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It’s Time to Review Goals and Set 2022 Financial Goals!


The year is over, it sorta kinda sucked again but maybe less so than 2020 for some and it’s time to review the goals I set last year. While I’m doing that, might as well set some 2022 financial goals. No point in doing it in separate posts. That’s efficiency!

It’s always good to review what happened last year because those will drive the goal setting decisions I make this year. After all, if I failed everything then it likely means that I need to be more realistic about my goals next year.

I usually set these suckers at the beginning of the year and then try to gauge my progress mid year. I always find that reviewing them is a good motivator to try to do more in the 2nd half of the year as I’m always dragging ass at that point.

2021 wasn’t an amazing year in terms of savings so I expect to see a lot of failures. We bought a house in December of 2020 and those costs and the outfitting of said house carried into 2021 impacting my expenses quite a bit. On top of that, I had a bunch of heath issues and those became my #1 expense for the year quite quickly as I soared through my deductible and nearly met my super high out of pocket max. Yay, insurance, you pay a lot for it then it’s barely useful due to high deductibles and stuff.

If this it the first time reading my goals, I generally do them in three tiers with a bronze, silver and gold metal award for meeting the goals as they increase in difficulty. It’s like the Olympics of finance, how cool!

At the end of the year, I tally up all my medals and reward myself with a nice feeling of self satisfaction(or self-loathing due to failure).

I aim to make the golds quite hard to hit as evidenced by 2020’s result of 1 silver, 5 bronzes and 4 failures. That was a tough year but 2021 might have been even tougher so I’m not even sure things will be that good.

Let’s take a look at the results from 2021 and set those 2022 goals as well.

Portfolio Goals

Goal One – Invest more capital

2021 Review

  • Bronze – Invest more capital than in 2020
  • Silver – Invest 7.5% more capital than in 2020
  • Gold – Invest 15% more capital than in 2020

2021 was a tough year for saving so this is actually a bit fat failure. In fact even if you include all home equity as a form of savings, I saved way less than I did in 2020, I’m talking like 70% of what I saved the year before.

Still, given what I experienced, it’s pretty awesome to still be able to save money despite the high expenses.

I think I’m going to make this a bit harder to achieve on the silver and gold scale since the starting point is so much lower. I’m hopeful I can get back to 2020 level of savings now that the house is more set up and now that some of my health issues are at least known. I’m sure I’ll have some expenses on both sides but hopefully they’re a bit lower this year.

I did just get a $1,100 oil delivery(we have two tanks) so maybe not.

2022 Goal

  • Bronze – Invest more capital than in 2021
  • Silver – Invest 20% more capital than in 2021
  • Gold – Invest 40% more capital than in 2021

Goal Two – Collect more dividends

2021 Review

  • Bronze – Collect $15,500 in dividends
  • Silver – Collect $16,500 in dividends
  • Gold – Collect $17,500 in dividends

As you saw in my latest dividend post, my yearly dividends ended at $15,869.11 or a 13.9% bump over the prior year and good enough for a bronze medal. Success!

You can see the path of growth in the graph below. I’m not a dividend investor and don’t target yield but I have been buying some more of those names in the past year as growth soared. Value just seemed like a more reasonable place to put money when certain growth names started trading at 50x sales.

Now, things are swinging, as they tend to do, towards growth after some negative weeks there so we’ll see where we go from here.

80% of my money is in simple index funds and that won’t change so the above only really applies to the 20% I actively manage. Most of my money just goes into the S&P 500 and other crap like that. Nice to keep it boring.

2022 Financial Goals

2021’s dividend growth is a good bump given the lackluster results in terms of the amount of capital I put into the market. The good thing about these numbers getting this high is that they all get re-invested into my portfolio and help support internal growth. I’m at a spot now where these dividends generate enough cash with which to get new shares to make years where I save little less impactful.

After all, when you take these dividends and combine them with the capital gain distributions my index funds and mutual funds paid out, my forward income went up nearly $1,000 just due to that. Again, capital gains are not a yearly thing but I’ll take it anyway. That and additional funds should help dividend growth be healthy going forward.

2022 Goal

  • Bronze – Collect $18,000 in dividends
  • Silver – Collect $19,000 in dividends
  • Gold – Collect $20,000 in dividends

$18,000 is about a 13.4% growth rate over last year which is a similar growth clip to last year but as numbers get bigger, % gains get harder to so we’ll see if this is a reasonable goal. However, dividend growth has been on an uptick lately and with rising rates, maybe even bonds will start to pay out a bit more.

I figure $20,000 is a good goal to set for gold since that would mean a 26% growth rate and a pretty great new milestone. It’s unlikely that happens unless my expenses are super low this year and I can pump a ton of money into this market or prices drop enough to make new purchases yield a lot more.

