Happy New Year!
I love the feel of starting a new year. It’s brimming with anticipation; for a short time, anything is possible and I get excited thinking about what’s to come in the months ahead. And if I’m being really honest, I mentally cross off another year on our goal towards financial independence. 😉
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
As I’ve said many times before, we have a goal that at some point in 2021 we will either be partially retired or fully retired. But reaching this goal takes focused effort, of course.
Fortunately, as time has passed, we’ve become better and better at striking that perfect balance; putting away more than half of our income while still spending just enough in a few key areas that we never feel deprived. In fact, there are times when we feel downright indulgent. We travel, eat quality food, and frequently enjoy fine wine and good coffee.
And if I may, I’d like to take a moment to congratulate some dear friends of ours, the 1500’s, who blog over at 1500Days.com. Like us, they are striving towards early retirement, and they have a personal goal of reaching the $1,000,000 mark by February 2017. But, they reached their goal early…on November 26th of this year! Their investments reached $1,000,000! I’m so excited for them. (And check out their blog when you can…they’re endlessly entertaining.)
And while we’re quite a ways off from $1 Million ourselves, at the end of every quarter we always check to see how things measured up. Our goal for the end of 2014 was $174,153. Here’s our milestone benchmark grid again…
Did we meet our goal…?
You can’t tell from the results above, but 4Q 2014 was actually a little different than usual for us. We bought a used car for $15,000 so that dropped our balance a bit, and the stock market still didn’t do quite as well as we’d hoped, so we would have been behind the mark this quarter. But…Randy received that unexpected lump sum payout of his pension which made up for it and then some. So thanks to that unexpected windfall, we still made our 2014 benchmark! Yeah, baby!
(We also track our Net Worth as well…we went from $269,888 at the end of last quarter, to $318,683!)
If you’ll let me get sappy for a moment, can I admit that I can’t stop looking at this number?
It wasn’t that long ago, February of this year actually, that we were celebrating our portfolio reaching $100,000 in investments. At the time, a benchmark of $174,000 by the end of this year just seemed near impossible. But here we are. Slowly…month by month…our portfolio balance went up.
And if I go back in time just a bit further, it was April of 2013 that we became officially debt-free. To see where we are now is mind-blowing. We’re debt-free, have money in the bank and are in the process of buying a business. I have a feeling that 2015 is going to be our best year yet.
What are your financial goals for 2015?
And what changes will you make to get there?
(Wouldn’t it be awesome to look back and say that 2015 was the year when everything…changed?)