The post looking back at 2019 and the extent to which I met my financial goals.
I’m a bit belated with this review of my 2019 financial goals on account of Christmas and then being on holiday in January. I find it surprising that people would be interest in how my financial year has gone, but my 2019 goals post is my second most popular ever. So it seems rude not to do a review of how things have gone.
This post is probably going to be quite short and sweet. I mused at length in my last post about how 2019 has been for me psychologically, so I’ll keep this to the headlines.
Goal 1: Buy a property
Nice easy tick on this one – I bought a flat in February. It took about 7 months for the sale to complete and was skin-shreddingly stressful. But it happened and was the biggest financial moment of my life so far and I absolutely love living alone. Huzzah!
Goal 2: Save for a loft conversion or overpay the mortgage
This really comes down to how I’ve decided to manage my savings. I’ve decided to prioritise investing in my ISA (and early retirement) as soon as possible rather than save for a loft conversion. For anything else I can save once maxing the ISA out (which is very little at the moment) I am still deciding between saving for the loft conversion or overpaying the mortgage. With such a low interest rate on the mortgage I don’t feel too much pressure to make a decision. I’m keeping the money in a cash savings account until I decide.
I have a little over £6,000 in this loft/overpayment fund at the moment (factoring in the need to keep some money aside for upcoming house repairs).
Savings and Investments
Goal 3: Increase my pension contributions to 15%
I did this as soon as my property purchase was done. My employer also switched to a lower cost pension provider so I feel no need to switch to a SIPP.
Goal 4: Maintain a 60% savings rate
I believe I have met this goal but I have decided not to get too hung up on savings rate as there’s so many variables for how it can be calculated it becomes meaningless.
I decided that all I really needed to keep on financial track is stick to my 15% pension contributions and max out my stocks and shares ISA – which I have been doing.
Goal 5: Keep up with posting once a week
I kept this up fairly consistently until around October when I become consumed with ennui and couldn’t really be bothered anymore. It’s been a lesson in not stressing myself out in respect of something that is supposed to be a hobby.
I also don’t think I have enough to say in order to post once a week.
Goal 6: Get better at social media
I’ve sort of kept up Twitter but find it a bit depressing to be honest. So much antagonism.
I mostly got to grips with how Pinterest works and decided that I well and truly loathe it. I’ll do a separate post on that at some point.
Conclusion: social media is not really my bag. If I ever decided to really make something of this blog I’d probably need to focus on it a bit more. But I’ll stay as a light user for now.
Goal 7: Take an affiliate marketing course
I did this one. And I recall it being quite useful. But I haven’t made any progress in terms of monetising this blog so I’ve forgotten most of it. It’s something I’ll revisit if I ever change my mind about monetisation.
Goal 8: Do some posts that are actually helpful to the reader rather than my rambling
I’ve definitely done a few “informative” posts, albeit less so in the latter half of the year. My most popular post remains the one about how to pay National Insurance Contributions. So I guess there is room on this blog for both the rambling and the “how to”.
Goal 9: Learn how to do matched betting
I signed up to Odds Monkey, learnt the basics and did some introductory offers. However, around the same time my blogging went off the boil (autumn) I lost steam. So I only really focussed on matched betting for one month and made a little over £200 profit.
I’m still undecided about whether to persevere with it. I certainly didn’t dislike it, but I haven’t reached a conclusion as to whether the time it eats into my leisure is worth it. I still have a lot to learn in terms of making larger sums of money from matched betting, so it’s not yet something I can mindlessly do whilst the TV’s on.
So that’s the roundup of 2019. The first half of the year was definitely more productive than the second half. A 2020 goals post will follow in due course, but all of the work uncertainty that I have previously alluded to is still…well…uncertain. It seems a bit pointless planning out the year until that’s sorted. I’ll be back once I can meaningfully update you! Including thoughts on my alternative plan to jack everything in and move to Spain.