Another year of thinking about money!
I set up this blog because I wanted to spend a year deliberately thinking about my finances, and that time is now up. You can check out what I did over the past 12 months here. I said in that post that although I felt my finances were more in order, I didn’t feel much more positive because I wasn’t any closer to my end goal, which was to have enough for retirement.
Spend less, save more, is a good start
It’s a few weeks later, and I’ve changed my mind! In monetary terms, I’ve made very little difference to my retirement savings. What I have done though is to make some changes to spend less (cheaper mortgage, cheaper energy), and some changes to save more (better bank account, higher pension contributions, invest into stocks ISA).
I can see that money switched into a better bank account has earned me extra interest, money moved from cash into an equity fund has gone up in value, and an extra few percent going into my pension will hopefully start to make a difference too. Having made these decisions, I don’t actually have to do anything other than keep an eye on things from time to time.
Retirement is a long-term goal
It’s too early to see real results, but isn’t that the point of retirement saving, it’s a long-term goal? I’m not retiring tomorrow and, though I want to retire early, it’s not something I can improve upon overnight.
2017 financial goals
One year of thinking about money has moved into another year of thinking about money. I like New Year’s Resolutions, but it’s the 22nd January and I’ve yet to come up with one. I’ve been unsure what to do with the blog, and unsure what to do with regards to goal-setting. I’m not sure if I’ll set monthly goals this year, as I found it too much pressure once easier tasks were replaced with more complex ones. Yet I wouldn’t have achieved what I did in 2016 without them! So, I’ve forced myself to sit here and work out roughly what I want to achieve financially in 2017, and here it is…..
Spend less, save more, is a good continuation
- It’s not original, but I’ll aim to continue to spend less, and I’ll shop around for a better household insurance policy at renewal, something I couldn’t face last year.
- My budgeting needs improving. My system is too complicated, and I’m not good at checking month to month, or week to week, how I’m doing.
- I’ve bought a new laptop, which will make it easier to check my spreadsheet and financial plans. I’m ‘disorganised organised’, by which I mean that I just about keep on top of things, but not without scribbling on scraps of paper, multiple notes and to-do lists, piles of bits and bobs, and generally making life a bit difficult for myself along the way.
- I need to automate more, and set up separate bank accounts for different types of savings, so they take care of themselves.
- I have money that’s still sat in accounts that don’t make sense – an old personal pension is top of the list, it’s invested in cash and literally losing money each year.
- I’d like to get the cat-sitting business off the ground, and see if any other ideas I have could earn me some extra income.
- I’d like to figure out how much extra I need to earn / save so I can start making progress towards my early retirement goal
So there you have it! The aim of this blog was to feel more in control of my finances, and more comfortable about my retirement, achieving the above should help me along the way. Bring on 2017!