Q4 2017 Financial Goals
I started this blog last year as a way of taking control of my finances, and saving more for retirement. I set myself monthly goals to help me tackle tasks throughout the year, and realised I wanted to focus on one long-term goal, which was to retire at 55. This is a huge (possibly impossible!) task, as it leaves me with only 12 years to make a difference. Inspired by last year’s Rio Olympics, I decided to break this down into 4 year periods. This year, I’ve switched from monthly to quarterly goals, but the key elements are the same. I need to SPEND LESS, SAVE MORE and EARN MORE.
The dream of retiring at 55 has embedded itself in my mind since I first had the idea, yet it’s only going back now to my original post that I realise two things. Firstly, a whole year has passed! Secondly, I couldn’t remember any of the specific goals I’d set to try and achieve early retirement! Admittedly, they were a bit plucked from thin air but, working on the assumption that something is better than nothing, I’m going to start including them with my quarterly goals to keep them in mind. They were:
Reminder of long-term goals:
- Find new ways of earning money, outside of my employment, so that by Tokyo 2020 I will be earning enough from this new income to cover a third of my expenses. A year ago, my sole income was from employment. I’ve spent a lot of this year working on setting up a cat-sitting business and, although tiny, I’ve started earning some money in this way. I’ve 3 more years to increase this to cover a third of my expenses.
- Save £200,000 by age 55, as one online calculator said this might be enough for me to live on until age 67, when my state pension would kick in. It involves spending the whole investment over that period. I’ve increased my regular savings, and plan to put the extra earnings above to savings, but for now I’m far from achieving this.
The above hopefully ‘sets the scene’ for what I’m trying to achieve long-term. So now, back to this quarter!
Goals for this quarter:
Cat-sitting business – more clients!
- Aim for 3 new clients by end of year. I set myself the overly-ambitious target of 5 new clients by the end of Q3, and only managed two. I’m not hugely keen on setting these types of end-result goals, preferring activity-type goals, for the simple reason that it piles the pressure on and is so easy to not achieve them! However, I may as well aim to reach that original target, so need 3 new clients this quarter.
- More online marketing. I’ve done google, and yell.com, I’ll now try a few others such as Thomson and gumtree.
- Open a business bank account. I’ve been struggling with the concept of having to pay for a business bank account, especially when earnings are so low, so have avoided it! Any suggestions as to the best account for a low turnover business would be very welcome!
- Register with HMRC as having self-employed as well as employed income. I have a while before I need to do this, but I may as well get it over and done with.
Blogging – more focus
Put into practice some of the suggestions from the SHOMOs last month. I’d like to:
- Re-organise the blog so that it’s more targeted at readers also interested in saving for retirement.
- Make it easier to find information, for example a ‘Resources’ page.
- Write more regularly, aiming for a post at the start of each month.
- Help my husband with a new business he is launching in January.
- Open a new annual savings accounts with First Direct, as my existing one has ended.
- Review pension, as it will be a year since I increased my pension contributions.
- Continue with house renovations. Last month we fitted new windows, now we need to decide how much we are comfortable spending on a new kitchen, and if we can afford a new roof.
I’ll report back at the year end!