Looking back at 2017 & ahead to 2018

With 2017 ending and 2018 kicking off, I thought it would be fun to look back at some accomplishments from 2017 and lay out some goals for 2018.

As I started to right these accomplishments and goals down I found they fell into three general categories and will approach both years in that manner:

  1. Financial (Personal Finance)
  2. Personal (Health and Family)
  3. Career (My primary job and this blog)

2017 Accomplishments

Financial (Personal Finance)

  • We grew our networth by 38%, which was awesome! Especially when you consider our savings rate dropped some in the second half of the year when we went down to one income after our son was born.
  • As mentioned above, we did go down to one income and had my wife stay home when our son was born in May. This is a HUGE accomplishment, as it takes discipline and the ability to budget/plan to make it all work.  So far, we’ve have hit the tighter monthly budget we’ve set for ourselves which has allowed us to maintain a savings rate higher than most people on two incomes.
  • Our average monthly after-tax savings rate was 48%! I’m super pumped about this considering half the year we only had one income.  While I expect this to be a fair amount lower in 2018, it was great to pad our savings in 2017.

Personal (Health & Family)

  • I became a father in May, which is the best thing that has ever happened to me, along with getting married to wife. It has been such a life changer but in all the best ways possible.  Being a dad continues to bring out the best in me and I am proud of how I handled it all in 2017.
  • Related to the accomplishment above, my wife was able to stay home with our son, so we are down to one income. This took some careful planning, budgeting, and life style changes but so far it has been going great and has appeared to be the best decision for our family.
  • I ran 500 miles in 2017! In my early 20’s I ran all the time but between life and some injuries there was a 4-5-year period where I barely ran at all.  Two years ago, I found a gym with great coaches who focused on getting my body strong again and it has really paid off.  The best part is my legs/knees felt great all year last year while running those 500 miles, cheers to more in 2018.

Career (My Primary Job)

  • In March of 2017, I received a 5% raise based on my performance in 2016. This helped with the savings rate described above as well as our decision for my wife to not go back to work when we had our son.  I think we did a great job of not falling victim to “lifestyle creep” and funneled most of the raise into our monthly savings.
  • This one was huge, right before Thanksgiving I found out I was getting a promotion I interviewed for earlier in the month. This promotion puts me at a manager level now in my company, something I have been striving for over the last two years.  This is a big next step for me and will hopefully give me another level of experience that I don’t already have.  Another great part, it came with a 10% raise, which should help us reach our financial goals for 2018!

2018 Goals

Financial (Personal Finance)

  • First financial goal for 2018, grow our networth by 12%. Why 12%?  This would get us to a pretty big milestone on our path to one of our biggest lifetime financial goals…I’ll just leave it at that.  I think with our savings rate and investment strategy that this is feasible even if the market performs significantly less than it did in 2017.
  • Our other financial goal for 2018 is to maintain a high level of monthly after-tax savings rate, even on a full year of one income. That goal for 2018 will be 35% monthly average after-tax savings rate.  Between my recent raise/promotion and our new one income budget, I think we can achieve this rate while at the same time living the type of life we want to live.

Personal (Health & Family)

  • My top personal goal in 2018 is to do everything I can to be the best husband and father possible. This includes spending more time with my family, reading more books, listening to more podcasts, etc.  I want to find more meaningful ways to connect with my wife and child as possible.
  • Another specific goal I have is for my wife and I to finish developing and implementing our Living Will, Healthcare Directive, and Power of Attorney, so we know James is taken care of is something was to happen to both my wife and me.
  • The big event for our family this year is that we hope to move closer to my job and into the house we plan to raise our family in, how exciting! I can’t wait to have a shorter commute to work.  Both my wife and I also can’t wait to be in a larger house so we have room to store things and don’t feel cramped all the time!
  • Lastly, in terms of my health I want to exceed my running accomplishment from last year and run 700 miles in 2018!

Career (My primary job and this blog)

  • With my new job starting at work on Jan 1, one of my main goals is to hit it hard out of the gate and make a good impression with my new boss and peers. I really want to identify areas where I can add value and make a positive impact in the organization.  I look forward to mid-year feedback on where I can improve and next steps.
  • With this new role, I have a team of two employees I now manage and lead, this being my first time in a people leader position. My goal is to be a good leader to these employees by giving them opportunities to excel and showcase their abilities, provide support where needed, and be someone they can trust to back them up, no matter what.
  • I really want to ACTUALLY contribute to this blog in 2018! I only posted twice in 2017 and that’s makes me sad considering how much I enjoy writing about our finances and being a dad.  I’m hoping to start with 2-3 times a month, but really at some point would like to post once a week.  This is a stretch goal for sure!

It’s hard to believe after the big year that 2017 was with the birth of our child, a busy job, first full year of marriage, etc.…that 2018 could go by any faster, but it’s shaping up to be that way.  Our son will be one in May, I’ve got a new role at work that looks to make me busier than ever, and we hope to move this summer.  I’m sure this year will fly by faster than the last.

I’m so excited for what lies ahead and feel great about the goals we have for 2018!

What big things did you accomplish in 2017?  What are your goals in 2018?

Thanks for stopping by!

Brad

Welcome to Fatherhood & Finance!

Welcome!

My name is Brad and welcome to Fatherhood & Finance!  Join me on my journey to becoming a father and working towards financial freedom.

Thank you so much for stopping by!  I hope you get something of value from the site and would love to hear from you!

Over the coming weeks and months you’ll see various articles on both Personal Finance related topics as well as topics related to Fatherhood.  I also hope that sometimes my posts will be focused on both!

Who Am I?

I’m a 31 year old Automotive Engineer who has loved all things Personal Finance for over 20 years.  My wife and I just gave birth to our first child in May 2017, so I just became a father as well!

My passion for Personal Finance started at 10 years old when I first discovered Thomas Stanley’s, “The Millionaire Next Door”.  My mother would read it to my step-father when we were taking long trips in the car.  For some reason the book spoke to me and I’ve been hooked ever since!

Why start this blog?

I hope Fatherhood & Finance will be an avenue to document, discuss, and further knowledge in 2 areas that play a very big role in my life: Fatherhood and the pursuit of financial freedom.  The latter has been a big part of my life for over 20 years and the former is just about to become the biggest part of my life for years to come.

Never having to worry about money, being able to do the things we love, and not having to work forever are just some of the things my wife and I seem to talk about everyday.  At a high level that is probably our definition of financial freedom.  Planning, researching, and thinking about our financial future and trying to learn more about the vehicles that can get us there are what drove me to start this blog.  My hope is this will be a channel for me to discuss all areas of personal finance, while engaging in dialogue and learning from those around me.

My wife and I welcomed our beautiful baby boy, James Robert, into the world on May 14th, 2017!  Being a researcher and planner by nature, I’ve read numerous books, taken pages of notes, talked to every dad I could get my hands on, and more.  My whole world currently revolves on being the best father I can be to James, while also remaining the husband my wife has come to know and love.  I’ll be documenting and discussing various topics as I experience them firsthand during my new journey in Fatherhood.

Thanks again for stopping by!

Brad!