The big theme of 2018 was learning that I get burned out when I try to do too much, and that my body will just force me to take downtime if I don’t plan it in. I learned this lesson over and over and over again. I also set a goal – trying to save $10,000 despite uncertain and pretty low income – that striving to achieve, in many ways, set back progress on more important objectives (namely working 65+ hours a week in order to save money and then getting burnt out on the show/book sales/youtube content.) I take these publicly stated resolutions a little *too* seriously sometimes.
It wasn’t an awesome year for my mental health; more on that in my 2018 annual report but I fought through some pretty annoying “dark internal monsters” this year (I’m sure the general mess that was 2018 politics didn’t help anyone). I’m pretty proud at what I did manage to accomplish in the face of working a ton of contract jobs while publishing a book and putting out a radio show each week.
But I also hope I can spend more time with friends, creating new pieces of art and visiting new cities – plus more time riding bikes and trains in 2019; as those things all give me a lot of joy and there simply wasn’t enough of any of them this year.
- Publish Get Your Money Together – This came out on tax day, 2018, and shipped to everyone who backed the kickstarter in May. It’s pretty! I’m proud of it. You can grab it here if you’d like a copy.
- Teach Personal finance to 200 low-income folks through Pay It Fur-ward partnerships – With my non-profit partners at College Possible, SYMRC, Central City Concern, and Life After AmeriCorps, I was able to achieve this goal!
- Publish Monthly Expense Reports – Success! Here they are.
- Track “treats” and coffee separately in grocery budget Success! You can see that in the monthly expense reports. I spend more on treats and less on coffee than I thought. ($25.09 per month on treats; $8.37 per month on coffee.)
- Reduce amount spent on clothing from 2017 totals – Success, though barely, after I bought the fancy!suit. I spent $1,121 on costumes + clothing this year (with more than half of that being the suit), down from $1,495 last year.
- Make Money from the Oh My Dollar! podcast – Yes! In addition to joining a network that sells ads for me, we now have a Patreon which supports the show and pays me and my editor Will a small amount! Thank you to our Purrsonal Finance Society Members that make this paw-sible.
- 150 hours of social (non-work) time – I wasn’t sure if this was a high or low prediction, it turned out to be too low since I hit it in August. I clocked in 226 hours of social time, and I still think that probably wasn’t enough.
- Save $10,000 – I got really, really close ($7,200), but I ended up deciding to spend a bit of money before the end of the year on business expenses (new laptop, annual software, etc) for tax reasons. I feel pretty solid about my savings rate considering that I earned less than ~$19,000 tax-home this year, though, putting me at a 39% savings rate (not calculating before-tax savings rate since my taxes are complicated as a sole proprietor with inventory). Obviously; this isn’t possible without the monthly federal health care subsidy I get, and my co-pay assistance program (since the cost of my drugs exceeds my annual income). I’ll dive more into this goal on my 2019 goals post and my annual report.
- 35 Speaking Gigs – I stopped taking unpaid speaking gigs unless they were through a non-profit partner, which put a damper on this, but I did okay. I accomplished 24 speaking gigs in 2018, including a TEDxTalk.
- Release A Statistically Significant Decade: A Data Memoir of my Twenties zine – Instead, I did this as a 100-day project, called #100daysofQS – seen here.
- Get my splits back – Achieved this in February, and then lost them again when I wasn’t stretching enough.
- Get Radio Syndication up to 10 cities – I didn’t work on this, and I’m still syndicated in only 8 cities.
- Secret Dance-related project- Decided to not do it.
- Three Bike camping trips this summer – I went on 0 bike camping trips, I hate to admit. I got really busy with work and didn’t make it priority.
- Launch Get Your Money Together Bootcamp local hosts program- I didn’t work on this as it turns out dealing with my own travel schedule and the book release was enough. I still want to do it though.
- Weekly meal planning (cont’d) – did okay, not great
- Stretching daily (cont’d) – did okay, not amazing
- Daily German practice (cont’d) – continuing as usual
- Flossing daily (cont’d) – easy peasy
- Working out 5 times per week (cont’d) – nope, I averaged 3.5 times/week not counting bike riding
- Sleeping at least 7.5 hours per night (cont’d) – yes, technically, but my sleep turned crap at end of year related to below:
- Reducing caffeine consumption to less than 3 cups daily – Failed miserably.
- Daily journaling – yes! Thought I moved from paper to Exist.io
Overall Verdict: B-
Hey, I published a book and saved money and made some art despite a low income. I feel…okay… about it!