2016 Goals Review

2902023575_e3f696a376_bEarlier this year, I posted about how I set goals and listed a bunch of financial and non-financial goals for 2016. Now that 2016 is coming to a close, it’s time to take a look at how I did. I was far more diligent in the first half of 2016, and since October let my focus slide a little.

1. Eliminate credit card debt of $2700 (AMEX)

Technically a win, I paid this off but in true Gen Y fashion, found myself back in debt a few months later. I paid the new debt off, and after moving house in December, currently have a credit card debt of around $1800 (used to purchase some furniture and Christmas presents in December

2. Stop using credit cards

Missed. I stopped for a month or two a few times during the year, but often found myself putting something on credit, either because the company preferred it (e.g. my insurance or business expenses) or because I didn’t want to have a direct debit from my bank account causing a dishonour fee. I’m going to have another crack at breaking the credit habit in 2017, but perhaps not eliminate them entirely, just pay them off every month, and only pay for something if I have cash to cover it going on credit.

3. Reduce eating out expense to < $250 per month

Missed. I reduced eating out expenses for the year by just 6%. I did OK with this goal at times, and came in on target for 2/12 months. About a further 6 months I was only just over, but for the remainder, I had huge blow outs. This last month has been pretty bad, since moving house I had no eating utensils or crockery and ate out almost every night for a week and a half. Sheeesh! June, November and December were the worst months by far.

4. Increase emergency fund toward $10,000

I’m calling it a win. I have around $9.6k in my emergency fund, so although I didn’t hit $10k, I made good headway.

5. Contribute $2400 to investments

I met this goal by Q3, and sold my investments to fund my own start-up.

6. Complete NYU Valuation Course Lectures

Missed. I knew this goal was kinda ambitious, and I think I watched 3 lectures in total and cherry picked from another. I’d like to watch these at some point, perhaps while investing – nothing beats actually investing to learn.

7. Read Damodaran on Valuation

Missed. While I read a few thick books this year, I didn’t read Damodaran on Valuation. Fine by me.

8. Continue reading high quality value investing blogs

Easy to do. My favourites of the year have been Base Hit Investing, Investment Hunting, Dividend Diplomats, Dividend’s Down Under and Hey It’s Just Money.

9. Save $2600 for travel to Japan

I’m calling this one met, although I travelled to Europe instead of Japan, and spent almost two weeks in Vienna/Salzburg and one week in Budapest. It was just wonderful.

I also had a goal to exercise 4hrs a week (didn’t quite get there over the year, but did get there often throughout the year and even competed in a triathlon), learn basic Japanese (not really) and submit my Masters thesis (absolutely done). So I’m pretty happy with what I achieved but also feel I took on too much and spent far more than I could afford. Considering I also taught at a university, started working for myself, travelled and kept up with my blog semi-regularly, I did  a decent job with plenty of room for improvement. I’ll spend some time thinking about what I’d like to achieve in 2017, and might scale the number of goals back, to hone my focus.

How did you go with your goals for 2016?