End of 2018 net worth report: $93,448, as of a few minutes ago (STOCK MARKET BLUES). I also have $3500 chilling in an unrelated account, waiting for tax season; I have no clue whether I held enough out of my freelance earnings or not, but I guess we’ll find out! My freelance earnings, by the way, totaled $13376, or $18876 if you count the adjunct summer class I taught via my day job. Not bad at all, considering I’m building up from scratch and also volunteering approximately half time. I would be pretty happy to repeat that number (doubled to represent a full year) in 2019.
I decided to make a few pretty lightweight financial goals for 2019, just to give some shape to my decisions moving forward. None of these involve an actual plan, and they are all subject to change — for example, if I get a full-time job again sometime this year (a possibility I am still debating) I will revise the savings numbers upwards. But here are my thoughts right now:
- Develop freelance income to an average of $3000/month over the course of the year. This is below where I want to be longer term — that would be closer to $5000/month — but considering that I am still building contacts and business, and will be continuing to work part time and volunteer part time through June, I think aiming for this average is pretty reasonable.
2. Increase my cash on hand to $50,000. Currently I have about $40,000 in cash savings, with a couple thousand extra in my checking account. So I’m aiming to add something in the vicinity of $8000-$10000. That would represent about 25% of my hoped for freelance income so this goal might be overly ambitious, but it’s something to aim for, anyway. If the market massively crashes I’ll invest some of this but if it’s just going to keep screwing around in the Dow 22,000-26,000 range I’ll keep it in cash.
3. Fully fund my Roth IRA. I contributed about $10K to retirement in 2018 (nearly all of it before I left my job at the end of August.) In 2019, I’d be satisfied with $5500 into my Roth IRA. If I do get a full-time job this is the goal that’s most likely to significantly change — I’d put more into retirement if that happened.
4. “Give” half my after-tax income. For a few years now, I’ve been aiming to save half my after tax income, and gotten pretty close, either going just over that or just under it. But in 2019 I want my mindset to be less about saving and more about giving, to my future self and to others. When I add my numbers up at the end of the year, I’d like to have spent about half on my living expenses, and about half on giving my future self care and options, and giving others gifts in the present. My bare-bones budget includes some charitable giving, but it’s pretty minimal — around $50 a month. Freelance income allowing, I’d like to increase that to $100/month. When I stop doing half-time service work after June 2019, I also want to increase the $$ giving line accordingly. I’m also starting a budget line for gifts for my godchildren and niece, who all constantly need clothing and books.
And that’s it! I am moderately optimistic about 2019, for the first time in a while, and I hope you are all out there enjoying the last day of 2018. Thanks for continuing to come along for my ride.