Savings Challenge – March Results

Moneystepper Savings Challenge March Results

buy building desig 2014 We are now through the month of March, we have Q1 under our belt and The Moneystepper Savings Challenge is going from strength to strength. Let’s have a closer look at March’s results.

 

What did I get up to in March?

As usual, the first thing you’ll have to do in this article is read about me. Remember, I created this challenge and am taking the time to run it because it allows me a huge level of accountability in my own finances and achieving my goals. Therefore, as every month, you guys better strap yourself in for some self-indulgence!

The first half of March was very civilised. I returned from my stint in France on March 5th and came back to a lovely with a weekend with all my friends in a country cottage to celebrate my birthday!

This was folllowed by a weekend in London to see Charlie and The Chocolate Factory with the future in-laws and “wedmin” took up a lot of the rest of our time (suit shopping, meal tasting, etc). All very nice and enjoyable!

On Friday March 27th, everything changed! Me and 14 friends from either side of the channel made our way to Les Deux Alpes in France for a week of skiing to celebrate my stag do!

I’ll spare all the gory details and focus on the Moneystepper points:

  1. Its amazing how little an amazing chalet/villa/appartment can cost when its split between 14 people. I’ve always been amazed by this and why this kind of trip is my favourite. The more, the merrier.
  2. Equally, its dangerous how much food and alcohol you can get for £80 each. That was our budget for the week and we probably bought about 20-30% more than what we needed. Everyone literally had “all they could eat and drink” and in many cases much, much more than that! When you think that one meal out with a bottle of wine can easily stretch to £30-50 in the alps, 7 days food and drink for £80 is pretty cool!
  3. 25-35 year old men are awesome cooks! Boy, did we eat well. Breaking all the stereotypes there.
  4. Never plan anything important for any time in the week after your own stag do: it won’t be enjoyable.

Here’s a couple of photos that I can probably share – you can probably guess which one I am…!

Stag Do Photo March 2015

This second photo is the view from our balcony. Not bad, huh?

Stag Do Photo 2 March 2015

 

What’s been happening financially? Well, it was Moneystepper year end which meant that I paid myself an annual dividend and hence my finances and negative numbers from the first few months have now sorted themselves out!

The markets (both UK and US) fell by over 2% in March, but that hasn’t had too much of an impact compared to the company dividend distribution.

There were obviously some expenses for the stag do, but most were paid up front and the expenditure whilst I was there was already budgeted for and I had a “stag do” liability built on my net worth tab which was simply released when spent. If you are wondering how that works, I would recommend that you see example six of the following as this concept is vital in the challenge:

Session 10: Accounting For Personal Finance

So, overall:

Net Worth Goal Pro-Rata (Total) = 6.3% (25%)
Net Worth Result = 15.0%

Savings Rate Goal = 30%
Savings Rate Result =  57%

What a turn around, hey?

As a reminder, at the end of February, I was 4.7% new worth increase and a savings rate of -41%.

This now puts me 140% ahead of my pro-rata net worth goal and 90% ahead my savings rate goal.

All of you who have submitted your goals would have received an email from me saying (among other things) that you should be re-evaluating your goals after Q1 in order to keep them as relevant as possible. And, as a member of the challenge, I’m no different.

Its a tough job to re-evaluate your targets, especially when they fluctuate so much. However, I intend to keep pushing myself and despite the markets being kind to me early in the year and receiving my year-end dividend, I’m going to re-evaluate upwards.

Therefore, my new goals will now be:

Net Worth Goal = 30% (originally 25% )

Savings Rate Goal = 35% (originally 30%)

I will start measuring myself against these goals going forward from April month end.

My target for myself and everyone in the challenge isn’t to massively exceed our goals, but rather finish the year on track with our re-evaluated goals which massively exceed our original goals. This will ensure that we keep on pushing from Day 1 to Day 365 in the challenge!

Right, enough about me, what about you?

 

 

Moneystepper Savings Challenge March Results Summary

The march continues in….March…!

After impressive results in Jan and Feb, you guys just keep on getting better!

We now have 48 people in the challenge (welcome to Dhang Betia), which can be broken down as follows:

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

Let’s start with the negatives. 15 people failed to submit there results this month which is disappointing. Most of these people didn’t submit either in February. I’ll email them again during April and if we don’t receive a submission then, we will remove them from the challenge and reorder the groups to try and keep the participation alive.

Moving swiftly on to the positives.

Well, it has to be that ABOVE/ABOVE group exploding from 16 people last month to 24 people this month (myself included). Its a nice group to be in isn’t it?

