HomeGoalsA day late... $15,000 short.

A day late… $15,000 short.

At the beginning of each calendar year I like to make some financial projections for our household. I’ve done it for the last four years and we’ve always not only met our goals, but absolutely destroyed them. It’s pretty stupid when you reach your 12 month goal in seven months. That doesn’t mean that I’m awesome, it means I made our goals too easy.

For 2012 I wanted things to be different. I wanted our goals to actually be a stretch. And boy were they a stretch. According to our 2012 budget, we started the year off with a net worth (NW) of $114,000. I set a goal for us to reach $170,000 by years end. If you saw my latest NW post you’ll see we’re currently standing at $153,000. That means we are $17,000 short of reaching our goal.


If you’re gonna crash and burn, might as well do it to the tune of $17K right? Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it) I predicted this failure back in July. Thank goodness we weren’t caught off guard otherwise I might have had a heart attack.

So why did we fail so miserably? It really comes down to two reasons:

We bought a car. 

I didn’t account for this purchase in our spreadsheet because I didn’t know if we’d actually find a car worth buying. Turns out we did. We paid $20,000 for our Pilot out the door (after taxes and licensing). We sold Girl Ninja’s car for $8,200 to help recoup some of the cost. We took $11,800 out of our personal savings to cover the rest. If I included our vehicles in our NW, then we wouldn’t be that far off from our goal. But I haven’t included them in the past, and don’t plan on including them anytime soon.

I started a business. 

I launched MANteresting in February, well after I made our annual goals. I definitely didn’t anticipate the site picking up steam as quickly as it did. As a result, Jesse and I have been playing catch up ever since, both with the servers and our pocketbooks. From idea to launch, we had only spent about $1,000 building the site. From launch to present, we’ve spent around $15,000 making sure it scales with demand.

You know where my $7,500 portion of the expenses came from? That’s right. Our savings account. There was no way for me to know back in January that TIME, ABC, CNN, WSJ, NYT, TechCrunch, CNET, etc would have a hay day and feature MANteresting on their sites.

I’m happy to report the hard work has paid off and the site now pays for itself. THANK GOODNESS!!!! We’ve spoken with a few different “experts” on internet startups and have been told our site should be valued between $200,000-$500,000. Heck, even if the $200,000 valuation is quadruple our actual value that’s still a significant return on our investment. What will come of the website? Your guess is as good as mine. We’ll either die a slow and fiery death. Or we will end up relatively well off from it. Fingers crossed for the latter 🙂

So yeah, we are gonna end the year about $15,000 shy of our $170,000 goal, but ya know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. We make money so we can spend some of it (vehicle upgrade) and we save diligently so we can invest in great opportunities (new business).

I’ll be posting up our new budget and our new goals in the next few days. If we are lucky, we can epically fail at reaching those goals too!!!!

How has 2012 treated you? What were some of your financial (or personal) goals this year? Do you count your vehicles in your net worth? Should I?



  1. Nice job with Manteresting and having a great year, even though you missed the dollar value goal.

    I will pass on the best piece of advice I ever received about sites/start-ups. Take the offer when it comes. It’s not too low. Regret will come whether you take it or not, but at least you have something instead of nothing.

  2. 2012 was a big year for us; celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in October, sold our condo 2 days after listing for full asking price, bought a turn-key townhouse less than 24 hrs. after it went on the market, and managed to buy a “newer-for us” car to replace our ailing 2nd car that would never have survived our new 25 minute commute. With the exception of our bed, a trunk and a cabinet, all the furniture in our new place is new, all paid for 🙂

    I’m looking forward to a much more quiet and sedate 2013!

  3. My goal was get under 100k in debt. We are $250 short which is kind of sad. I really don’t want to upset the balance of our budget (which is still pretty hard to get used to) or take money out of our small emergency savings. So I’ll just be content with the significant progress and move on.

