We are more than half-way in the year and so it’s time to take stock of how I’m doing towards meeting my goals for 2017. I will only focus on two of those goals: debt and income. Interestingly, the news is both good and bad. I’ve made some progress and I’ve had some setbacks. But goals are very important to have. And it’s perhaps even more important to have written goals. Stay engaged and focus on improving your financial situation. Once you’ve attained a goal, it may be prudent to set a new target. Also, don’t worry about not reaching your goals. As long as you’re working towards them and making progress, then everything else will fall into place. Well, without further delay, here goes:
First, the bad news. One of my goals was to finish paying off on one of my student loans by the end of July. I have fallen short of that goal. The good news here is that the student loan has a current balance of about $750. I do estimate that I should be able to pay it off by the end of August. This is because I’m about to make another payment to reduce the balance by $350. More importantly though, this is not the only student loan I have. I still have one remaining student loan and the balance on that is about $20k.
My other goal for 2017 was to begin paying down on that student loan. I wanted to contribute $2000 per month so I can get rid of the balance within a year. That $2000 figure was based on my previous income. Well, so much has changed within a few months. Although my job is still stable, my income has noticeably declined. I was expecting an income change, but I was hoping that there would be a slight increase. It’s still going to take until September for my income to stabilize. By that I mean that for the next several weeks, my income may go slightly up or down based on circumstances. But, by September, I should be getting the same amount every month for the next year. Then, I will have to reassess exactly what amount I can contribute towards this student loan.
For now, my plan is to get as close to the $2000 as possible, but I’ll be FAR off. I’ll be happy if I can even do $1000. Part of the reason why it’s tough is because my house hasn’t rented yet. But this is really the first month it’s been on the market. If my house gets rented, then that will give me some breathing room. Additionally, my housing expenses have gone down significantly so that will help tremendously. I am still going to TRY to keep this goal a priority, even if I can’t do the $2000. So, long story short, extra payments will be going to pay down this student loan. Those payments will be recorded on my debt tracker for accountability. For the record, extra payments mean any payment above and beyond my current levels of investing in my dividend portfolio.
Now for the good news. I’ve reached my 2017 goals of making $200 in projected annual dividends. I reached that goal in July 2017. I didn’t do anything special other than make my usual monthly contribution to my dividend portfolio. This is interesting because I started blogging and investing in 2016. My goal for all of 2016 was to reach $100 in annual dividend income. Well, I didn’t reach that goal last year. In fact, I reached the $100 mark in April 2017. So, in April, I created a new goal for 2017 to make $200 in dividend income. So, since I’ve now reached that goal, I intend on setting a new goal right now.
My new goal for 2017 is to make $700 in projected annual dividends. That is a huge increase from $200. But, this is how I came to that number. My portfolio is currently sitting at about $6k and the total projected annual dividends is about $200. I intend on adding $10k to my portfolio before the year’s end based on my $20k bonus from work. See my post on how to invest $20k for more details. Based on my rough math, that adds another $350-$400 in projected dividends. That leaves me with a difference of about $100-$150 in dividend income, which I plan to achieve by making regular contributions to my portfolio. I may not reach it. But, as Michelangelo once said, “the greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
So, there you have it. Some good news and some bad news. There is still a small chance that I will be able to meet both my debt goals and my new income goal for 2017. Time will tell. The main thing is that I am engaged and focus on improving my financial situation.
How are you coming along with your 2017 goals? Let me know in the comment section below.