1. Increase forward annual dividend income to $6,880 ($573 per month)
This is a rather ambitious goal which represents a $100 per month improvement compared to where I'm at right now. It can come from new stock purchases, bond purchases, ETFs, preferred stocks, dividend increases, DRIPs, or FRIPs; it matters not. My over arching goal is to grow passive income high enough to replace employment income so that one day I can spend my time on other activities besides work! To put the number into context, I was able to increase my forward income by $1,080 ($90/mo) this year. I think I can do better in 2014.
2. $20 monthly Lending Club interest
I continue to be a fan of peer to peer lending and have become quite comfortable with Lending Club the past year or so. Unfortunately LC cannot support a large investment based on my current screen, but I have been testing a few parameters to broaden the note pool. I think I could achieve this goal if I were to deposit somewhere between $50-$75 per month. Lending Club deposits compete with brokerage deposits so I might be reaching a bit with this one.
3. Average monthly brokerage deposits of $1,300
I averaged about $1,335 this year and expect 2014 to be about the same. The difference being my salary and regular savings will go up, but my tax return will not be used towards investments (I need tires/new computer).
Salary: Last I heard, the military will be getting a base pay raise of 1% starting January. Likely our housing and food allowances will go up too, but we're still waiting on the house & senate to do their jobs. Automatic raises might come out anywhere between $50-$100 per month, it's only designed to keep up with inflation. However I will get a heftier automatic raise starting in June and might also be promoted.
Budget: I don't see a lot of room for additional savings without sacrificing quality of life. I can only think of two items worth mentioning. I am shopping car insurance and believe I can get better rates. That, and when our lease expires we'll be looking to save a bit on housing. There are cheaper places available down the street which seem to be just as pleasant. Enough about budgets... yawn!
Side Income: I'm always interested in generating side income because a budget can only go so low and my salary is for the most part out of my control. I've tried a bunch of ideas in the past, few seemed worthwhile. I might entertain a regular old part time job during summer months. If we want something bad enough, we have to do whatever it takes. How bad do I want to be financially independent at a young age?
Well that's it. I thought about a few other goals, but really my journey to financial independence is about building passive income and doing whatever it takes to deposit enough funds into my accounts to make that dream a reality!
Here's to achieving our dreams, 2014 and beyond!
Oh, I found out that we will NOT be deploying to Afghanistan. It's a long story, but I'm just glad to know one way or the other. Well maybe it's a little disappointing because I wanted to follow through on the oath I took years ago (plus combat pay is fantastic) but I'm just happy to get my life back. Days get pretty hectic training up to go to war as you might imagine. A box full of my personal items is currently sitting somewhere in Afghanistan as the shipping container with our equipment was already sent. That's how close we were to going! Anyways, our Colonel took time out of his day to explain the situation to us and apologized for the constant changes. I really appreciated that.
Today I switched auto insurance companies. The new policy has better coverage AND a 37% lower premium. Boy was I being swindled! Would have done this earlier, but was expecting to put my vehicle in storage for a while.
Housing allowance went up way more than expected (about $115/mo), still waiting on the 2014 food allowance increase (might be $10/mo or so). Base pay is set to increase by 1.0% as far as I know (roughly $25/mo for me). Military pay is public knowledge, you can figure it out for any service member with only basic facts. Nothing to hide here.
It's looking good on the deposit front!