2015 Goals Update: Big Changes

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Half of the year is over, which means it's time to go over my goals. I've learned to appreciate having fewer goals to work on. How are your goals thus far?

Happy Monday friends! I have one question to ask – how is the year more than half over already? It’s crazy to think that it’s mid-July. With the traveling we’ve got coming up over the next few months the year is going to end awfully quickly for us.

As I wrote last time, it has been an incredibly busy year for us. That’s a great problem to have on one hand, but I find myself wanting to sit back and reflect on all that has been happening, including changes for us and our business. It’s hard to think that I’ve been working for myself for over three years now and that our business is five years old.

Anyway, we have had one big change with regards to the business. I touched on it last quarter, but we’ve made the switch from being classified as an LLC to an S-corp. There were a number of reasons for this, mainly coming down to taxes and the amount we can save for retirement.

Speaking with our CPA about the decision, he indicated we’d be able to save five figures with regards to taxes. I about fell out of my chair when he mentioned that! That alone was reason enough to make the switch. The other big reason for the change is we’re moving from SEP IRAs to Solo 401(k)s for both Mrs. Frugal Rules and I.

Truth be told, I know we would’ve been able to make this switch and still be classified as an LLC, but didn’t make the switch in time last year. We’re changing that now. Saving for retirement and being self-employed can be a challenge on one hand as you miss out on any employer match, but to be quite honest I don’t miss it one bit.

We’re able to save considerably more now through the Solo 401(k) option with both of us having the ability to max out our plans (which is $18,000 this year) plus the ability to put an additional 25 percent of our salaries, from the company, towards the plans. Free money is nice and all, but I’d rather be able to put away more money. 🙂

Thanks to our lack of time to manage things as we like we’re also in the process of moving all of our investments to Vanguard. I’ve resisted it for too long and really need to simplify our investing as we have too many things all over the place. Making the switch to move everything to Vanguard should help simplify our investing quite a bit. I’ll be writing a post more in-depth on the move in the near future. That being said, on to the progression of the goals.

2015 Goals Update


Save at least $15,000 for a new to us car. As I wrote a few weeks back we’ve been seriously considering changing this goal altogether. In fact, we’ve decided to change the direction of this goal completely in order to allow us to buy a house within the next year or so. We’re sitting at about $20,000 in our Discover Bank account so I’d rate this goal as a pass since we’ve hit the minimum we want to have but effectively are moving in a different direction. We’ll still be putting away what we’d consider a car payment of $300 per month into a specific savings account so we can buy in cash eventually, but everything else will be going towards the house down payment of at least 20 percent. It’ll take some work to hit the goal of buying a house within the next year, but believe it’s entirely doable without sacrificing any retirement savings.

Do P90X. Like last quarter, this is a big fat fail. However, I’m still exercising regularly, more in fact, though changing it up some. I’ve found that I really enjoying getting out of the house, since we work from home. What that means in terms of exercising is that I’m getting outside and doing a 3-4 mile walk each weekday. Once I get home I follow that up with a 30 minute circuit training video from YouTube. While this does take up a bit more time than I like, it’s well worth it as I’m sure it was key in me losing 100 pounds. Honestly, I’ll likely continue at this pace as I’m aiming to lose an additional 10-20 pounds to get to the target I want. So, this one is a fail but with a reason behind it. 😉

Half of the year is over, which means it's time to go over my goals. I've learned to appreciate having fewer goals to work on. How are your goals thus far?

Start and complete a course for Frugal Rules. This is another fail. Like I mentioned last quarter, I’ve gone a completely different direction with this goal and launched a niche site that’s focused on what the course would have instead. I still really want to launch this course, though there are too many things competing for my time at the moment. We’ll see where this goal goes, but will likely not progress that far this year.

Looking at my goals for the year thus far I’d rate myself at a 50/50. Overall I’m happy with how things are going, though not very happy to not have begun work on a course to offer on the site. That being said, I’ve found that I really like having fewer goals to work on as it has helped me keep focus on what we’re working towards.

The rest of the year is going to be fairly busy for us travel wise. We just returned from NYC a few weeks ago for business. We’ll be driving out to Denver in two weeks for my younger brother’s wedding. FinCon will be about six weeks after that and the week we get back from FinCon we’ll be going on a family trip to Dallas and will likely throw in another short trip or two as we both have Companion Passes.


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.


  • Nice work saving on all those taxes. How come an S-Corp is more tax friendly than a LLC? Are there any disadvantages?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks, I was pretty floored when I found out we would’ve saved north of $10k on taxes last year. Basically, the S-Corp allows a pass-through benefit as it allows us to shelter some of the income from social security & self-employment taxes. As an LLC, everything gets taxed at the higher amount which isn’t the case with an S-Corp. The main disadvantage, so far as I know, is the extended paperwork, paying for quarterly or monthly filings as well as more scrutiny from the IRS.

