Mid-Year Check In

How time flies! I can't believe the year is already half over. Seems like just yesterday the weather started to warm up. Now it's almost too hot and humid to function normally outside!

At the beginning of the year, I declared 2017 to be the “Year of Caring“.

Based on the goals I listed in that post…… yeah it could be going better but I could also be doing a lot worse!

Caring for others

  • I think I've done a pretty good job at helping others out this year. Reviewing articles, being a sounding board for various life decisions, and volunteering to help a friend swap out their toilet comes to mind!

Caring for me

  • February will be a Whole30 month: This did not happen. Living with someone not doing the same eating plan would've been too difficult, and I was working on house stuff. Maybe some time in the next 6 months (I highly doubt it though.) One thing I can say is I have been working on eating healthier. Cutting out a lot of soda and alcohol, drinking more water, and eating more meals rather than snacking all day.
  • Run a 5k this summer: Nope. I was gone or didn't like the routes for the 5k's in my area. There is one coming up this fall that sounds fun though! It's the day after I get back from Ecuador, so we'll see if I can make it happen. Training for a 5k in the highlands of Ecuador would certainly prep me for running in the lowlands of the Midwest!
  • Go to the chiropractor once a quarter, and massage therapist once a month: Nope. I really should do this though considering the amount of stress in my life with the house and tenant drama. I mostly haven't done this because I don't know where to go for someone good in town. There are no shortages of either in my area though, so I really should just bite the bullet and experiment until I find someone I like.
  • Take the stairs when possible: Passable. I certainly take the stairs more now than I did at my last job, but I could still be better. 

Care more about the big picture

I'm happy to say that even if I'm still not the best steward of my time, at least I'm being cognizant of the fact now. I still go home and take too many naps after work, but I'm getting better at not napping and just going to bed earlier. I've also deleted a number of apps off my phone that were proving distracting. Although now I can definitely say I'm not going to be wasting time thumbing through dating apps! Yay!

I have been making an effort to spend more time reading non-fiction books. I'm in the middle of reading two books at the moment (both lent from the library!) and I can already tell they are going to change my entire world.

The first book I'm reading is The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss. I never really ‘got' the hype around this guy but now that I've started the book, HOLY CRAP is it good! Why didn't I read this 6 years ago!?

The other book I'm reading is The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It's a little woo-woo so far, but the overall message is great and it offers helpful tips on overcoming procrastination to actually get stuff done. I'm looking forward to applying the lessons in the book to the second half of the year!

Care less about money

I'm doing a great job about not obsessing over my spreadsheets and other financials this year! I update the spreadsheet on the first of the month and check in with Mint every once in awhile.  This allows me to adjust my spending for the month and make sure no one category is getting too out of whack.

I did have some concrete money goals though so let's see how I'm doing there:

    • Spend under $30k: Errrrrrrr……… this is probably not going to happen. I naively thought my bills would go down once I bought a house because I wasn't spending money on rent. HA! Let's all have a moment of silence for that innocent thought. My bills have done nothing but go up since I bought the house. So far this year, Mint says I've spent $28,756.64.

      Yep. Barely halfway through the year and I've almost spent more than my goal for the entire year.
      #feelsbadmanCheck it out:
      As you can see, housing takes up over half of my spending. I'm pretty content with my other spending categories bar one- fees. I've been nailed for almost $700 in fees alone this year. The vast majority of them are associated with moving money between investment accounts. Doesn't make it feel any better. Those $25 late fees here and there really start to add up after a while.

      So I'm going to add in a sub goal here: no more fees. The less money I pay in “stupid tax” for the rest of the year,
      the better!

    • Hit $200k net worth. As of July 1st, my net worth sits at $156,000. This means I have $44,000 to go. I'm not sure I'll be able to hit $200k, but I'm going to do my best to get there! It's aggressive for sure, so it's ok if I don't quite make it. My original projections had me hitting $165k by the end of the year which I will easily beat.


  • Earn over $100,000. So far this year I have made $46,879. I will make an estimated $40,000 for the rest of the year, which will equal $87,000 in earned income for the year. This is not including my bonus, which is variable, and totally not guaranteed so I can't count on it and therefore exclude it from the total.TOTALLY NOT SHABBY.

    But….. also, unless I realllllllly start to increase a side hustle, I will not make my goal of $100,000 income this year. I was anticipating bringing in a second rental house this fall and I don't think I will be able to do that with all the repairs Rental #1 has and will require.  It just goes to show even the best laid plans don't always work out like we'd like them to.

Mew's 2017 goal is to be as floofy as possible. #crushinit

In conclusion, things are going merely ok for me this year. I'm not failing miserably at any goal. Heck in some other areas in life I'm crushing it! I'm not sure I'll be able to meet any goal I set in January, but that's ok.

Life changes.

We adapt our goals, and move forward!

Thanks for reading! How are your goals for 2017 going? Any massive wins to celebrate? 

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40 thoughts on “Mid-Year Check In

  1. I definitely wouldn’t say things are “merely ok!” Many of your goals are what others would consider “stretch” goals. You set a high bar for yourself, which (I think) is good, and you are making great progress, both personally and financially.

    As far as spending, at least it won’t be as high in the future. There are a lot of up front costs for the house. I wouldn’t go as far as to say every dollar you spend for the house is an investment, but they are necessary to ensure that the house is as good of an investment as you can make it.

    • I certainly hope there won’t be any more high expenses in the future! My plans are already messed up as it is!

