Did You Achieve Your Goals for 2015?

by J. Money - Published December 18, 2015

digital world

Got this email from a reader and thought I’d comply :)

Thought I’d make a possible suggestion for a blog. Maybe ask people if they achieved their goals for 2015. Last January we made 3 resolutions:

  1. pay down our mortgage balance to below $100,000
  2. loose weight/eat healthier food
  3. save more $$$

So, we achieved 2 goals:

Lost 42 pounds & am back to my high school weight. Changed to a low carb diet & cycling 5 days a week in my living room. Quit eating beef & pork. Feel 100% better. Husband lost 30 lbs & is at a perfect weight.

Paid down mortgage balance to $98,000! Besides bi-weekly payments we paid $100 extra towards principal every paycheck (26 paychecks). Wells Fargo credit card is attached to our mortgage so each purchase made on the card also pays down the mortgage. We charge almost ALL our bills on it but make sure we pay the balance in full each month.

Started to save $$ but unexpected surgeries for both myself, husband & dog wiped us out. The only upside, we’ll have enough to tax deduct some of the medical expenses (over $20,000 out of pocket).

Anyway just thought I’d make a suggestion as it might be interesting to see if other people kept their 2015 resolutions & if they achieved those goals.

I agree – interesting indeed, Vicki! And congrats on freakin’ KILLING IT on Goals #1 and #2 – none of which are easy feats, especially on the eating better and losing weight part. I admire the hell out of you for that. (The $100 extra payments ain’t too shabby either ;) I’ve been rounding up our mortgage payments to the 2nd hundredth ourselves and it’s amazing how much gets paid off over the years…)

As for my own resolutions for 2015, well, I actually had to dig up my old post on it because I’d forgotten what it was over the months – oops. Fortunately I’d been aggressively working on it though because it was that important to me. So I give myself a hearty pat on the back for aligning up my goals correctly :)

My goal for 2015: “live more”

What does “live more” mean? Well, I clarified it in the post:

1) Pay attention to my family more.

Def. better at this, though I still have a lot of improvement to go. I’ll put B+.

2) Do more stuff NOT involving a computer.I don’t care if that’s folding laundry, traveling, binging on skittles, skipping, dancing, collecting coins, or organizing my closet from top to bottom then moving down to the basement to do the same (that actually sounds fun!). The more time spent away from an electronic device – and specifically computers and cell phones – the better.

Haha… oh man, that guy is funny! But all jokes aside, technology is creeping into our lives more and more with each passing day. And when you work online you have to be even more cognizant of it. Still, I’m happy to report that progress is being made here too, even if I’m not at the perfect levels yet. I’m still not checking my phone/laptop first thing in the morning or right before bed, and I’m even BETTER at keeping my phone in my pocket when around other human beings, strangers or family.

I’m pretty much just struggling with *thinking about work* all the time even when I’m not working. I don’t know if that ever goes away as an entrepreneur? I’d also love to be online only half the amount of time every day while spending the other half working “in the real world.” Even though I have no idea how that would work, haha… Start writing up all my posts via typewriter? Become a treasure hunter on the side? Either way, I’ll give myself a B- in this department.

So overall I get a solid “B” for 2015. I’m not sure what my 2016 goals will be yet, but I may just keep it the same and continue working hard at living more considering it really is the whole point of it all, yeah? And I really don’t want to turn into an avatar! Even though I love our community here! :)

This tips my results over the years into positive territory finally, after a dismal first half of the century:

You’ll notice I’m a lot better with financial goals than I am life ones :)

So that’s my year, how’d you do? Anyone CRUSH 2015? Anyone still remember their resolutions?

Share it in the comments below, and lets give our friend Vicki here what she wants… It’s the small things in life!

Jay loves talking about money, experimenting, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his two beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Charity December 18, 2015 at 5:58 am

Our goals for the year were to pay down our only debt, which is our RV, and put money in the bank for savings (to be spent once we’re back in the states buying some necessities). We ended up doing both (last RV payment will be in 2016 – 10 1/2 years early!) as well as maxing out our IRAs for 2015. Definitely sending 2015 out on a high note.

