Moneystepper Savings Challenge – April 2015 Results

Moneystepper Savings Challenge - April Results

After evaluating where we all were at the end of Q1, we now push on into April. And, as ever with you lot, the results are even better than ever!!

 

What did I get up to in April?

April was pretty busy! From a personal perspective, my parents came up to visit for my birthday, had to do some suit shopping and other bits and bobs for the wedding, another stag do in Edinburgh, a pre-wedding photo shoot and plenty of cycling ready for the coast to coast cycle which we did at the start of May.

Professionally, I purchased a new website that I’ll be running alongside Moneystepper called Budgeting For More. As the name suggests, this is going to focus on the vital task of budgeting and be more focused on both UK and US readers. If you have any suggestions for the site, I’d be happy to hear them.

I’ve also written another book, but more about this next time!! 🙂

What’s been happening financially? Income wise I’m back to the standard salary which I pay myself from Moneystepper and so my savings rate fell a little. Also, the markets did okay in April (with the FTSE up almost 3% and the S&P 500 up around 1%).

My expenses were down in the month as, other than a few repairs for the bike, I didn’t really do too much to hurt the bank balance in the month.

Like many others, and we’ll come to that below, I increased my goals at the end of Q1, pushing my net worth goal up to 30% (was 25%) and my savings rate up to 35% (was 30%).

So, at the end of April, my results are:

Net Worth Goal Pro-Rata (Total) = 10% (30%)
Net Worth Result = 16.9%

Savings Rate Goal = 35%
Savings Rate Result =  48%

Therefore, my savings rate dropped since March (expected), but it’s still above my goal. Most pleasingly was that I had a standard month from an expenses standpoint, and my salary income was about minimum wage (because of how I structure my salary), but I still increased my net worth. Obviously a good month in the markets helped (my portfolio was up around 2% – compared to an expected monthly average of 1%), but this must mean I’m heading the right way towards financial freedom!

This now puts me 69% ahead of my pro-rata net worth goal and 37% ahead my savings rate goal.

Right, enough about me, what about you?

 

 

 

Moneystepper Savings Challenge April Results Summary

I want to start with the Q1 revaluation of everyone’s goals, as I think that this is a great indicator of the power of the Moneystepper Savings Challenge and of how hard you are all working to not only achieving, but exceeding your goals.

Of the active members (I think that there are currently 33 left after removing those who have not submitted results in the past few months), 13 of you re-evaluated your goals after Q1.

For those people, the average increase in their revised goals compared to the originals were an 84% increase in their net worth goal and a 59% increase in their savings rate goals.

More impressively, no one revised their goals downwards!

This means that the average net worth increase goal is now 34.8% (originally 32.5%) and the average savings rate goal is 39.4% (originally 37.0%).

So, after changing your goals, how have you guys actually performed against these?

We now have 33 people in the challenge (I’ve emailed the 13 people who haven’t submitted for a few months, but haven’t received replies so have removed them from the challenge), which can be broken down as follows:

  • Net Worth result ABOVE goal and Savings Rate result ABOVE goal => 18 people (Jan: 14 ; Feb: 16; Mar: 24)
  • Net Worth result ABOVE goal and Savings Rate result BELOW goal => 3 people (Jan: 9; Feb: 9; Mar: 1)
  • Net Worth result BELOW goal and Savings Rate result ABOVE goal => 6 people (Jan: 2; Feb: 7; Mar: 3)
  • Net Worth result BELOW goal and Savings Rate result BELOW goal => 2 people (Jan: 9; Feb: 2; Mar: 5)
  • Not submitted => 5 people (Jan: 8 ; Feb: 13; Mar: 15)

So, the 5 people who have not submitted have done so until now, but had not submitted at the time of writing. If you are reading this and haven’t submitted, its never too late. Just submit now and I’ll amend this post accordingly.

The ABOVE/ABOVE group has fallen a little, but this is to be expected with many participants increasing their goals. A few people have fallen into the below/above category, which makes sense as the goal increase for net worth was higher than that of the savings rate.

It’s pretty cool that we are down to only one person behind in both goals, but we’ll be working on this next month to empty this group!! 😉

Overall, the average (mean) for everyone who submitted their results in April was:

Net worth improvement: 16.0% (March: 14.7%)
Savings rate: 50.8% (March: 48.0%) 

Boom!! The average Moneystepper participant now saves over 50% of their net income for 2015 year-to-date!!

