Make-A-Goal Experiment Final Check-In: How Did You Do?

Exactly six months ago on November 16th, on a whim I started a Make-A-Goal Experiment. I wanted to encourage people to set a six-month goal for themselves, and follow through with tracking it for six months. I even promised a prize for those that checked in half-way through and at the end of 6-months.

People who made a goal by the 1st prize deadline: 100+
People who checked in at the half way mark: 30+
People who checked in at the end: ???

As I mentioned before, the prize will be a chance at a new, sealed 1 GB iPod Shuffle. Right now the odds are something like 1 in 2, so get your updates in by leaving a comment here with your goal progress! Remember, it’s okay if you didn’t reach the goal, just say how well you did and maybe add an explanation. The deadline is Friday, May 18th, and I’ll figure out the winner over the weekend.

Our Own Goal Update
We reached our goal of reaching $50,000 in cash (saving $12,000 more) in April. We’ll probably reward ourselves with some sort of sugary dessert. :) Time to set another goal!

Comments

  1. Loi Tran says:

    My goal was to increase my net worth by 10,000. I surpassed my goal, increasing it by 12689.47. I was helped by a strong stock market.

  2. I ended up funding $450 dollars to my RothIRA instead of the planned $1000, but I will have no problem catching up with that this summer during my internship. I should also be able to add the $1000 I was planning on adding after tax day this summer as well. Regardless, this is the first time in my undergraduate career that I have been adding money to my RothIRA, which is very satisfying in itself!

    I ended up saving a lot of the money in a high interest savings account for use as an extra emergency/moving fund instead of locking it up in my IRA. Also, a few unannounced things came up that I had to pay for, so there are some legitimate reasons for my not reaching the goal on time :).

  3. bigfoot says:

    I ended up fully funding my IRA for 2006 and 2007. I funded it later than I would have liked, but I’m glad I got in before the deadline. I had wanted to set it up at Zecco or SogoInvest, but Zecco charges $30/year and SogoInvest still doesn’t have IRAs. I used Scottrade instead, and it worked out fine. Unfortunately, I still haven’t invested the money. I was waiting to get 3 free trades for referring someone, but that someone I think ended up going elsewhere. I need to buy soon, but I have reservations since the market is so high. With taxable accounts, at least you can harvest tax-losses if the market goes down. I need to buy some RZV soon. Peace!

  4. Mine was to save 10K for a wedding. At ~9300 so probably should get there by the end of the month.

  5. My goal of paying off my wife’s car was reached two months ago.

  6. My goal was to save 5 months expenses by June 30th. I am about one month short but I may make it! Also, where did you get $50,000 in cash??? Unless your making 6-7 figures, I don’t know who has this ability… You robbing banks? :-)

  7. My goal was to save increase my oneline savings accout by $5,000 but was unable to do this due to an unfortunate set of circumstances… but I did save $1,000!

  8. Oops, I meant reaching $50,000 in cash savings. It was actually $12,000 more than we already have before.

  9. my goals were to

    1. have a new job meeting certain criteria -> i do not have a new job yet, but am still actively looking and applying. i feel i have some good prospects, but then it always seems that way.

    2. to have purchased a 4 unit apartment building -> pursued a couple and ended up turning them down for profitability. but DID buy another rental house and am purchasing another in a month. so alternate goal completed.

  10. Here is my Update

    1. Have 60,000 in 401k (currently @ 52,000)
    ?$69000, I blew this one away due to the market and a change in my company’s 401k match!. $17,000 in six months is awesome!
    2. Pay off two CCs. ~$4,500
    ?Both where paid off!
    3. Max out ?06 Roth IRA contributions ($8,000)
    ?Unfortunately I was chose not to fund the Roth. I regret this, but am committed to maxing out our ’07!
    4. $2,000 in cash savings
    ?$15,000 in savings now.

    Overall, I am impressed with our results.

    While it would be easy to move the cash savings into the Roths, we decided a few weeks after this post to buy a new house. The house puchase and move is complete, but we are building a shed. I want to make sure it is paid off in cash before funding the Roth’s for ’07.

  11. OK, Update time.

    My 6-month goal was to have enough $$ to cover the family trip to Disney while getting my acquisitive daughter to save for college. (If she?s as smart by then as she is now, it?ll become her ?beer and pretzel? money).