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2 J. Money December 18, 2015 at 7:17 am

10 and 1/2 years early – beautiful!!

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3 Brian @DebtDiscipline December 18, 2015 at 6:19 am

We had a good year with our goals despite some ups and downs on the employment side. Our major goal was to build wealth, we still manage to do some savings even with a major income loss. So I consider that a win every time.

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4 J. Money December 18, 2015 at 7:23 am

I agree with you, sir. Loss of income is never a fun phase to go through, but DAMN does it feel better later when you get it back! I don’t even know what I’m going to do with myself when my wife gets a job for the first time in 6 years, haha…

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5 Kristi @ Femme Frugality December 18, 2015 at 6:27 am

2015 was hit and miss for my goals. I wanted to start making at least $500 a month in side hustle income, and I’m at more than double that now (A+). Whereas I had really hoped to pay off a personal loan we had to take out to fix our daily driver, and we still have about $800 left on it (B). It’ll get paid off in a few short months in 2016 though, so I’ll call that a win.

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6 J. Money December 18, 2015 at 7:20 am

Yeah, should be easier to do with an extra $1,000 coming in you hustler you! :)

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7 Mrs. Mad Money Monster December 18, 2015 at 7:32 am

I can’t say that we hit all of our financial goals, but we are definitely on the RIGHT path. We had an unexpected wedding we paid for out-of-pocket ($15k). It was our own so that was awesome. And it was in a cave, even more awesomer! Back on topic, we did get ourselves back in shape. Check. I started contributing the maximum to my 401k. Check. We started aggressively paying down our mortgages (primary and rental) and we finally owe less on the house I bought at the top of the bubble than it is worth! Yay! Oh, and I started my financial blog to keep me motivated…and to hopefully entertain a few souls along the way :)

Mrs. Mad Money Monster

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8 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:15 pm

An unexpected wedding??? In a cave???

Hahahaha…. so many crazy juxtapositions there – love it! :)

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9 Sarah Noelle @ The Yachtless December 18, 2015 at 7:53 am

My goal for 2015 was to make a spreadsheet and write down every single item I spent! And I did it! Wahoo!!! (Well, that’s assuming I can make it 13 more days…)

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10 Cristalle December 21, 2015 at 11:09 am

Wow! That is amazing you were able to do that the entire year!!! I bet it would be very eye opening to review a month’s worth of spending but a year would be a goldmine.

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11 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:15 pm

wowwww – now THAT is hardcore! and I bet you found a ton of stuff out yeah?? You gonna put it all into a nice sexy blog post over there for us? :)

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12 Petra December 18, 2015 at 7:56 am

Wanted to put 50% of my posttax income in savings… managed to get it up to 43% from last year’s 36%… So definitely an improvement, but I didn’t reach my goal completely.

I’m actually considering a totally different goal for 2016. It looks like I’m on the right track to retire in a few years, at an early age, so I now want to focus more on improving my life instead of (just) my finances. If I do that, maybe I retire one year later or so, but I would be having a healthier and happier life in the meantime.

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13 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:17 pm

YES! LOVE!!!! Money can only buy so much, so figuring out how to improve your lifestyle is a superb goal to work towards. I bet you find all kinds of tricks over the year concentrating on that! And I hope you’ll share them with us! :)

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14 Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor December 18, 2015 at 8:14 am

My goal was to post once a week on my new blog. Might not sound ambitious but it felt like it with two little ones! I’m glad I was able to meet this goal.

Financially, we prepaid our mortgage as we’d hoped to by more than doubling our montly payments.

And I raised exactly $3500 for my trip to India (half was raised by my husband flipping a car).

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15 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Score!!

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16 Hannah December 18, 2015 at 8:18 am

My goals were to finish our remodel (F)
Earn more from my day job (A+)
Max out all accounts (A+)
Earn money on the side from three sources (A+)
Visit a national park (F – though there’s a chance that we will hit one up in Florida next week!)

