2017 Goals Update

By | July 19, 2017

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.

12 thoughts on “2017 Goals Update

  1. My Dividend Dynasty

    Congrats on achieving your annual dividend goals! Sometimes we fall short on a few goals, but making progress in improving the situation is still better than nothing at all. I’m new to the DGI community. I should start drawing up a list of goals to work towards. So I guess my short-term goal is to draw up some goals for the remainder of the year.

    1. Dividend Portfolio Post author

      That’s awesome Dynasty. Welcome to the site and I hope you keep coming back. Also, welcome to the DGI community. You will find that it’s a pretty supportive community. I definitely support you drafting up goals, even if it’s for the short term, so you’ll have an idea where your headed and maybe how you’re going to get there.

    1. Dividend Portfolio Post author

      Appreciate it Lanny. The long run is still looking good. I just need to get over this short-run hurdle.

  2. Wallet Squirrel

    Good luck with paying off the student loan debt! I still have 64,000 in student loans, I can’t imagine that feeling of paying them off. =)

    Goals are good, I’m not very good about sticking with mine, Adam is a lot better.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Dividend Portfolio Post author

      Hey Andrew. Actually having goals is half the battle. Meeting you goals is the other half. Just keep at it. As long as your loans are moving in the right direction (down), you’re making progress.

  3. Stockles

    Concrats buddy! Just remember, you are young, so chasing dividend income is scary. Higher growth is better for us young people. The number you have given ($700) means you need to invest in more high yielders than growers. Not sure if that´s the smartest thing to do. Good luck!
    Stockles recently posted…Stock Analysis of H&MMy Profile

    1. Dividend Portfolio Post author

      Hey Stockles. I’m bad at math and so the $700 was a guesstimate. My intention was not to go for the more high yielding stocks per say. I’ve read they are risky. I was simply doing rough math. Kind of an extrapolation about where I think my portfolio is going to go based on the bonus I will receive and the current value of the portfolio. So, I plan on reaching that mark with the infusion of cash into the portfolio, and not necessarily the selection of higher yielding and risky stocks.

      Although I am not that young, I appreciate the compliment! I am definitely interested in growth, but mainly the growth of my dividends over time. It’s hard for me to purchase a stock that doesn’t pay dividends and just hold it in hopes that it goes up much higher in the future. I’m sure it can be done and it’s definitely a viable strategy. It might even be the better strategy, given my age. But, I’m still learning about investing and don’t feel comfortable investing in that strategy as of yet. If that’s not what you meant by growth, let me know. So, yea, I’m still focused on the dividend growth investment strategy as the primary emphasis for this dividend portfolio. For what it’s worth, I also want to do more with real estate, so all my eggs isn’t in one basket (namely dividend stocks).

      Always appreciate your comment Stockles.

      1. Stockles

        Ok. Got it =)

        No, that´s not what I ment by growth (as in growth stocks). I´m talking about the battle between dividend growth stocks and dividend stocks.

        The thing is that not only is a high yielder normally less safe because it has a higher payout ratio, it might yield less on cost in the long run, compared to high growth stocks.

        For example, let´s use HRL and SO as an example.
        HRL yields 1.8 % and has a 10 year CAGR at 15.30%
        SO yields 4.8% and has a 10 year CAGR at 3.50%

        In the beginning, SO will yield more than HRL, and you will get more income from SO.
        If you hold the positions for 20 years, the following will happen:
        Compounded return for SO will be 244.6% while Compounded return for HRL will be 297.8%
        In year 17, they will break even (meaning the same); and HRL will yield 7.1% in year 20, and SO yield 6.4%

        That´s the point about Dividend Growth. The differene between 1.8 and 4.8 might seem to big now.

        What about after 40 years?
        Total return on SO is 1500% and HRL 8000%.
        Yield is 7.3 % for SO, but 11.6 % for HRL!!
        Stockles recently posted…If You’re Asked to be a Guarantor, Look Before You LeapMy Profile

        1. Dividend Portfolio Post author

          Gotcha ya. I am drawn to stocks with higher yield and I’m aware of the point you just made (after a couple audio books I just listened to). It’s definately something I have to keep in mind when I add stocks to my portfolio. Thanks Stockles.

  4. Dividend Daze

    Great goals. Debt is for sure drains a lot of money so nice to see you chunking away at it. Paying that off is an investment in itself. Even though it doesn’t quite work this way, I like to think about it as the interest rate is your rate of return since you won’t have to pay that anymore once its gone. Puts more money back in your pocket to be able to invest in income generating assets like your dividend portfolio. Keep up the good work. Nice to see you staying focused and on track.
    Dividend Daze recently posted…The Impact of Rising Interest Rates on FinancesMy Profile

    1. Dividend Portfolio Post author

      Definitely not a bad way to think about debt Div Daze. I just can’t wait to get rid of it though.


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