In the three years (!!!) since we started this personal finance journey, we spent a ton of time and energy on cutting all of our expenses while also working hard to increase our income, which helped us become debt free faster. Woot!
However, there is a point at which focusing on cutting expenses isn’t enough. With a lofty goal like achieving financial independence/early retirement by May 18, 2019 (410 days from now!), we aren’t going to cut expenses and save our way there because we don’t make enough money today to make that a reality.
Thus, growth is the theme for 2018. Let’s grow our income!
Using The 12 Week Year as our framework, we established growth goals for ourselves, for which we’ll do quarterly updates. Since we’re at the end of the first quarter, it’s time for our first update. Woot!
(Read the first quarter plan.)
Q1 2018 Growth Goals
Send V4 problems by March 23. FAIL!
Currently, I’m sending some V2 and V3 problems and Garrett continues to work those V2 problems. Going from desk job to indoor climbing is way harder than we expected; we aren’t in the physical condition we need to be in to make this happen.
Serve 10 new customers by March 23. WIN!
Because of our freelancers and our trusted partners, we have the ability to work with more clients in our biz. So far, everything is going well!
Invest 3% of our FIRE goal in our brokerage account by March 23. FAIL!
We’ve opened a brokerage account with Vanguard and invested nearly 2% of our FIRE goal. We would have invested more, but we bought our vanlife minivan.
FIRE goal: to acquire $900,000 in our brokerage account to generate enough in dividends we can live off of
Q2 2018 Growth Goals
Send V3 problems by June 22.
This goal and our self-care habits go together like PB&J. Working on a sustainable plan to improve our conditioning in between climbing days will go a long way — think yoga, hiking, and strength training.
Serve 10 new customers and launch our first (paid) group training program by June 22.
We’re working to get our first group training program on the calendar. Free training has resulted in the acquisition of new clients, so I’m excited to see what a paid program will do for our biz.
Invest 2% of our FIRE goal in our brokerage account by June 22.
With our biz plans, the revenue we anticipate likely won’t hit until Q3, but we’ll see how close we can get to 2% of our FIRE goal.
What We Need to Achieve
Where we’ve been won’t get us where we want to go, so we’ve got to take it up a notch. We’ve learned a lot in this first quarter about what we need to be successful.
In early March, we took a day trip to shake off the cabin fever to visit some of our favorite places in south central PA and northern Maryland.
In between wine tastings and a chocolate factory tour, we talked about what’s most important to us, when we could potentially start traveling, where we want to go, and what kind of meaningful work we want to do next. As a result of this heart-to-heart chat, we’ve set a new goal for ourselves, which I’ll be able to share later in Q3 2018.
Stripping away distractions and leveraging time blocking helps. But with Garrett working on this biz on the side, work continues to bleed into our personal time. For now, we’ve accepted this situation to help us grow our income, but we’re “paying ourselves first” and planning our day around self-care instead of trying to fit it in. Reviving side hustle projects that have sat on the backburner is out of the question. We’ll have to revisit this in Q3 2018.
As I mentioned, time blocking is one of those habits we’ve tried to establish. Dividing the day into three-hour blocks has helped. Spending three of those three-hour blocks on sleep, which has been life changing.
Despite a strong start to the quarter, self-care fell by the wayside when I hurt myself climbing. We had taken an “all or nothing approach” to exercise, so when I hurt myself, I stopped exercising and then Garrett decided to stop, too. We’re feel the effects of our poor decisions now. Need to jump back on this bandwagon.
Overall, I can’t complain.
I’m happy with the progress we’ve made…
1. We crossed a big financial goal off the list when we started investing in our taxable brokerage account.
2. We bought our new-to-us Chrysler Town & Country, which we paid for with cash we withdrew the money from our emergency fund.
3. We climbed indoors on a consistent basis. I’ll take that. Climbing is hard work.