2015 goals: year end review

I started off the year taking a big bite with my goals. But that’s me, I always think I can move mountains and 2015 was no different. The year started with me taking on 20 goals . To which I promptly added 4 more once I had printed them out on paper. (I always seem to forget something before I press print.)

But more then halfway through the year I had to admit that I just wasn’t feeling some of the items I had written down. Truth be told some were on there out of sense of obligation… Hello, spiritual goals. (With extremely religious relatives I felt I need to make a stance on what my kids would believe in.) While other were there because of a dream …. I’m going to make it to China someday and I’m going to be able to hold a conversation. Hello focus on learning mandarin Chinese.

But I just don’t really care about religion. And China is sadly sooo not on the horizon. And many other goals had to go too.

Goals that didn’t make the cut

  • Crossed out all of spirituality
  • Crossed out 2nd organized run
  • Crossed out Chinese
  • Crossed out class with Mr Roamer
  • Crossed out girls night with sister and mother.
  • Crossed out paying for my blog by AdSense
  • Crossed out job interviews
My goals at the beginning of the year. The one in my planner is actually all marked up.

That 2nd review last year really helped me realign objectives. Which as you can tell included striking some from the list. I went from 24 separate goals down to 18. Out of those 18, 5 were complete, and 3 were on auto pilot. Which meant just 10 to focus on each month for the rest of the year. But since this is the year end review I am going to give you an update on all 18 goals that survived the cut. But also since this is a finance blog I’m not going to go into too much detail on all of them.


1.  Run 5k,Jan-June, Complete. I actually completed the run in the first trimester review. It was a lot of fun.

2. Dance 1/ month @ home, Complete. Though I couldn’t make up for missed months prior. I did dance consistently after the 2nd review. You know because its fun. 🙂


3. Read 1 book in Spanish. Complete, read Despereaux with Jr Roamer. We both enjoyed it.

4. Read 4 books this year. Read 3 out of 4. Score 75%.

      • I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Finished
      • Financial Samurai’s How to Engineer your Layoff. Finished
      • On Purpose.  Finished
      • The Art of work, 75%


5. 1 date a month with each child.

Jr. Roamer time: FailedI stopped tracking this so I don’t know how I did.
Minnie Roamer time: CompleteBeing at home during the day and then full time since November has given me lots of one on one time with Minnie Roamer.

6. 1 date a month w/ Mr Roamer, Complete. Mr. And I are actively dating. But again I lost track of the details but checking our bank records I do see we had date expenses for every month except Dec.  But we snuggled and watched movies during vacation so…. I am going to say we are good.

7. Write in kids memory books. Failed. I missed a lot of months and I am really disappointed. I mean really how hard is it to write in a book a paragraph or 2. 


We had a strong year in regard to our finances but we still didn’t reach all of our financial goals. I had big Goals in this area.

8.  Earn side hustle  $500, Complete

Side hustle
Side hustle, getting better every year.

Whether I’m defining hustle like you would I included anything I had to put work into receive. So I was able to bring in money by selling stuff on Craigslist, and submitting receipts for refunds.  Which included incorrect billings for medical bills and finding roommates for FinCon.

9.  Max out 401k ,18k/ person, Complete for Mr. Roamer, 95% complete for myself.

Mr. Roamers 401K reach the yearly milestone
Mr. Roamers 401 K reach the yearly milestone
My 401K was just shy of meeting the goal
My 401 K was just shy of meeting the goal

This one for me was the biggest disappointment. I mean I was at 92% for goodness sake at my last update. Still I couldn’t have predicted the lay off and so I had to walk out the door before meeting my goal of maxing out my 401K. Luckily, I had front loaded under the assumption that I would be leaving that joint in June and it served me well. Still I was able to get a few more percents before the lay off and Mr. did max his out.

10. Save 30k for house, 87% complete

Our house fund didn't reach the desired balance because it took a back seat to our IRA accounts
Our house fund didn’t reach the desired balance because it took a back seat to our IRA accounts

In the end we didn’t meet the goal and were $3,859 short, but that was only partially due to my lay off.  After the lay off I thought long and hard about having more money easily accessible but realized we’d get more bang for our buck putting any extra funds into our IRA accounts.

11. Both Max out IRA, 11 K total, Complete

Roamer, Traveling wallet
Our IRA accounts is where we funneled in the last of our extra dollars for 2015.

If I hadn’t been lay off we would have reach all our financial goals even this new one I tacked on later. But sometimes seniority doesn’t matter and even though our “house fund” was an older goal the IRA just made more financial sense. We both don’t really feel compelled to buy in California’s inflated market but we aren’t ready to leave yet. So we don’t need to rush on our house fund. Therefore we were able to take advantage of the tax benefits of putting the extra money into our IRA instead.


12.  Write 1 posts a week. Failed, I really dropped the ball during the move and at the end of the year.

13.  Add AdSense when hit 35 posts Complete 

14.  Attend Fincon, Complete. I made it and it was lots of fun and a great learning experience. I was even able to save on the whole trip.


15. Reevaluate job in July, Complete. July came and I decided it made more sense to push through to the end of the year then to try and find a new night shift position somewhere else.

16. Get pay increase of 5% . Complete, got 10% increase. This has set a new baseline for what I can earn moving forward. It was also beneficial because thanks to the big bump I made my usual earning even with loosing out on 2 months pay.

17.  Do hw  and research for Engineering my layoff. Complete While I did actively do research and finished reading the book I am pretty disappointing with how I handled my out of nowhere lay off. I never really had the chance to put anything into practice. 


18. 1 family trip 5+ days, Complete, and then some. We made it to Colorado and rang in the new year in Michigan. We traveled for a total of 21 days as a family and I got in an extra 4 day out on my own. Not to shabby.

A beautiful sunset on our vacation in Michigan.

While I failed at some stuff and didn’t quite meet the goal in others it seems like the overall trend was that I got what I wanted to get done, done.  So that is a relief.

Don’t Forget SMART goals matter

Again if you are embarking on the wonderful journey of goal setting please remember a few things. Make sure they are SMART goals.

Make them Specific enough so that you will know when you reach the finish line. Don’t say you want to loose weight say you want to loose 10 lbs. Then make them Measurable  good thing about being specific is that you usually add in a number and that makes it measurable. Stretch yourself but make sure they are also Attainable. Saying I’m going to win a hot dog eating contest next week isn’t realistic. I have no preparation but saying I can win one in a year well that makes it attainable. Of course why even sign up for a hot dog goal when I couldn’t care less about it. This is where I made mistakes and why I had to cross stuff off mid year. Your goals need to be Relevant to what you want to achieve. Its not that you can’t have off the wall goals but if they don’t fit into your bigger picture your likely to push them aside. Finally make them Timely, give yourself a deadline. This will feed back into making them measurable and attainable. Someday is not measurable. 5 push up in a row in 5 minutes by sat. That is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. 

So don’t forget your goals can, and should be SMART.

Was your 2015 all you wished it would be? Are you learning how to set better goals to keep you moving forward?

The Roamer traveling wallet




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