December 2015 savings, plus goal updates

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and good break from work. I had a lovely dinner on Christmas Day with close friends and a generally relaxing time, catching up on reading (books and internet) and tv. Was back in work on 29th – that was a bit of a shock to the system!

So how did I do in December savings-wise and how have I done versus the goals I set at the start of the year?


I saved 31.5%. Not quite as bad as I thought in the end. This has meant that my average savings for 2015 was therefore 43.7% so goal failed! I’m a little bit disappointed that I’ve missed my target again but well, I gave it a good go and will continue at it!

The amount saved was boosted by £58 from TopCashback*, £25 premium bond winnings and £50 rent received.

Future Fund and Net Worth

My Future Fund now stands at £57,530.57. If I don’t take into account the private pension transfer, it stands at £46,144, so goal failed. However, I’m very happy with how it is progressing, although any growth has mostly been attributed to money I’ve put in rather than growth from investments.

Dec15networthv2(a) Figure based on August 2015 statement, plus overpayments made

(b) Personal Emergency Fund

(c) Emergency Fund for stuff related to BTL property

(d) On a 0% rate

(e) Zoopla estimated value of property as at 30/12/15






Net Worth is now £117,595.83, an increase of just over 31% from the start of the year so goal achieved. A seemingly big jump, mostly I’d say due to the increase in valuation of my rental property – it seems even properties ‘up north’ can go up in value!

Dividends and other Income

I received £2.15 from Scottish Mortgage IT, £4.57 from BP, £27.14 from Lancashire Holdings Ltd, £14.65 from Vanguard World High Dividend ETF, £2.15 from Vanguard Government Bond, £13.88 from Vanguard FTSE 100 ETF, £20.46 from Vanguard All World ETF and finally, £0.71 from Temple Bar IT.

The big payouts from the Vanguard ETFs (resulting from the transfer of my private pension into a SIPP) means a total of £85 of income, my highest month ever! This time last year, my dividend income for December was just £11.99, so a massive year on year increase! 🙂

This brings my total 2015 dividend income to £356.36, with my average being £29.70 per month, which I’m very pleased with, considering I had originally been aiming for just over £12 per month (goal achieved!)

Dividends End 15

My Dividend Income 2015

Shares and Investment Trusts

I topped up on City of London Investment Trust and also acquired some more Standard Chartered shares in the recent Rights Issue. As I want to increase my dividend income, I intend to make more purchases/top ups, but need to ensure I don’t deviate too much from my main investing strategy so will continue to invest in index tracker funds and also ETFs (which will help with dividends too).

Check out my current portfolio here.

Non Financial Goals 

Food/Groceries Budget – I spent £101.69 this month, only slightly over my budget,  averaging £25.42 per week.

My average weekly spend this year was £23.45 so goal achieved, am pleased with this one as this was where my spending can easily spiral out of control without me noticing.

Cooking Recipes – goal failed! I actually thought I was going to bag this one but I lost a weekend when I was unwell (and didn’t eat anything) and realised that I’d run out of weekends to try something new! 11 out of 12 isn’t too bad I guess but how annoying!

Online Earnings – Another payout from TopCashback as listed above but with a 2015 total of £313.18 earned, goal  failed. Still, that’s over £300 that went towards my savings/investments via very little effort and I think that was probably the issue – I expended too little effort towards this goal.

Here’s how I did against all my goals in brief:


I’ve put ‘achieved’ against the ‘learn how to play poker’ goal – I do know how to play now, just not very well or to any high standard, haha!  Anyway, on the whole, it’s been a good year

Next Goals

I won’t be setting so many goals for 2016, I think I ended up a little distracted and sidetracked, and I certainly won’t just throw in another goal just because I’d achieved one goal rather quicker than I thought I would (eg the Rubik’s Cube one).


And thanks very much to all who have taken the time to read and to post comments on my blog this past year – your support, encouragement and ideas have been very much appreciated, thank you!

Wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2016!

