price of coreldraw At the start of the year, I set myself 11 goals (mainly financial) and I record my progress against them on a monthly basis. Now, the year is done and its time to look back on how I performed against my goals over the course of the year…!
You can check out my original goals which I started in November 2013 here:
Equally, you can find a 2014 financial goals update for each month within the 2014 goals section of the site:
2014 Financial Goals Update – December
In December, I had two goals left to complete. One required a repayment on my mortgage principal and the other one was to ensure that my net wealth stayed above my annual goal. I’m delighted to say that I succeeded on both:
As you can see from this update, I’ve achieved 10/11 all of my annual goals!! Whilst its sad not to hit my full 11 goals, I’m absolutely over the moon with my performance. Let’s have a quick look at December and then we’ll evaluate each goal separately for the year:
2014 Financial Goals Update – Year to Date progress
2014 Final Results
Let’s take a look at all my goals for 2014, and some lessons I can learn from each one, and how they will change for the future.
Goal 1 – Increase net wealth by over 56%
Looking back – Financially, this is the most important of all my goals. Any other goals will effectively be designed to improve my net wealth in the long-term and hence this is the overall measure of how I am doing financially. Luckily, I’m very happy with how I performed. To increase my net wealth by over 76% in the year is a huge achievement. What do I put this success down to? Well, achieving the other 8 financial goals certainly contributed, but I would argue that measurability and accountability are the two keys to my success.
Looking forward – Going forward, this is going to change. Firstly, this goal in 2015 will be measured through the Moneystepper Savings Challenge. Secondly, my goal for 2015 will actually be lower than 2014. This is for two reasons:
- For example, a £50,000 increase on a £50,000 net worth would be 100% increase. However, a £50,000 increase on a £100,000 net worth would only be 50% increase. Therefore, as my net wealth increases, my achievable % increase each year reduces.
- In September 2014, I left my well paid job at a Big4 accountancy firm to become self-employed. As such, I am not expecting to be contributing as much to my net wealth in 2015 as I did in 2014 as a start to build my own businesses and income flows as an entrepreneur.
Therefore, I have set my goal for 2015 at a net wealth increase of 25% in 2015.
Goal 2 – Positive net wealth change for 12/14 months
Looking back – This goal was designed to ensure that I was consistent throughout the year and that I didn’t indulge in too many “blowout” months as can happen when aiming towards long-term goals. This was clearly a little dependent on low volatility in the markets, but with the UK markets falling 3% in 2014, I’m happy to have got over this hump and still made a positive net wealth in the vast majority of months. I put my success in this goal down to staying disciplined over the long-term, which was greatly helped by needing to stay accountable to you guys in these monthly goal posts. So, thank you!! 🙂
Looking forward – Given the self-employment, I will have much more variable income streams in 2015 and hence I will expect more months to be negative net wealth change (but the good months to be better). Therefore, I won’t be measuring myself against this goal going forward.
Goal 3 – Save over 60% of net income for 12/14 months
Looking back – I succeeded with this goal and managed an average savings rate of 68% for the year. I’m pretty darn chuffed with this and want to highlight how everyone should be striving to improve this number if they are looking to build their long term wealth.
Looking forward – Throughout 2014 when I measured this goal, I realised the importance of the savings rate. Therefore, we’ve redesigned it and made it one of the two goals people will be striving towards in the 2015 savings challenge. For me personally, this will be much less in 2015 as my income will fall significantly and most of my expenses are fixed and already minimised (e.g. council tax, insurance, management charges, etc). Therefore, my savings rate aim for 2015 will drop to 30%. Whilst this is significantly less than 2014, it still remains much above the standard of “pay yourself 10% first”. And, I will of course aim to exceed my goal in the year!
Goal 4 – Pay £7,000 of rental property mortgage principal
Looking back – This goal started a £7,000, but due to a slightly change in strategy resulting from a disagreement with my mortgage provider, I decided to pay £20,000 off my mortgage principal on our investment property in 2014. In the year, we totaled £20,199 for the year.
