Zero Day Finance 2018 Goals
At the beginning of every year, I set goals for myself to achieve. This keeps me focused, and lets me evaluate how well I did. At the beginning of 2017, I set several goals and as usual, achieve some of them while completely failed others. I’m only human, and I do as much as I can. Let’s see how I did in 2017, and set the stage for my 2018 goals.
- Write 2 blog posts a week: FAIL! I wrote a total of 89 blog posts, but my goal was 104. Close, but no cigar!
- Floss every night: FAIL! Thing is, apparently flossing doesn’t improve dental health very much, but I’m no Dentist
- Save at least $1,000 a month, every month: PASS! I averaged saving $4,781 per month
- Max out my 401k: PASS! I contributed $17,996 to my 401k
- Max out my IRA: PASS! I contributed $5,500 to my Roth IRA
- Achieve a 56% savings rate: PASS! My savings rate was 61.57%
- Lose 20 pounds: FAIL! Don’t want to weigh myself, I’m probably still near 200 pounds
- Achieve 22 zero days in a single month: PASS! I had 22 zero days in October, but averaged 15.5/month during the year
- $170,000 year-end net worth: PASS! NW ~ $181,000 on December 31st
Phew, I actually did pretty well. I apparently ignored those “easy” goals and went straight for the tough ones. For 2017, the most important things for me were financial goals, and I did extremely well with those. Unfortunately, finances aren’t everything. I need to prioritize non-financial goals so I get the most out of my life.
All in all, I can be proud of 2017, but I need to re-assess and figure out what I want to do next year. I want to simplify my goals to include those which are most important, so here we go.
1. Marry Zero Day Fiancée
Zero Day Fiancée and I have been engaged for the past 16 months, and we’re getting married in 2018! We are going to the courthouse to tie the knot in a week or so, and then married later in the Spring. This lets me put her on my health insurance, and pay fewer taxes now so we don’t have a big refund.
2. Hit $280,000 Net Worth
I upped my 2017 net worth goal several times ($155,000, $165,000, $170,000). Considering that I’m combining finances with Zero Day Fianceée, I’m fine setting an aggressive goal. We’ll need to add $80,000 to our net worth and have a 10% market gain to achieve this. I still think this is reasonable, but let’s see how it goes.
3. Get into Wedding Shape
I seriously need to lose some weight. I barely fit into my ski pants (I could pop the button open by flexing my stomach). Right now, I’m 200 pounds at 5’11”. No, I’m not huge, I still have the quads and neck of an offensive linemen. I would be very happy to hit 185-190 pounds by my wedding in late spring. My goal weight for the end of 2018 is 180 pounds. I’ve got this!
4. Consistently Donate to 10 Charities / Organizations
I’ve been extremely fortunate to have a relatively easy and successful life so far. I am going to start giving back to society in a more organized way. I am choosing 10 charities and organizations, and will donate $20 to each every month. This is my list so far:
- Planned Parenthood
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- Planetary Society
I’m letting my fiancée choose the 5 other organizations.
5. Grow Zero Day Finance
2017 saw significant growth of Zero Day Finance. I had about 47,000 total page views, was featured on CNBC, Yahoo Finance!, YNAB, AARP, and others. I had at least 30 or 40 people try out the Zero Day Challenge as well. I want to grow how many people I can positively influence.
- 100,000 page views in 2018
- Featured in 6 major publications
- 10 stories of people who saved money using the Zero Day Challenge
Let’s Do It
Now that I have these goals, its time to figure out how to do them. Getting married should be easy, I’ve already got all the documentation that I need. To hit our net worth goals, we’ll need to do a very good job making a much money as possible, and cutting expenses. We are both getting on a wedding workout plan to try and get healthier. Donating to these charities will cost about $2,400 in total, and that is on autopilot. Finally, growing Zero Day Finance is a crap shoot.
On one hand, I might get featured and become Internet famous! Probably not, but I would rather set goals that I struggle to achieve and fail, then easily accomplish.
At the end of the day, goals are just goals. I won’t know what happens tomorrow, let alone next December. Von Moltke got it right when he said “no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.” I can do all the prep that I want, but life will do what it does best.
Do you have goals for 2018? What is important to you? It’s never too late to create goals to help achieve your dreams.