Happy new year readers! Well, as happy as we can make it I suppose. The media and eery feeling of how the COVID-19 pandemic continues to task grasp in the UK is somewhat upsetting and also frustrating. Instead of reflecting on the effects of coronavirus has had throughout 2020, instead I’m going to reflect on the goals and objectives I’ve managed to achieve throughout the year, even though things have certainly been more challenging then normal!
Here are the goals I have set aside for the year 2020:
2020 Goals – Financial Independence
Invest maximum £20,000 limit into ISA (post April 2020). [DONE]
- Wahoo! I managed to do this again for the 3rd time running. Who knows if the government will tap into the ISA side of things to help pay back the huge amount of debt that has come about. However I shall continue in 2021 saving into this tax efficient method and hopefully one day become an ISA millionaire!
Achieve an average savings rate of £4,200 per month (net £50,000 per annum). [DONE]
- In 2020 I managed to save an impressive £63,975 in total which I’m super chuffed about. Even though the year before that in 2019, I had saved £73,637 I’m still going to reach and maximise as much as I can in terms of savings without affecting my quality of life.
Continue to update the blog / post updates on finances on a monthly basis. [DONE] (JUST!)
- I’ve managed to keep the blog updated, even though work has had me pinned quite a fair amount during the last year. The situation has really put some additional stresses on our clients and thus which then relays back to us.
- Re-Read Tim Hales Smarter Investing Book. [MISSED]
- I’ve re-assigned this goal to re-read the Tim Hales Smarter Investing Book as it one that I did read right at the very beginning of my FIRE Journey and thus must refresh myself on this!
Achieve an average savings rate of 55% throughout the year. [DONE]
- I did achieve this! My average savings rate for the year was 62%. I genuinely believe I can’t do anymore ‘optimising’ of my expenses than that and I fear that if I continue to try and push this savings rate, the quality of my life / enjoyment will begin to fall hence why for 2021 I’m going to be continuing with my goal of 60%+.
Aim to pay off 50% of Zopa Loan to halve monthly payments. [DONE]
- I also did this! I’ve got a total outstanding loan of just under £10,000 now to pay off, which will be my next target and area to focus in on.
- Pay £3,600 extra against mortgage in 2020 (upping mortgage repayments by £300). [MISSED]
- I didn’t do this – I’m not really focusing on paying down my mortgage. Interest rates from my savings far outweigh the interest on my mortgage and thus makes more sense in my mind to continue saving as I am. I don’t envisage interest rates to begin climbing again for sometime.
Continue to put away (emergency fund) £150 into Premium Bonds.[DONE]
- I have done this! And I’ve now managed to tuck away just over £2,600 into my premium bonds. I’ll be saving this for a rainy day really. I fully understand that I might be able to get some better returns from a savings account, however I find premium bonds to be of two benefits. A the thought of winning ‘a’ prize. B that my savings are safe. C I can’t withdraw my savings as easily from Premium Bonds (more faff) than that of a regular savings account / bank account.
- Plan out garden / vegetables and research into storage options. [MISSED]
- I rarely managed to get out in the garden over the last year. I managed to plant out lots of vegetables, but really due to the business and the situation on that side of things, most of my time was really dedicated to that area. I’ve already begun planting out seeds in January (call me keen!) inside in a heated propagator under light source.
- Build 2 additional raised beds in the garden for potatoes. [MISSED]
- I managed to build 1 raised bed for potatoes, but didn’t quite manage a second. I’m going to change this for 2021 goals for the future as the bed I do have currently is more than ample enough for potato growing of our size family!
Overall I’m really very pleased with how this year has gone given the current situation. I am still very very grateful of the position I’m in. Fortunately the business did actually grow during the 2020 period. We took a bit of a dip at the start of 2020 but then managed to claw ourselves back and ended up in a strong position at the end of the year.
But we look to the future and keep positive about the whole situation.
2021 Goals – Financial Independence
- Invest maximum £20,000 limit into ISA Account (post April 2021).
- Aim to achieve £250,000 in all saving accounts (including pension) by end of 2021.
- Aim to achieve a 60%+ average savings rate throughout the year.
- Re-Read Tim Hales Smarter Investing Book.
- Pay off Zopa Loan fully by the end of 2021.
- Continue to put £150 into Premium Bonds as emergency fund / rainy day.
- Improve health and well being by distancing away from news / online media.
- Build 1 additional raised beds / shelving area in the garden to complete the vegetable plot.
- Continue calm and carry on as normal with investing side of things.
- Continue to use the electric van when and where possible for journey’s (lockdown dependent of course!).
Many of my targets this year have really been focused on the more ‘softer’ areas such as well being / garden / book reading side of things. I’m a big advocate of new years resolutions a bit of a ‘list’ of things to achieve for the up and coming year, but the ones above are really focused around the FIRE / what this blog is about. (I’m sure you couldn’t care that we’re also looking to purchase new conservatory furniture in the future as well! haha!).
Anyway I wish you all the best of luck in 2021 and hope that you achieve your goals and objectives for the future! Cheers