    -Plans changed and Disney was a bit out of the question for personal reasons (over-extended vacation plans) rather than money. My daughter hasn’t willingly saved anything for college, but I’ve been moving her “abandoned change” from around the house into her top secret ING account (she doesn’t know about it, which keeps her from counting it for her net worth…even though she’s only 8).

    Other plans that have developed….I’ve financed all of my wife’s Master’s myself and avoided all the loan garbage. We’re also expecting our second child and have been preparing for his/her arrival by shopping at some rockin’ rummage sales (like new sleepers for 10?-25? each!!)

    My next set of goals is clean out the clutter of life (eBay and charity) and insulate the last exposed parts of our basement (HELLLLLOOOO tax credit :-). Oh yeah, the last goal….win this contest….yeah, yeah, that’s the ticket!

  12. Unfortunately I did not reach my goal. In fact, I did worse than I’d done the year before with a similar goal :( However I did have more potential clients meet with me, and I did learn some things about myself that may help in the future, so not all of the news is negative.

  13. Er, and I guess I should have stated that I did at least make progress toward my goal. I netted about $3000, instead of the desired $12,000.

  14. Grad Student says:

    Goal: $10000 (savings + IRA – 0% cc balance)
    Final count (as of getting paid today): $10051.95

    Can’t get much closer than that…

  15. My Goals were:

    1. Pay off $4000 of credit card debt.
    -This is all paid off.
    2. Add $1000 to my emergency fund.
    -I had added about $2500, but ran into some unexpected (some necessary, some not) expenses recently. I ended up adding about $900 over the 6 months.
    3. Find a new job with a 20% pay increase.
    -I still haven’t found a new job. However, I have a few solid prospects, that I am trying to set up interviews for now.

    My short and long term goals have actually changed a lot over the last 6 months, but these are the results of the original 3 goals.

  16. Michele says:

    My goal was to start a Roth IRA and fund it $4000 for this year and start towards an additional $2000 for next year.

    Well, I was able to fully fund my Roth IRA for 2006 with $4000 – and despite putting in most of it right before the big market drop awhile back, I’m back above my initial investment.

    I haven’t been able to make any 2007 deposits yet, but I do have some extra money in my savings that’s kind of earmarked for that – however, since my life is really in flux right now I need that money to be liquid until I have my new job and apartment set up. Then, hopefully, I should be able to fully fund for 2007 by the end of the year.

  17. Our goal back in November was to open a 529 account for our then unborn son and funding it with at least $1,000 by the time he was born.

    Now that he’s 6 weeks old, the account has almost $1,500 in it. Thanks to consistent monthly contributions and the Fidelity 529 College Rewards MasterCard (2% cash back into the 529, which we read about in this blog), we have a great headstart for our son’s future.

  18. I did open up a vanguard Roth IRA account with my wife, and Max it out for year 2006. I will try continue to max the IRA for 2007 for me and my wife. (My goal is try to encourage her to get in to a habit of saving money for retirement)
    Thanks.

  19. My goal was to add $1200 to my savings account. I would have made it except for my dratted car needing service three times in six weeks and I used my non-emergency fund, which is my savings account, to pay for it so I wouldn’t have to charge anything. Darn it.

  20. SavingEverything says:

    My honest goal was to win something free from making comments, opinions, and factual statements with opinions on the mymoneyblog blog. Unfortunately, it has failed. You had a “prize giveaway” back in October or November 2006 to guess the last 2-digits of the Dow Jones Industrial; but, i guessed wrong. However, my comments have at least helped you in the development of the Rules and Regulations for that Prize Giveaway. While my goal is still reachable for this prize, I believe my goal has succeeded in initiated your thininking about your goals and to revisit them and make a blog post on it (i posed some questions about whether you had reached your goal of getting a full time job — see May 2007 Net Worth comment.) I’m hopeful my goal will be reached; but, so far, there’s no indication of how you will select the winner and such. Maybe it’ll be me :)

  21. My goal was to have $2500 saved in my emergency savings account. Right now it’s at $2000, and the reason for not reaching my goal is because I took most of my bonus from work and paid off one of my credit cards instead of funding my savings account. Looking back I’m glad I made this choice because it freed up more cash to dispense toward other things instead of having to pay a credit card bill that we didn’t need!