  2. Hey!

    You’ve been doing great! You may have not made your goals 100% of the way you planned them, but as you said life does happen! Your expenses went up with the housing, but it’s been a massive learning and growing experience for you! I imagine those will go down, you’re just in the “fix all the things!” phase right now 😀

    Diet can be very tricky, I recently just started eating better and to do so I found a local guy who does meal prep for you and delivers the meals every Sunday. “Fancypants” as the big MMM would say? Yes, but it makes my big picture goal much closer and those goals and the freedom to obtain them is one of the big reasons we strive for FI! I’d look and see if there’s anyone doing this in your area.

    Keep kicking butt and taking names like you always do Gwen!

    P.S. Floof is crushing those goals! #Flooflyfe

  3. One of the things I really enjoy about your blog is that you are unflinching. If you don’t quite hit the mark you set for yourself, you mark it and move on. That skill alone will always move you forward. Be willing to admit when you didn’t quite do as well as you’d hoped, and keep on moving. Well done, Gwen.

    I too am reading the Pressfield book and am finding it interesting. My wife is an aspiring writer and I’m hoping to get her to read it too. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it. On Tim Ferriss, I listen to some of his podcasts, and they are very interesting. If you have not yet, listen to his discussion with Mr. Money Mustache. Good Stuff.


    • Thanks Oldster! I said I’d always been keeping it real around here and so I’m glad that’s apparent!

      I haven’t listened to the podcast yet but it’s on my list!

  4. It’s difficult to put a number on it but the learning that you’ve had over the first half of this year will be so valuable going forward. Especially since you plan on buying more rental properties!

  5. So far you have survived 100% of your worst days. You’re doing great! 🙂

    Life can throw you a curve ball sometimes. Just go with it. Squiggles on a spreadsheet wiggle all over the place week to week, month to month, and year to year. The ability to enjoy good health, good food, good water, and good sleep in a safe bed are darn near priceless.

  6. Keep plugging away. You’ve made progress on some of your goals and where you stand on others.

    It’s great you are tracking your progress as well. Do not get discouraged if you do not hit $100k income or $200k. The fact that you are working towards those goals is great. If you fail to meet then, at least you failed upward and improved your situation from where you were a year ago.

    Keep fighting. Keep grinding.

    • I like the term failed upward! It’s true that I will definitely end the year better than I started… even if I don’t meet those ambitious goals. Thanks GoF!

  7. Good job on the goals!! Keep it up! The beauty of a stretch goal, is even if you don’t hit it, you’re way better off than you were.

    As for the 5k, I will gladly run one with you one morning in Ibarra. Just let me know. It might be tougher at elevation, but you’re young. It’s good for you and there is no better way to see a new place than by foot! Maybe even the Mrs, will join us, she takes more convincing! I’ve done the hike they have us going on, and a 10+ mile hike at about 12K ft is no joke!!!

    Give me a heads up so we can bring some running shoes.

    Regardless, Good job!

    • Probably won’t be doing the run on the same day as that hike! yikes! But yes, please come run with me! Bring some shoes!

  8. $30k in 6 months with $15k+ in home is pretty awesome – considering that’s your residence + an investment property (I think?). The 50% on home seems like a lot, but if you deduct earnings from rent, does that bring it down a notable amount?

    • It is both my residence and investment property, for now. The residence part will hopefully change in a few months! I’ve only made ~$4400 from rent so far this year, so it’s not that notable yet. I haven’t been collecting rent for very long!

  9. Grit it out. Suck it up. Tough it out. Be the best you can.

    Murphy was an optimist. Expect the worst that can possibly happen Will Happen and then say, “suck it Murphy” when the worst is futile it hits your superior preparation for it.

  10. I had a list of goals I put together in January and I don’t think I have even come close to most of them. Oh well! But one goal was to go to Chautauqua and that is totally happening (and we are getting so close too). Looks like Mr.Wow has started a running group while down there. As long as there is promise of brownies afterwards I will do it!

    • And obviously that’s the most important goal since you get to hang out with me for a whole week!!!!!! I say bring your running shoes but I can’t guarantee brownies….

  11. What about spirituality? I mean it’s great to have financial goals and goals caring for others, but we all know none of us are guaranteed the next decade, the next year, or even tomorrow. How does spirituality play a role?

    • It…. doesn’t? All I try to do in life is to live each day to the fullest to have the best life possible. If I dropped dead tomorrow, I would be content with how my life went.

  12. Hey, FYI, a lot of brokerages (cough I worked for one cough) will refund fees you spent at another brokerage to move your money. It was quite normal to credit someone $75 when they moved an IRA to us because that was $otherbroker’s fee.

  13. I hope you are staying cool – did you get A/C???!!! You are doing great, even if things aren’t going exactly how you had them mapped out (I can relate right now). I love how you are taking things in stride and remembering that even if you don’t reach those goals, you’re still doing amazing!

  14. Can you explain what makes you like The 4-hour Body so much? From what I’ve looked at in the last 5 minutes it totally seems like a “shortcut” type of book, which makes me extremely skeptical.

    • It’s got tons of actionable tips in it. Anything he put in the book he did tons of research on. He’s certainly not the only one claiming these things!

  15. Don’t give up on the chiropractor/massage goal. I’ve suffered from back pain (old high school football injury – no, I’m not Al Bundy…it really happened). My chiro was charging me $45/visit for adjustments, but it started to pay off as I felt more productive minus the back pain.

    Hang in there – you are doing great this year!
    Jason@Debt Reckoning recently posted…Why a 30 Year Mortgage is BetterMy Profile

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