Looking forward – With the same amount of repayment in 2015, we will be able to pay off the mortgage in full and never have to deal with this mortgage provider ever again!! I can’t wait…
Goal 5 – Make £700 profit from rental property
Looking back – We were looking to make a £700 profit (income only) from our investment property in the year, and hoped to exceed this. However, we decided to extend our lease on the property and hence incurred some meaty legal expenses and hence this goal was re-designed to be a £400 profit.
Looking forward – In the very short-term, we have actually moved back into the property ourselves and hence we will not have this goal going forward. However, we hope to have at least one (if not two) investment properties by the end of the year. Therefore, I will not be making a specific goal for income or profit on investment property, but instead will just have the goal to have 2 new investment properties by the end of 2015.
Goal 6 – Fill 2014 Stocks & Shares ISA
Looking back – When I made this goal at the start of the year, the limit for a stocks and shares ISA was £11,880. However, the April budget increased this to £15,000, which was pretty awesome of the government. Thanks! Therefore, I pushed my goal up to £15,000 which I achieved in the year. These are invested in long-term market tracking low-fee ETFs. This may be boring, but boring is awesome!! 🙂
Looking forward – The ISA limit for 2015 will be going up very slightly and I again intend to fill that bad boy!
Goal 7 – Earn over £450 in dividend income
Looking back – Given the increase in the 2014 Stocks and Shares ISA limit, I was able to invest more in my dividend producing investments during the year, and hence my passive income in dividends goal went from £450 from the start of the year to £1,200 by the end of the year. Not including Q4 dividends (as they were not paid into my account by the time I made this post), I managed £1,242.
Looking forward – I won’t be making any specific dividend goals in 2015, as these will be incorporated in my net wealth increase and my investment strategy won’t alter in order to produce more or less dividends.
Goal 8 – £700 profit from moneystepper
Looking back – I started moneystepper as a business in mid-2014, and hence the goal became slightly less relevant from a monetary amount. However, after paying my own wages from the company, my net profit in moneystepper was £949.32 for the year. At this stage of the business, I’m expected very little profit as I’m reinvesting most of the income into future growth.
Looking forward – In 2015, I will continue to reinvest all my profits into the business and hence I will not be measuring this in the future.
Goal 9 – Save £6,000 for wedding
Looking back – Having proposed to my fiancée in 2013, I started saving for our wedding, which I managed to fullly fund in 2014.
Looking forward – Errmmm, get married…! 🙂
Goal 10 – Eat under 2500 calories over 365 times
Looking back – This is the only goal that I failed against, and I need to learn from my mistakes here. The problem is that this goal is way too much effort to measure consistently. Also, it focused on the wrong thing. My fitness goal in the long-term is to ensure that I’m strong, fit and not ashamed to look at myself in the mirror. Hence, this goal is not necessarily focused enough to help thes things.
Looking forward – My personal goal for 2015 regarding fitness will be to excerise for longer than 30 minutes at least 3 times a week. This focus on exercise will hopefully be easier to measure and will help me form a very useful habit of consistent exercise.
Goal 11 – Visit 5 other countries (non-UK or France)
Looking back – I really wanted to benefit from being in Marseille and travel more in 2014. Luckily, I was able to do this successfully, with trips to Ukraine, Turkey, China, Spain and Italy.
Looking forward – With my stag do (France) and honeymoon (Corsica) already booked, 2015 will be much less adventurous in terms of travel, but I am planning to visit Germany and Switzerland in the year for the first time.
Moneystepper’s 2015 Savings Challenge
As I’ve said above, its now time to look at 2015. I’m going to only work towards two goals next year:
- % Change in Net Wealth – 25%
- Savings Rate % – 30%
The big change for 2015 is that I want you to join me on the way!!
Check out our savings challenge and our new podcast for details of how you can get involved:
- Moneystepper’s 2015 Savings Challenge
- Podcast – iTunes (please subscribe and review)
- Podcast – Stitcher (please subscribe and review)