    We paid off 28,852 in loans this year! $100,220 still looks much nicer than the original $242,000! It feels great after the last few years of struggling when I was unemployed and could barely make the bills.

    Expect to make significant progress in 2013 even with the tax increases! Hopefully we will finally kill that 8% student loan that’s been haunting me for 7 years!

  4. Congrats on Manteresting’s success, that is truly amazing!! I’m so risk averse that I’d probably sell that thing in a hot minute LOL The whole “a bird in the hand” thing.

    I’m in plug along mode financially. I continue to save money each month that I will then use to pay down my mortgage. I pay down twice a year (Dec and July), so I hope I see a big deficit in that balance. No trips planned this year, yet, so maybe I can make a bigger dent than I hoped. I’m on track to have it paid off in Dec 2015.

  5. I think you still did pretty darn good! Goals are around to keep us reaching for more. But adding $40k to your net worth? Not too shabby! Well done.

    We’ve been consistently saving a good amount each month, but our expenses have been massive this year (moving, buying cars, buying baby stuff). Here’s to a new year and new goals!

  6. For someone that is pretty much into personal finance, I don’t really know how 2012 went for us. I think I stopped keeping track when I begin to feel the sting of being too cheap in our lives. I do know where we stand in regards to net worth, however. I would have to guess that we didn’t save much this year considering all the fun we’ve been having.

    I also want to congratulate you on your success with Manteresting. Tremendous accomplishment considering your investment. Just like Jennifer, I’m risk averse to the extreme and would probably sell it quick. I think you should include Manteresting in your net worth as well as your vehicles 🙂 That would put you way over from being 15k short.

  7. If you are computing your net worth, you are by definition balancing your assets against your liabilities and capital. And so you can think of the car as a debit to your fixed assets and a credit to cash. As for the website, its value seems to me only speculative for now. If you sell if for $200K or so, that becomes a debit to cash and a credit to capital.

    • My issue with including vehicles is that we will always need them. There is no doubt they have paper value, but we couldn’t actually sell them since it would hinder our ability to work, grocery shop, etc. We will never realize their monetary worth. Unless of course we sold them for clunkers, but we wont be doing that. It’s pointless to include something in a net worth that you don’t really ever plan to actually realize, in my opinion at least.

      • Yeah, I know where you’re coming from. It’s hard enough to put a value on your assets, especially since as an individual you can’t expense the depreciation. So you probably can’t compute your balance sheet with the rigor a business requires. In figuring my own net worth, I tend to include only cash and investments myself. I keep a separate computation that includes my apartment, furniture, piano, art, and car, but I honestly don’t take it too seriously.

  8. 2012 was a tough year financially and physically. I started off the year with a pinched nerve and found out I have degenerating disks. I had pain and numbness for 3 1/2 months! Sooner or later, I will need an operation. Google clobbered me for 6 months and I took a hit in pay thanks to state budget issues. That was restored for 2012 and I am looking forward to 21013. This was proof positive that nothing good or bad lasts very long. I am real positive about 2013.

  9. 2012 is on track, but only because I received a substantial pay raise. We ended up buying a new car, unplanned, so if I hadn’t had the huge pay raise we wouldn’t have hit our targets. We try to pay off ~$40K/year on the mortgage. I think we’re somewhere right around that. If our employee stocks start doing better, we will be able to drop a bunch more in over the next few months and get further ahead.

  10. Paid off Car, reached a positive net worth with student loans lowering, and retirement funds rising. I am three classes away from being an MBA grad, and I raised almost $800 for a local non-profit. Its good to look back and see the positives on your financial situation. Most the time I am negative, and wanting the debt to go away, but when you look back and realize what you have accomplished, its pretty awesome.

  11. Way to challenge yourself!

    I have constant monthly goals I try to hit which I’ve made every month. Got a little boost from a surprising house appraisal so that helped.

    I do count my car as an asset and just use the most conservative kbb estimate as its value. If u can sell it for a few thousand bucks, its worth tracking!

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