Happy New Year to all of the readers of this blog! I hope that throughout the year of 2022, my various ramblings and updates to the garden, savings, garden office and thought processes on FIRE has been somewhat entertaining (or at least worth a read!).

It seems somewhat quite scary that I did set this blog up 4 years ago now and remember, well, writing the very first post (Starting Point) back in January 2019. I always find it good to reflect back on, especially given the financial situation I am in now, compared to what I was originally. Given the burnout of work is very real, not just me feeling this ultimate pressure and struggle in continuing to slog it away at work, but so to my colleagues and friends and family. Of course all of this is very much a stepping stone in achieving the £1.4 million that I require for my family to be able to retire early.

I’ve been going through My Goals for 2022 and also looking at what I have achieved in 2021.

2022 Goals – Financial Independence

+ Invest maximum £20,000 limit into ISA Account (post April 2022).
COMPLETED! All completed and done! Though it was only until December that I managed to clear this goal (roughly 8 months after the beginning of the new financial year!).

+ Aim to achieve £400,000 in all saving accounts by end of 2021.
MISSED! Unfortunately not achieved this year. The markets have been pretty pants to be honest! To put some numbers into perspective, I started the year with £300,399 and ended the year with £337,491. I contributed a total of £62,874, so a total ‘loss’ of -£25,782! The rate of return is -7.74%, not as bad as I have seen across others portfolios, but still not for pretty reading!

+ Aim to achieve a 60%+ average savings rate throughout the year.
MISSED! This year I have achieved an average savings rate of 57%, just missing my target by 3%! Ooof, oh well. I shall set the 60% savings rate again in 2023 and work hard to achieve it!

+ Re-Read Tim Hales Smarter Investing Book.
MISSED! I must must re-read this to keep my investing ‘sanity’ in check. There are far too many ‘marketing buzzwords’ to catch your eye going on online and I find that the Tim Hales Smarter Investing Book helps bring a much more balanced perspective to investing.

+ Pay off Zopa Loan fully by the end of 2022.
COMPLETED! I have done this! (£2,300) – Now to work on the other loans I have secured!

+ Continue to put £150 into Premium Bonds as emergency fund / rainy day.
COMPLETED! I certainly have! I consider my Premium Bonds account as my ‘Emergency Fund’ account. I have now amassed £6,150 in total into the account! Before I had no emergency fund and to have this sitting in there, in a relatively semi-accessible account with a chance to win a small prize each month, makes sense to me!

+ Continue with Keto lifestyle / Low Carb.
COMPLETED! Bar from Christmas time, which is a bit of a ‘blur’ when it comes to low carb, I have continued to do low carb even throughout holidays and the health benefits pay off. I can work past 5pm without feeling tired, I sleep much better and yes, many of the benefits that ‘YouTubers’ talk about, it really does help maximise and optimise health. I shall definitely continue to do this throughout 2023.

+ Invest in a Traditional Home Office (Build) for Garden.
COMPLETED! I certainly have! I have spent a little more than I had hoped for, but that’s the way it goes with these things. I’ve got a few bits of decorating to finish off with it, but ultimately it’s a huge benefit to be able to seperate work away from the home.

+ Ensure all balances on Credit Card / Debts Paid.
COMPLETED! I certainly have! And it’s great to see the credit score nudging up a few points as well! I’ve always been fortunate enough to be able to borrow credit at very low interest rates, but of course when you do, credit score tends to take a small drop.

+ Grow lots of fruit and vegetables for 2022!
COMPLETED! I certainly have! I only finished off the last batch of Tomatoes that I made into a soup only last week! I’ll be continuing to grow vegetables and look forward in planning out what the garden is to bring in 2023!

+ Install an Electric Car Charge Point at Home.
COMPLETED! I certainly have! And it’s great to be able to ‘fast charge’ the car when needed in a rush. I will continue to use electric, even though the UK Government are now issuing car taxes onto electric cars, as still the cost of driving electric over diesel/petrol is far far in the benefit of electric cars. Have loved driving the van!

Overall has been a relatively good year for ticking off many of my FIRE goals but ultimately a very POOR year in terms of financial investments and their returns.

Total Savings (2022): £62,874
Investment Returns (2022): -£25,782
Average Savings Rate (2022): 57%

Having saved £62,874 into my savings whilst seeing a decline of that pot by -£25,782 is a bit of a kick in the nuts! But with inflation and the cost of living slowing down the general market, I am grateful for only seeing a -7.74%, compared to the likes of some investors who are all in on Tesla or S&P 500 which saw -20%+ drops in 2022! Christ, don’t think I’d have the stomach for that!

2023 Goals – Financial Independence / Life

What would the start of the year be without a few goals eh?!

+ Invest £20,000 limit into ISA Account (Post April 2023).
+ Aim to achieve £450,000 in all savings accounts by 2023.
+ Aim to achieve 60% savings rate throughout the year.
+ Pay off Zopa Loan fully by end of 2023 (£5,825)
+ Continue to put £150 into Premium Bonds as emergency fund.
+ Continue with Keto lifestyle / Low Carb
+ Remodel the kitchen and have new kitchen installed.
+ Remodel the utility room and knock down a wall (house projects!)
+ Ensure all balances on Credit Card / Debts Paid
+ Grow lots of fruit and vegetables for 2023!
+ Enjoy more board gaming sessions with friends.

What are your goals you’re thinking of putting down for 2023? It’s very much a casual of ‘onwards and upwards’ and ‘keeping calm and carrying on’ over on this end!

Wishing all the readers the very best 2023!