HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Happy New Year everyone – I hope the hangovers weren’t too bad (unlike mine – I never learn… but at least I wasn’t doing shots!)
In the past, I’ve pretty much always set myself new year resolutions and probably kept to most of them. Setting goals and resolutions on my blog however makes me more accountable and more likely to try to keep to them and work hard to achieve them.
Although I found them all interesting, I think I set myself too many goals last year (11), allowing myself to get distracted and on occasion, a little stressed out that I couldn’t concentrate on certain goals.
So I’m taking a leaf out of Mr Z’s book and am going to simplify things a little this time:
2016 Financial Goals
- Average 50% savings rate – I’ve failed twice now to achieve this…third time lucky?! Saving 50% of my salary is probably my most important goal – saving the most I can towards my Future Fund, keeping my living expenses down so that I can save that amount and knowing what I can live on comfortably in the future when I no longer want to work.
- £720 total dividend income – Last year, my total dividend income was £356.36. I’d like to try to get an average £60 per month so I’m pretty much doubling what I achieved last year. £60 would cover my mobile phone bill, the TV licence, my water bill and my car maintenance plan! My main investment strategy continues to be investing in index trackers so I need to balance this right to maintain this.
- £1k personal emergency funds – Not a huge amount I know but I’ve got to start somewhere. How have I managed to get away with not having an emergency fund? I’ve used 0% credit cards in the past. Yes, I know, I know…
2016 Non-Financial Goals
- Borrow and read 20 library books – Borrowing from the library means that I spend less on books but also means that I am supporting my local library services. I’m going to try to read 35 books this year (5 less than last year as I’m going to reread the ‘Game of Thrones’ books and some of them are over 1000 pages!) of which 20 must be borrowed from the library.
- Read at least 3 Personal Finance/Investing/Money related books – I struggled with 2 last year because I just find it hard to read non-fiction, even if the topic is interesting. However, I have a couple in mind that I can borrow from the library so can work on two goals at the same time!
And that’s it. All still challenging goals for me and ones that I can focus on.
There are other things that I could do ‘more’ of and other things ‘less’ of but while I may still do those, I don’t want to set any more goals because I don’t want to be too distracted.
I do however intend to donate monthly to charity – going to start off with just a small amount as I’m in my accumulating phase, but it’ll be more than what I’ve donated this past year in total and will be on top of my ad-hoc charity donations throughout the year.
I will of course continue to track my Future Fund and my Net Worth, I’m just not setting goals for them. If I achieve the 50% savings rate goal, that’s all I need to know really about how I’m doing progress-wise.
Having stayed within my £25 per week grocery budget for an entire year, I have no need to set that goal again as I can’t see my habits changing now. Of course, if the food budget starts creeping up (I’ll continue to keep an eye on my receipts), then it’s time to do something about it again!
I’ve been roped into a weight loss challenge at work. Those who have met me at the FIRE Escape gatherings organised by Huw will probably think that there’s not really a lot of me in the first place (!) but suffice to say, I’ve put on a few pounds over Christmas and New Year – too much eating and drinking, compounded by not being able to attend the gym for several weeks as I battled to shift a bad cold and cough!
I’m unlikely to win the challenge because I only want to shift this ‘winter layer’ but I’m taking part because there are a couple of chaps who REALLY need to lose weight, so it’s a team effort (including the boss).
We had our first weigh-in yesterday and I’m close to the heaviest I’ve ever been so I’m not going to take this lightly, haha! Final weigh-in is at the end of March.
Anyway, I’ve been reading other people’s 2016 goals with great interest and hope that this year proves to be a positive and fruitful one for all, despite mutterings of a doom and gloom bear market!