  22. My 6-month goal was to have our credit card debt paid down from $8200 to $2200.

    Well we decided not to pay the credit card off because it’s at 0% until December. Instead we paid the minimum and put our excess money into a “pay of the credit card account”. I’m proud to say that in the last six month we put $11,500 into that account.

    We were able to do so by putting away all the money that came in from a couple windfalls and raises for both myself and my boyfriend.

  23. Anonymous says:

    My goal was to pay off some debt and quit my part time job. I paid off my student loans and car loan!

  24. gallelo says:

    We planed to move our 401K to a more better performed and we found one option of VA from principal to do it. The only thing is it has surrender charge. Since we will keep the money there for a while so we don’t mind.

  25. My goals on November 16th, 2006 at 7:42 pm were:
    -Save $10K for emergency funds.
    -Max Roth IRA contributions
    -Invest an additional $5k in mutual funds.
    -Pay off a motorcycle purchase.
    -Pay off all my existing credit card debt! Yay!

    I saved $25K in emergency funds!
    Invested over $7K in mutual funds
    Maxed my Roth
    Paid off my motorcycle (and soon, my car)
    And paid every single cent off my credit cards

    More than I shot for. Yay!

  26. Original:
    My current status is $15,000 in cash for a house down payment and $11,000 in my emergency fund.

    My 6-month goal is to have $30,000 in 100% cash for a house down payment and $15,000 in my emergency fund.

    We reached out goal! We managed to save a total of $50,000 in cash! We just decided on a house last week and have started the paper work. Next month I will be $30,000 cash poorer, but a house payment richer. I can’t wait.

    At least we have our emergency fund fully funded for all of the suprises that home ownership brings (or so I hear).

  27. Jordan Lyall says:

    My 6 mo. goal was to have the combined value of my 401(k), Roth IRA, Taxable investing accounts, and Savings account to equal $11,500 (was $3200).

    I’m sitting at $8400. If you add my checking account total to the mix, then I’ve hit my goal.

  28. Goal -> Increase net worth by $15k
    Actual -> Increased net worth by $29k

    Whoo hoo!

  29. I just found out about this blog a few days ago, so I didn’t know about the contest. However, I too set up a goal back around November to save 10% of anything I make. I have been very diligent in doing that. I did have to dip into it when I had to pay the bills, but I made sure that I replenished it. Nov is also when I had my first passive income of about $1.2K/month by renting out my condo and moving to a place below my means. I’m definitly jumping in on the next contest. I’ve got about 5K songs on my hard drive that can use some serious backing up to an iPod. :)

  30. My goal was to pay off my unsubsidized student loan, which was at the time (if I remember correctly) about $7,000. I only paid off about $2000 of this loan, simply because I found out in January that I would be moving to the other side of the country and also my goal was pretty lofty based on my income at the time… so instead of paying debt so heavily, I started saving. But, I’m confident that within the next five months I’ll have it all paid off now that the move is coming in two weeks and I’ve definitely saved enough money!

  31. My Goal was to save $7500. I’ve saved about $7000, not quite there, but pretty darn close.

  32. Hey, great job everybody. I can’t make any conclusions as to whether making a goal actually helped you guys, but I’m very impressed so far.

  33. Original Goals:
    1) Increase net worth by 10%?.approx 16k
    2) For 2007 set up auto equal monthly contributions to max out my ROTH IRA

    Halfway Point:
    1) Well I?m amazed that this goal is well on its way. At the time of the original post my net worth was right around $160k mark. As of today it?s at $171k, so that just leaves another $5k to go which shouldn?t be an issue and will hopefully be surpassed in another 6 weeks or so (barring a stock market collapse)
    New stretch goal would be to get this to $184k, ie a 15% increase from the original base. That might be a little tougher

    2) I have set up automatic contributions although rather than for every month of the year it skips the two months around the holidays (always a little more expensive at that time of year!)
    That also makes it easy for me to keep track of as now it is 10 equal contributions of $400
    So the goal to max out the 2007 contribution amount to a ROTH IRA via automatic contributions is complete.

