February monthly progress review of my 2018 goals

Hi folks, sorry about the radio silence. I have just returned from a 3-week holiday in China where internet access to social media platforms was censored. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable vacation which I will be blogging more about in the future but for now I’m glad to be back online.

1/6 of the year has already passed us by. I’m going to perform a quick review of how it went vs the goals I set myself at the start of the year. As usual, here’s the progress summary chart:

1. Pay rise – NOT YET

Well this hasn’t yet materialised. My company is undergoing some major financial review currently and I’ve been promised that the pay rise will be backdated to February, so I’m still holding my hope high.
For me this is a stark reminder to keep side hustling and be your own boss. The ability to create and control multiple income streams means you are no longer at the mercy of a single corporation or boss.

2. Rent increase – YES

Done and dusted in January. Reached the £2500 per month target. Want to know more? Find out here.

3. Increase dividend income by £100 per month – NO

February was much better than January as I actually generated something (£240 of dividend to be precise) from 5 different stocks. I am going to review this goal as I think there was something wrong with my initial assumption of having around £300 of dividend income per month as of December last year. I suspect this figure was lower. Watch this space.

4. Develop another source of income – YES

My side hustle as a freelance management consultant on Upwork continues to perform well as I earned $2,220 gross ($1,948 after fees or around £1,400 when exchanged into £) in February. This was a significant uplift from the $520 (after fees) earning in January and it was a result of landing a major business strategy and modelling project, which was very fun.
Going forward, I plan to continue with the current client on the side as it requires continuous input from me. However I’m going to stop bidding for new projects on Upwork as I’m reaching my peak capacity. Realistically I only have around 6 hours during the weekday and 10 hours at weekends and that’s simply insufficient for bidding, interviewing as well as consulting.
Ultimately I’m still trading my hours for money, which as I’ve said numerous times, is unsustainable.
My next step is to find a slightly more passive income stream and I’ve already got an idea lined up. Watch this space!

5. Save £20,000 into ISA – YES

Well on track, fund is prepared, just waiting for Apr 4th (start of a new tax year) to come.

6. Save £800 into SIPP per month – YES

For those of you unfamiliar with SIPP, it’s a self saving retirement investment account in the U.K., similar to Roth IRA in the US. I will do a review of it shortly but the key benefit is that all incomes and capitals gains are tax exempt until withdrawal and each contribution will attract an automatic 20% tax credit in the form of account balance top up and depending on your tax situation, a further 20-25% tax refund at the end of each tax year that can be used with discretion.
I made my first £800 contribution in February. Long may it continue!

7. Have a baby – YES

WB40 Junior is currently living happily inside of Mrs WB40, waiting to come out at the end of May. So far so good.

8. Blog twice a week on WB40 – SORT OF

I managed to publish 7 blog posts in February, which was slightly short of the the 8 posts per month target. However on the bright side, I wrote 5 more posts which are currently stuck in the draft section awaiting my review and publication. I now face the conundrum where I can write faster than I can review and publish. Any ideas on how to resolve this?

9. Have a tropical holiday with my family – NO

No progress made, again! Although I dream about it every morning when I’m out cycling in the British winter.

10. Do 2 office-station runs per week – NO

No progress made. Currently the weather remains too cold.

Wrap up

A pretty good month, especially on the goal #4 where I substantially increased my side hustling income. Long may it continue!
How are your 2018 goals progressing? Please comment away.