With the New Year it is time to look back at the old year and make plans for the current year. To prepare for this post I looked back to see what my plans for 2017 were at the end of 2016. I didn’t make any goals for 2017, but rather listed a few different plans that I might follow. I ended up not following any of them.
There was a somewhat positive reason for not following my possible plans. I ended up getting hired full-time at my tax job. That put the kibosh on my traveling plans and my plans to look for a different job.
One of my plans for 2017 was to finish my hike of the Appalachian Trail. My tax job limited the time I had to do that. My job does have an annual eight week unpaid vacation which I could have used to hike. Instead my GF and I traveled to Europe. We spent several days in Paris with a short two day side trip to London. My GF was only able to stay for nine days. After she left, I traveled on to Brussels, Bruges, Amsterdam, and a couple of Amsterdam suburbs. We neither one had been to Europe before and were happy to finally visit. My three weeks in Europe were the highlight of 2017 for me. The trip made me wish I could travel more.
The full-time job didn’t really help my finances as much as would have hoped. One reason for that is that I paid a lot towards my student loan during the first half of the year. My failed house purchase also wasted some money. I did manage to make a maximum contribution of $6500 to my IRA. And I also put a couple thousand in my solo 401k and a thousand in an HSA. So I guess I didn’t do too bad financially. It just seems like I should have made more progress after sacrificing a year of my life for a job.
Overall 2017 was just an okay year. I would like 2018 to be better. Here are some of my plans to make 2018 better. These are just preliminary plans for now, they will be fleshed out to actual goals later.
Save/Make More Money
I made the most money I ever made in a year in 2017. Still, it shouldn’t be difficult for me to make more money this year. All I need to do is work more hours, especially the more lucrative overtime hours that are available during tax season. I’d also like to increase the money I make from my non-job sources.
I should be eligible to contribute to a 401k at work this year, although I haven’t received any sign up information for it yet. Assuming I am able to contribute to the 401k, I should easily be able to increase the amount of money I save this year. I’ll be eligible to contribute $24k to the 401k. That won’t be easy to do, but if I’m able to do it that would be a big increase in savings for the year.
Finish Hiking the Appalachian Trail
I have about 800 miles left to have hiked the entire AT. During my eight weeks off of work, I should be able to finish this hike. This plan could get derailed as I’m often being tempted by cheap airfare to places I’d like to travel. I don’t know when my eight weeks off this year will be yet. If they end up being in July or August I’ll probably scrap the plan to finish the hike since I hate hiking in the heat. Hopefully, I’ll have time in late Spring or early Fall and will finally be able to finish this hike.
This seems like it is a goal every year. I did manage to lose 30 pounds back in 2014. I quickly gained most of that weight back though. Last year I ended up gaining even more weight and now weigh more than I did in 2014. I’m at my heaviest weight ever. There also some other health issues I have along with the weight. I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and prediabetes. Those health issues should improve or possibly go away if I get back to a healthy weight. This year I need to get serious about losing weight. It is the most important goal I’ll have this year. I’ll write a separate post about this later.
If I’m able to complete all three of these goals 2018 will be a great year.