My 2017 Goals: Recap #3 (Third Quarter)



Since we are 3/4 through the year, I thought now would be a great time to review the progress on my 2017 goals.  Admittedly, looking back at some of the goals I set, I wonder what I was thinking with a few of them.


The good news is the year is almost over, and I can’t wait to set some new goals for 2018.  Next year, I am definitely going to stretch a bit more.  


Without further ado– the progress on my goals, thus far:  



  • Grow net-worth (excluding my home and 529 plans) by 25%.


To date, our net-worth is up 20.8%.  Projected out, that means that we are slightly ahead of schedule in our goal to increase our net worth by 25% for the year.  Since the market is up 11.73% for the year so far and at 12.40% with dividends, my net-worth is outpacing the market.  Admittedly, I’m not sure how the market has shrugged off all of the negative news.  Between a pending war with North Korea, Congress having trouble passing much of anything, and the bull market now entering its 8th year, I anticipated more pullback in the market.  But, I’m not complaining.


  • Save 70% of take-home pay.  


We currently stand at 65% of our take-home pay.  We were doing so great in the first quarter, achieving 71%.  However, in the 2nd quarter of the year, our savings dropped to 62%.  In the 3rd quarter, we were able to save 67%, although if we didn’t have to replace our water heater, we would have been able to save 70% for the quarter.  Oh, the joys of home maintenance.  But, I guess I should be thankful to be replacing the water heater preventatively as opposed to waking up to a flooded basement.  



  • Increase viewership.  


I passed 100,000 page views last month.  The continued growth of the blog continues to surprise me.  On top of that, I was recently nominated as a Plutus finalist for the Best New Personal Finance Blog.  Thank you, to each one of you, for reading and providing insightful comments.  I love interacting with you, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without you. 


  • Make enough money through the blog to sustain the costs associated.  


I’m really excited that over the last 9 months, I’ve made over $2,000.  With the blog’s continued growth, it is encouraging to see more revenue, although I still have more to learn in order to fully monetize the blog.  If you have any tips on how you have increased your revenue, feel free to share!



  • Work out 4x a week and weigh 175 pounds.


I’ve been attending bootcamp 3-4 times a week fairly consistently.  Although over the last two weeks, I haven’t done as well.  Between some work travel, teaching a financial class at church (I’ll share more about this later), and preparing for the arrival of our second child, it’s been a busy time.  


On the weight front, I am down to 178.  Looks like by the end of the year, if I can keep attending bootcamp, I should achieve my goal of 175.  On top of that, I am beginning to really see the effects of the workouts on my body.  


I never quite understood that where you gain weight first is usually the place that you lose weight last.  I gain weight in my stomach first, unfortunately.  So, I felt a bit frustrated working so hard and not seeing any results with my stomach.  But all of a sudden, it seemed like my abs started to become visible.  That’s been motivational for me.


  • Eat healthier.


My wife says that I’m doing better.  I tend to disagree.  If I was really dedicated, I would be eating more protein and more leafy vegetables.  The good news is I have eliminated the late-night desserts.  My treat at night is usually a chocolate protein shake, which satisfies the sweet craving.  I’m also still eating an apple every day, but I need to integrate more fruits and veggies.


  • Find a new job.  


In March, I started a new job.  It continues to be a really good fit.  I really enjoy the work, and I have even received a bonus.  Even better, I have been making more and more contacts everyday.  On the first day, my boss told me to learn about the organization and focus on my future goals.  He has been instrumental in helping me plan out my next steps in the field.


  • Go somewhere memorable for our five year anniversary.  


Since my wife is pregnant, we decided to stay home for this anniversary.  While the baby has not arrived yet, my wife is full-term.  We look forward to meeting our new son soon and couldn’t ask for a more memorable 5-year anniversary.


  • Read the Bible and pray with my wife everyday.  

