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2012 Quarterly Goal Check-up

April 6, 2012

The first 3 months of the year were so exciting & exhausting!  Marathon training took a huge chunk of my focus, but my finances held on, and my job/career stuff really started to shift in direction.  I’ve spent the past 2 weekends doing low-key stuff and catching up on my life and my thoughts.


1.  Track all Income and all Spending – on plan
YES, isn’t it beautiful?  I’m really happy that I have everything all organized and we have a system that is working

2. Max out both T’s and my Roth IRAs ($5000 each)
 – on plan
We are on pace here with $400/month each.  T also topped off his 2011 IRA with $1200 that didn’t make it in last calendar year.

3. Max out my 401k ($17,000)
 – ahead of plan

I am ahead of pace ($4,685 compared to $4250), so I reduced my weekly contributions such that I should hit $17k in December.

4. End year with 20k more in cash savings accounts – behind pace, but recoverable
We increased only by $4000 when we should be up $5000 to stay on pace.   


I probably need to up the ante here, as I am already done with the first two.  Or just focus on the last two I guess!

1.  Train for and complete the L.A. Marathon – and PR! – complete!   
Check!  I finished in sub 4 hours, which I never thought I could do!

2. Run a sub 2 hour half marathon 
– complete!   

I killed this goal!  

3.  Run 1000 miles –  ahead of plan
I’m ahead of pace here at about 400 miles – but that’s because I trained for the marathon.  I only need to average about 16 miles a week to meet this goal.  This sounds trivial, but I started last year similarly ahead of pace and then took the summer off.

4. Incorporate more strength, core, and stretching work – behind pace, but recoverable (maybe…)
Yes – but not much.  I did a lot more stretching than last year, but strength & core work could increase.  But, I just joined a boot camp, so that should help a lot!  My leg strength is great, but my arm strength is zilch.

Life and Adventure

1.  Push myself professionally – on plan
Yes.  We’ve ran into a large hiccups on my project in the past week, but I’m definitely pushing here, growing a lot, learning a lot.  I was officially given the project lead/manager role (along with the technical work), then 2 days later it we found out that we weren’t getting a huge chunk of funding and we’re going to have to re-vector and change the whole schedule.  I’m not sure what is going to happen next, but it isn’t going to be the same year I thought.  I’m staying optimistic, at least until I have more information!

2.  Read 25 books, including at least 5 from this list.  – behind pace, but recoverable
Not counting the books I “read” on audiobook, I’m at 5.  I haven’t ready ANY from that list yet.  But I still think I’ll be fine on this goal – I should have more time coming up, and honestly, I was stuck on Anna Karenina for a long time.  It was good, but very long!  This quarter I read: Anna Karenina, Freedom, The Paris Wife,  The Tiger’s Wife, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  I’m in the middle of Into the Wild and 1q84.

3.  Backpack and Hike and try some new things – on plan
Not much of the backpacking & hiking, but so far I’ve tried snowboarding & snowshoeing, and I have a surf lesson Groupon with a friend!

4.  Give more (minimum $500, plus some time) – behind pace, but recoverable
As predicted, I didn’t have much time for this in the first quarter.  I have an organization I’d like to get involved in, but what I want to do is going to take a fairly big commitment (for volunteer work, at least).  I’m not quite ready yet, and I need to find something else if I can’t do it.  

I donated $0, but just set up an automatic paycheck contribution of $10/paycheck to a pooled fund to get this going.  I have a couple other organizations in mind for the rest of the money.  

5.  Travel – on plan
So far all I’ve done is spend a long weekend in Tahoe – but I have a lot planned in May/June!  It’s going to be a great travel year.  

8 Comments leave one →
  1. bluecollarworkman permalink
    April 6, 2012 12:22 pm

    Here’s a question. I see that people aren’t too keen on counting audio books as reading a book. Why is that? Why do you not count audio books? I know you’re not technically reading words on a page, but you are hearing each word and absorbing and thinking about it. Can a blind person never read a book because they can’t see? That’s silly to think becuase they do read, just with their hands. So why can’t reading with your ears also count? Just a thought! (and also becuase I do most my reading through audio books and so I like to count them!)

    • April 6, 2012 9:10 pm

      I’m just not because of what you say – I’m not always absorbing & thinking about it the way I do when I read. But you can can’t yours if you want. I usually don’t “read” that many audiobooks per a year, but I liked to listen to them on my long runs

  2. April 6, 2012 3:31 pm

    Be careful with maxing out your 401(k) in December. That was my plan last year. I’m paid monthly and my December paycheck 401(k) contribution didn’t post until January, so now I have less contribution room this year. My goal this year is to max it out with my October or November paycheck to make sure that that doesn’t happen again.

    • April 6, 2012 9:08 pm

      But my company matches up to 6%, and they do not consider over all through the year (something called “true-up”), just up to 6% per a paycheck assuming I have at least 8. Anyway, my posting dates and pay dates are very predictable. I’ll double check that the final one isn’t
      “on the edge”

      • April 6, 2012 9:45 pm

        True, but look at how much contribution room you would lose out on by missing the last one versus losing the match. In my case, it takes about $1500 per month to max it out, but the matching is under $200, so I would only lose out on under $200 by maxing it out in November (my employer will “true-up” the match in March of the following year if you’re still with the company) versus the possibility of losing $1500 of contribution room by maxing it out in December. So I’ve pretty much decided to max it out in November instead of December and I’m not concerned about the under $200 of match money I could lose if I leave the company before March.

        I’m paid on the last business day of the month, so in December that is often the 29th-31st. And then my 401(k) contributions don’t usually show up in the Vanguard account until the 2nd to 4th business day of the following month. It seems random though because some people I talked to, their December ones posted in 2011 this year and some people, it was January.

        If you’re contributing weekly, that’s not nearly as bad as the possibility of losing out on an entire month’s worth of contribution room.

        Also, a 6% match? I’m jealous!

        • April 7, 2012 8:20 am

          that’s annoying, especially that it was random!

          I’m paid bi-weekly. I think my last paycheck is the 20th (if I looked at my calendar right) so I should be OK. I think even if it is the 27th it would be OK, it seems to always posts by the following day. But I never even considered this before – thanks for making me aware that this could happen!

  3. April 6, 2012 5:22 pm

    You are kicking but with your goals!

  4. April 12, 2012 4:19 pm

    Nice job with marathon training! I would like to run at least a 5k sooner or later… I don’t think I can do a full marathon. But never say never!

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