2015 Goals Update: Wrapping Up the Year

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It's the end of 2015, which means it's time for another goals update. It has been a good year overall and looking forward to killing it again next year.

Hey friends! I feel like I wrote my last goals post just a few days ago. It’s hard to believe we’ll be putting the finishing touches on another year in a few short weeks.

I’m thankful for that in a number of ways, as it has been an incredibly busy year for us in the Frugal Rules home. We’ve done a lot of traveling, our business has kept us busy and there seems to be little down time. In years past I would want to pull back or be unhappy with that.

That’s no longer the case. A big part of the busy-ness is somewhat inevitable. We have three growing kiddos and a small business, so I expect it. I’ve also come to embrace the fact that we have multiple large goals we want to reach, which requires a lot of time and effort. Short story long, we want and need to make hay where there’s opportunity – and, more importantly, have a positive attitude while at it.

The next few weeks will be crunch time as we wrap up things before the end of the year. We also recently decided to take the last week of the year off and will be traveling to Colorado for vacation. I question our sanity (as clients love to dump stuff on us at year end), but am looking forward to a few days free from the computer. That being said, I want to do a wrap up of my 2015 goals to see how I fared and share my thoughts for 2016.

You’ll also notice I don’t have anything terribly financial in nature, outside the first goal. That’s not to say finances aren’t important, obviously, just that I expect us to hit those goals. We were able to max out our Solo 401(k)s, Roth IRAs and HSA accounts this year – which I’m very thankful for.

2015 Goals Wrap Up


Save at least $15,000 for a new to us car. We changed direction on this goal some time this summer. We chose to start pursuing buying a new house instead of a new car. While we need a bigger car to accommodate the growing kids, a larger house is a more pressing issue at the moment. We’re just over 15% of a down payment on a new to us home in our Discover Bank account and hope to hit at least 20% by the end of the first quarter in 2016. I’m toying with the idea of putting down 25% to help our efforts with us being self-employed, but we shall see. The next few months will involve major de-crapifying of our house and likely finding a good real estate agent. The idea is honestly a little overwhelming right now, though the pay off will hopefully be worth it in the long run.

We’re not ignoring our car situation as we’re still putting $300 per month into a different savings account. We’re also seriously looking at selling our rolling piece of trash on wheels second car to raise extra cash to go in our car fund. I don’t terribly want to become a one car family, though with us both working from home I think we can swing it for a while.

Do P90X. As has been the case in previous quarters, this is a major fail. I do still exercise regularly though. I’m still getting in at least five workouts per week – usually a mix of 5ks and free circuit training videos from YouTube. I’m actually toying with the idea of getting a gym membership for the winter as getting outside to walk likely won’t be an option during the winter.

I cherish my time out of the house working out, so the added expense may be worth it in the long run for my mental health. I’ll be honest, there has been the temptation to ease up some after losing 100 pounds, though that would only negate all the hard work I did in the first place. I’ll likely aim to lose at least another 20 pounds next year, so resting on my laurels…or my sludge like metabolism won’t be the wisest move. 🙂

It's the end of 2015, which means it's time for another goals update. It has been a good year overall and looking forward to killing it again next year.

Start and complete a course for Frugal Rules. Sadly, I made zero progress on this goal this year. It’s disappointing on one level, and something I very much want to do. I could come up with an excuse, though it came down to time and more pressing goals. I know there is need out there for the type of course I want to develop, so I may return to the drawing board on this next year.

Overall, I’m relatively happy with how things progressed this year. The big goal, no pun intended, was finally hitting the 100-pound mark for weight loss. Having expected to buy a car by this point in the year, I’m not terribly disappointed at shifting focus towards a house. My biggest disappointment is not completing the course as I really think that doing so can help me fulfill my passion of helping people learn how to better manage their finances.

As we look towards next year, I’m going to take the same approach of having a very small handful (2-3) quantifiable goals. This is the first year I really tried this approach and really like the focus it created. Not terribly surprising, I feel I’ve been more efficient and effective working on my goals having that increased focus. I plan to harness that for next year to optimize my efforts.


