Moneystepper Savings Challenge – November Results

Moneystepper Savings Challenge November Results

The penultimate month of the 2015 Savings Challenge is complete and I’m pleased to announce that the majority of the challenge participants are looking like they’ll be meeting their original and revised goals. All together now: one…more…push!!



What’s been going on in November?

It’s finally been one of those months where I can say: “nothing much”. A couple of weekends with friends and a quick trip across to Dublin (Ryanair’s ugly, but by golly is it cheap?!) and plenty of work.

Financially for the challenge, my results have been as follows:

November Net Worth Goal Pro-Rata (Total) = 27.5% (30%)
November Net Worth Result = 23.3%

November Savings Rate Goal = 35%
November Savings Rate Result = 32%

My net worth increased by another 2 and a bit percentage points in the month, which keeps me about the same distance behind my annual goal. The good news is that it looks like I should reach my original goal of 25%. However, my latest revised goal of 30% might just be a little too far. That said, I’m not giving up yet!!

Looking at the overall world markets, we have a bit of a mixed bag, but most markets ended around even. The FTSE 100 (UK) decreased by 0.1% and the S&P 500 (US) was flat (0.0% movement). The Nikkei 225 (Japan) broke the trend and increased by 3.5%. Given the troubles we’ve seen in other Asian markets and the disappointing annual return in the FTSE 100 (currently -3.0% YTD) and S&P 500 (currently +1.0% YTD), it’s interesting to see that the Nikkkei 225 is (from 01/01 until 30/11) up 21.2%. Good old international diversification.

On the savings rate side, more careful money management (expenses, pah, what are they?!) meant that my YTD average crawled up to 32% for the year.

Enough about me, what about you guys?



Moneystepper Savings Challenge November Results Summary

In November, the average (mean) for everyone who submitted their results was:

Net Worth Improvement: 42.0% (October: 34.8%)
autodesk maya 2015 sales Savings Rate: 47.4% (October: 50.3%) 

A quick update on the net worth increase graph for the average in the challenge shows the continual increase, and we only need one more month to achieve an improving net worth for every single month of the year. That said, December does have its challenges, so we’ll have to see!

November Results Monthly Graph

Now, like every month, it’s time to get personal…


autodesk maya 2015 sales Welcome To Our New Participants!!

After the flurry of new participants joining us in October, there hasn’t been any new participants in November. If you do know anyone who may be interested, it’s good to remember that entry is at a reduced price of £39 until the end of December 2015, a discounted price that we won’t be seeing again!

Another call for everyone who hasn’t already (although I’m imagining that everyone is going to wait until the New Year to make the switch), can you please complete the Google Forms which will outline your goals and ambitions so that we can add a little more into the challenge to help you achieve them!

New Joiner – Participant Form


Moneystepper Savings Challenge November Results Detail

Below you will find the results for everyone 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…

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!!

All results are ordered by the net worth YTD comparison in descending order. It is important to note that this doesn’t indicate how well people are doing relative to each other because some people have been more ambitious in their goals that other.

But, we probably shouldn’t care anyway, as that just makes it a game of “keeping up with the Joneses”. Be the best you can be! The end…

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth Nov
Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate Nov
Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Matt B 22.9 177.0 +672% 40 38 -5%
Nigel W 7.3 10.6 +45% 40 59 +48%
Shaun B 18.3 23.6 +29% 50 49 -2%
Barrie S 16.5 19.6 +19% 65 76 +17%
Elle M Couple Money 27.5 30.5 +11% 20 17 -15%
Philippa M 30.3 32.6 +8% 73 72 -1%
Vawt Early Retirement Ahead 34.8 36.8 +6% 67 68 +1%
Jeany B 13.8 14.5 +5% 35 31 -11%
Michael S 9.2 9.5 +4% 60 62 +3%
Weenie Quietly Saving 27.5 28 +2% 50 44.8 -10%
Pete M Meaningful Money 91.7 92.7 +1% 23 23 +0%
C The Single Dollar 137.5 135.0 -2% 50 51 +2%
Tom 27.5 24.5 -11% 45 51 +13%
Graham C 27.5 23.3 -15% 35 32 -9%
Cath D 18.3 14.7 -20% 56 56 +0%
Mr. Captain Cash  Mr. Captain Cash 32.1 21.8 -32% 75 75 -0%
Dan T 5.5 3.0 -46% 10 18 -1%


Matt B – After joining in October, Matt continued his good work into November. Obviously Matt is hugely surpassing his goal that he set when he joined the challenge, which demonstrates the power of recording a few months’ worth of data in order to set your progress as accurately as possible. This is going to be key for Matt going into 2016, in an attempt to find net worth and savings rate goals that are both ambitious, but at the same time realistic.


Nigel W – Nigel received a small bonus from work in November which allowed him to keep his annual savings rate way above target and his net worth improvement duly followed suit. As Nigel rightly says: “all we need now is a Santa rally and then we can crack open the champagne this Christmas.”


Shaun B – I hope you’ll all join me in congratulating Shaun and his partner on bringing a new life into this world!! 🙂 Cue sleepless nights, and a desperate attempt not to drain the family finances as the pressure (and expenses) of parenthood take hold. Sounds a bit rough doesn’t it, but I’m sure the positives outweigh these challenges!! 😉 Shaun’s motivation towards the challenge is clearly still as strong as ever as he has identified another project he wants to complete before Christmas in order to surpass his annual goals.