However, you don’t get an easy ride in the Moneystepper Savings Challenge. The end of March brings the end of Q1 and the first of three official re-evaluations of everyone’s annual goals.

Whilst its cool that so many people are exceeding their own expectations, I don’t want anyone to rest on their laurels, but instead I think we should all be increasing our goals wherever possible in order to achieve even more!!

A few people have suffered one off expenses and emergencies which have impacted them in the month, but they all seem more determined than ever to push through and make up lost ground in the coming spring months.

Finally, a couple of people may have accounted incorrectly and their results don’t match their goals as a result. I’ve emailed you all separately when I think that this may be the case, but it anyone is at all unsure of how to record something in the Savings Challenge spreadsheet, please ask!!

March’s success seems even more impressive given that the markets (UK and US) dropped by over 2% in the month, so well done everyone.

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

Net worth improvement: 14.7%
Savings rate: 48.0% 

Yes, really, I’ve double checked. This blows my mind. Whilst the average person on the street struggles to save anything, the Moneystepper Savings Challenge participants, on average, are saving very nearly half of their net income. Do you know why? Its because we are all committed to achieving these goals. And when you commit, amazing things happen!!

Ok, let’s get personal…

 

Moneystepper Savings Challenge March Results Detail

Drumroll please… 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 March
Result
Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate March
Result
Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Chonce My Debt Epiphany 10.0 2.2 -78% 40 28 -31%
Henny Financial Freedom 30ish 5.0 NS NS 50 NS NS
Heather Anderson   1250 NS NS 1 NS NS
Dhang Betia   10 NS NS 20 NS NS

Choncé – Still behind her goals due to a couple of hiccups along the road in January and February. However, March itself saw an improvement in Choncé’s new worth, which is a positive to take away.

3 non-submissions

 

GROUP B

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth March Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate March Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
C The Single Dollar 37.5 35.4 -6% 50 42 -16%
Vanessa 75.0 143.0 +91% 50 68 +36%

C – One month on one month off. After an improved February, C has struggled to build the mometum falling behind in both goals due to expenditure on airfares in the month (one expected; one emergency). However, spirits remaining high and C has promised to bounce back again in April. Its a good job that Iain Dowie coined the phrase “bouncebackability” when he did because C seems to have it in droves.

Vanessa – Smashing it! Vanessa did not provide any comments, but we’ve seen a huge surge between February and March, so I’m guessing there was some one-off income in there. Either way, we may be looking at increasing the annual goals as part of the Q1 review.

 

GROUP C

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth March Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate March  Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
James M 6.3 NS NS 10 NS NS
Ryan Debt Free Hustle 25.0 44.6 +78% 10 15 +50%
Femi 2.5 NS NS 0 NS NS

Ryan – Supporting Group C by himself, Ryan has had a pretty good month and still remains ahead of his goals. We have a small point to clarify on his savings rate calculation together before we can comment any more on performance and re-evaluation of goals.

Two more non-submissions

 

GROUP D

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth March Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate March Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Nigel W 2.0 3.2 +60% 33.5 49 +46%
Jeany B 2.0 4.5 +125% 35 25 -29%
Dan T 1.5 3.3 +119% 10 38 +280%
Michael Smith 1.3 5.7 +357% 60 67 +12%

Boom! Four from four submitted. We could be due a rename to Group Demolition or something similar given their impressive results.

Nigel W – There is no stopping Big Nige! He has some decorating and remodelling costs to come, but has a good lead on his net worth and savings rates goals, so I suggest a small amendment in his annual goals going forward. 

Jeany B – Jeany B is also on a roll. Her savings rate has dipped due to paying a few annual bills, but her net worth is still going from strength to strength!  

Dan T – Honesty pays! Remember last month how Dan was 0.01% behind his goal, but still reported as being behind. Well, not any more. A great month from Dan and also one of the quotes of the challenge in this comments that I’ll share with everyone in the podcast later this week. You’re an inspiration Dan – keep up the good work!

Michael Smith – And Michael completes the amazing performance from Group D. A good month in the markets (going against the overall stock market results) and a bonus from work have been put to excellent use and Michael’s net worth and Savings Rate are clearly benefiting as a result.

Awesome work Group D – give yourselves a round of applause.

 

GROUP E

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth March Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate March Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Cath Dyson 2.5 1.0 -60% 56 60 +7%
Denise 1.3 NS NS 50 NS NS
Shane McGee 3.0 NS NS 40 NS NS
Dan Clift 1.7 4.5 +168% 44 46 +5%
Kylie 2.5 1.8 -26% 60 61 +2%

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, with her 60% savings rate, she is clearly doing well in the short term. 

