Look out for the “End of Year” status reports – version 2020!


Well, its that time of year, the end-of the old year, beginning of the new. What we can look forward to over the next 30 days is a list of the performance of various FI bloggers, and their goals for the new year. Some insights on how their investment strategies worked out, what frugal tips worked (and which ones didn’t), what travels they made, etc. Get ready for it!

While some might look down on this, or find it boring, I actually enjoy seeing the information shared by our community. I always try to take away 1-2 things from each annual review, and try to integrate some of them into my plans for the new year. I also write about my wins & losses, and what I’m planning for the next year. It could be “navel gazing” but it helps me work out my objectives and what lessons I learned. So here goes…..

We’ll start the series of blog posts off with how I did with my goals for 2019.

Financial Goals: Like most folks in 2019, we hit this “out of the park”

  • Save $80K in my tax-defered, Roth and regular investment accounts. Score A. The final total was a little over $86K, which is less than last year, but I cut back on money to my deferred account at work.  
  •  Increase dividend income to over $27K, so it covers 37% of a sample $72K/year standard of living (roughly what we are living right now). Grade A. Dividends were $29,406, or over 40%.
  • Beat new worth growth rate of 7% (I’ve averaged 6.1% over the last ten years). Grade A. Net Worth grew 20.1% to a little over $1.7M (only $300K of which is our home).

Business Goals

  • Begin attending regular meetings of my local Real Estate association. Grade F. Made decision at start of year to discontinue this.
  • Double the number of blog visitors in 2018. Grade F. Had 6,267 in 2018, and hit about the same number in 2019. Thanks to everyone who came & read, and especially those who commented. Going to (hopefully) do some more interesting writing in 2020.
  • Write/publish a book on finance. Grade F. Made almost no progress on this (only finished the outline). Need to start researching areas of the story. I’d like to make some progress on this in 2020.


  • Increase weight lifted by 10%. Grade A: Increased my weight lifted by 16.7% in 2019. I’ve hit a “wall” right now, and haven’t pushed up for several months now.
  • Average 3 hours of Cardio per week. Grade D. Life has made it difficult to hit the “3 hours per week goal” but I was able to hit about 2 hours fairly consistently.
  • Take part in one long bike ride (80+ miles). Grade F. Did not do
  • Backpack over 100 miles on AT. Grade C. Did around 80 miles. Its getting difficult to do this, because I’ve done just about all the hiking I can do in a half-day’s drive, so weekend trips are just about out. Probably will “walk down” the goal for 2020.
  • Reduce weight by 20 lbs. Grade F. Actually gained a couple of pounds from Jan 2019. Really need to work on this (like so many others New Year’s resolutions for 2020).
  • Read at least one book a month. Grade A. Again, really loving hitting this goal. The reading keeps me off the computer and from watching TV as much as I used to. Did 21 books in 2019. Already close to finishing one in Jan 2020.


  • Visit a National Park. Grade A. Hit one during trip to North Carolina (Smoky Mtn. National Park). Plans for doing three in California in 2020.
  • Visit family in Tennessee, New York and Vermont. Grade A. Saw family all over the place, though not as much in NY as I might have liked.
  • Week at the beach: Spent a week there with Mrs. 39 Months and had a great time. First time we ever really took a week off at the great New Jersey beaches. Going to repeat this with family in 2020.
  • Visit Asheville NC: Grade A. Had a good time, and Mrs. 39 Months enjoyed the Dulcimer festival while we were there.
  • Visit Ellis Island. Grade F. Did not visit
  • Go on an International Trip. Grade F. Didn’t travel internationally in 2019.

Like most folks, 2019 was a great year financially, really setting us up for FI. It was a mixed bag for Personal and travel goals. We did get a lot of things done, and I have some new ideas for business goals for 2020 that excite me. I’m very happy with how the year worked out. Hopefully you can all say the same!

Mr. 39 Months

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