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17 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:18 pm

Haha… you’re just like me in rocking the $$ goals but sucking on the life ones ;)

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18 Money Beagle December 18, 2015 at 8:28 am

We set some financial goals and personal goals. I actually plan to review them on my blog over the next couple of weeks so I won’t go too much into the nitty gritty since I know that everybody that reads this blog reads mine (right? lol). But in short, we did well last year financially but I missed a couple of goals, probably from a combination of being a bit too aggressive plus a wildly idiotic stock market that wasn’t great with an aggressive portfolio.

Great thing is there’s another year ahead!

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19 EL December 18, 2015 at 8:30 am

I surpassed some goals and failed at others like increasing net worth by a billion, only Buffett can do that one. I did surpass 1 goal and got featured on http://rockstarfinance.com/ not once but twice. Whoo Hoo. Just shoot for your best effort and you won’t be disappointed.

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20 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:19 pm

let’s see if we can beat that for 2016 ;)

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21 Free to Pursue December 18, 2015 at 8:35 am

I met two of my three goals: saving over 50%? Yup. Living more with less? Yup. Writing more? Sorta. I still need to keep putting the books down and hitting the keyboard more often. But hey, I sent out more Christmas cards this year. Maybe that counts…;)

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22 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:20 pm

I would say that counts! hardly anyone ever does that anymore – esp young people!

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23 John C @ Action Economics December 18, 2015 at 8:41 am

My biggest financial goal for 2015 was to achieve a 33% savings rate and preliminary results show we crushed it! My stretch goal for 2016 is to hit 50%, but that will be extremely difficult. We paid an extra $200 per month on our mortgage AND are about to throw an extra $5K on it, dropping it below $100K. In 2016 as part of our increased savings rate goal we are shooting to put over $10K on our house at year end.

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24 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:21 pm

I think it’s a mighty goal to go after though :) If you can figure it out once, you should be able to keep it going further into the years too! (not withstanding any crazy life events, of course… but over the years you’ll get raises and pay off debt too freeing up more money :))

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25 Mr. SSC December 18, 2015 at 8:56 am

My biggest goal was savings and trying to put away $150k this year. We had about $12k of unexpected house repairs over the year, but I think we’ll still just barely make it! Yeah!!

Also, cut out TV watching to 50% of last years amount of TV time and I’ve done pretty good with that. Outside of football season, definitely, during football season, it’s hard, because well, Sunday games, Sunday night game, Monday night game, and Thursday night games, and now this weekend Saturday games start. But fortunately for my tv time, unfortunately for enjoyment, football is almost over for the year, so I’ll get a lot of that free time back. :)

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26 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:22 pm

$150k banking??? That’s HOT SHIT right there – wow!! Incredible!

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27 Steve Miller December 18, 2015 at 9:49 am

Here were my goals:

SELF:
Learn to draw better – Failed
Learn Photoshop better – Passed
Stay in Shape – Passed
Become a better friend – Passed
Learn to cook – Passed

FAMILY:
Continue our Travels – Passed (traveled all summer)
Be More Fiscally Responsible – Passed, side hustle money flowing in
Self Condo, Build Home – Passed (new home will be done in Feb)

OTHERS:
Volunteer More – C+ (Volunteered but not enough)

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28 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:23 pm

New goal for me: Don’t get jealous of all your friends!! ;)

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29 Stefanie OConnell December 18, 2015 at 9:59 am

Technology is totally taking over my life too. I’m not sure how to stop it other than to make a zillion dollars so I can outsource most of it ;) As for my 2015 goals, couldn’t ask for much more. Set out to triple my “broke” income and made it happen.

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30 Crystal December 18, 2015 at 10:13 am

My 2015 goals were to pay cash for my trip to Switzerland, max out my Roth, and save $10k for my emergency fund. I managed to do all 3. Also, while it wasn’t necessarily a goal of mine, I’ve managed to stay debt-free as well after paying off $41k in student loans last year.

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31 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Congrats – yay!!!

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32 Steve @ Think Save Retire December 18, 2015 at 10:41 am

My wife and I only really had a single goal – spend 2015 financially preparing ourselves to retire at the end of 2016, and we succeeded in that goal by saving around 70% of both of our incomes throughout the year. The goal for next year?

