Coming into the final stretch of the 2015 challenge, it’s awesome to see that people are still pushing themselves to achieve the most they can in the year. This has been demonstrated by some ambitious updates in goal setting and by the overall performance of the participants in October.
What’s been going on in October?
It’s been a big month in the Clark household – well, for half of it. A weekend trip to Las Vegas has been in the planning with my school friends since we were about 15. We finally got round to it and the price of flights and accommodation were both build into my budgeted figures.
Also built in was a budget which included food, drink and gambling whilst I was there. However, being Moneystepper, my gambling budget was specifically designed to be spent only on games where I had a positive EV – i.e. poker. This tactic went well and wins in two small poker tournaments meant that I brought back more spending money than I went with. Good times. This isn’t yet built into my results as the cash is with an friend who lives in America who will pass me the GBP from his UK account soon – voilà – exchange rate loss avoided.
Outside of that, a good month in the global financial markets and another new business venture on the horizon have been positive for my own personal results.
Financially for the challenge, my results have been as follows:
October Net Worth Goal Pro-Rata (Total) = 25.0% (30%)
October Net Worth Result = 21.5%
October Savings Rate Goal = 35%
October Savings Rate Result = 30%
My net worth increased by 3% points in the month, which catches me up a little bit to my annual goal. This was helped by the rebound in worldwide markets, The FTSE 100 (UK) increasing by 4.9%, the S&P 500 (US) bounced by 8.3% and the Nikkei 225 (Japan) rose by 9.8%.
My savings rate increased from 26% to 30% for the YTD average as I was able to keep my expenses very well restricted in the month.
Moneystepper Savings Challenge October Results Summary
In October, the average (mean) for everyone who submitted their results in October was:
Net Worth Improvement: 34.8% (September: 29.0%)
Savings Rate: 50.3% (September: 49.1%)
A quick update on the net worth increase graph for the average in the challenge is back on track with a nice spike in October:
Which, I’m pleased to say, means that we continue to achieve the impressive feat of the challenge’s average net worth going up in EVERY SINGLE MONTH.
So, as a whole, keep going everyone – you are doing incredibly well. Another two months and we’ll have the amazing achievement of increasing our collective net worth every single month throughout the year. Amazing!
Now, like all months, now it’s time to get personal…
Welcome To Our New Participants!!
October was a fairly busy month and we have recruited another seven new participants to the challenge:
- Hiten P
- James H
- Anita S
- Liam L
- Andy C
- Matt B
- Ben S
A warm welcome to you all and I would encourage you all to say hello in the comments below and in the Facebook groups.
As a reminder, could I please ask all participants (old and new), who haven’t already, to 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 October 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 Oct
|Net Worth YTD Comparison||Savings Rate Goal||Savings Rate Oct
|Savings Rate YTD Comparison|
|Matt S||The Humble Broker||25.0||30.5||+22%||20||20||+0%|
|Pete M||Meaningful Money||83.3||90.7||+9%||23||22||-4%|
|Vawt||Early Retirement Ahead||31.7||33.6||+6%||67||68||+2%|
|C||The Single Dollar||125.0||122.4||-2%||50||51||+2%|
|Captain Cash||Mr. Captain Cash||29.2||21.3||-27%||75||73||-2%|
Matt B – One of the new entrants from October has already made a great start and worked through his Tracking Template and got his results in for the October month end. As he says himself:
With this being the first month, our net worth improvement has been massive! The power of budgeting is illustrated right there. We are well ahead of our target here but this is only our first month.
For anyone unsure about the value of creating a detailed budget and taking positive action as a result, this should hopefully help convince you that this process is vital for reaching your financial goals and objectives.
For Matt, I think that we’ll have to quickly amend his objectives in order to make them relevant going forward.
Shaun B – After many months of working significant overtime, Shaun has worked a little less in the month. This has stabilised his savings rate, but his real progress came in his net worth after a house revaluation. This was built into his goal figure, and hence Shaun has already achieved his 20% net worth goal for the whole year.
However, Shaun, I would implore you to keep pushing and try to achieve a 25-30% net worth for the year, rather than easing up in the last couple of months. Good work Shaun – keep on going!
Nigel W – The rebound in the stock markets globally helped Nigel take his net worth beyond his newly revised annual goal. An improved savings rate also puts him in a great position moving into the final two months of 2015.
Barrie S – Barrie joined the challenge in September and has started incredibly strongly. In his comments, he attributes his progress in the month to a tax rebate which came sooner than he was expecting.
However, it’s clear from the rest of his comments that a commitment to tracking his finances and minimising unnecessary expenditure is equally important.
He concludes also that it was a
“solid month with expenses stable and investments consistently dripped into Company Pension, S&S ISA (Index Trackers), Employee Sharesave & Sharebuy initiatives and P2P lending.”
Therefore, it’s clear that Barrie has got a good strategy for his investments which will make sure that his savings rate will be put to good use. Good work Barrie.
