2015 Goals: Round ’em up rawhide

Hey hey!  How are we all doing.  I promised myself at least a week away from work, reading other blogs and writing this blog across Christmas, apologies for not replying to any comments during my hiatus.  I got stuck into writing yesterday and duly jumped between 7 draft posts and barely got anywhere with a single one.  My single neuron was firing away and my head was spinning with ideas…it was ace 🙂  A break done me good.

2015 Goals
I set myself some goals at the start of 2015 and duly kept track of them through the year.  All of my updates are on one handy and fantastic page, right here.

So, how did I do?

GOAL #1 – Increase my Net Worth by 40%
My first goal was NetWorth based.  By tracking my NetWorth this year I’ve realised both the importance of simply tracking it but also to not be overly worried when things aren’t going your way.

Once our hard earned money is in the markets it’s no longer within our control, and that can make NetWorth goals a little arbitrary.  NetWorth is taken at a specific point in time, like a snapshot of your wealth…perhaps not the best for something that is inherently volatile.  NetWorth goals could even encourage the wrong behaviours, like panic selling in a downturn with the idea that it will somehow protect your wealth.

In the background, while the markets are open, our NetWorth will be bouncing all about the shop.  It’s the long term trend that is important with NetWorth, not simply a single point in time.  That said, I still believe tracking your NetWorth relatively frequently is a worthwhile exercise to keep you connected while in the accumulation phase.

At the end of November I was storming ahead of this goal, with an increase in my NetWorth of 51%.  Did I manage to hold off until the end of the year for a victory?

Yes I did!  As at 27/12/2015 my NetWorth had increased by 58.5% since the start of the year. PHWOAR check out this graph;

Another big increase from the prior month (partly due to carrying work expenses on my credit card in the prior month that were paid off in December and including a current account balance which I’d previously omitted).

I only started tracking my NetWorth in August last year.  Just being more aware of it, and disclosing it on here every month, has had a terrific impact.  I want to protect and grow it as fast as I can.  Grow it until the point I become Financially Independent that is 😉

My regular reader will know that the equity in my private property hasn’t been included here, originally because I found the valuations to be a bit volatile.  Being a sketchy fellow, I’m not sure that this is necessarily right.  My problem with it, is that it doesn’t encourage any mortgage overpayments, not that overpaying your mortgage is always the right thing to do, but you should at least consider it.

In conclusion;

GOAL #1 – DESTROYED


GOAL #1

GOAL#2 – Savings rate of 60% across the year
At the end of November I was behind on this one, with an average of 58.7%.

In December I cranked up savings into my pension and my ISA, hitting 64.1% in the month.  What a cracker of a month.

Unfortunately, with an average of 59.2% for the year I just missed out on my goal.

Look at that, January and March pulled the average down at the start of the year, and my frugal muscles were too weak to pull off a recovery.

To be fair to my undead self, I did smashing.  It’s up from about 20% in January 2014, with that kind of turnaround I’m half-tempted to reach for the stars and call it a victory.

Here at The Finance Zombie we believe in full disclosure, so with that in my I’m going to have to call that a narrow failure for the year.

GOAL #2 – Pipped to the line, mini failure.

Next time Goal 2, next time

GOAL #3 – Cycle 200 miles a month
This one kind of blew up on me.  After putting in the disgusting winter miles, on the turbo trainer in the garden, on the spin bikes in the gym and by including hillreps or tempo sections in my commute I was getting ready for a great summer.

But my back gave way and there’s been a pittance of miles since about June.

One positive is that I got my old steel framed touring bike fixed up and began using the bike as an efficient mode of transportation rather than an instrument of pain.  My cycling legs were re-found right at the end of the year.  Food and Christmas shopping was largely done on the bike, it’s incredible how much you can fit in pannier backs and bungee to a rack.

I missed the goal by several of those country miles, but I’m now using my touring bike for all manner of tasks and so barely using my car at all.  Which has given me an idea for one of 2016’s goals 🙂

GOAL #3 – Total failure…

Goal 3 looking pretty pleased with itself

2016 goals: The preview
Setting goals at the start of the year and sticking to them as much as I could was a really positive experience.  Pretty sure if I wasn’t actively tracking them I would have ran out of steam by the end of February.

I’ve been pulling together my goals for 2016 and will follow a similar pursuit. – keep them simple.  A few large goals for the year, and that’s it.  That way it doesn’t become too onerous to track.  A NetWorth goal, a savings rate goal and some other fitness/cycling goal should do me.

Different things work for different people but if you haven’t tried it set a couple of financial goals for 2016 that are achievable and tough.  Then just go for it, you’ll be surprised what you achieve.

Spend Less, Save More & Escape the Horde

Mr Z

8 thoughts on “2015 Goals: Round ’em up rawhide

  1. Retirement Investing Today

    Nice work in 2015 Mr Z. I know I'm a bit further along the FIRE road than yourself but in comparison it's looking like my net worth increase will be a much more modest 12% or so this year. Not helped by investment return that will be somewhere close to 0%.

    Reply
  2. Mr Zombie

    Hi RIT,

    12% is amazing being further down the FIRE road! 🙂

    I imagine the increases I can make will decrease pretty rapidly in % terms over the next few years…but that means progress has been made. Happy days and all that.

    Yeah, my ISA was -0.21% for the year, certainly not helping. Here's to a better 2016.

    MrZ

    Reply
  3. weenie

    Hi Mr Z

    Well done on smashing your networth goal and you were pretty much there for your savings rate too – 0.8% off 60% is an epic rate by all accounts! Do you know what happened in January and March, resulting in your average being pulled down? Maybe you can prevent whatever from happening again in 2016.

    That cycling goal was always going to be a monster one that depended on health, fitness and remaining injury-free.

    Good that you recently discovered cycling just as a mode of transport so you'll be clocking miles that way.

    I've drafted a list of my goals for 2016 and have whittled them down. There were too many last year, so I'll take a leaf out of your book to keep it more simple.

    All the best for the new year.

    Reply
  4. Mr Zombie

    Hi Weenie,

    Thanks! I surprised myself with it. Kind of, January is partly due to professional subscription fees and March was a bonus that I partially spent on wedding things. To be honest, I don't expect to meet the goal this year, with the wedding! Still, aim high and all that.

    Yeah, it's a shame I picked up an injury, but it was a goal that was doable. I did nearly double that the year before, but that included a couple of weeks of cycling holidays.

    Agreed, I started looking at goals for this year and came out with loads, then cut them down as it would be too easy to get lost in it all!

    Same to you!

    MrZ

    Reply
  5. theFIREstarter.co.uk

    Nice work my friend!

    Goal 2 is all but a victory, but hopefully you can find that extra percent in 2016 from somewhere.

    Off to read next year's goals now for some inspiration, I like the way you keep it simple as I agree tracking numerous goals or even thinking about them takes up precious time and headspace

    Reply

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