17 Goals for 2017 and Net Worth Q4 2016

If you’ve been following our epic journey to financial independence, you’ve probably noticed the level of acceleration between now and last year. We’ve effectively doubled our savings rate from 20% to 40% over the course of 2016, and even pushed ourselves to save 60% in the last quarter!! Ahhh! Crazy, I know.

Crazy awesome! 🙂

Our 90 Day Frugality Challenge was so impactful that we’ve decided to continue  many of the best practices throughout 2017.

I’ve put together a list of EVERYTHING we’ve done to effectively triple our savings rate from 20% to 60%, so expect to see that a week from today.

Okay, enough rambling and now onto the important part of this post:

Net Worth Q4 2016

Distilled Dollar Net Worth Q4 2016

Goes without saying, we’re a bit shocked at the progress.

We had to revise the Q3 numbers when I realized I accidentally added a credit card bill to assets instead of liabilities. Too bad the credit card company never makes that type of mistake.

Sure, we expected some level of success with the 90 Day Frugality Challenge, but I don’t think either of us expected to actually hit our goals 100%.

The big decrease in a liabilities is a great sight to see, especially since we recently accelerated our student loan repayments.

On a net worth level, we obviously benefited  from the rapid increase in the stock market over November and December.

Our net worth increased in 2016 by $55,506.71!

While seeing our stocks go up has been great, the number we focus on more is our savings rate. Stock fluctuations are outside our control, so we prefer to set goals and metrics based on factors we can control, such as our day to day habits.

Our 2016 savings rate was 40.0% on the dot. Our Q4 savings rate was just above 60.0%.

If you’re curious how we’ve managed to rewire our habits, check out my recent book review of The Power of Habits. The science makes it a little bit easier to speed up the path on financial independence, but the overall happiness and feeling of security is worth it! 🙂

Okay, now for the scary part of this post. In the beginning of 2016 I listed personal goals we had. At the time, it was actually SUPER scary since the goals seemed just slightly out of reach, but that’s the point of having a goal. We want to push ourselves further.

It is also interesting how our biggest goal for 2016 was hit on December 23th, 2016. Funny how we end up achieving that which we set our minds to if we focus and are held publicly accountable.

17 Goals for 2017

While these might mask themselves as New Year’s Resolutions, what they really are, are my goals for the intermediate future.

I always chuckle a bit when I hear the stats on how 90%+ of New Year’s Resolutions fail. I figure if we want to improve an area of our lives, then what’s stopping us? It seems natural that these will succeed.

Luckily, that’s been my track record over time. Success typically attracts more success so I find it easier to hit 90%+ of my goals than to hit 50% of them.

Here are my goals for 2017:

1) Read 30m each morning

2) Meditate 20m each morning (nothing crazy, just stare at a candle and focus on my breathing)

3) Review Goals every morning for 5m

4) Visualization exercise each morning for 10m (anyone else partake in this unconventional ritual?)

5) Date night 2x each week

6) Keep making breakfast for the future Mrs. every morning

7) Sunday reserved exclusively for cooking, relaxing, working out, meditation, reading, etc. (aka NO blogging on Sundays! This is seriously a challenging one for me.)

8) Hit the gym at least every other day

9) Hit 80k in savings

10) Beat my Chicago Triathlon time

11) No video games

12) No cell phone while at work

13) Cut meat intake in half by eating more greens + quinoa, farro, potatoes, etc.

14) Review & update goals at the end of each Quarter

15) Reestablish weekly game night or at least monthly game night with larger crowd

16) Reduce coffee intake to only 1 cup

17) Place a bid to our landlord to buy our condo.

There they are! I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted throughout the year!

Also, if you prefer seeing a net worth update EVERY MONTH (like most other personal finance bloggers), let me know!

I enjoy doing my Net Worth Updates once each quarter as it helps remedy any short term market fluctuations. I also view a 90 day time span as a more meaningful period during which new habits are formed.

How was the end of your 2016? Do you have any crazy/scary/awesome goals for 2017?


18 comments… add one
  • Martin - Get FIRE'd asap Jan 9, 2017, 3:14 am

    Great work over the past 12 months, Matt. I’m sure 2017 is going to be at least as effective if not even better now that you’re on a roll.

    Some great goals there too and all highly achievable too which is good to see. I always question goals that seem to be just a bit too lofty especially if a spanner gets thrown in the works. Suddenly those goals that looked so easy now start to get further and further away. Why set yourself up for the stress?

    I look forward to hearing about your progress throughout the year.

    • Distilled Dollar Jan 9, 2017, 11:52 am

      The momentum is definetly stronger now at the start of 2017 than 2016. 🙂

      I’ve been doing some form of setting up goals for at least 5 years now. At this point I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. I’m glad you can see that too! Having goals lead to stress sucks, but it’s what helped me tweak my process and ultimately find higher gains.

