Hello, my darlings. I hope you had a wonderful holiday. I have been the equivalent of a lazy sloth lately and have been putting everything off except for my staff writing commitments as I refuse to be unprofessional on those. We spent the holiday eating tons of good food and vegging out in front of the TV. It was awesome. I hope your holiday was just as wonderful and that you got everything you wanted. I got a bunch of gift cards that I have almost used up by now (seriously). The boyfriend got a brand new laptop which he has needed for about forever (as I may have broken his old one. Shhhh…don’t tell anyone). We did our yearly shopping trip for Toys for Tots but we nearly missed the deadline to donate the toys (or board games as this was the case this year). It was a good thing that the warehouse is right by our house or we would have ended up with this board game this year and not a needy child:
We are now approaching the start of a new year and I thought it would be good to go over my financial progress for the year. There has been so much that has been going on that it still boggles my mind. I wanted to go over the list of goals I made last year to see how I measured up so here goes:
1. Buy a new used car for myself and a truck for my boyfriend. HALF PASS.
We did buy a truck for my boyfriend. We were able to sell his beat up Lexus for almost $500 more than what we paid for which was beyond fantastic. I still have my old Camry which now has over 240,000 miles on it. Oh, yes. Let that be a lesson that with proper maintenance, your car may just last forever. Of course, we are going to have to replace it soon, but I am hoping it lasts at least another 6 months.
2. Get life term life insurance for both of us and also disability insurance for him. FAIL.
I admit this one was a complete fail but I did do some research on this. I even consulted with a few insurance agents but things got a little sidetracked with certain events this year. I am going to make this a priority in the new year as I recognize this is important.
3. Continue putting money away in my retirement account and start one for my boyfriend. HALF PASS.
I did put away money in my Roth IRA and I am close to having at least a couple of thousand dollars in there. My boyfriend’s retirement accounts remain terrible but he did get a new car this year so there is that. Once again, we need to make this a priority. Even a little bit now will make loads of a difference later.
4. Save at least $12,000 in emergency savings. PASS.
I am still adding up my blogger taxes for this year but it looks like we will have…(drum roll)…$14,000 at the end of the year. I am so happy about this. Now, I am going to be needing a new car soon and the house is going to need repairs when the tenants leave in the Spring. But for now, I am enjoying the fruits of all the hard work and frugality that was necessary to make this happen.
5. Start contributing monthly to charity. PASS.
We did start contributing monthly to the Somaly Mam Foundation. I don’t want to say how much we contribute but I am proud that we are finally doing this. Its a good feeling to know that we can contribute to charity. I think this is very important to give back if you can.
6. Start a diversified stock portfolio. FAIL.
I am just going to say I failed at this one. I did buy about $100 worth of stock on a whim but that doesn’t really count, I think. I need to get better with this. Luckily, there are a lot of great articles in the PF universe that help with this. I def. need to do more reading. I want to take $1,000 and start investing as soon as possible.
I would say overall that we did good for this year. There was def. room for improvement but thats to be expected. I am not a big fan of making New Year’s resolutions but I do like to have something to shoot towards.
GOALS FOR 2014
1. Get a decent life/disability insurance policy for myself and the boyfriend.
2. Save $20,000 in the savings account.
I would be the happiest little girl. Hell, you would see me doing cartwheels down the street. Now that would be an Instagram moment.
3. Get a new car for me.
Gotta get to work and even Toyotas don’t last forever. Am I right?
4. Continue growing this blog and increase earnings from it.
I plan on working on affiliate income and increasing exposure to this blog. I also want to work on getting more quality staff writing jobs. This year, I made much more than I ever thought I could from this blog. I am so thankful for all of this. I am still in disbelief that people pay me to write. I am in disbelief that people pay me to advertise. Once again, a big thank you to all my loyal readers. You are what makes this all possible.
I am working on making this blog as awesome as possible. I have big plans in the mix that I can’t share quite yet. Tonya from Budget and the Beach will continue staff writing. I recently hired someone to work on my SEO to increase traffic to my blog. I also have hired someone to submit my articles to blog carnivals in order to get more exposure for DATG. By the way, if you are looking for someone to do this for your blog, email me. I know a great guy who has done great work for me for a very reasonable price.
Lastly, I wanted to share something that I was debating talking about, but I know we have all dealt with it. I had some hateful comments left on one of my blog posts recently that attacked my writing and even my character as a blogger. I am talking about some real hateful speech that had nothing to do with anything, but it was said for no other conceivable reason but to be malicious. I won’t identify the person who said this but you know who you are. For all those hateful people out there who are jealous of the success of others or who take their anger out on others, I have this to say to you:
Have a great new year, everyone!!!