2015 Goals Update: Keeping My Head Above Water

With 4 months in on 2015 I thought it would be good to go over my goals. It has been a whirlwind of a year and trying to keep my head above water most days.

Howdy friends! Is anyone else wondering how on earth it’s mid-April already? I know I am. Looking back, it feels like the past four and a half months have gone by in the blink of an eye.

As you can tell from the title of the post, this year has been one of struggling to keep my head above water. On one hand, it’s an incredibly good problem to have. Our business has been growing by leaps and bounds which is awesome to see as it’s really starting to form around the vision I’ve had for it over the past few years. Moving from dealing with fear of quitting my job to seeing our small business take off is very exciting and often makes me wonder why we waited so long. But, as my lovely wife says, I had to be painted into a corner where I saw no other option but to take the leap.

Along with the growth of our business, we find ourselves seriously needing to consider whether or not to change from a LLC structure to an S-corp. There’s nothing that would really change, so as I understand it at least, in terms of how we manage things from day-to-day. The main changes would be how we would be viewed as a tax entity; we’d be pulling salaries from the business and would have new administrative responsibilities to either handle ourselves or outsource.

Thankfully we can have our CPA manage most of the administrative functions, which does add cost, but would not be something I or we would have to manage daily. The main benefit would really come in as a way to save on taxes. Of course, if we can send less money to Uncle Sam and keep more of it to ourselves to help us save for retirement and other investments then I’m going to do it all I can.

Anyway, that’s a long explanation of what’s going on in the Frugal Rules home. When you add the growing business to what I’m doing with the blogs, growing kids, freelance writing and other responsibilities, it gets a little nutty and a struggle to keep my head above water. I realize it’s very much a first world problem, though I’m thankful to be seeing the growth we are and am doing my best to squeeze all the value I can out of a day so I can spend more of it with my family and not tethered to a computer. Because, let’s face it, there would be no value in it if I didn’t make my family my first priority.

With that out of the way, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at where my goals are at for 2015.

2015 Goals Update


Save at least $15,000 towards a new-to-us car. I’d rate this one as a pass. We currently have about $7,000 sitting in our savings account at Discover Bank. Since we’re about a quarter of the way through the year I feel good about hitting our goal. Ideally, I’d like for us to buy a newer car at some point next year and will likely become a one-car family for a bit of time prior to the purchase so we can free up more money for the purchase as we plan on buying in cash. We’re also starting to save some money for a down payment for a new house purchase, as we want to be able to move in the next few years and plan on having at least 20 percent to put down. Thus far in the year, I’m feeling really good about this goal.

Do P90X. I shared at the beginning of the year that the thought scared the crap out of me. So, have I started it? That would be a big fat no! However, it is not fear that has held me back. You see, I broke a toe about three months ago! I had apparently kicked something by accident somewhere in the house and didn’t think much of it. A few days later, it felt as if someone was trying to rip it off any time I put any sort of pressure on it. After talking with a Physician’s Assistant friend of mine, he said I had broken my toe. For about 4-6 weeks it was all I could do to walk without being in agony – and that’s with the toe being taped to another one. Suffice it to say that P90X has been shelved for the time being as I can only just now walk around our neighborhood with having only a minor sensation that someone is trying to rip my toe off. The purpose behind this goal was to kill the rest of my weight loss goal of 100 pounds. Thankfully, I’m at 92 pounds down lost on Nutrisystem, but seeing as I have the metabolism of hot fudge sauce not working out has not been conducive to hitting the goal. Somehow I’ve managed to lose another nine pounds along the way so I’ll choose to be happy with that. 🙂

Start and complete a course for Frugal Rules. I’m not going to lie about this one – it hasn’t happened and thus I’m giving myself a fail. In fact, I’ve actually gone a different direction with this and am in the late stages of launching a niche site that’s largely focused on the same thing the course would’ve been on. Yes, I know I’m barely managing to keep my head above water but hopefully with it being a niche site it won’t require a ton of extra work – in the long run at least. I’m not sharing what the site is on yet, but if you’d like to know just contact me.

