Quarterly Update For January – March 2011


Per Wikipedia – Goal-setting ideally involves establishing specific, measurable, attainable,realistic and time-targeted objectives. Work on the goal-setting theory suggests that it can serve as an effective tool for making progress by ensuring that participants have a clear awareness of what they must do to achieve or help achieve an objective. On a personal level, the process of setting goals allows people to specify and then work towards their own objectives — most commonly financial or career-based goals.

I have decided to join the ranks of the bloggers that post updates of their financial situations. Many bloggers do it to be transparent and bottom line is that is a great reason, but it is not my main objective.   I do feel that it is important to show you, the reader, that I do what I say I do,  but my motivation for posting updates on my financial status is to help me ensure that my wife and I meet our goals.

When I developed our 2011 goals I made sure they were specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and time-targeted.  These quarterly updates are my way of measuring my progress which will keep me on the path to achieve my goals.

Also by posting my goals and progress I hope that it encourages my family, friends, and readers to both encourage and hold me accountable to my goals.

One last thing, I have decided to take more of a “big picture” approach to my updates and accordingly my updates will lack the detail of other bloggers.

Now lets look at the progress I have made in achieving my goals.


During the last 3 months my wife and I saved $2,900 dollars.  This puts us ahead of the pace we need to achieve our $6,500 goal this year.  This is in part because we saved $2,000 for our tax return.

While preparing this update I noticed that I forgot to change my direct deposit for my savings account, so there is my first benefit of doing this update. :)


During the quarter we  invested over $6,500. Once again, ahead of our yearly pace but we also had approximately $5,000 of employer contributions. Both my wife and I receive profit sharing contributions during this time frame, so this will be a good quarter for us until something changes with our work situations.

An update to our goals, we have decided to take $200 a month we were investing and focus it on paying down debt. My wife and I have decided that debt reduction is our number 1 priority for the rest of 2011.

Debt Reduction

During the past 3 months, my wife and I have paid off approximately $6,000 of debt. On top of our normal debt paying down we used $2,000 from our tax return to pay down additional debt.


I signed us up for Mint.com during March to help us track all expenditures.  So far I like using Mint.com but I still have some work to do to get it to work the way I want it to. I also revisited our budget during this time frame to make sure everything was appropriate and make necessary changes. Once again this post is a great reminder of our goals and the work that we will need to do it achieve them.

Income Diversification

Some progress was made in this area.  No money has been made from my efforts here at Common Financial Cents but I knew that would be the case. My expectation is not to make any money from blogging for at least 6 months.

Thanks for reading, what do you do to make sure you achieve your goals?