2021 Money Goals: Mid-Year Review/Revise/Remove!

Hey there, happy people! How’re we all doing this morning?

This year is FLYING by. I just stumbled across a list of money goals I wrote down at the start of the year (I say “stumbled across” because I literally found them buried within a stack of messy papers on my desk — the WORST place to keep your goal list!). 

Anyway, despite my horrible organization skills, I’ve somehow managed to complete 6 ½ out of the 9 goals I wrote for 2021. Woohoo! Also, I’ve added a couple more cool things to my project list this year.

So, I’m doing a review/revise/reset of the goal list to finish out the remaining 3-4 months of this year…

***BTW — Although progress feels great, I can’t help but also feel a little wimpy for not setting loftier goals. The fact that I ticked off — and exceeded — most of my goals without even trying hard means perhaps I should strive for harder goals in the future. Maybe try some stuff that I know I will likely fail at? Perhaps some things that scare the shit out of me?… I could end up surprising myself.***

Here’s My Original Goal List for 2021

Some of these are money-related, some are more work/life stuff…

1) Fund Roth accounts ✅  Wife and I added $6k to each of our Roth IRAs in January.

2) Max out available 401k ✅  Before my 401k got discontinued in March, I did 100% salary contributions which was ~$10k.

3) Sell a rental property ✅✅  We actually sold 2 so far! (and have a 3rd listed rn!)

4) Build a donation machine ❌  Sad to say, I’ve made zero steps towards setting up a donor advised fund. More on this another time.

5) Continue the foster/adopt process ✅  As of May this year, my wife and I are fully approved resource parents for LA County DFS! We are in the looooong process now of being matched with kids.

6) Digital nomad-ing ✅  I’m trying to get better at working while traveling (not as easy or fun as it looks btw, albeit a very handy skill to build). I’ve taken trips to HI, NV, UT, WY, MT and Oaxaca, MX this year without missing a single work deadline.

7) Make $1k selling junk online ❌  Even though I’ve made ~$9k in side hustles this year, only $549 has come from online selling. Gotta step up my Craigslist game to meet my 1k goal!

8) Be a guest on 3 podcasts ✅   Crushed this one – I think I’m up to 7 guest recordings this year! (Latest one was Road To Wealth podcast, where we talk about pros/cons of FIRE as a Sales Rep)

9) Create a free beginners writing course ❌  I’ve got a basic outline for this but it’s more of a short presentation rather than a course of sorts. I’m also working on a 90 day writing challenge outline, but it’s not finished yet due to … procrastination.

Soooo… I’ll still be kicking away at these remaining ones. And in addition, I have a few projects I want to add this year.

Adding a Few More Goals for This Year

Here are a few things I’m working on or want to tackle before year end:

1) Create a Solo *Roth* 401k (and max it out!): I’ve actually started the paperwork process with TD Ameritrade for this… My main goal is to get more after-tax money into my Roth IRA. Since I’m getting paid as an independent contractor right now, I’m eligible to set up and administer my own 401k plan. The reason I’m interested in Roth contributions (vs. regular 401k) is because my wife and I are in a low income tax bracket this year and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to defer taxes. Also, with the sale of our rental properties, we have a lot of after-tax cash we can use for living expenses while we siphon our income into a 401k. More to come on this!

2) Investing our emergency fund: As of this writing, I’ve dumped $20k from our emergency cash into a total stock market index fund. (If you missed it, check out this post on dropping our emergency fund down to $0.00). We still have ~$10k in cash reserves to cover some cashflow logistics, but now that my wife is back earning regular income we could drop our account balance even lower. Also, we have a large separate emergency fund for our rental property I need to figure out what to do with.

3) Replace roof on our rental duplex: I’ve purposely delayed this replacement because we wanted to wait until hail season was over in Texas. But, now we are approaching hurricane season so maybe this will become a December project. Insurance is paying for this roof replacement so will only cost my deductible, which is ~$2,300.

4) Sell 2 x more rental properties: My partners and I are pretty set on getting rid of our remaining joint rental properties. And since the real estate market is doing crazy things right now in favor of sellers, we’re gonna fast track our selling plans. I’m not really looking forward to the selling process and negotiations, but am very excited to get rid of the ongoing management long term!

5) Build Kegerator 2.0!: Sad news, my kegerator died a few weeks ago. RIP Jeffrey. 

The fridge electronics blew out — probably because kitchen appliances aren’t meant to sit outside in extreme temperatures year round with beer being poured all over them. Anyway, now I have to figure out how to design and rebuild a new beer fridge without spending too much money (I still think brewing beer is cheaper than buying in the long run – and definitely cheaper for cider/seltzer drinks). 

So… That’s everything I’m up to between now and end of year. What do you guys have going on? How are your 2021 goals going?

Cheerio!

Joel

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6 Comments

  1. Financial Samurai September 10, 2021 at 1:49 AM

    I’m excited to hear you guys are fostering a kid! Keep us up-to-date on the process, as I think there are around 100,000 kids who need foster homes.

    I volunteered as a foster home big brother for a couple years and it was a great experience.

    Sam

    Oops, typo on previous comment. Pls delete

    Reply
    1. Joel September 10, 2021 at 9:02 AM

      Thanks Sam! Our social worker is trying to find us a sibling set right now that matches our criteria. It’s exciting, but i’m still shitting my pants a bit!

      Cool – Didn’t know you did the Big Brother/Big Sister program. I’ve applied here in LA but since the pandemic they’ve stopped their regular initiation events. Hopefully they’ll start it all back up soon.

      Reply
  2. Liz September 10, 2021 at 7:37 AM

    Great job on taking a look to revise some of the goals. At the beginning of the year there’s often so much we can’t predict, like your 401k going away. Thus the shift to open a solo 401k. I’ve had some goals that I was too ambitious when I set. Or work goals that really require other people or departments, that we had to list, but were partly beyond my control.
    I was so burnt out from work, I didn’t set specific goals, but stuck to some standards, like Roth contribution, 401k, HSA, and then I also moved some emergency cash to stocks.

    Wishing you all the best with the kegerator!!

    Reply
    1. Joel September 10, 2021 at 9:05 AM

      Nice work Liz. Even just doing the “standard” money ones puts you waaay ahead financially. Good stuff!

      Reply
  3. Olaf, the Mile High Finance Guy September 10, 2021 at 10:37 AM

    You beat me to the punch, I was going to ask you if you planned to open a Solo K! If you don’t do backdoor Roth conversions, you can also fund a SEP-IRA, but it will share the same $58,000 overall limit.

    Good luck with the adoption process, that is awesome to hear!

    Reply
    1. Joel September 10, 2021 at 11:07 AM

      Good to know. Yeah, I think solo Roth is the way to go, but I’ll probably wait on any contributions until the end of the year just to see what happens over the next few months. Happy Friday Olaf!

      Reply

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