2018 Recap and 2019 Goals

I started tracking my spending, saving, net worth, investments, and all of that fun stuff in mid 2017.  This was shortly after I graduated from college and was earning for the first time. 2018 was then the first full calendar year I’d done all of this tracking for. Since I was mostly watching the numbers to learn my own habits and amounts, I didn’t set specific financial goals apart from max out my IRA and 401k.  I’ve always been a goal oriented person, and for the most part I feel they are a great way to self-motivate and to help you get the most out of yourself. With that being said, I now present to you my 2018 financial summary/recap, as well as my goals that I will be working towards during 2019!

2018 Recap

This year I didn’t have hard set goals at the beginning of the year, but this is the rough list of things I wanted to do/accomplish (financially and otherwise):

    • Bike 10,000 miles (previous most was 7,350)

    • Max IRA and 401k

  • Go sub-5 hours in a half Ironman

 

And for the results, I think I did pretty well!  I rode my bike 9,163 miles. Although it wasn’t the goal, it was very lofty and I’m proud of myself for spending over 100 more hours than the previous year in the saddle.  I was able to max both my 401k and IRA. And in the 1 half Ironman I did (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run), I clocked in at 4:43 which I am absolutely STOKED about.  Everything about this race went perfect and I’d never been more prepared at a race of that length when I walked up to the starting line. So overall, 2018 was a very successful year and it left me motivated to set lofty goals for 2019.  They are as follows:

    • 50+% Savings Rate

    • Max IRA and 401k

    • 10,000 miles on the bike

    • 325 watt FTP

    • Half marathon under 1:40

    • Meal prep at least 1 new (to me) meal per month

    • Exercise for more miles than I drive my car

  • Minimum 24 blog posts

 

My girlfriend and I threw together a simple google sheet and each typed up our goals and we added a column for a “halfway point” check-in.  So the plan is to have a look on July 1st and see how we are doing and if we are on track/slacking on any. We LOVE google sheets. They are awesome and so good for tracking anything over time.

Anyways, onto the financial goals!  I chose 50+% savings rate because it’s a nice round number smack in the middle.  I lived at my parents house for 10 months of 2018 so I’m still feeling out how my spending habits will change now that I also have utilities and rent to worry about, but I’m fairly confident that 50% will be achievable for me.  Next, maxing my IRA and 401k. I was able to sock away money from paychecks when I was living at home, so IRA was maxed Jan 1 and the 401k is automatic from each paycheck so these are essentially guaranteed, barring something very unfortunate.

Moving on from financial goals, I have my fitness/life goals.  I want to do 10,000 miles because the 5 digit barrier is incredibly appealing and honestly just fun to say.  TEN THOUSAND. That’s far. Also related to the bike, I’d like to get my FTP to 325w. This is basically a measure of how strong of a cyclist you are.  My bike has fancy pedals that measures how hard I push down onto them over time, and sends that value to my bike computer in watts, and FTP is Functional Threshold Power, and is defined as the amount of power you can do for 1 hour.  This probably means nothing to you, but I’m currently at about 310w and while this might seem close, it’s going to take a good while and will require consistency with both intense training, recovery, adequate hours of sleep, and proper nutrition.

For running, I have 2 half marathons on my schedule.  While I’m focusing on the bike this year, I still love to run, so I’d like to snag a PR.  My current best is right around 1:45, and I know I can go faster. I’m setting the goal at sub 1:40.  Also the latter race is going to be in Hawaii and it’ll be the first time my girlfriend and I are using credit card points to get free flights, and we are over the moon happy about it.

I don’t have any specific swimming goals, or even triathlon goals for the year.  There are a few triathlons I plan to do, but as mentioned earlier, this is going to be a very bike heavy year because it’s what I’m currently enjoying the most and I know I’ll get massive benefit from it in years to come when I do a more well rounded training schedule spread between swim/bike/run.

On a similar vein to biking 10,000 miles, I’d like to drive less than I bike+run+swim.  I track all of these distances on Strava, and I recently started tracking my monthly car mileage.  I had a coworker mention that this would be a fun goal for me to try one day at lunch, and I knew I wanted to give it a go the second he said it.  Extra motivation to drive less and bike to work more!

Another goal for the year is meal prepping!  Since I moved out, I have the majority of a kitchen to myself since my roommate doesn’t do a ton of cooking, so lots of room for me to learn how to cook.  I got a 5 pack of large glass tupperwares on Amazon, and I’ve been pretty consistent with making dinners for the work week so that I have extra time in the evenings to ride my bike and do other things I want to do rather than spending an hour or so cooking.  Feels much more efficient to do this Sunday nights and have meals for the whole week. It probably helps that I don’t mind eating the same thing everyday!

And finally, this blog.  I’ve been reading other personal finance/financial independence blogs and forums basically non stop since I graduated college and have loved diving down the rabbit hole.  I love the idea of blogging as a way of tracking your personal progress and keeping you honest. There’s definitely something to be said about the accountability you put on yourself when you say you’re going to do something to someone else rather than just thinking it to yourself.  Nobody reads this blog yet, but I’m motivated to putting out lots of content now that I got over the hump of actually making the website and posting these first couple posts. I hope that motivation bleeds through in my writing, because I found the mental exercise of typing away on this google doc have been both therapeutic and rewarding on so many levels.  So my goal is to post minimum twice a month. I have a slew of ideas for posts that I’m actively working on. I think twice a month is conservative, but I think it’s a great baseline while I learn this habit and develop the mental consistency of writing down my thoughts.

So these are my goals for the year and I have a bunch of motivation to accomplish them all! 2019 is going to be a great year, and I’d love for you to comment telling me about your goals! Do we have any overlap, or are our lists completely different?  Do you only set financial goals, or do you set other ones as well?

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Nice going! Maxing out a 401k and IRA isn’t something most people can say they’ve done right after getting out of college. And that’s a lot of miles on the bike! I need to commit to walking 30 minutes a day at least or something simple like that. The only exercise I’m really getting right now is martial arts class twice a week. Good luck with your 2019 goals.

    1. Thanks Nathan! Helped a LOT that the job I got was near-ish to where my parents live so I didn’t have to pay rent for a year. 30 minutes walking is pretty perfect for a lunch break if that fits your schedule. I always see this crew at my office go for walks at lunch for a mile or two. Martial arts class is probably very intense, I assume it’s a stellar workout for the amount of time. And thanks, good luck with yours as well!

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