  • That’s cool that you save $300/month for a new car. My wife and I started to do the same when our car payments were done. We’re putting away $200/month into a high interest savings account with the goal of buying our next car 100% with cash 🙂

  • I’m about 50-50 with my goals. 50% are good and the other 50% completely changed. I quit my job and started a new career as a financial planner, which was not in the plans! That changed how much I’m paying on my student loans. However, I am making an effort to increase my side hustles to make up the pay cut. I’m looking forward to checking in in another 3 months.

  • Happy Monday! Now that it’s July, the pressure is on because I am really left behind my goals. Though I have less than 6 months, I can still feel that I can catch up. Yeah. Staying motivated and positive are what I need during this time. Good luck to all of us guys!

  • I borrowed T25 from my brother in law and really enjoy it more than P90X. The workouts are only 25 minutes long and that makes a huge difference. There were days I could do P90X for an hour, but not every day. Having T25 allows me to get the workout in and not have it take up so much of my time.

  • I want to try P90X too. We’ve been doing T25 and I really like it. Good job on all the tax savings! Becoming an S-crop (or at least being taxed as one) is on our list of things to look into.

  • I have been an S-corp from the beginning because my accountant advised me to incorporate that way originally. I still feel like we pay too much tax, so I can’t imagine if I was an LLC. I think the solo 401k is a great idea as well. I don’t think we’ll be able to put much more than 18K in this year due to all our rental expenses, but I was able to put quite a bit more in last year, and it really helps accelerate retirement goals.

    • John Schmoll says:

      I honestly wish we would’ve started that way in the beginning as well. We’re still paying too much, of course I think that 😉 , though making the move will help towards that end. That being said, it does definitely accelerate those goals.

  • Kristi says:

    Although your goals have changed a bit, it sounds like you are really hitting the mark with the goals that are most important to you.

    Trying to do P90x nearly killed me. I too would much rather stay fit by going for walks and shorter runs. I lost 65 pounds that way. Keep it up!

    • John Schmoll says:

      I’d agree for the most part, as we’re doing well on our financial goal and have hit the first level of my health goal.

      Nice work on your loss! I’m afraid P90X would kill me as well, lol.

  • Free money is nice from your company, but most companies don’t match that much. I only get a 2% match. I would much rather have a Solo 401(k) and be able to save more of my pretax dollars.

  • I can’t believe we’re halfway through the year either. Boggles my mind. One of my employees did P90X and he loved it. We recently bought a new home and it needed some remodeling, which always takes longer and costs more than planned, so I’m just anxious for that to be over. It’s been a distraction but a happy one too, since we love our new home.

  • Jason B says:

    That’s a lot of traveling. I plan on going to FinCon and Las Vegas for my birthday.

  • We were doing pretty great for the last few months. But starting this month, expenses are up $300 a month, which vastly undercuts our ability to save toward our $25k goal for my husband’s implants. It’s very frustrating. This means that we’ll have to keep saving for it at the start of 2016. And that’s also frustrating, since I wanted to start a SEP in January and work to fully fund it in 2016.

    Things will get even worse if my husband loses his disability benefits. Not only will we lose out on $780 a month, we’ll have to pay for his insurance.

    So I’m just trying to staunch the flow of money and panic that is currently in our house.

  • It’s amazing how much money you can save just by having the appropriate corporate structure in place for your company. We have been doing a lot of the taxes ourselves, but with my new company coming on board we are going to be working with a CPA I know and I am excited about how she is going to help me and my businesses going forward.

    • John Schmoll says:

      I know, it’s crazy! We’re still paying a lot, but it’s crazy how much we’re saving by one simple switch. Very cool that you have a good CPA you know and trust to help you manage things.

  • Catherine says:

    Congrats on doing so well with your goals! I’m doing ok with our financial goals but only so-so on everything else- likr weight loss. Life has been very crazy this year with a few family issues which took mu focus away.

  • I think a course for Frugal Rules would be awesome! My goals are coming along nicely. I haven’t had much time to do the LONG to do list of improvements for YAM, but I have been much more successful at outsourcing some of the work. I need that time for home renovations and MBA work…constantly trying to figure out what to prioritize. It’s not always easy.

    • John Schmoll says:

      I think it would be as well, though I don’t think it’s going to happen this year, lol. I hear ya DC, it’s not easy, but you’re in the right direction with the outsourcing.

  • Your exercise routine sounds like it’s a success and that it works for you. That’s awesome! I haven’t been using my gym membership like I should. Instead I have been going for a walk / run every day at lunchtime. I have repeated this routine for 20 days. What is it they say? It takes 21 days to make a habit?

    • John Schmoll says:

      It sounds like you’re doing what works best for you and staying at it for that long is great! I found that even spending the money on a gym membership wasn’t enough to get me to use it.

  • I think one of the coolest things about tracking your goals is seeing how they change or even how much of a priority something stays. It can even make it easier to let go of some goals when you realize how uninterested you are in the work that would need to go into achieving them, freeing you up to accomplish things that really matter.

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