Retire. :)

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33 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:24 pm

you can’t see me, but I’m drooling over here…. :)

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34 [email protected] and the Beach December 18, 2015 at 10:47 am

I love how you got an F+ one year with your handwriting. I’d probably get a G+ in handwriting became I’m that bad now…plus horrible at spelling thanks to spellcheck. I achieved a lot of goals, especially personal, but not financial, but I think I’m now making up for that with the great job I landed, so there is that. :)

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35 Fervent Finance December 18, 2015 at 11:02 am

I don’t usually partake in a New Years resolution, but I’m all about self-improvement. I try to go to the gym 4x a week, but it was probably more like 3x. I definitely cut down my expenses, but still have a ways to go. I’ve been trying to be more involved as a BF/friend, but have a ways to go as well, but definitely think I made improvements. Life is always a work in progress!

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36 Taylor December 18, 2015 at 11:24 am

Hahaha, congratulations on all your years of earning F’s ;) But in all seriousness, yay for a solid B for 2015. That’s pretty killer.

My main goal for 2015 was to graduate college and get a full-time “adult” job. Both of which happened!! For 2016, my number one goal is to stress less and enjoy life more. The past two years have been super hard financially and have made me feel MUCH older than my 23 years, haha. (#grandma) So I’m looking forward to some spontaneous fun and returning to my former crazy self ;) And of course becoming DEBT FREE! (It’s set to happen in April!! woohoo!)

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37 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:26 pm

I’ll only allow it so long as you blog about all the crazy stuff you get into the new year ;)

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38 Amanda December 18, 2015 at 1:29 pm

Crushed it and STILL crushing it. 2015 isn’t over yet! My two goals were pay off as much debt as possible and hike in every one of the 17 metro parks in the region. I paid off over $42k of debt and have one metro park to go. I’m eager to define my goals for 2016:)

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39 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:27 pm

You should send in a debt payment *while hiking* at your last park! Double whammy to finish up the year! :)

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40 Cathlene December 18, 2015 at 2:30 pm

2015: mission accomplished. The goal was to settle both vehicles as well as have a decent emergency fund. Tick for both.
It’s been an amazing year as I discovered this blog (and subsequently all the others) which has really opened my eyes and mind to different ways of thinking and handling one’s finances.

Now that the only debt we have is our mortgage, we will be focusing on paying it off by 2020. What I call my 2020 vision!

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41 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:32 pm

Beautiful!

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42 Chuck December 18, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Nailed it! Had a plan, stuck to it and met my goals for the year. Looking forward to 2016.

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43 Stockbeard December 18, 2015 at 3:41 pm

I didn’t really have any goals last year… But I think I want to be ambitious in 2016 and reach our “semi FI” target by December next year…

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44 Eric December 18, 2015 at 4:50 pm

My wife and I have always been “goal setters” but last year at this time we made a pact to get things down on paper and put a due date on them. We decided to keep ourselves honest and post the list on our refrigerator on bright green paper! A couple of things happened…1. It was a constant reminder of what we need to accomplish 2. Our friends and family were constantly asking us about our goals and would comment when they would see another thing crossed off the list 3. It was A huge motivation when we would see things getting crossed off the list…it would definitely fire us up to tackle the next one. Here is a sample of what we were able to accomplish in 2015…

Family trip 1st quarter – Completed (San Diego Zoo trip)
Family trip 2nd quarter – Completed (Road trip to Palm Springs and rented a house)
Family trip 3rd quarter – Completed (Road trip to Arizona for 4th of July)
Spend Christmas in another country – Not completed (Sister in law is having a baby any day now)
Start new career – Completed
Wife stay at home mom – Completed
Launch candle business – Completed
Take train trip somewhere – Completed
Family half marathon – Not Completed
Make at least $500 a month with home based business – Not Completed
Family Sunday dinners out – Completed
Make time for gym – Kinda completed ;)
Start putting money away for kids college funds – Completed
Create and stick to a budget – Started using YNAB and Digit 2 months ago :) We also refinanced our credit card debt to start paying that down!!!!