Now, it’s time to get personal…

 

Moneystepper Savings Challenge April Results Detail

Below you will find the results for each group with a very brief comment by myself. If you are not happy with the comments, please send me an email and I can change/delete then… PS – when you make your submissions, the comments you add really help and they are getting better every month. Hopefully, you are finding some value from our personal exchanges resulting from your comments, so please carry on adding them!!

 

GROUP A

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth April Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate April
Result
Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Chonce My Debt Epiphany 13.3 7.6 -43% 40 130 225%

Choncé – Choncé made some debt repayments from a tax refund which exceeded her April salary. However (and I’ll send you an email shortly Choncé) I don’t think the accounting right on this one for two reasons. Firstly, the “130” should be a YTD this savings rate, so unless your debt repayments exceeded your annual income to date, then this doesn’t seem right. Secondly, when you receive a tax refund in April, this figure should be included in your salary as an inverse tax amount.

For example, say you paid $250 in tax in the first four months ($1000). In April, you find out that you should have only paid $200 a month in that period ($800). The easiest way to account for this in the spreadsheet is to keep the $250 in Jan, Feb and March, but then April would be $250 – $200 = $50. Therefore, in the year to date, you would have taxes of $250 + $250 + $250 + $50 which is the correct amount in total.

Henny, Heather and Dhang have been removed fron this group and the group will be merged with others next month! Woo – new friends! 

 

GROUP B

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth April Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate April Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
C The Single Dollar 50.0 54.8 +9% 50 49 -2%
Vanessa 100.0 66.5 -34% 50 70 +39%

C – As promised and as expected, C’s bounced back again!! 🙂  Awesome work. From her comments, the stock market helped a little, but the biggest contributor was keeping the expenses in check and hustling for extra side income. Can we get a two-month streak in May – I can’t wait to find out!

Vanessa – An unfortunate typo put Vanessa further ahead than she really was in March, but continued success in April means that she’s still moving forward. With a savings rate that high, its only a matter of time before the net worth catches up with the goal.

 

GROUP C

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth April Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate April Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
James M 8.3 NS NS 10 NS NS
Ryan Debt Free Hustle 33.3 NS NS 10 NS NS
Femi 3.3 NS NS 0 NS NS

Ryan – No submission yet for April…

James M and Femi have been removed fron this group and the group will be merged with others next month! Woo – new friends! 

 

GROUP D

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth April Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate April Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Nigel W 2.7 3.7 +39% 33.5 49 +46%
Jeany B 2.7 5.1 +93% 35 21 -40%
Dan T 2.0 4.2 +109% 10 39 +290%
Michael Smith 3.3 7.2 +116% 60 68 +13%

 

Nigel W – Still outperforming in both goals giving Nigel a good start for the year. Some personal changes mean that ther may be a few tough times ahead, but this preparation has given Nigel a great base to rely on.  

Jeany B – A higher than expected tax bill has brought that savings rate down, but Jeany has managed to maintain her net worth increases. 

Dan T – Still searching for that perfect real estate deal,  Dan T is moving along nicely. He’s even found a bit of time to learn a new swimming stroke in April – more on that in the podcast later this week!

Michael Smith – And Michael completes the consistently strong performance from Group D. Even after doubling his net worth goal at the end of Q1, Michael is still has a net worth increase over double that of his pro-rata goal. 

Awesome work Group D – another month, another pat on the back due. 

 

GROUP E

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth April Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate April Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Cath Dyson 3.3 1.5 -54% 56 58 +4%
Dan Clift 2.2 3.9 +75% 44 42 -5%
Kylie 3.3 1.2 -65% 60 60 +0%

Cath Dyson – Cath’s net worth figures are behind schedule as the majority of her invested wealth is in property and her pension which are only reevaluated once a year. However, she is still maintaining that 58% savings rate, and so once these are updated, I’m confident she’ll be back on track. 

Dan – Well ahead of his net worth goal and still generally on track for the savings rate goal, despite a couple of holidays being booked and paid for in the month!