How were the final few months of 2015 for you? Do you have any fun travel planned for the end of the year? What’s new in your corner of the interwebs?

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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.


  • Kim says:

    Great job on the goals, especially the weight loss. We have one more trip to Scottsdale to get away from the cold. I hope your travel weather is ok.

  • I agree that it’s really nice to work out away from home with no little kids jumping on me mid push-up! Luckily I have access to an awesome, challenging $2 class with free childcare at a local church.

    I hope you can find time to create the course. I’m sure it would be very valuable.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Ha ha, that it is. I usually work out in early morning before the kids get up. We got a mailer last week from a local gym offering a month to month plan for $10/month so I’m leaning towards checking them out.

  • Super job on the workout goals, John! I’ve always found P90x highly intriguing, but the older I get, the more I tend toward “relaxing” exercises such as high-rep, low weight weight-training, stretching and Pilates and leisurely hikes, bikes and walks. Great job on your savings goals too. We have a number of goals for the new year, different from the usual. I may or may not be posting them on the site until we’re further in. 🙂

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks Laurie! I’m thinking along the same lines – I really just need access to an elliptical machine and a few free weights and I’m good. 🙂 Ha ha, completely understood. 🙂

  • It seems like you’ve accomplished a ton this year, John! I am going to do my 2015 goals wrap-up on New Year’s Day and share my 2016 goals the next week. For me what’s been most interesting is how goals/priorities have changed throughout the year. Opportunities have come up that I didn’t anticipate and it’s forced me to shift my goals around, and drop some altogether. My wrap-up post should be interesting and I think my goal list will be misleading without some context added.

  • It’s really impressive what you’ve been able to accomplish with your health. I’ve been terribly frustrated this year with my inability to run/work out due to recovering from knee surgery in Feb. Hopefully the strength will return in 2016 and I can get back in the swing of things. I’m with you on setting a few measurable goals at a time. If I put too many in place I get overwhelmed and accomplish none of them.

    • John Schmoll says:

      It’s funny how that happens, isn’t it Brian? You think more is better but in this case I’ve found it to definitely not be the case.

      Hopefully you’ll have strength return next year. The older I get the quicker I realize my body has a mind of its own at times. 😉

  • Michelle says:

    Great job this year, especially with the workout goal! That is something I really need to work on – I’ve been feeling a little more unhealthy than usual and I need to dedicate more time to changing that.

  • Once again, congratulations on the 100 lb weight loss, John. That is so magnificent! I do Boot Camp and I live in sunny LA, so technically I could workout for free outside every day. But I find for me that I get a much more intense workout when I take a class. I still do run by myself, but not quite as much as I used to, my body can’t take it the way it used to. 🙂 We did buy a new home last year and it needed some remodeling, which has frankly been overwhelming. The project was supposed to be completed in June. It’s almost Christmas and they are still working on it. It took so much attention off of other things that my goals for the year really took a hit. But hopefully I’ll be able to refocus my attention in 2016.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks Shannon! Yep, you definitely have an advantage of living in such a good climate for outdoorsy things. Sorry to hear about that hassle, I know you’ve mentioned it throughout the year, that’s part of what I’m not looking forward to with upgrading.

  • Congrats on the weight loss! I’m slowly losing weight over the years. There’s always a big push right before FinCon. Then it’s just a matter of seeing whether I’ll keep it off. So far, I’m down around 10 lbs from where I was in July. So I’m happy with that.

    We hit our savings goal — or will having assuming I get a bonus again this year. If not, then we came admirably close.

  • I have been busy at the end of the year working on my business taxes and preparing for the last few weeks so that we could go away for a few days over Christmas. We have been running non-stop for the last few weeks and decided around Thanksgiving that we just needed to unplug for a few days during Christmas and we are really looking forward to that trip, but I feel like you and wonder if we’re also not being totally crazy at the same time.

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