Monday, July 7, 2008

Goals for July 2008 Revisited

Looking back at my 2008 goals, I felt it appropriate to break down how I was faring midway through the year. Here's the breakdown of my specific 'to be accomplished by July 1, 2008' list:

1) Plant my garden, hedge trees, and maybe apple trees.

My garden went in and is thriving for the most part. Tomatoes, snap peas, eggplant, peppers, herbs, berry bushes are all doing great. I had some problems with seed germination especially with the corn and green beans, but successive plantings of beans have given me some healthy plants, and I still have hope for a little corn before frost hits...we will see! The garden this year turned out to be a big expense since I decided to do raised beds due to my space and soil limitations. I'm pleased with how everything turned out, however, and the vast majority of those costs will not be repeated next year.

I planted 50 American Arborvitaes trees as a hedge along the back edge of my lawn. They took a ton of effort to get in, but since I had a week off from work when they arrived, I did have plenty of time to accomplish the job. I have some worries concerning the amount of sunlight they receive on a daily basis where they are planted, but so far they seem to be doing well. On average I would say the trees have added about 5-6 inches of new growth this year, and all but perhaps one tree seem vibrant and healthy.

Apple trees didn't work out this year, I ordered one but it didn't survive the shipping and planting process, so I'll try again next year. Although I wanted to plant only real, standard sized trees, I'm now thinking I'll go with a dwarf variety that will more easily fit my yard and as an added bonus will produce fruit as early as the second year after transplanting.

2)Reach $10,000 in emergency fund, $13,000 in retirement fund, and $1300 in taxable mutual fund.

Mixed bag here, largely due to the stock market woes of '07-'08. I would say everything on my part went well, and if anything, the stock slump will only add to the value of my accounts long term since so much of what I've invested has been bought during the slide. Emergency fund is in my HSBC high yield online savings account, and at one point was up to $12,000. Currently it is still above the $10k mark, but may dip a little below that point this summer since I have little to no income for a couple months.

My total retirement savings as of today is $11,300, far short of my stated goal. However, since 100% of this money is allocated to stocks, it isn't much of a shock that I didn't reach the $13k. In fact, I've been saving into this account for several years now and currently it is worth about $500 shy of my total contributions! Hopefully during the stock recovery that should occur over the next several years my account will thrive. Until then, I just need to set another goal!

Finally, my taxable mutual fund I opened through T. Rowe Price at the start of the year is currently at $2075, which is a result of me being fairly aggressive with funding the account. Investment returns so far are about -$125, but this just means that the $200 I add twice a month is currently buying me lots of shares! Again, this stock downturn should translate into excellent returns in the years to come, especially since all of the money I've invested into my taxable account has been while stocks have been discounted.

3) Propose new test recipes at work.

I had hoped to test several batches of recipes at different times throughout the semester, but as it turned out just our day to day duties kept us so busy that there was simply no time for it. I did one round of tests that led to a couple of new menu items that have since been heavily utilized.

Overall, I would say a successful first half of the year...

Next up, setting new goals for the second half.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

dude - time to change your profile. You didn't just turn 30 anymore.