With 2011 behind us I wanted to take a moment to review my goals I set forth for the previous year and see how I did. I’m pleased to say that for the four goals I set out to attain at the beginning of last year I achieved all of them! They were pretty challenging, and to be honest I didn’t think I’d achieve them all. I was determined and worked hard and because of that I can look back and proudly say that 2011 was a huge success.
My first goal for 2011 was to earn $1,200 in dividends during the calender year. This was actually a pretty challenging goal for myself, seeing as how I only attained $269 in dividends in 2010. I knew that I’d have to stay committed to investing in quality companies at attractive valuations every single month and that I’d have to be pretty aggressive with my capital commitments. I’m proud to say that I achieved this goal by receiving a grand total of $1,202.06 during the course of last year! I beat my goal by $2.06. Pretty tight forecasting, but I was actually doubtful I’d achieve this goal as 2011 was drawing to a close. You can view my dividend history here.
My second goal for 2011 was to reduce expenses by $150 per month by the end of the year. I easily did this, and actually reduced my expenses much further. I achieved this goal by selling my car, cutting my cell phone bill, moving to a cheaper apartment, cutting my food expenses and budgeting my income and expenditures. This was probably the easiest goal of the four and I attained this goal quite early in the year.
My third goal for last year was to get rid of and/or pay off my car by the end of 2011. I did this by selling my car last May. This was a huge step for me. I had long sought to live car-free, but it’s much easier said than done. I think it was mostly fear that kept me from doing this earlier, but I decided it was time to stop living in my head and go out and aggressively pursue financial independence. So, the car went and this goal was achieved.
My final goal was to average a 50% savings rate of my net income, monthly. With December’s budget now posted I can proudly say that I easily exceeded this goal with a final savings rate of 59.3% on the year. I think that saving 60% of one’s net income is extremely challenging but equally rewarding. It’s because of my frugality and adherence to a strict budget that has afforded me the opportunity to invest in quality dividend growth companies monthly and set out on the path to financial independence at a young age!
All in all, 2011 was a huge success. I achieved every single personal and financial goal I set out to attain and I did it with gusto and enthusiasm. I think that when I finally do reach financial independence I’ll look back on 2011 as the turning point; the year when I really took control of my future. This is the year I stepped out of the cave and opened my eyes.
2012 And Beyond
Looking forward, I’m extremely excited about the way things are going. I’ll be setting forth some challenging goals for 2012 very soon. Please stay tuned!
How did you do with your goals?
Thanks for reading.
Photo Credit: jscreationzs