to get here on top of the luck.
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1. Achieve a 50% savings rate for the year.
Hahahaha. Nope. Though as I shared in the PrepperFI Facebook group this past week, I am so thankful for our pursuit of FI and our regularly high savings rate. This summer was expensive, and with the cost of food and other goods continuing to skyrocket, our savings rate is definitely smaller than previous years.
I’m not sure we will even hit 40% this year – but maybe. We’re still paying down our mortgage (still paying the higher amount that we had fo pre refi last fall). Money is still going to our IRAs and our real estate equity funds. But for now, there’s not a lot extra for “other” savings.
2. Max out my IRA again.
Someday I’ll max mine out by December instead of the deadline in the spring. This will not be that year. Per my comments above, things have been expensive lately, so not as much has been going to my IRA. No matter what though, I will max it out by the deadline, as I have the previous three years. We may not know what the future holds, but it seems a good guess that having more money to access when we’re older, the better.
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.
1. Continue with my clothes buying ban for as long as it makes sense.
When someone asked a couple months ago how long I was going to keep this up, I half jokingly replied “when the United States decarbonizes.”
Honestly, though, I think that might be where I’m at here. With hand me downs and occasional gifts, I think I’m okay for the foreseeable future. And when I look at climate change and our uncertain future, not buying clothes seems like a good statement to make. We’re in an emergency. Let’s treat it like one.
2. Hike 24 new trails, near or far.
I have completely dropped the ball on this one. We also haven’t traveled anywhere since we went on our Montana trip in early May. Between the chickens when they were smaller and the Delta variant, going new places just wasn’t on our agenda through the summer.
There are still so many hikes within an hour of us that we haven’t explored yet though, so not traveling isn’t a good reason for this not to have happened. A new to us hike would do us good, so I’m committing to making at least one happen before the end of the month.
3. Read 52 books.
Current count is at 44 so far for the year. I have literally only read two non fiction books though, so I’d like to up that count by at least a few by the end of the year. If you have suggestions of favorites, let me know, and I’ll add them to my list.
4. Get chickens.
Check. And obsess over them. Check.
Honestly though, the chickens have been the highlight of 2021 for sure. The only thing I wonder now is why it took me so long to get them. They really aren’t that much work, we get eggs and garden fertilizer out of them, and they are so much fun to hang out with. I’ve definitely become a chicken evangelist, and I’m okay with that.
1. Continue writing here at Tread Lightly Retire Early 2-3 days a week.
Again, this has been adjusted to 1-2 days a week ever since my Wednesday roundups transitioned over to Women’s Personal Finance. (A good reminder to check them out there every week!)
Other than that, I am committed to writing my Frugal Five weekly with a peppering of the occasional Monday post, like today. Lower requirements of myself for this blog this year has definitely been the right call.
2. Curate something magical at WomensPersonalFinance.org
I’d say we’re onto something here. And we were recognized for that magic with our Plutus Awards win as Best Financial Content for Women. Even now, I’m pinching myself that we actually won. WPF is magic, and getting to have the best business partner ever in Regina is magic. I suppose it’s not just the chickens that have been pretty great for 2021.
Did you set goals for 2021? Are you still working toward them now? Just surviving is also a fair goal these Covid days too.