Kylie – Having sold her home and moved into rented accommodation in the month, Kylie’s net worth again took a short term hit in order to gain in the longer term. I’m looking forward (as I’m sure Kylie is) to the month where these investments are realised! 

Denise and Shane have been removed fron this group and the group will be merged with others next month! Woo – new friends! 

 

 

GROUP FREEDOM

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth April Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate April Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Vawt  Early Retirement Ahead 12.7 12.4 +66% 70 71 +1%
Mr. Captain Cash Mr. Captain Cash 11.7 19.2 +120% 80 87 +9%
Mrs. Maroon  Mixing Maroons 8.3 NS NS 55 NS NS
Tim Whateley 3.3 4.2 +27% 42 47 +12%

Vawt – A revised net worth goal from 30% to 38% doesn’t get in the way of Vawt’s progress. No sir!!ontinuing the impressive performance from February, Equally , his savings rate goal increased to 70% from 65% and he’s holding his YTD average just above this mark! Good work Chad!

Mr Captain Cash – A cut back on overtime in April brought Mr CC’s savings rate down from cosmic to merely atmospheric! No increases noted in Mr CC’s stock portfolio, but when you are saving that much of your income, it doesn’t matter as much!  Just goes to show what progress you can make with a healthy and well invested net worth, combined with a good income and well restricted expenses. Thanks Mr CC for being such a good example.  

Mrs. Maroon – No submission yet for April…

Tim Whateley – In his own words: “I crushed my savings goal this month due to no emergency expenses and just stuck to my plan.” That’s how to do it Tim!! 🙂

 

GROUP G

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth April Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate April Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Dominic GenY FinanceGuy 16.7 12.6 -24% 50 33 -34%

Dominic – Whilst being behind in both goals at present, Dominic still managed a positive increase in April, even with taxes and the final payment of business coaching. From May onwards, he’s hoping to make up any lost ground in hitting his goals for the year!

Amanda and Ginger have been removed from this group and the group will be merged with others next month! Woo – new friends! 

 

GROUP H

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth April Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate April Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Pete Matthew  Meaningful Money 15.0 67.4 +349% 15 19 +27%
Matt Sommer  Humble Broker 16.7 24.5 +47% 25 36 +44%
Elle Martinez   Couple Money 10.0 9.0 -10% 20 22 +10%

Pete Matthew – There’s no stopping this man!! His goals were increased from 15% to a whopping 45% for annual net worth increase, but he’s still way out in front of that. Great work Pete!!

Matt Sommer – Matt also popped his goals up from 40% to 50% for net worth and 10% to 25% for income. However, he’s still storming ahead of his goals. Keep up the amazing performance Matt!

Elle Martinez – An increase in net worth in the month, but not quite enough to stay ahead of her target. However, with the savings rate still above the goal, that should boost the net worth in the coming months if it can be maintained.    

Richard has been removed from this group and the group will be merged with others next month! Woo – new friends! 

 

GROUP INDEPENDENCE

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth April Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate April Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Tom 6.7 7.3 +10% 37 43 +16%
Graham Clark Moneystepper 10.0 16.9 +69% 35 48 +37%

Tom – After a tricky start to the year, Tom is now nicely pulling away from both his goals. Its going to make an impressive looking graph if he can keep this up! 

Graham – see above. Financial freedom here I come… 🙂

Thomas has been removed from this group and the group will be merged with others next month! Woo – new friends! 

 

GROUP J

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth April Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate April Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
AJ 5.0 5.5 +10% 35 42 +20%
Lynx Location FI 11.7 14.6 +26% 60 68 +13%
Emily Simple Cheap Mom 3.3 NS NS 50 NS NS

AJ – Q1 led to a re-evaluation of the net worth goal from 10% to 15% and of the savings rate goal from 25% to 35%. However, AJ isn’t going to let some silly increased goals slow her down now is she…?

Lynx – After turning both columns from negative to positive in March, Lynx has very much cemented that progress in April and is in a wonderful position going into the summer!

Emily – No submission received for April.

Ben O has been removed from this group and the group will be merged with others next month! Woo – new friends! 