  • Tawcan Jan 9, 2017, 5:35 am

    Wow congrats on the nice net worth increase in 2016! Your goals reminded me that I should start a board game night with my friends once again. Used to do that regularly before kids but not anymore. Need to have more off nights. 🙂

    • Distilled Dollar Jan 9, 2017, 11:53 am

      Well said! Similar here since my group is on and off throughout the year. Easier to try now than to wait another year or two for someone else to try.

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher Jan 9, 2017, 7:13 am

    Congrats on that savings rate! That’s awesome! We’re hovering in the 50% range currently and want to start saving 60% as a goal for 2017. Dude, I’m pumped to see that list of how you guys slashed your spending, so I’ll definitely tune in next week. 😉
    And congrats on that net worth as well!
    I really like your 2017 goals. I expected to see a lot of financial goals, but I like that personal improvement is first and foremost for you—as it should be. Urf, I think no video games would be the death of me! But they can be a distraction if you’re trying to live with more intention, so I get it.
    Our #1 goal for 2017 is to crush our $65,000 student loan debt. I’m also trying to get back on the wagon with my daily exercise regimen. It was easy during the holidays when I was off work, but it’s been a challenge to get up at 5 am every day to run. It’s all about improving though, right?

    • Distilled Dollar Jan 9, 2017, 11:55 am

      Yes! I’m a sucker for self improvement, especially since reading books got me into the FIRE movement to begin with.

      End of year is always tricky. I find the January “fresh start” helps me get back on schedule, but sometimes it takes a month or two for all the pieces to fall into place.

      Best of luck on your goal and I look forward to hearing about the progress!

  • Roadrunner Jan 9, 2017, 4:51 pm

    Wow, 55k net worth increase is more than impressive, especially starting from negative! If you keep on like this, you will reach 100k in less than two years. Well done you guys!

  • The Grounded Engineer Jan 10, 2017, 9:54 pm

    Great work in 2016, Matt! I also really enjoy the podcast. Let me know if you’re looking for a guest on the show sometime – I’d love to talk PF with you and Grant.

    On your 2017 goals, no cellphone at work would be a killer for me!! Love the rest of the goals and good luck in 2017!!

  • Peter Jan 11, 2017, 3:28 am

    Funny coincidence, but your 1-4 goals matches with mine (with a little difference on the meditation part, but maybe I will try this candle-breathing thing too). A recently read book (Think and Grow Rich from Napoleon Hill) inspired me to get into this morning ritual. While 7 and 11 is achieved long ago I definitely need improvements on the romantic (5-6) and social (15) part. Playing games is always fun, relaxing and reenergising. If you like playing card-games, Munchkin is great fun, give it a shot 🙂

  • Cody Jan 12, 2017, 3:51 pm

    Wow! Those are some dang impressive results. Keep up the great work! I look forward to watching your net worth grow by leaps and bounds in 2017.

    • Distilled Dollar Jan 13, 2017, 2:59 pm

      Thanks Cody! Yep – we’re more than excited now that we have a positive net worth AND plenty of momentum thanks to our smart money habits.

  • TPOHappiness Jan 12, 2017, 8:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing your updates! I always enjoy reading these.

    • Distilled Dollar Jan 13, 2017, 3:00 pm

      Thanks! I also enjoy sharing them, especially when they spread the good news on our progress! 🙂

  • Financial Samurai Jan 13, 2017, 1:50 pm

    Well done boosting your savings rate to 60%! Anything over 50% means you are on the path to UNICORNS and RAINBOWS soon! Seriously!


    • Distilled Dollar Jan 13, 2017, 3:06 pm

      Thanks Sam. The funny thing with 2016 was seeing how the “pain” of savings quickly disappears as we adjust to our lifestyle. Reading on stoicism helped, but I think its human nature to adapt. Cooking for example is no longer a chore as much as an exciting new hobby now.

      • Financial Samurai Jan 14, 2017, 7:53 am

        Yeah, totally. It’s cool how we adapt so quickly. And on cooking, so good to control the portions of oil and sugar to be more healthy too.

  • Millennial Millionaire Jan 14, 2017, 11:04 am

    Last year I began seriously tracking my net worth, which is something I have never really done (or even know what my net worth was). Year-over-year from 2015 to 2016 my net worth increased 46%. I was able to achieve this by paying off debt and sound investing. I was also aided by living in a great housing market that has been booming lately and continues to increase. My goal for 2017 is to increase my net worth by $60,000 up to $440,000. Great article overall on 2017 goals…because without goals, its just wishful thinking.

    • Distilled Dollar Jan 16, 2017, 12:27 pm

      That’s awesome progress for one year! I look forward to seeing more in 2017.

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