I think we are going to get a bit more ambitious with this years list and we are so excited!!! Overall I would say we had a pretty great 2015 :)

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45 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Oh wowww!! What a fantastic idea – especially with everyone commenting and asking about the goals! That def. helps you complete them faster, haha… And looks like you guys had a helluva good time this year too :) I’m making a note to copy you here… love the idea!

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46 Aleta December 18, 2015 at 6:53 pm

We paid off all of our debt (2 student loans and a car) which was amazing considering that I was laid off for a couple of months. I didn’t make my goal of learning more about investing. But I am pretty proud of paying off the debt.

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47 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Congrats! For investing – researching “indexing” and see what you think about that… If it’s something you like you won’t have to worry/think about it again :)

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48 Marie December 18, 2015 at 7:46 pm

We paid off 12k in my student loans this year and now they are all gone! Shaving over 15 years off of the repayment. We also cash flowed two competitive sports this year which was really pricey. We could easily be debt free but the house by March of next year but are torn because our liquidity is not as high as we’d like it to be.

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49 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:36 pm

I think you keep going as-is and making sure you’re comfortable and can sleep easily at night. No rush on the house since you’ve made it this far and it’s just around the corner anyways! Peacefulness first :)

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50 Mortgage Free Mike December 18, 2015 at 9:08 pm

I hope Vicki reads these comments! Vicki, I think what you accomplished is great. The fact that you were able to make such progress while recovering from unexpected health problems is really incredible. Wishing you a healthy and happy 2016.

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51 Mary December 18, 2015 at 9:39 pm

We had two goals: have another baby and pay off our mortgage (25 years early). We found out at the end of January that we were pregnant and welcomed a wonderful little boy in September. (This felt like a miracle. Our first took about four years.) We paid off $70k of our mortgage ($20k still to go). Honestly, both goals felt huge last New Years and I consider us successful. And to be honest, I would’ve rather had a baby than paid off the mortgage. In 2016 I’d like to focus on enjoying all that we have been blessed with. And hopefully finish off the last of our mortgage!

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52 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:37 pm

Incredible on both fronts! Congrats!! :)

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53 Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank December 19, 2015 at 10:21 pm

Though I haven’t achieved some of my goals I set for this year, I am still hopeful for next year and have a greater chance of achieving them because I have started it already. Happy New Year!

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54 Mel December 20, 2015 at 11:42 am

I did crush 2015!! Totally by accident – I honestly think I may have under estimated my ability to achieve goals, so next year I’m going to stretch them much further. I think in a way, I’d rather have not quite made them all, so I knew I was setting some really challenging ones, than to finish them up 2 months early and think, “hmm, how did this happen? Well. Cool.”

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55 J. Money December 21, 2015 at 12:38 pm

Haha… a good problem to have I suppose :)

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56 Gerald December 21, 2015 at 4:29 pm

When I first saw this post, I ignored it. I have failed so much this year. Then, I took inventory on all I had to be grateful for this year. So here are my goals for 2016:
1. Rent a 2bdr townhouse in Q1.
2. Spend more quality time with my kids
3. Continue to track my spending every day
4. Train for a 100 mile ride, my first century bicycle ride
5. Realize a profit from my blog. $1000 a month by Q4

That is not to say that I will have more failures on my horizon, but at least I am stepping up to the plate and taking a swing.

Thanks for the post.

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57 J. Money December 24, 2015 at 2:01 pm

Love to hear those, bro! $1k/mo blogging is pretty damn good – you’re beating out 99.9999% of all other blogs :)

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58 The Saving Nerd December 21, 2015 at 11:11 pm

Jmoney, I have many more things I could have accomplished, but I refuse to make a resolution because they set up for failure.

I try to get better with the years I have left.

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59 The Creepiest of Pasta December 22, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Achieved my goal of making £150 a month doing what I love making videos for YouTube! My passion is the creepypasta readings I do (I’m Scottish) but I make all sorts of videos and am slowly becoming more successful. This time next year I would like to be earning £500 a month on YouTube.

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60 J. Money December 24, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Way to go! You’re the only person I know who makes money on there – awesome :)

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