Matt S – A three pay-check month for Matt (who gets paid fortnightly) has meant that his net worth is now above his target for the whole year. As with Shaun, Matt B and Barrie, I’d encourage Matt S to keep on pushing in the final couple of months of 2015 to make sure that 2015 is considered a success.
Jeany B – We suspected last month that Jeany was mis-recording her savings rate due to the variability noted each month. Indeed, it turned out that an erroneous change to a formula had led to her savings rate being misreported. Therefore, her net worth and savings rate for October are now accurate and, more importantly, they are pretty darn impressive! 😉
Philippa M – Not going to Vegas helped Philippa’s results in the month!! 🙂 Due to a strong savings rate and the rebound in global markets, Philippa was able to increase her net worth progress from 22.5% last month to 30.4% in the current month. Not bad at all!
Therefore, despite pushing her goals up to 33% and 73% for net worth and savings rate respectively, she’s still managing to stay on track with those new targets. Good work Phil! 🙂
Pete M – Another great month for Pete keeps him on track for doubling his net worth in the year. “C” (see below) has already achieved this target, but hopefully with another couple of strong months, Pete can become the second participant to obtain the “Double Down” trophy. Keep going Pete – a virtual medal awaits…
Weenie – Weenie originally had hoped to achieve a 50% savings rate, but now thinks that she will struggle and has set herself a new target in her head to get through “silly season” and keep her savings rate above 40%. Whilst a 40% savings rate is clearly awesome, I hope that Weenie can follow the lead of others who are increasing their efforts going into the final couple of months of the year rather than resting on her laurels.
Vawt – Vawt turned around the issues (market and otherwise) from August and September and increased his net worth from 26.3% to 33.6%. This was largely a result of the markets, but also his impressive 68% savings rate is always going to drive increases in the net worth. Good work all round Vawt – very consistent!
C – There’s nothing more appealing in personal finance that a normal, consistent positive month. C sums this up well:
A decent month for spending combined with a much better month for my investment accounts. Nothing too special on my end.
Let’s all celebrate “nothing special”!! 🙂
Tom B – Whilst the markets helped Tom, he still has the issue with the GBP/EUR rate impacting his investments in Germany. However, he manages to maintain a good savings rate and is still within touching distance of that net worth goal.
Michael S – I hope Michael doesn’t mind me sharing his comment, but he has seen a very important lesson in the past month. Whilst the overall markets have rebounded, Micahel’s portfolio has fared less well due to under-diversification:
Whilst some (stock market) investments have gone up and some gone down, one has performed poorly…and I hold a significant amount as this is the company I work for and my investment is via share schemes. A lesson in the need to diversify probably.
I would recommend that Michael, and anyone else who is heavily invested in one company (especially if it is a company that they work for) give Moneystepper Q&A Podcast Question 35 – Am I Overexposed In My Investments.
Lynx – Lynx’s very high savings rate of 65%, combined with the return in the global stock markets, have helped her bump up her net worth results by almost 4% points in the month. As per weenie, Lynx mentioned in her comments that coming months would see a falling saving rate. Again, I would encourage Lynx to plan and budget to try to mitigate the financial impact of the holiday season and still keep her impressively high savings rate.
Graham C – See above.
Cath D – As discussed at the end of September, Cath has changed her goals to try and achieve a net worth for the year of 20%. At the moment, she is a little way behind, but I’m confident that she can push forward and get nearer the goal before the end of 2015.
Following her question a few weeks ago, and the response in episodes 31 & 32 of the Moneystepper Q&A Podcast, she is now working through her numbers to try and better diversify her overall investment portfolio and ensure that she is putting her whole net worth to good use. Good stuff Cath!
Captain Cash – Another good comment here from Mr CC:
Nothing out of the ordinary this month. Savings rate was back to expected levels at the beginning of the year.
Oh how we love “boring” in the Moneystepper Savings Challenge.
Dan T – Dan is building up for the holiday season, which is mega for him (“3 birthdays, 2 National Holidays, and 2 Religious Holidays”) but he has maintained a high savings rate and also progressed slightly in his net worth progress in the month. Whilst Dan may not hit his target for the year, I hope that it doesn’t hold him back from pushing hard in the final two months.
Kylie A – Last, but not least, we have Kylie who has started a new venture in the past couple of months and has had some inconsistent income. That combined with investment in property improvements that haven’t yet flowed into her net worth means that Kylie has a negative movement in her net worth.
However, I’m hugely impressed by Kylie’s commitment to continue with the challenge despite considering pulling out last month, which I think will bode well for her progress going forward. Also a lesson for me to learn in persistence there! 🙂
Overall, a great month guys. We were helped by rebounding markets, but I’ve not read any comments that suggest that people had taken any rash decisions based on the falling markets in the prior months. This happens over the short-term so I’m pleased that everyone (myself included) have a long term plan and we can stick to this when others in the market may be panicking.
I have also been impressed by how everyone in the challenge are looking to finish the year with a flourish. All too often, the Christmas period is an amazing excuse to fall off the wagon in any number of ways. However, from peoples’ comments (and the goal re-evaluation last month), it’s clear that the challenge participants are more than willing to keep pushing hard to achieve the most they can.
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.