 

GROUP K

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth April Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate April Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Mariane 10.0 12.3 +23% 40 44 +10%
Weenie Quietly Saving 8.3 9.4 +13% 50 52 +4%
Nicola 5.0 NS NS 48 NS NS

Mariane – In her comments, Mariane stated that her net worth took a bit of a hit due to starting a new business. For reasons that I’ll explain in Thursday’s post, this didn’t seem right from an accounting perspective. I’ve been in touch with Mariane and she has since amended her results to those now shown in the table above. I’ll bring you more details in the podcast.

Weenie – Net worth goal has been pushed up to 25% from 20%, but Weenie’s efforts mean that she too is ahead of her revised goals. I love it when that happens.

Nicola – No submission received for April….

Connie has been removed from this group and the group will be merged with others next month! Woo – new friends! 

 

GROUP L

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth April Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate April Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Philippa Malia 6.7 8.2 +23% 55 68 +24%
Chris Smith 6.7 7.0 +4% 40 43 +8%
Mr. Zombie  Finance Zombie 13.3 23.5 +77% 55 65 +18%
Anjali 13.3 12.0 -10% 18 11 -39%

Philippa Malia – Goals revised upwards from 15% to 20% for net worth and 40% to 55% for savings rate. Again, something little like having more challenging goals isn’t going to put Philippa off!! Another good month in May and then the honeymoon in June might bring those numbers down a bit…! 😉

Chris Smith – Chris continues to consistently stay ahead of his goals and has supported the message from last weeks’ podcast on the importance of learning. Most to come on that on Thursday’s show… 

Mr Zombie – A nice smooth month with no big one-off items! Its nice when that happens isn’t it? Mr Z’s results definitely think so!

Anjali – Anjali’s results have significantly improved since March and she’s now hunting down those goals!! Let’s catch them in May…! 🙂

 

 

GROUP M

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth April Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate April Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Greg 3.7 8.7 +137% 35 43 +23%
Jeanie Haupt 5.0 NS NS 20 NS NS
Shaun Butler 6.7 7.5 +13% 45 46 +2%

Last, but definitely not least, Group M : there not here to mess about…!

Greg – Greg’s awesome performance continues. He’s changes his net worth goal from 2% to 11% and his savings rate goal from 16% to 35%/ However, he continues to surprise himself and is way outperforming even these newly established goals.

Jeanie Haupt – No submission for April… 

Shaun Butler – Shaun’s net worth increased in the month, but his savings rate took a bit of a hit. Luckily, he’s tracking it each month using the Savings Challenge spreadsheet and was easily able to see that expenditure on eating out had crept up. Something to focus on next month! 

Joseph has been removed from this group and the group will be merged with others next month! Woo – new friends! 

 

The May Mini Challenge

Remember – the May mini challenge is to give selflessly.

Read more about it here:

 

Thanks…

We’ve said goodbye to a few “participants” this month which is a shame. If there is ever anything that you don’t like about the challenge or that is tempting you to throw in the towel, let me know. The more feedback you give me, the more I can mould the challenge into exactly what you want and need.

A big thank you to everyone who is still submitting each month and I hope you continue to ride this (most awesome and profitable) journey with me!! 🙂

 

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8 thoughts on “Moneystepper Savings Challenge – April 2015 Results

  1. Very interested in knowing if it’s too late to join the journey and/or if this will start again next year and what’s involved?

    Great initiative here though and what are your thoughts on having an investing goal as well?

  2. Ooops! I got your friendly reminder email, but forgot to respond until now…
    YTD Net worth improvement: 12.76%
    YTD Savings Rate: 62%

    We have some cash sitting around that needs to find a permanent home (investments, mortgage principal, etc.) from tax return and various refunds after re-financing our house. Plan to get all of that squared away in May! Also, I remember getting your email about increasing our goals. I don’t remember the details and have subsequently lost the email (shame on me!). But let’s make the increases and we will push ourselves even more!
    Mrs. Maroon recently posted…Like Bills Through the Breeze… This is the Money of Our LivesMy Profile

  3. Thanks for the update and well done to all still in the challenge (and good luck to those just joining in late!).

    I was about to nail the May challenge this week by volunteering to give an hour at a local school to sit and read with the kids but too many deadlines meant I couldn’t make it! I think I’m just going to have to donate to a charity I’ve never donated to before.
    weenie recently posted…Forum Etiquette (or not)My Profile

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