Happy New Year! I have two posts to share today. I’m living one dream (read on) and focusing on the next ones (via my 2018 Goals).
I’m excited to share that Chris and Jaime from Keep Thrifty featured my family’s story in their “dream” series. Their pointed questions really brought out the details around the decision for Mrs. WFP to become a stay at home mom. Please check it out. The rest of this post can wait until you’re finished reading it.
At the end of that story you can see how I have my sights on two dreams today:
- To achieve financial independence (FI)
- To help others with their finances
I guess neither of these are surprising to you – I’ve been talking about FI for months and I write a blog about personal finance to help others.
I read the post “How I Figured Out What I Want To Do With My Life (And How You Can Too!)” over at the Frugalwoods a little while ago. It got me thinking. The post asked you to write down your ideal life and your dream life. After I did, I had a glaring realization: when I reach financial independence, I don’t want to stop working. I want to help individuals with their finances as a second career.
Then the question became, why wait?
The first reason to wait is my Financial Independence (FI) goal. I earn enough today to support a family of four in a high cost of living area while still saving. I doubt I can replace that income anytime soon if I change careers. Working for someone doing financial planning could be a great career. Unfortunately, I’d probably take a large step backward in income in the short term. So I’m not making a full-time move today.
I don’t want to continue to delay this goal much longer.
I’ve always enjoyed working on my own finances and helping friends and family. The satisfaction I receive from helping someone is addicting. Imagine looking over an excel spreadsheet with a financial overview and realizing with a few easy changes, your friend can save thousands of dollars a year. Even better, they would not have to take on more risk because it’s a different tax or investment strategy. That feeling was the impetus for starting this blog and I’ve decided to aggressively seek more of it in 2018.
I’m a strategist at heart. Here’s my secret: my endgame for this site is to use it to offer some personal finance coaching once I reach FI. Now I’m going to try and accelerate those goals a bit. I know, big dreams, right?
Without any further ado, here are my 2018 goals:
- As you will see below, I have large career ambitions. They are all secondary. I will put my wife, our boys and our life first. It’s easy to get distracted by the noise, work, side-hustles, hobbies and other stuff. My number one goal and highest priority is to spend as much time as possible with my family and to make it quality time. For example, I definitely need to keep my phone in my pocket more during family time. Twitter can be distracting.
If you don’t already, you can follow me on Twitter @WinningPFin.
Financial & Savings
- Max out My 401(k) for $18,500 – This one is directly in my control. The amount will be automatically deducted from my paycheck so I don’t have to even think about it anymore!
- Max out a Roth IRA for Mrs. WPF and I for $5,500 each / $11,000 total.
- Max out My HSA contribution for $6,900.
These accounts are fantastic wealth building tools as they help minimize your tax bill and keep money in your pocket.
- Save $8K in taxable accounts.
Just because I’ve maxed out the tax advantaged accounts doesn’t mean I should stop saving. While the money in a taxable account does not receive tax benefits, I can easily access it any time. That flexibility has real value.
- Net Worth Goal: I don’t believe in a net worth goal. At this point, my net worth is more dependent on the markets than anything else. I can save all the amounts above and have my net worth decrease from a downturn. Since the markets are not controllable, I’m going to pass on this goal.
- Exercise 2x a week (it’s not a high bar, I just have to do it).
- Run one half marathon at under 2 hours and 11 minutes (this is very doable if I force myself to train just a little).
Money is nice but it’s worthless if we are not healthy enough to enjoy it. I’ve been slacking in the fitness department since my first son was born. That needs to end now.
- Provide value to my readers, as measured by your feedback. If I’ve helped you in some way, please let me know. My primary purpose is not the money – although making a little at some point would be nice to show something for my effort.
- Average 10K page views per month in 2018. For reference, December 2017 was by far my best month. I came in under 2.7K, still a long way to go, but something I think is attainable.
- Create and launch bonus content for subscribers to my email list.
SUBSCRIBE TODAY AND BE THE FIRST TO RECEIVE IT!!!
- Grow my Twitter following to 4K subscribers. It’s currently ~1,200 as of this drafting in mid December. Twitter has been my primary marketing platform in 2017 and has worked out well. I tweet out a lot of great personal finance information. You won’t regret a follow.
Again, my username is @WinningPFin and you can follow me here.
- My marketing via Pinterest has been, well…a #PinterestFail. I’d like to set up a marketing strategy around Pinterest and have it match or exceed the number of monthly referrals I receive from Twitter by the end of 2018. I’ve heard that it can happen!
My Pinterest page is here; I’d really appreciate a follow.
I also have my own group board (here), If you want to share personal finance pins, let me know and I’ll add you as a contributor.
- Facebook has not really been part of my marketing strategy yet. It’s difficult to get traction to a business page without paid advertising. On the other hand, the best marketing is word of mouth. My goal is to earn 100 shares from you (my audience) on your personal or group Facebook pages. If you love, like or hate something you read here, I’d greatly appreciate you sharing it with your network. Thanks in advance. The more we talk about personal finance, the better we will get at it.
Set Up a Coaching Business
- I want to offer financial life coaching by the end of 2018. As I may have mentioned just a few times, I really love helping others improve their financial lives. I believe all successful business are started around providing value for clients. I can do so for you. The fact that I expect to enjoy it at the same time is a bonus. It will be a Win/Win!
If you would like to be the first to know when I start coaching, send me a note through my contact page or sign up here:
Signing up for this list will give you the first opportunity to fill one of my limited coaching spaces. It’s separate from my email list and will only be used for coaching opportunities. Getting on this list will give you an exclusive opportunity to sign up at the lowest price once I launch. No commitment is required.
- I blog about personal finance, so I obviously know
everythingsome stuff! I’m really excited to learn more. I’m planning to further my financial education this year. This is the first step toward eventually becoming a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). That goal will take a few years due to experience requirements.
- I’m going to check in on these goals quarterly. There is nothing like telling
millions thousandstens of people on the internet about your goals. This should be the pressure I need to stick to them.
Wish me some luck on these lofty goals. It’s going to take some hard work and dedication to achieve them.
What are your goals?