Dan – Well ahead of his net worth goal and performing very nicely against his savings rate. Keep up the good work Dan.

Kylie – As discussed on the podcast interview (thanks again Kylie), short term expenses on a property investment have hit the net worth and have yet to be built into the net worth on the property revaluation. Other than that, things are looking pretty rosy!

Two more non-submissions

 

 

GROUP FREEDOM

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth March Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate March Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Vawt  Early Retirement Ahead 7.5 12.4 +66% 65 73 +12%
Mr. Captain Cash Mr. Captain Cash 8.8 19.2 +120% 80 89 +11%
Mrs. Maroon  Mixing Maroons 6.3 11.0 +76% 55 69 +25%
Tim Wharteley 1.7 NS NS 92 NS NS

Vawt – Continuing the impressive performance from February, Vawt managed to bat off falling stock markets and a vacation in Hawaii and still see an increased net worth compared to the prior month, and stay ahead of both his net worth and savings rate goals.

Mr Captain Cash – A end of season hockey trip and related expenses has bought Mr CC’s savings rate down a little, but 89% isn’t bad, it it?!?! 🙂 His net worth stays about the same for the month. 

Mrs. Maroon – My January comment for Mrs M was “consistently solid”. No reason to really change in February, and other than concern about continued repetition, no need to change it now. Maybe time for a goal revaluation…!

One non-submission

 

 

 

GROUP G

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth March Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate March Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Amanda 18.8 NS NS 60 NS NS
Ginger 12.5 NS NS 40 NS NS
Dominic GenY FinanceGuy 12.5 10.9 -13% 50 40 -20%

Dominic – Still marginally behind in both goals, but March say an absolute increase in net worth, so its still looking fairly positive for Dominic. Let’s have a strong April Dominic and get back ahead of your goals. Good luck man!

Two non-submissions

 

GROUP H

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth March Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate March Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Richard  Extreme Compounding  2.5 NS NS 10 NS NS
Pete Matthew  Meaningful Money 3.8 32.7 +771% 15 18 +20%
Matt Sommer  Humble Broker 10.0 35 +250% 10 37 +85%
Elle Martinez   Couple Money 6.3 8.9 +42% 15 27 +80%

I think its time for some goal re-evaluation all round in Group H, which goes to show how well they all did in Q1 – well done guys!

Pete Matthew – A house revaluation amongst other things has taken Pete’s net worth into the stratosphere! 🙂 As already agreed, its time for an upgrade to the goals!

Matt Sommer – An annual bonus has been received and well allocated (no new shiny things!!), which has been reflected in Matt’s very healthy all round performance.

Elle Martinez – That one vegetarian meal a day seems to be working wonders!! 😉   

One non-submission

 

GROUP INDEPENDENCE

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth March  Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate March  Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Tom 5.0 4.12 -18% 37 39 +5%
Graham Clark Moneystepper 6.3 15.0 +140% 30 57 +90%
Thomas 5.0 NS NS 33 NS NS

Tom – Tom continues his good progress with his savings rate but he’s still struggling to overcome the issue with the falling Euro devaluing his investments overseas. He’s creeping back towards that pro rata goal though and I’m sure he’ll be back ahead in no time at all. 

Graham – see above. Director dividends for the win! 🙂

One non-submission.

 

GROUP J

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth March Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate March Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
AJ 2.5 5.5 +120% 25 48 +92%
Lynx Location FI 8.8 10.9 +25% 60 68 +13%
Emily Simple Cheap Mom 2.5 3.7 +47% 50 68 +36%
Ben O 7.5 NS NS 65 NS NS

AJ – After three months of consistently destroying her original goals, its time for a celebration, a massive pat on the back and then a re-evaluation of goals and another three months of hard work. Sound like a recipe for success?

Lynx – Turning both columns from negative to positive. Man, does that feel good? 

Emily – Another good month Emily – great job! Time for a goal re-evaluation?

One non-submission

 

GROUP K

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth March Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate March Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Mariane 7.5 12.4 +66% 40 44 +10%
Connie 8.8 NS NS 40 NS NS
Weenie Quietly Saving 5.0 7.0 +40% 50 55 +9%
Nicola 3.8 2.5 -33% 48 37 -23%

Mariane – Another good month for Mariane, who is also starting to focus her attentions on building more side income. Good luck Mariane.

Weenie – Another negative to positive shift in March. Learning poker might be paying off?? 😉

Nicola – A very welcome return after last month’s non-submission. Thank you Nicola – its good to have you back. Nicola’s had some car issues in the month and has had to buy a new second-hand car. Good move! We are working on the accounting treatment in the spreadsheet, so the results may actually be better than these shown. Either way, I expect Nicola to be back on track with her goals in the next couple of months.

