Three weeks into the year already and I’m still dragging my heels with my 2022 goals!
Perhaps this was because my head was still dwelling on the fact that several of my 2021 goals were derailed by my unexpected house purchase, although had I set a goal to ‘buy a house’ at the start of the year, I would have passed with flying colours!
Who knows what 2022 will bring, to mess up best laid plans?
Anyway, I’ve come to my senses – this is just ‘life’ happening, nobody knows what it’s going to throw at us.
Make goals and plans, things will happen as they always do (to a greater or lesser extent), obstacles will materialise and I must just adapt and move on, whenever ‘whatever’ happens.
So here goes with my Goals!
As usual, they’re just simple ones, not too different from previous ones, which make it easier for me to focus on them while just getting on with living my life…
2022 Financial Goals:
Average 25% Savings Rate*
Here’s how my savings rate has looked in the last 5 years:
2021 – 28.3%
2020 – 54.3%
2019 – 46.3%
2018 – 43.2%
2017 – 42.4%
Compared to previous years, last year looks like an anomaly, so you would think that ‘normal’ savings rate (of around 45-46%) would resume for 2022?
Alas, I am aware of costly things which need doing on my house which will need addressing this year so I won’t be able to save/invest as much as I would like.
And that’s just the stuff I know of, there will unfortunately no doubt be ‘unknown unknowns’ too.
The ‘holy grail’ of a 50% savings rate is a fantastic headline goal to aim for but unlike previous years, it would be totally unrealistic and impossible for me to achieve.
Such a low savings rate is not going to make any significant impact on my Future Fund but at least I’d still be creeping in the right direction.
I will likely review this goal in 6 months’ time when I’m settled in more and know what my ‘normal’ costs are.
£3,400 Total ISA Dividend Income
With companies cutting and reducing dividends in 2020, dividends came back with a bang in 2021 (for me anyway) and my goal was blown out of the water.
Note that building up my dividend income is only part of my overall investment strategy – my intention is for dividends to cover most of my monthly/utility bills, not my entire retirement income.
So the goal this year will be to receive at least £3.4k income from my investment trusts and shares in my ISA. This is 10% more than what I received last year.
I will continue to track my total dividend income (so that I can maintain my main income graph) but the ISA income will have more significance for me.
This is how the income in my ISAs have grown over the years:
Emergency Fund (3-months’ expenses)
Unexpected expenses in the last couple of months meant that not only did I resort to making use of a 0% transfer offer on one of my credit cards (standing order in place to pay it all off within the specified free period), I’ve had to dip into my emergency fund.
It’s now dangerously low and needs topping up but how to balance that versus adding to my investments, especially with investments currently ‘on sale’? It’s just going to be a juggling act!
My bare bones monthly expenses are around £1.2k a month. I’m down to less than £1k, so I need to top up with over £2.6k to get the 3 months’ fund and hope that I won’t need to dip into it over the coming months – fingers crossed!
My charity giving goals in the past were always linked to a percentage of my Matched Betting profits but as I will struggle to make a decent profit this year on that side hustle, it seemed rather pointless.
So I’ll make my charity goal to be £320 donated. Seems like a number plucked out of thin air, but it is 10% more than what I donated last year.
The main charities I donate to regularly are Age UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and British Red Cross and also direct to a local library, which had been shut down by the local council but which is now run by volunteers. I donate to a few other charities though not on a regular basis and I also fund ‘charity loans’ via Kiva.
The toilet in my new house has already been ‘twinned’ via Toilet Twinning!
Aiming for FIRE, it’s tempting to throw every single penny I can towards my goal but I want to (and feel like I should) support charities because I can and because it makes me feel like I’m contributing and helping (in a small way).
Just don’t get me thinking about the huge and obscene salaries some of the top brass in certain charities are earning, otherwise I would stop donating full stop.
2022 Non-Financial Goals
Read 25 books – minimum 15 Library Books
I find reading relaxing and it helps with my concentration. It stops me from looking at my phone, which is a good thing! Hopefully, I will also be able to make a dent on reading some of the books I actually own, which are sitting on my bookshelves.
Read 4 Non-Fiction Books
(This goal is within the above goal).
I failed the same goal last year, only managing 3 and even that was a bit of a struggle.
I know 4 doesn’t sound like much but my passion and enjoyment lies in reading fiction (sci-fi, fantasy or crime/thriller) – non-fiction, no matter how interesting the topic, does not have me rivetted, or reading into the small hours of the night, muttering ‘Just one more chapter…’
So even these few will be out of my comfort zone. I’m just about to start one, so hopefully that will be one off the list soon.
These non-fiction books won’t necessarily be finance or investment related or anything to do with self-help or stuff like that – just something which piques my interest and hopefully educational.
This goal is new, although perhaps a little vague and will involve something ‘arty’. I won’t be able to measure it as such but by making mention of it here, I’m making a commitment of sorts.
Firstly, I haven’t picked up my ukulele in a long time, have forgotten all the chords and want to relearn. I’m never going to be a talented musician (no funding my FIRE by busking haha!) but the aim is just to be able to play a few tunes off by heart. I find that when I’m learning to play, I’m using a different part of my brain so that must be good.
Secondly, one of the things I enjoyed doing when I was younger was doodling/drawing. This was a hobby I was planning to pick up again once I’d retired but one of my Christmas presents from the family was a drawing pad and pencils so perhaps the time is right to see if it’s something I still like to do.
I wasn’t bad at drawing way back then, but do I still have the skills or the patience? I do know there’s so much I can learn, new stuff and stuff that I’ve forgotten from Art classes at school.
The challenge with this goal will be making time for it – in order for this to be a pass, I need to have spent some significant and dedicated time on it.
And no, I’m not planning on posting pictures of my efforts in the style of Take Hart’s gallery (for those of a certain age, that music might bring back memories!).
My hope is that I might progress to painting and perhaps be good/happy enough to put one or two of said paintings up on the wall!
Wasn’t sure about this goal but thought I’d try something different.
I don’t have any specific fitness goals except to continue going to the gym 2 or 3 times a week.
I may try to up the time I spend on the treadmill a little, see how I feel, so I get a bit more balance to the weight training I’m doing.
My weight is already more or less what it was before Christmas, so I just need to try to maintain it, whilst slowly polishing off the last of the festive chocolates and biscuits still left in the cupboard!
As I no longer have a ‘beer fridge’, there should be less alcohol in the house but this isn’t the case – tins and bottles are somehow secreted into cupboards now, so I’ll need to keep on top of my at-home-drinking (still weekends only).
2021 was another year where I didn’t buy a single bottle of water – it’s been at least 4 years now. I will continue to carry my own refillable drinking bottle, which is my own small effort to stop another plastic bottle ending up in the landfill/sea.
The year before, I started to learn how to do the 4 x 4 Rubik’s Cube. This still has me flummoxed but as I’ve not touched it in a while, I’ve forgotten a lot of the earlier algorithms so will need to start again. On my to do list but not a goal to achieve!
Although I did reach the milestone of a quarter of a million pounds in my Future Fund in August, falling markets and using some of my FIRE funds for the house purchase set me back a bit.
So I hope to achieve this milestone again, hopefully in the next six months although this is looking increasingly unlikely with the current sell off in the markets.
Here’s to another v-shaped recovery, eh? 🙂
All I can do is just keep on keeping on.
All the best to everyone who has set goals for 2022 – here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous year for all! 🙂