[*referral link]


14 thoughts on “December 2015 savings, plus goal updates

  1. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Weenie! 🙂

    Re the yoga/pilates goal, not that I know why it was abandoned as am only a recent follower of your blog, but I have always assumed taking up yoga or pilates meant doing classes, which I have never got round to doing anything about. However, this year I bought a good yoga and a good pilates book and have been doing both from that – not as often as I should due to recent minor ill health, but will resume as soon as I’m better.

    I think in most of your goals you have been setting the bar quite high so a near-pass is actually a really admirable thing 🙂

    • Thanks Cathy – happy New Year and hope you had a great Christmas!

      Yes, my yoga/pilates goal had been specifically to attend classes on top of my usual gym sessions. However, the classes were late in the evening or on Sundays. If I’d been better organised with my time, I probably could have achieved this one. I think I do have a couple of yoga books so I might just start doing that, so good call.

      Thanks for the kind words – I’ve set myself similar goals for 2016 (just drafting the post!) and hopefully will be up for the challenges ahead!

      • hi weenie, I also found the classes weren’t on at a great time but also yoga classes all seem to be an hour and a half, which is probably great from an exercise point of view but just makes them harder to fit in! Not enough time to do everything, sadly.

        Thanks for your NY wishes – I plan to follow your example & the example of other PF bloggers and set out some proper goals today or tomorrow. 🙂

  2. Weenie,

    Excellent numbers in my opinion! Glad to see you’re doing great and even though you didn’t make all your goals, 2015 was still a huge step forward for you. If I had set as many goals as you, I wouldn’t have finished a single one, ha. 🙂

    If you’re going for the cooking recipes again, let me know if you need someone to help you eat everything…

    Here’s to a great 2016! I’m sure we’ll both be surprised by the end of the year about the progress we’ll have made again.

    Best wishes,

    PS: digging the new blog layout!

    • Hey NMW

      Thanks and yes, 2015 was a big year for me, the first full year of my FI journey!

      It would have been brilliant had I hit all my goals but if I had, then perhaps they were too easy!

      Here’s to a great 2016 for all of us!

      All the best!

  3. Hey Weenie, Congrats on the dividend income you received for 2015. I have just started my journey towards financial independence. Having received my first dividend payment, it definitely makes a change to paying money to companies all the time.

    Even though you aid you failed on your savings goal, 31.5% is still a relatively high figure and one you should be proud off!

    • Hi MG
      Thanks. It’s been just over a year since I received my first dividend payment and I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made so far. I look forward to increasing that gradually over the years.

      Yes, 31.5% is still a good savings rate, just not good compared to the goal I’d set myself, haha!

      I see you have a blog yourself – I’ll swing by to check it out.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Hi weenie,

    I think you’ve done very well across your very varied goals list. Rubiks cube! Poker! I’ve never seen anything like it on any other PF blog. Brilliant stuff 🙂

    I think i’ve read about 2.5 books this year, it is something I struggle with and would love to read more but there are just too many good blogs and internet sites to take up all my reading time 🙂

    Cheers and happy new year!

    • Hi TFS

      Haha, yeah, I went for a variety of goals last year and whilst they were fun, they were also too much of a distraction at times! This year’s will be a bit more traditional in a PF sort of way, haha!

      I always make time for reading, if only to give my eyes a rest from pc/laptop/tablet/mobile phone! Even reading on my Kindle is a rest for my eyes – it’s an old one so has no back-lit screen.

      Cheers and HNY too!

  5. I would say 2015 was a great success all around. Great job Weenie!

    Goals help to keep us accountable and increase the chances of success. If you publicly announce them, it increases the chances yet further, which is exactly what you’re doing. I know first hand that it can be a little intimidating to do it, so good on you for putting yourself out there an progressing like you have.

    Here’s to another successful year! 🙂

    • Cheers Huw – I was happy with my achievements in 2015. Just need to knuckle down and make sure I carry on like this to continue making solid progress and to build up my future fund. If I didn’t have this blog, I doubt I would make the same sort of progress, thanks for your continued support!

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