One non-submission…

 

GROUP L

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth March Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate March Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Philippa Malia 3.8 5.4 +43% 40 66 +65%
Chris Smith 5.0 5.5 +11% 40 42 +5%
Mr. Zombie  Finance Zombie 10.0 18.2 +82% 55 59 +8%
Anjali 10.0 -4.0 -140% 18 -5 -128%

Philippa Malia – Another solid month, leading to the highest savings rate she has recorded all year and a net worth to match. Time for some goal re-evaluation…

Chris Smith – Chris is another participant who moves into the all positive gang. Nice to be in the club with you Chris. 

Mr Zombie – A bonus in March has helped Mr Zombie accelerate ahead of his net worth goal and keep that savings rate up at a very impressive 59%!

Anjali – Anjali also had to buy a new car in March, leading to the results being behind target, but we’ve got plenty of time to make up for that lost ground.

 

 

GROUP M

Name Website Net Worth Goal (Pro Rata) Net Worth March  Result Net Worth YTD Comparison Savings Rate Goal Savings Rate March  Result Savings Rate YTD Comparison
Joseph Hogue 1.8 NS NS 15 NS NS
Greg 0.5 6.3 +1166% 16 41 +156%
Jeanie Haupt 3.8 6.5 +72% 20 56 +180%
Shaun Butler 4.0 6.6 +66% 40 56 +40%

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

Greg – Boo-ya!! Greg has completely shocked himself since starting the challenge on what he could achieve with his finances. We’ll re-evaluate his goals ready for April and move towards the best financial year of his life.

Jeanie Haupt – Equally impressive performance from Jeanie who I also suggest should bump up her goals (but only after celebrating her YTD performance so far)… 

Shaun Butler – And no different for Shaun. He’s managed to maintain his great results financially and, in addition, has just had a lavish trip to Dubai and got engaged! A huge congratulations to Shaun and his new fiancée, and I hope that we’ll have more on this on the podcast later this week. 

 

The April Mini Challenge

Remember – the April mini challenge is to LEARN something new.

Read more about it here:

 

Thanks…

A genuine congratulations for everyone who has got through to the end of Q1, and especially those who are having to re-evaluate their goals upwards.

I hope everyone is enjoying themselves and I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. I’ve really enjoyed the close communication with everyone who has submitted their results and comments this month. So, thank you for that everyone and can I please ask you all for more of the same!! 🙂

 

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8 thoughts on “Savings Challenge – March Results

  1. Great to see people doing so well in the challenge. Im really starting to focus on not wasting any money now and only spending where absolutely necessary – plus the odd treat. In fact even not spending is turning into some sort of perverse and fun experiment. We tend to go into town on a Saturday morning after both working all week and would traditionally end up coming back with a few bags of stuff, even though we have a house full of stuff…. My mini challenge since the start of the year is to go and look at what I would have brought and then not buy it. I can’t explain how fun it is watching everyone else walking around with their empty wallets but with bags of stuff, and me with my ‘relatively’ full wallet. And then I get home, guess what… I never need the stuff.. Im still alive and functioning without all the stuff.. This saturday we didn’t even drive, we walked, my partner mentioned I had holes in the elbows of my jumper so we popped into a cheap clothes shop and replaced if for a few quid.. I think thats allowed. I just hope everyone doesn’t take this approach as apparently our economy is based on consumer spending… on stuff… anyway better go and whip up a dinner from left overs and things from the back of the cupboard + some bits bought at 1/5 of the usual price from Sainsbury towards the end of the day 😉 no take away monday any more….

    • Love it Shaun. It’s amazing how people take pleasure from buying things that they don’t need (and after about a day don’t even want) and then find themselves working their whole lives in a job they don’t enjoy. That’s just madness, and its not the Moneystepper way!

      And now, its no longer the Shaun Butler way either! Welcome to the gang! 😉
      moneystepper recently posted…3 Top Tips For Selling Your PropertyMy Profile

  2. I know what you mean Shaun. I am doing exactly the same. I never appreciated how much setting a plan and sticking to it could be so rewarding and reading the comments and how everyone is doing brings out my competitive side to try even more and push up my results

    • Thanks Anna – I appreciate the feedback, mostly because I never realised this until last year, and I couldn’t imagine the impact that the Challenge would have on my own finances.

      Its always good to bring out that competitive side. In anything in life (and in life itself) you can’t win unless you are competitive!
      moneystepper recently posted…3 Top Tips For Selling Your PropertyMy Profile

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