With 4 months in on 2015 I thought it would be good to go over my goals. It has been a whirlwind of a year and trying to keep my head above water most days.

So, there you have it. Overall, I’d rate it 50/50 with regards to my goals this year as one of them has really proven to be out of my control with the broken toe. When you add in the growth of our business this year, I’m fairly pleased with how the year has gone thus far and am excited to see what the rest of the year holds. I’m also thankful that I saw the wisdom of having fewer goals this year so as to have a greater focus.

We’ve also maxed out our Roth IRAs and have begun setting aside money for our other retirement accounts. With the likely shift to becoming an S-corp that will also mean we’ll likely be moving from SEPs to Solo 401(k)s which should substantially increase the amount we can put away for retirement.

The rest of the year is going to be a whirlwind I fear as we’re coming up on our busy travel season. Mrs. Frugal Rules and I go on our surprise trip next week and she wants to take a short celebratory trip once I hit the 100 pound lost mark, which will probably end up being Chicago on points. We also found out a few weeks ago that we’ll be going to NYC for 4-5 days in June thanks to a client and have a few other trips planned for the rest of the year.

With that in mind, my main goal for the rest of the year is to take things one day at a time and maximize it for all it’s worth.


How are your goals for 2015 shaping up thus far? Do you have any fun trips planned for the year? What’s new in your corner of the world?

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I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. I'm also a freelance writer, and regularly contribute to GoBankingRates, Investopedia, Lending Tree and more. If you're wanting to learn how to monetize your blog, check out my blog coaching services to see how I can help you take your site to the next level.


  • It’s the mid of April already and I feel like I haven’t fully been satisfied with what I have accomplished. I still haven’t paid off my credit card bills. I am hoping I can be debt free as soon as possible. Can someone stop the day to go by? 😀

  • Ugh…I hate physical injuries that hold you back. Been dealing with my own (knee) that’s kept me from exercising/running like I would like. Trips are so much fun…we are headed to Yellowstone for a week this summer. Really looking forward to that.

    • John Schmoll says:

      I know, especially when there is little you can do about it. You’re going to love Yellowstone Brian! My Dad lives about 90 minutes from the entrance and have visited it several times myself – very beautiful there!

  • Congrats on the biz growth! As for working out- I find things as simple as long walks (esp now that the weather is glorious) to be effective without being overwhelmingly daunting like p90x. Don’t discount the power of the non-hardcore workout 🙂

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks Stefanie! Yea, I like to add in long walks to what I’ve been doing with cross-training/biking. I was pretty much out of commission for nearly 3 months, to where I could really only do sit-ups/push-ups.

  • We are thinking of changing to an S-corp for the same reasons. I just want to pay less in taxes because what I pay is ridiculous. I don’t mind the idea of extra administrative tasks at this point!

    • John Schmoll says:

      Yep, we’re the same way. We just got ours back from the CPA over the weekend and the amount we paid last year was just crazy. I’m willing to spend a little to cut that drastically and be able to put away more for retirement.

  • It’s crazy how a small thing like a toe can derail plans and cause so much pain, but it does. Glad to see you are hitting some of your goals and making adjustments on others as you go!

  • Kathy says:

    Hi John, so sorry about you injury. I know all about weight loss and exercise. I don’t have your injury excuse and I still look for reasons not to exercise on any given day. Hope your toe heals fast.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks Kathy! It seems like I’m finally able to start getting some things done which is great since the weather is starting to warm up – I don’t need any help in excuses not to exercise. 🙂

  • Congrats on not letting the broken toe cause you to gain some of the weight back! I am an S-corp and still feel like I pay tons of taxes, but the solo 401k helps lots. All you really have to do is have officers and an annual meeting. It’s pretty easy when you and your spouse are the officers.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks! It was a challenge, but have come too far to let that cause me to gain weight. I know the Solo will help a lot and sure we’ll still pay a lot in taxes, but any help we can get to cut back some on what we owe would be awesome.

  • ParatrooperJJ says:

    Check w/ your tax pro but I believe you can make an election to have your LLC taxed as a S corp.

