2014 was in many ways a pivotal year on my way to being financially independent. It has taken me over a decade to figure out, with many financial mistakes along the way. But in 2014 I switch from being a capital gains investor to a Dividend Growth Investor. Now that is not to say in 2014 I didn't make mistakes, investing in SeaDrill comes to mind. I didn't set my 2014 goals until May but I started the year with goals in the back of my mind. So lets dive into my original goals for 2014 and see where I ended up by the end of the year.
Goal 1: Save between $3500 and $4000 a month of my salary
Fail - From Jan 2014 to Dec 2014 I was able to add $39117 of new funds towards Dividend Companies. Overall this is a huge accomplishment for myself, but there are several reasons why I didn't hit my goal for total new funds.
- I do believe for my first year I was a little over zealous on what I could actually handle. Overall I probably only saved about $3000 a month from my salary and the rest came from existing savings.
- I took 4 huge vacations with my family. Most people only get the opportunity to take 1 vacation a year so I feel very fortunate that I was able to take 4. But this also took funds away from my dividend investments. I don't regret this at all making this choice at all.
- Some unexpected purchases came up. Both my wife's car and my car needed new tires which cost over $1000. Also, two of my four family businesses needed some extra funds while they go through their growing pains.
Goal 2: Have $40,000 invested in Dividend Paying Equities
Success - Not only to I meet this goal, I also updated the goal 3 more times throughout the year.
On 5-23-14 I updated my goal to be $50,000 by the end of 2014
On 8-15-14 I met my goal again and updated it to $60,000. And then yet again on 9-21-14 updated the goal to reflect $75,000. Even though I didn't quite make my last update goal I still view the overall goal as a huge success.
Goal 3: Have $2000 in future annualized dividends by the end of 2014
Success - Not only did I meet my original goal, I also updated it mid September to be 50% higher to $3000. I originally hit $3000 at the end of November but then Seadrill announced they they would be suspending their dividend. This was huge because I was taking in over $140 on an annualized basis. So with one month until the year of the year I dug in deep to really put some big capitol to work. Lucky I was able to use my larger than normal 401k deposit to put over $3000 to work into new companies. I also used some of my Christmas bonus for a total contribution of $5500 in the month of December. Not only was I able to meet my $3000 goal but I also exceeded it by $100. So in 1 year I went from only receiving a couple hundred dollars in annualized dividends to over $3000. I have to pat myself on the back!
Goal 4: Receive $1200 in dividends by the end of 2014
Success - In 2014, I received $1458.54 and exceeded my goal by over $200
Goal 5: Lose 20 pounds
Fail - My biggest issue with losing weight is that I love food. I love bread, pizza, ice cream, etc. My problem isn't a lack of working out, as I generally do that 4-6 times a week. I am generally pretty lazy when it comes to my eating habits. I don't take the necessary time to prepare a healthy meal for myself, I snack a lot, and make poor choices.
Goal 6: Be a kick ass dad and husband
Success - This one is generally hard to rate, but overall I believe that I was a great father. There is always room for improvement, but I would say that my biggest issue is that I am a workaholic. I have so many things that I work on at once(day job, family business, learning new skills, getting my own side business up and running with photography), sometimes that can take time away from spending it with my kids. I am not sure what my wife would say, but hopefully she would agree.
Goal 7: Pay off the balance of my car
Fail - I was so committed to meeting my goals with new capitol to dividend equities that I was not able to pay off the balance. I have about 2 months left. Once paid off, I will gain $500 more a month that I can allocate to the market or other things that my come up.
Goal 8: Build a Raised Vegetable bed
Partial Success - I was able to get it built but we didn't have much success growing anything. The Texas summer heat is just way too hot. I'd like to try at it again in the Spring.
Well there you have it. I was successful at 5 out of the 8 goals that I listed for 2014. Expect over the next 1-2 weeks a write up of my 2015 goals.
So how do you think I did with my 2014 goals? Were you successful at yours?