Pass and Fail

My wife and I have been doing a consistent job of praying together each night.  With that said, we have not been made it a priority to read the Bible together.  While we both read individually, we really need to get into the routine of reading together.



With all of the recent hurricanes and natural disasters, I have been trying to help out in anyway that I can.  While it feels like I can never do enough, I am trying to do my part in helping those recovering from these disasters.  It’s a great opportunity for all of us to show some more empathy towards our fellow man.  These type of disasters can affect any of us at the drop of a hat.


So readers, there you have it– my progress thus far.  How are you doing with your goals?  Share your progress below.

Mustard Seed Money

Welcome to the website. A mustard seed is a very small seed but astonishingly grows very large over time. My hope is that through your financial journey that your small investment in time, money and faith will grow beyond anything that you could ever imagine.


  1. Congrats on your net worth! And on the savings rate…even at 67%! I am trying to get to 70% but it is hard to do with three kids. What is your expected saving rate once you have have two kids?
    And boot camp 3 to 4 times a week on top of it all. Great progress:)
    Caroline recently posted…FI Income and Goals – Sept. 2017My Profile

    • I’m hoping the first year that costs won’t be too much with the newest addition. After that I have a feeling that our expenses will rise, hopefully our income rises as well 🙂

  2. Growing your net worth by 25% is no easy feat. At this rate’ you’ll definitely be on track for FIRE in a couple of years.

    For me, my goal is to grow my net worth by 10% a year. I am on track with a 9%+ increase as of the third quarter. Even if there is a mediocre increase in the market for the fourth quarter I should hit that goal.

    Congrats on the 100k monthly page views. What’s next? 200k page views?
    Leo T. Ly @ recently posted…What Are You Thankful For This Thanksgiving?My Profile

    • Thanks Leo!!! My net worth is definitely not where yours is. So it’s a little bit easier to get there 🙂 I guess the next goal has to be 200k 🙂 Although I have a feeling it’s going to take a lot longer to get there.

  3. Congrats on passing so many of your goals. And 65% savings rate is still awesome! The healthy food one is really good too as I have cravings for late night sweets too. I will usually calm them down now with a couple of dark chocolate almonds 🙂
    SMM recently posted…The Things You Own End Up Owning YouMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing PedalsforPennies!!! We are definitely hoping that Baby #2 doesn’t cost as much. Especially since we already have a lot of the clothes/gear 🙂

  4. re: new water heater. What made you replace it? Did you have it inspected & the inspector said it was near failure? Did you drain it partially & find rusty water?
    I’m faced with the same issue. I have a 10 year old water heater. Not sure if I should replace it or not. My water heater is in the garage & there is a drain in the middle of the garage and it slopes down. If the water heater fails, most of the water should either drain out or flow under the garage door. It would still be a mess but not as bad as it were in the basement.
    Did you get a more efficient water heater? That should save you money over the long term. Not sure about the payback period but it’s only the incremental cost. I used to do this kind of analysis. A water heater fails but replacement heater is more efficient than the one that it is replacing. The entire cost is marked as replacement costs but you get the added efficiency for no cost.

    • Hi Dan…My wife decided that at 13 years old she didn’t want to wake up to a flooded basement even though we have no problems or leaking. Even the company that we ended going with said we probably had another year on it. I tried to explain that nothing would happen but I couldn’t convince her. So for peace of mind and a happy wife we’re taking the plunge 🙂

  5. So many blessing coming your way MSM. All the very best for baby and mother. I follow the 60/20/10/10 rule with income allocation. 60% total living expenses, 20% Investment. 10% Unquestioned spend (fun money essentially). 10% Saving for larger purchases e.g. travel, car etc. It is working very well….. especially the 20% invest bit!

    • Thanks for sharing Mr. HM!!! Sounds like you are knocking it out of the park. Plus I love that you are spending 10% on fun stuff. Sounds like you have a terrific budget 🙂

  6. Congratulations on your goals! My favorite one on your list is practicing empathy. This is a skill we all need to work on.

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