Q1 2018 Review of Financial Goals

Q1 2018 and Q2 2018

It’s time for another quarterly update, so I went to dig out the goals I’d set for the first quarter – and discovered I hadn’t set any! Ha ha! They’d slipped from my mind, but I didn’t realise that was because they weren’t there to begin with! Not one to let a small thing like that get in the way, and without further ado, here is a quarterly update based on my yearly goals….!

EARN MORE

1 – Grow my cat-sitting business, aiming for at least 6 new clients, and increase my pricing

Well, I have 2 new clients, also several repeat bookings from existing clients, so I’m pleased! This is with my new pricing, which I’ve increased by 50% for new clients, and 20% for existing clients. It may sound a lot but prices were low to begin with, and it gives me options if I wish to be flexible for clients booking for longer periods of time. If I feel the new price is putting potential clients off, I’ll have to review, but for now I’d rather a manageable (i.e. smaller!) number of clients, where I feel the money I earn fairly represents the work I do, than a larger number of clients where I’m resentful because I feel I’m being underpaid for my time.

2 – Find alternative sources of income, aiming to cover a third of expenses by 2020 from sources other than my main employment

Hmm, cat-sitting is my only additional source of income. I had another idea for a small business, which I’ve ignored over the past year because of the cat-sitting, so it’s maybe time to investigate that too.

These all take hours out of my free-time though, of which there are only so many to go round. I know passive income is the way to go. I’m investing, but dividends are automatically reinvested, and I don’t get a break-out of how much these might be worth to know how much of my expenses they might cover. I have a long way to go though, and currently these would be minimal.

SAVE MORE

3/ Continue with pension saving, pay in bonus

I received a year-end bonus and, for the second year running, paid this straight into my pension. It makes me happy that I haven’t wasted it on everyday spending, rather it’s taking me one step closer to my early retirement goal.

4/ Increase equity ISA savings

I also received a pay rise, and promptly increased my monthly contribution into my equity ISA by the same amount. I can live on my current income level, but very much need a boost to my savings. My ISA hasn’t been running for long, and for the first time since I started the fund it has had negative returns over the quarter, because of the fall in the stock market in Feb and March. My initial thought was ‘Eek!’, as I hadn’t connected the news about the stock market falling with the performance of my own fund, invested in that same stock market! However, I’m OK with it. My purchases each month will buy me slightly more units if the market drops slightly, and I’m investing for the long-term so don’t need it any time soon.

5/ Continue with First Direct regular saver

Carried on paying into this bank account – no news here, just more of the same. It will give me a little lump-sum when it matures later this year. 

SPEND LESS

6/ New kitchen, possibly new roof

STILL at the quote stage, as they are coming in too dear. At least I know where my ‘ouch, too expensive’ line is now, and have a budget for what I’m ‘happy’ to spend. (I use the word loosely here – I want to be saving, not spending!) We’re working out where we can cut back, and still get a kitchen we like. It needs to be sorted soon though, as our appliances are just about hanging in there!

I can’t even think about a new roof until the kitchen is sorted, somehow I think this is going to have to wait a while…

7/ Switch energy provider

Done, as of last weekend! Npower fixed deal is about to come to an end, just waiting now for the switch to Co-op Energy to take place.

8/ Shop around for large household insurances

None renewed in the first quarter, but household insurance is coming up soon.

9/ Get rid of more stuff

Nope, nothing sold / charity-shopped.

10/ Write (fiction)

Yes and no. I started, then discovered just how difficult it is! I’m deluding myself that reading lots more fiction is somehow ‘research’ for writing my own.

QUARTERLY SUCCESSES

So, in summary, despite not having quarterly-specific goals, I seem to have done ok! 

  • Gained 2 new cat-sitting clients, repeat bookings from existing clients, and increased my pricing
  • Paid bonus into my pension
  • Increased equity ISA savings
  • Got new kitchen quotes, and set new budget 
  • Switched energy provider
  • Read lots…but not getting very far with the writing as yet

Q2 GOALS

I’ll actually set some quarterly goals this time…!  

  • Increase marketing for cat-sitting, to try and get some new clients for the summer holidays
  • Possibly attend trade show to get some ideas and motivation for another business idea
  • Finalise decisions on our kitchen, and hopefully get it started or even done!
  • Shop around for new household insurance
  • Get a regular writing routine

That’s it, folks! Interested to hear about your financial goals if you have any!

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