2013 was a stressful year. It was stressful dealing with two long-term vacant properties, a third tenant who kept falling further and further behind on his rent, and having to spend so much on repairs. Plus, I drove more than 40,000 miles last year, which wore me out.
But I still made progress on my financial goals. I am getting closer and closer to financial independence. Really, anyone can reach Financial Independence if they are willing to work hard and make sacrifices.
I had 5 goals for 2013:
- Lose at least 30 pounds. That didn't happen. I started the year at 230 pounds and ended around 234 pounds. I haven't been riding my bike much and my diet sucks. That's called accountability.
- Increase my net worth by $75,000. With an unanticipated inheritance I easily exceeded this. Without the inheritance, I still increased my net worth by $68,000, even with unexpected, ridiculous amounts spent on maintaining my rental properties.
- Reduce utilities expense by 10%. In 2012, I spent $2,760 on utilities. I spent less in 2013. At some point in the year I decided to no longer track this goal. I know what I spent on utilities, but cutting 10% no longer moves my financial needle and I decided this was not a meaningful goal to track. Reducing utilities by 10%, or $276 ($23 per month) is a great thing to do. But I reduced debt by nearly $4,000 PER MONTH. Now that DOES move the financial needle!
- Reduce debt to $350,000. I didn't rack up a bunch of debt by living life in the fast lane. I've had my share of brain farts (like in 2009 when I bought a new BMW), but most of my debt is from investing in rental properties. I met this goal. At the end of 2013 I was within $84 of $350K. I reduced total debt by $47,000 in 2013.
- Purchase one piece of real estate. Fail. 2013 was a terrible year for tenant drama. I had a nasty eviction, a tenant died in one of my properties, and I almost evicted a third tenant. A new roof, two new HVAC units, ripping out ruined 10 month old carpet... all these things made it easy for me to say "NO!" to new real estate in 2013.
2013 is now filed away. 2014 will be an amazing year.