  • Definitely a good problem to have but yes, it comes with its own set of challenges. I hate when exercise gets trumped by injury! Hope you feel better soon, and congrats on all the growth of the business…and all the fun travel plans you have!

    • John Schmoll says:

      I know – it does suck. I was all set to get started on P90X and then this stupid thing happened. Things seem to be getting better now, which is good since it’s FINALLY getting warmer here.

  • I can’t believe it’s mid-April either! How does time pass so quickly!!

    Sorry to hear about the health derailment but hopefully you’ll be back at it in no time. It does suck to regain weight (been there) but you know you can lose it!

  • Jason B says:

    So far 2015 is going great. My site is having record numbers of views. My eBay hustle is going great as well. The only definite trips that I have planned are a trip to Cleveland and FinCon.

  • It sounds like you are doing awesome towards your goals! It is crazy how it is only April yet it feels like the rest of the year is going to fly by, but I feel the same way. Let me know when you are coming to NY! You and the Mrs are more than welcome to stay with us (we are a 45 minute train ride outside of NYC) as long as you are not allergic to a cat. 🙂

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks for the invite, I appreciate it! We’re actually staying in the city, though thankfully it’s not on our nickel. 🙂 I have a distinct feeling the rest of this year is going to fly by as well.

  • I work for an out-of-state company, so I switched to an S-corp. It’s really quite easy, if you have the CPA set everything up.

    I write myself a paycheck every month, taking out FICA. Every 3 months, I fill out a very simple form (941) and write out a check.

    You can have a CPA do that for you, but it’s really pretty simple.

    At the end of the year, I just have to generate a w-2 (far easier than it sounds) and hand everything over to my CPA.

  • Sorry to hear about your big toe! I had surgery at the end of the year and I’m just getting back to where I can exercise normally. I can’t believe how quickly this year is flying by either. I’ve been traveling a lot and had a houseful of guests for the past few weeks, so I’m really looking forward to a return to normal, whatever that may be!

    • John Schmoll says:

      It was actually one of my smaller toes. I can’t imagine how much more painful it would’ve been to have it be my big toe that broke. Glad you’re getting back up to speed to exercise normally – I hate it when injury holds me back from doing something I want.

  • 50/50 isn’t bad. We’re at about the same place for our 2015 goals. Keep grinding.

  • P.F. Addict says:

    Broken toes are the worst! I broke the same toe twice and it’s awful because there really isn’t anything you can do for it. I’m glad it’s starting to heal for you. 🙂

  • Nice job on the car fund, John! We took out loans for two cars last year and seeing that car payment go out the door each month makes me realize how awesome it would be to have the cash to pay for a car up-front.

    My goals have changed a bit. I went from having a goal of getting a CMA to now studying for the GMAT so I can start my MBA this Fall (and get my CPA while I’m in the program!). I am confident that I’ll end up starting a second site by year-end, at least get the administrative stuff complete and initial content up.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks DC. It feels good knowing we’ll be able to walk in and get what we want without having to make payments. Having the freedom to not be forced to buy out of need will be pretty nice too.

      I’ve known a few people that have done that – getting both and it has worked out well for them. Best of luck!

  • John – Sorry to hear about your toe, but congrats on your progress so far of 92 lbs lost.

    When you are fully healed P90X will definitely get you the rest of the way. It is the best program in the world.

    I did P90X for the first time in May of 2011 after I had put on 50 lbs post college. I had always been an athlete and felt horrible.

    I dropped 25 lbs during the first 90 day round. I went on to do a few more rounds. After 256 days I had gone from 240 lbs with 28% body fat down to 187 lbs with 8.5% body fat.

    I actually have some before and after photos on my recommended page if you are interested. Also if you ever have any questions I am more than happy to help you out man.


    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks! It sucked, but such is life.

      Those are some pretty staggering results. I’ve heard great things about the program and that if you stick to it that you can see some significant change.

      Thanks for the offer, I’ll keep that in mind for when I start out.

  • Tre says:

    Congrats on your growing business! It sounds like you have a busy few months coming up. I’m off to Florida with the kiddos next week. Should be a fun trip.

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