Barrie S – A very slight increase in Barrie’s net worth in the month, but any progress is a bonus given that Barrie has already achieved his annual goal of 18% net worth increase. He admits that the challenge in December will be keeping that above the goal level, but having already incurred a fair amount of “Christmas expenditure” in November, he seems confident that he will. Good luck Barrie.


Elle M – Elle’s had a challenging couple of months, but this is a great demonstration of how good money management can be a godsend in times where you face other issues. Since her last submission in September, Elle’s net worth progress has increased beyond her annual goal although her savings rate has taken a bit of a hit.


Philippa M – Another strong month for Philippa, which means that she now only needs a 0.5% increase in net worth in December in order to achieve her annual net worth goal. This is supported by a consistently strong 72% savings rate (third only to Mr Captain Cash & Barrie S).


Vawt – Vawt continued to heavily invest in his retirement accounts in November, helping his savings rate stay above his target of 67%. This has had the inevitable impact of pushing up his net worth improvement to almost 37%, only one percent behind his annual goal. Keep pushing in December Vawt – it’s never nice to finish JUST behind your goals…


Jeany B – Jeany’s having some issues with a tenant falling behind on their rent payments after they lost their job in September. Whilst she’s confident that they will catch up on the arrears, Jeany’s savings rate has taken an inevitable knock. However, it’s great to see (and as a reminder as to why having your finances well organised) that Jeany’s net worth continues to increase and she too is only 0.5% behind her annual goal. For me, this indicates sensible money management and diversification. I’m sure many landlords who didn’t receive any rent for a couple of months might have the need to dip into their savings, but due to Jeany’s good planning this isn’t necessary. A good lesson to learn – thanks Jeany!


Michael S – Following our observation in the previous month regarding diversification, Michael has seen similar results in November as a result. In October, Michael underperformed the market due to his focus on investing in individual stocks. In November, Michael actually benefited from under-diversification, with his overall net worth bumping up 1.5% due to the performance in one individual stock:

Net worth has improved due to a marked increase in one stock’s value (>50%), though this is offset by a corresponding decrease in the month before! Otherwise, steady as she goes.

Michael seems happy with dealing with the variance on a monthly basis, but this kind of short term variance is one of the reasons why we recommend a diversified portfolio of market tracking funds or ETFs.


Weenie – Weenie explains in her comments that “Christmas spending and funnelling money towards my holiday has meant less going towards my savings/investing.” However, she still is on track for her annual net worth target of 30% for the year, and hopefully she’ll be able to achieve that in December.


Pete M – Another month, another increase. Pete’s net worth improvement for the year reaches a very impressive 92.7% and keeps him on track for doubling his net worth in the year. Pete’s planning for a house move in December and hence it may be a challenge to reach that fairly arbitrary (but visually pleasing) 100% goal, but I’d encourage Pete to keep on pushing where he can. He also mentions that he intends to spend money in the New Year on the new home (mainly through building a conservatory). It is likely that this capital improvement will be reflected in the new value of the house, but Pete should think about how this will be treated in the challenge (i.e. is he going to get the house valued at any point, or will he add the costs as value to the property, etc). Whatever he decides, this should be planned up front and built into his goals for the 2016 year.


C – In October’s summary our conclusion based on C’s consistent upward progress was that “there’s nothing more appealing in personal finance that a normal, consistent positive month.” Given this, C is going to be pretty chuffed with her November progress given her comments:

Pretty normal month — basically just humming along.


Tom B – Tom managed to maintain a good savings rate of 51%, which is above his goal, but the GBP/EUR rate again effected any improvement in his net worth. Increased expenditure for a baby which is due soon was paid for from the current months’ salary and hence he didn’t need to dip into savings. Again, good financial preparation paying dividends there!


Graham C – See above.


Cath D – Cath’s figures show that she is slightly behind her net worth goal, despite a perfectly on target savings rate. This may be partly due to the some figuers (S&S ISA, pensions, ets) not being updated on a monthly basis. As such, we’ll wait until December and the final update of these investment figures to see how she finishes against her goals.


Captain Cash – A slight improvement in Mr CC’s net worth in the month, but he is now a fairly long way behind his overall target. However, I hope that a good December will allow him to meet his savings rate target, which he is currently 0.5% behind. In any case, a 74.5% savings rate is one of the best of any participants and so something that Mr CC should certainly be proud of!


Dan T – As predicted in the previous submission, the “mega holiday season” (3 birthdays, 2 National Holidays, and 2 Religious Holidays) is underway and starting to impact his results. This is most evident in the reduced savings rate, but he still managed to slightly increase his net worth for the month.



Did Not Submit – I’m hoping that this is only due to the Christmas rush, but the list of DNS this month is pretty long. Matt S, Dominic, Lynx, Mariane, Chris S, Mr Zombie, Kylie, Hiten P, James H, Anita S, Andy C, Liam L and Ben S. Get in touch guys!!



With one more month to go, I’m hugely impressed and inspired by the progress that everyone is making. Despite all the financial challenges that Christmas brings, I’ve made my forward looking budget for the month which will take me to achieving my goals. Now to make sure that I don’t slip from that!

I hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year, and that you all have fun in rounding up the year for the challenge and get those goals set for next year when we get to start all over again! 2015 was a great year for most of us, but 2016 is going to be even better…!! 🙂

Remember to fill in the Google Form with your goals, and don’t hesitate to give me an email if you need any assistance completing the new template.

You can find out all about it here: Moneystepper Savings Challenge.

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