Savings Goals

Goal One – Achieve a certain gross income savings rate

2021 Review

  • Bronze – Gross income savings rate of 33%
  • Silver – Gross income savings rate of 39%
  • Gold – Gross income savings rate of 45%

I saved 16.7% of my gross income in 2021. That’s still a nice number as it’s positive but well below that I was aiming for this year.

If you include extra equity payments I made towards the house, that numbers jumps to 19.5% and all equity takes it to 22.2%. Adding employer contributions to that number brings it all to 27.4%.

That all in number was 40.6% in 2020 so quite a difference from that number. As I said before, a lot of the home purchase costs fell into 2021 as did some health issues. As you can imagine this will pretty much impact every savings goal this year.

2022 Goal

  • Bronze – Gross income savings rate of 33%
  • Silver – Gross income savings rate of 39%
  • Gold – Gross income savings rate of 45%

No changes to the goal for 2022. I’m hoping to get back to my usual successes this year and really amp up the savings where I can. I also like the 33% goal as the baseline since that’s like 1/3rd of my money man.

Goal Two – Achieve a certain savings rate

2021 Review

  • Bronze – Savings rate of 44%
  • Silver – Savings rate of 51%
  • Gold – Savings rate of 58%

The gross income savings rate up there takes into account taxes while this one doesn’t which is why the goal is higher.

However, the two go hand in hand so if that one is a failure then this one will likely be as well.

On that front, my savings rate for the year ended up being 21.99% which again is a bit ol’ failure.

Adding in all equity to that took it to 29.3% and adding employer contributions takes it to 36%.

2022 Goal

  • Bronze – Savings rate of 43%
  • Silver – Savings rate of 50%
  • Gold – Savings rate of 57%

I’m taking this down just a tick to help make the bronze a bit easier.

I think the basis of this goal going forward will be the number with all equity included cause it’s easier to hit and doesn’t discount the value of the mortgage payment. I’ll still track them separately and aim to hit the goal w/o equity but won’t count it as a failure if I hit with equity.

Goal Three – Achieve a savings rate of 50%+ in X months

2021 Review

  • Bronze – Savings rate of 50%+ in 6 months
  • Silver – Savings rate of 50%+ in 9 months
  • Gold – Savings rate of 50%+ in 12 months

This one is month specific with an aim to hit a certain savings rate each month. This generally happens at least 6 times in a good year where I hit the above savings rate goals but since I failed those, I failed this one too.

I hit a 50% savings rate once this year so that’s a problem. You can see the monthly results in the graph below.

You can see that January and June were big negatives. Both of those months are when our HOA fees are due but also where a bunch of home expenses happened. After all, we bought a house in December so had to buy a bunch of stuff like a snow blower in January. On top of that we had some fixes during the year that drove costs down in additional to the various health expenses that happened throughout the year, some of which were early in the year before the deductible was met.

A lot of that stuff was frontloaded as September-December started to tick up a bit versus the average.

Overall not the best year in terms of saving but I still managed to save money in a year where we had a bunch of expenses so that’s something to be thankful for.

2022 Goal

  • Bronze – Savings rate of 50%+ in 6 months
  • Silver – Savings rate of 50%+ in 9 months
  • Gold – Savings rate of 50%+ in 12 months

No changes for 2022, going for the big savings this year. If I fail, I fail but at least I tried!

Goal Four – Make additional mortgage payments 

2021 Review

  • Bronze – Make additional principal payments equal to one month’s mortgage payment
  • Silver – Make additional principal payments equal to two month’s mortgage payment
  • Gold – Make additional principal payments equal to four month’s mortgage payment

I ended up making ~1.7x of a mortgage payment in extra equity. Our rate is small at 2.75% but I like the idea of paying off the home faster especially since we’re planning to retire early.

I get that the long term returns are likely going to beat 2.75% but sometimes it’s nice to lower your debt profile. After all, in the future, if payments ever become an issue, we could also always recast our mortgage and get a lower payment due to the additional payments we’ve made.

This will change if we have a market crash and the market is suddenly much more appealing.

Ideally, we’d like to pay down the mortgage before we retire but I’m not sure that’ll be feasible.

2022 Goal

  • Bronze – Make additional principal payments equal to one month’s mortgage payment
  • Silver – Make additional principal payments equal to two month’s mortgage payment
  • Gold – Make additional principal payments equal to four month’s mortgage payment

Same plan this year, no changes. It’s an easy goal to have and I’ll probably be able to hit bronze most years unless the market has a massive crash and it just makes so much more sense to pump all of my money into that.

Expense Goals

Goal One – Reduce monthly bills

2021 Review

  • Bronze – Reduce one bill in 2020
  • Silver – Reduce two bills in 2020
  • Gold – Reduce three bills in 2020

This is a bronze. We’ve had a combination internet/tv package since it was always lower than just going full out internet but that changed this year. The prices of the TV package kept going up due to the various additional fees and I was able to save nearly $30 by just moving to a lower end internet. It’s still plenty fast for what we need and saves us money every month.

