Happy New Year to you all!
For those who work, I don’t know about you but this felt like the longest week ever in the office!
I have no idea what this year will bring but just hope that it will be interesting (bubbles and market corrections? Bring ’em on!), with a lot of good stuff and laughs in between! Oh and with me (and you) continuing to head in the right direction with our finances (bubbles and market corrections notwithstanding!)
Anyway, back to the main topic…Goals!
I only set a few goals last year and the focus on just those few worked well for me with little room for distraction so I’m going to do something
similar exactly the same for 2018.
So without further ado, here they are:
2018 Financial Goals:
Average 50% Savings Rate*
I know, I know, same old, same old! After 4 attempts, this goal continues to remain elusive, which makes it all the more reason why I must aim for it! This is how I’ve performed against it in the past:
2017 – 42.4%
2016 – 44.9%
2015 – 43.7%
2014 – 46.5%
Not bad going but not quite there, either! I know there are still bits of expenses which could be trimmed but I’m (still) not prepared to make any radical changes to my lifestyle right now which could make hitting the goal much more likely. However, being more organised with my groceries/meals may make some difference, plus I might even get a bit of a pay rise and/or bonus.
£3,000 Total Dividend Income
This income number is ambitiously set at double the target I set last year. In order to increase my dividend income, I shall need to continue to chuck my money into income-paying investments, with all dividends being re-invested. Getting an average of £250 a month would be brilliant as this would cover quite a few of my monthly utility bills.
Earn £4,000 Matched Betting (MB) Income
The same as last year but although I hit that quite comfortably in 2017, I believe this year shall prove to be much much tougher.
As I was unemployed for a while last year, I had a lot more time to do MB and make the most of offers. There’s also the real risk of losing bookie accounts (through ‘gubbings’ – bookies don’t tend to like matched bettors) plus I’m going to continue to follow the risky no-lay accumulator strategy.
MB is still very much a hobby I enjoy doing and I hope the profits continue to roll in.
The £4k itself may not seem very ambitious considering the huge earning potential of MB but it’s a number I’d be well happy with if I was able to achieve it again.
2018 Non-Financial Goals
Borrow and Read 24 Library Books
I’ve added 4 to last year’s goal. 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 a total of 30 books this year (I track my progress here via Goodreads), of which at least 24 must be borrowed from the library.
Read 3 Non-Fiction Books
Again, the same as last year’s goal, these will be non-fiction books which pique my interest which may or may not be finance or investment related. Doesn’t sound like much but as mentioned previously, my passion is reading fiction so even these measly 3 books will be a challenge for me! Of course, if I can borrow them from the library, I can work on two goals at the same time!
In an attempt to mix up my reading a little this year, (though not too much as I don’t want to drift too far from my favourite genres) I’m going to play a spot of Bingo while pursuing the above reading goals:
So, I’ll be marking off squares as I read the books matching the criteria over the course of the year. Some books will enable me to mark off more than one square eg if I read a >500 page book that is >10 years old, that’s two squares. Anyone else fancy this fun challenge?
I think the ones I will struggle with are likely to be ‘A forgotten classic’ (I’m not sure how a ‘classic’ can be forgotten and forgotten by whom?), ‘A book of short stories’ (generally, I’m not a fan), ‘First book by a favourite author’ (might have to re-read a book), ‘A book that scares you’ (not a fan of horror) and ‘A book your friend loves’ (I’m just glad that my friends also doing this challenge don’t count ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ as a book they love…).
As per previous years, I pledge to donate at least 10% of my MB profits to charity, so if I hit my MB goal this year, that will be at least £400. The main charities I donate to regularly are Age UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and British Red Cross. I also fund ‘charity loans’ via Kiva.
As per last year, I will set myself a charity goal, which will be with Toilet Twinning again:
Billions of people don’t have somewhere safe, clean and hygienic to go to the toilet, something that we’ve taken for granted every day of our lives.
Toilet Twinning is a simple way to solve a serious problem and save lives.
You can twin your loo (like towns are twinned) with a latrine halfway around the world, in a country of your choosing. For a larger donation, you can twin with a school block or with toilets in a displacement camp.
My goal will be to twin with a School Block of toilets (donate £240), as well as continuing to support above-mentioned charities. My donation will help build a block of toilets at a school, providing safe, clean and hygienic sanitation and also help fund hygiene education and clean water projects.
Here’s my post of when I twinned my loo last year.
The following aren’t goals as such but things that I will be doing in 2018:
- Home Brewing – I ran out of home brew beers a while ago so need to get back to my brewing! Making brews will also help cut my grocery expenses as I will spend less/nothing on alcohol in my weekly shop. As before, I shall document and showcase the fruits of my labour! I hope to make at least 3 different batches.
- More Exercise – Last year, as well as doing my gym classes, I started playing netball as well, but struggled to attend sessions when I began my new job. I shall either work out a way to attend the sessions again or add an extra gym night to my routine. Actually, my gym membership has just gone up so I might just attend an extra night (or day at the weekend) to get more value for money.
- ‘Trading’ – I’m on the waiting list for the trading app Dabbl. Whether I will actually be ‘trading’ is debatable, this will just be another of my experiments really (using ‘fun money’). I’m not sure how much detail I will go into regarding shares I buy or sell as I won’t know how much time I’m going to spend on it, or if I’ll even like it.
And that’s it really for my goals.
There’s a lot of other stuff that I think I want to do or aim for but as they’re only halfhearted ideas, I feel it’s a little pointless trying to make them into goals if I’m not really going to attempt them (my friends seem to think New Man is going to be one of my goals, haha!)
Did you set any goals for 2018?
If so, good luck and may this be a happy and prosperous year for all! 🙂