Financial Goals: 2015 Review and 2016

Well, another year is in the books, and it’s time to look at our financial goals, specifically to see how we did, and how we’d like to see the year play out ahead.

Overall, we saw our net worth increase, but it was a disappointment in the fact that we fell short in a few categories, so the gain was not as I’d hoped, and was our smallest gain (percentage wise) in over six years.

I track our finances by breaking it down into several categories, first on the asset side and then on the liability side.  I will do the breakdowns by percentage, rather than list actual amounts.

Here is the breakdown for each major area:

Asset – Real Estate

We only have one asset here, our home.

2015 Goal: +3.8%
2015 Actual: +4.0%
2016 Goal: +2.9%

The value of our home, which I estimate by a combination of Zillow, actual sales in the neighborhood, and estimates from the city, was about on par.  Things seem to be slowing down a bit now that prices have largely recovered from the crash, so I’m lowering the pace a bit, though still projecting an increase.

Asset – Autos / RV

2015 Goal: -11.6%
2015 Actual: -23.6%
2016 Goal: -17.4%

We have two older cars (2007 Buick Rainier and 2006 Pontiac G6) as well as an older RV.  For the cars, I largely use the Kelley Blue Book Private value, and for the RV, I have a straight depreciation method.  I had thought that by nowmb-201403stacks the decline in value year over year would decline, but apparently older cars lose a lot of their remaining value around this age.  I’m basing our projections on keeping our current ‘fleet’ and projecting somewhere in the middle of last years values for the estimates.

Asset – Liquid Assets

2015 Goal: +14.2%
2015 Actual: -1.5%
2016 Goal: +33.0%

These are things like bank accounts, non-retirement brokerage accounts, CDs, and other accounts that could be converted to cash relatively easily.  I’d projected a modest increase, but we ended up with a small decrease.  This was largely because I’ve ‘written off’ a bit of the amount in anticipation of replacing our HVAC system, which we’ll have to do in the next couple of years, and also had to do with the volatility of the stock market. I’m being optimistic for 2016 in that I think we can add to our savings more aggressively and hoping for some improvement in our portfolio.

Assets – Retirement Accounts

2015 Goal: +12.0%
2015 Actual: +4.2%
2016 Goal: +12.9%

We cut back on our contributions a bit to avoid a potential IRS penalty depending on our tax situation this year.  That’s since been covered so we’ll be making up the difference, meaning our contribution level will be a lot higher, and I’m hoping that performance is a bit better.  Our investments are more aggressive since we’re still 20+ years away from retirement, so our investments here under performed the market.  Hoping for a turnaround.

Liabilities – Mortgage

2015 Goal: -7.0%
2015 Actual: -7.0%
2016 Goal: -7.6%

We’re not paying extra so as long as we make our regular payments, the projections here are pretty simple and easy to predict.  We were right on track, and since the balance is declining and the amount to principle expands every month, the impact will be better for 2016.  That helps our net worth!

Liabilities – Student Loan

2015 Goal: -18.4%
2015 Actual: -18.7%
2016 Goal: -23.8%

We only have one small student loan that doesn’t have much time left.  With a fixed rate around 2%, we are currently making the minimum payments.  We’ve got just around 4 years left, and we’d consider paying it off sooner, though that’s lower on the list of priorities.

Total – Net Worth

2015 Goal: +15.9%
2015 Actual: +8.3%
2016 Goal: +17.7%

I was disappointed that we didn’t at least hit double digits, but it simply wasn’t meant to be.  Maybe I’m setting us up for even more disappointment by being even more aggressive, but I don’t see it that way.  I want to make up the difference and a good year will help us do just that, so I’m going to put it out there and shoot for the stars.

Readers, how did your 2015 go and what are you setting as goals for 2016?

Copyright 2015 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.
If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

10 thoughts on “Financial Goals: 2015 Review and 2016

  1. Congrats Money Beagle! You may not have hit every marker, but you have a solid plan in place to track your results and achieve your goals. Continuing to set aggressive goals might sound intimidating now, but you’ll feel that much better when you realize them at the end of the year! Btw, I don’t often see autos figured into net worth so kudos for the full disclosure and allowing that to put a small dent in your net worth each year.

    Good luck!
    Josh recently posted..7 Ways to Lower the Cost of Owning a DogMy Profile

    • I include them though I heavily discount even the Blue Book value. I think it’s all about definition. I define Net Worth along the lines of “If we sold everything of value we had, how much cash would we have” and while it’s not a huge amount, the cars and RV would certainly add to the pile.

  2. Increasing net worth by over 8% is pretty good, at least for those of us not just starting out. Plus we simply can’t control how the market does. If you’re brining in income and closely managing expenses, while having a reasonable asset allocation, you’re succeeding with the most controllable variables. Well done!

    • Thanks, though at the age I’m at (41), I’d like to see the numbers higher than that considering that this is a foundation for the rest of my working years. But, we do with what we have!

  3. We did pretty well this past year, managing an overall savings rate of about 28%. Which, with our various expenses, ain’t bad.

    Unfortunately, this year we’re doing without $766 a month, so we’re having to reconfigure everything and hope that we can still find a way to put money in savings each month. (Most months we put $800+ away, but not all months. So the goal is to avoid dipping into savings and hopefully to build it.)

Comments are closed.