On a lot of other costs, I reversed with this in 2021. We moved from a 1,000 sq foot apartment to a 2,000 sq foot house so all of our utilities went up quite a bit and I bought a new iPhone(spread across 24 months) and upgraded to an unlimited cell phone plan which took those bills up a bit too.

Plus you’ve got inflation increasing costs across the board.

Goal Two – Cover discretionary expenses with side hustles

2021 Review

  • Bronze – Cover one of my expensive discretionary expenses with a side hustle
  • Silver – Cover two of my expensive discretionary expenses with a side hustle
  • Gold – Cover three of my expensive discretionary expenses with a side hustle

This is a failure as I didn’t do a lot of side hustles this year. I spent some time on this blog and a YouTube channel but that’s about it for now.

You’ll notice there are no 2022 goals here as I don’t enjoy these expense goals and don’t plan to do them going forward. Reducing one bill or whatever is just a drag and with inflation, it gets harder and harder to do every year.

On top of that, the side hustle goal is fine but I generally don’t want to spend a lot of time on that so I rarely do it. I’m not into the hustle culture, I work my 40 hours per week and then do what I enjoy in my free time.

In essence, expense goals are dead from here!

Income Goals

Goal One – Increase income

2021 Review

  • Bronze – Increase income(2021 vs. 2020) by 2%
  • Silver – Increase income by 5%
  • Gold – Increase income by 10%

This is a simple goal and just a comparison of my overall income. Most of that comes from my day to day gig and it doesn’t include any dividends or anything like that. It does include some of the side income I also make from some e-books I wrote years ago which actually ticked up a tiny bit this year for some reason.

Overall my total income was up 3.3% this year.  That’s good enough for bronze. It’s not a lot and really shows that I’ve probably peaked in terms of income at my current job unless I change roles or change companies. Most of my increases since my last promotion have been relatively small and I doubt that changes anytime soon.

2022 Review

  • Bronze – Increase income(2021 vs. 2020) by 3%
  • Silver – Increase income by 5%
  • Gold – Increase income by 10%

The plan is to tick this up a tiny bit for 2022 due to inflationary pressure. I am interested in what kind of increases we’ll get this year but I’m not sure companies will all that willingly give out 6-7% increases to mirror inflation. I doubt real cost of living increases are going to be too common for most people this year which could lead to a lot of job hopping.

It’ll be interesting to see if companies know that at all and actually give employees solid raises or if they’re planning to deal with it when it happens. It’s always so short sighted to save 5% in someone’s raise and then have to give someone new 10-15% more and then train them up. Such a waste of resources.

Goal Two – Make a profit on the blog and donate to charity

2021 Review

  • Bronze – Make $100 on the blog and donate it to a charity
  • Silver – Make $300 in profit on the blog and donate it to charity
  • Gold – Make $500 in profit on the blog and donate it to charity

It’s a bronze here, I donated just north of $200 to charity which was the profit this blog made after expenses. It’s a nice little thing to be able to do but I really don’t spend enough time on this blog to make it highly profitable at the moment. Maybe sometime in the future!

2022 Goal

  • Bronze – Make $100 on the blog and donate it to a charity
  • Silver – Make $300 in profit on the blog and donate it to charity
  • Gold – Make $500 in profit on the blog and donate it to charity

No changes this year, plan for the same but maybe I’ll make a bit more this year!

2021 Goal Review Wrap-Up and 2022 Financial Goals

In 2021, I got 5 bronze medals and 5 failures. That’s a drop off from the year prior when I hit 1 silver, 5 bronze and had 4 failures.

Still, I’m overall happy with the results. It may seem weird considering I didn’t hit any silver medals and failed half my goals but it was a tough year and these goals are meant to be hard so failures just show that I set goals correctly.

If I was hitting silvers or golds with the 0 effort I put into stuff this year, that’d be a problem.

My 2022 financial goals are set now too and I’m taking them down from 10 to 8. Having less goals will make it easier to focus on the ones I really care about. I’m hopeful this year is a bit more successful given the financial pressures on last year.

However, my medical condition is not going away so that’ll be an ongoing cost and we now own a house so our bills will forever be higher and stuff will break. Owning a house is pretty awesome though so that’s at least a nice problem to have and with inflation being what it is, it seems like we picked a decent time to buy considering our mortgage rates versus inflation.

I would assume home prices will drop as rates rise but given the lack of nice homes in this area, I’m not so sure that’ll happen quickly.

In 2022, while I do have a financial goal for it, it’s possible that I spend less on the mortgage given the rate and put more money into the market especially if this current little correction keeps going on.

It’s nice to have the 401k reset so I can start pumping tax-advantaged money into the market. I’ve already boosted my 401k % to 25% to get a head start on funding that account and will be buying things that will hopefully help with a variety of goals here. I’m eager to see where the market goes from here and hopeful for a better year in 2022!

How was our 2021 and have you set your 2022 financial goals yet?

2022 financial goals


Kason Sage
the authorKason Sage