    Final Results:
    1) Comfortably completed original goal with a new net worth of $177k
    Only managed to add $6k since the halfway mark but the slight market correction, some large purchases plus a vacation put the dampers on the stretch goal. Still, gotta say I’m pleased with the outcome
    2) Done

  34. My goals were to pay off my car loan and save $10k in my emergency savings. I have $14k in emergency savings and my car loan is down to $10k…

    –Lib–

  35. I did it! My goal was to save $6000 for a roof replacement and finish my emergency fund. I actually exceeded my goal, saving a total of $8500 which makes the first time I actually have a fully funded emergency fund. This was a great motivation, and helped me watch my spending on frivolous things. I’ve noticed I started to slack off lately. Do it again!

  36. I had many goals to attain when i set them in May 06. Upon graduating from college my main goal was to secure a job in the financial related industry (which was difficult to secure in the NY metro area being that I went away to school @ Penn State) However after lengthy phone interviews, networking and resume drops I accepted a job at Citi. Goal 1 completed. Next goal was to start investing early (long term) so as an employee I started right away investing in the 401k plan. Goal 2 completed. Then I had to worry about day to day money management. Since I was a Citi employee I received perks for my banking account such as some fees waived b/c of my direct deposit, etc. So I stuck with a Citibank account. Another corporate perk I receive is a discount on my phone bill, which def helps giving we are attached to our cell phones.Goal 3 completed. I needed take that day to day money and invest it with a return that was liquid. So I linked up my checking account with a money market account (E-savings) therefore giving me the same rate at most CDs at the time, but the money was liquid not locked in for a year. Goal 4 completed. Next was to step up to a bigger and better credit card with better perks (Thank You points) again I stayed with Citi in order to receive automatic points every month just for using their services (Checking acct, direct deposit, etc.) Goal 5 completed. A big to not fall behind your budget is to stay on top of your expenses. With that I made sure that my credit card was linked to my checking account so I can transfer my payments online from my checking to my credit card account, as well as bill payments to be paid so i dont have to pay interest on late fees. Goal 6 completed. Next was to invest more with my rising income via long term stocks, index funds, low cost mutual funds. These goals are in the making which I have a few value large cap long term stocks but I have yet to choose the right allocation of index/mutual funds, since my 401k is well diversified I dont want to simply emulate my 401k. That is why I have been an avid reader of mymoneyblog which. Goal 7 in the process. Lastly was to make the move into my own apt, which is the one goal I have not been able to attain (have been looking), however the indirect result of that is I am not spending my income on rent which keeps my expenses down. Most of these goals i am proud of attaining. Even though I have not put a $ on each one of these goals, I think it is the progress I have made in a short amount of time on my own. Please feel free to comment on what I have written. i would appreciate your thoughts.

  37. Savvy Steward says:

    My goal was to save $12,000 for my upcoming wedding. Well I saved closer to $14,000 and my wedding is coming up next Saturday. My estimated cost of the wedding is around $22,000.

  38. My goal was to pay off at least half of my current credit card debt which is a little over $16,000. Well, I haven’t fully achieved the goal, but I have taken many healthy steps towards it. I moved most of the monies I owe from a high interest credit card to one with a 0% APR for 12 months. I am making minimum payments on this card, but have already saved over $6,000 which is currently resting nicely in a Emigrant Savings Account yielding +5% interest. I have been VERY diligent about not touching any of the savings I put in the account (minus one or two unexpected but not catastrophic expenses that needed attention). I plan on fully paying off the debt about 45 days before my low APR expires to reap the rewards of interest payments. The balance may not say zero, but I feel very good about the changes I have made regarding spending and saving in the past 6 months. In this way I feel like a winner anyway :’ ) Thanks!!!

  39. Diana (sophomore) says:

    Good job MP!! As a college sophomore, your goals are the exact same as those I’ll have in two years, but also now b/c of credit cards and day to day savings. Congrats on the new job! I’m also hoping to end up working in financial services in NY, so we’ll see how that turns out, but I’m glad you’re done with the grueling process. Do you have a blog? I’d love to read about your after-college adventures as a real adult.

  40. 20orSoStarter says:

    Well may be I didn’t submit it back then or my comments were lost (Jonathan?) :(

    Anyways, here are my goals again :) :
    1. Save $4500 for my 3-month emergency funds
    2. Start paying double my car loan EMIs
    3. Create a simple CD ladder

    Hope this time my comment stays :)

  41. Goal #1 done :)

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