March monthly progress review of my 2018 goals

Hi folks, happy April Fool’s Day! Did you know that pigs can fly? Obviously NOT!

Right here’s the end of fooling, everything else from here onward are real (or are they…).
1/4 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 – SORT OF

This has happened and the outcome was somewhat different to what I expected. You can read about the story here but in essence, I got a much smaller-than-expected base pay rise but a much larger performance-related bonus. An added benefit of not completely realising my goal here is that I get to write about it throughout the year as/when my bonus gets paid, instead of just a dull line crossing it off my list.
The key lesson here is that you need to be creating your own income stream and thus be able to live on your own terms.

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 – YES

March has been a fantastic month as I clocked in £717 in dividend income from 7 different stocks. This makes the average monthly dividend income for Q1 to be £317.
As said previously, 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. So 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 $1,000 gross ($900 after fees or around £640 when exchanged into £) in March.
This was a slight downturn from £1,400 I brought in in February because I was in China for 3 weeks and didn’t have time to bid for projects. However the project I did do was for the same client as last month and again it was super 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.
I want my future side hustles to be more of a passive income nature, which will mean that I need to be devoting significant upfront time to craft and develop it. So I expect income from Upwork to tail off as I stop bidding for projects and be more focused on creating another idea.

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 and March was the same. 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 6 blog posts in March, which was slightly short of the the 8 posts per month target. However on the bright side, I did write 4 additional posts which are currently stuck in the draft section awaiting my review and publication. Furthermore being away for 3 weeks did not help me reaching this goal either. April will be much better.

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 rain.

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

No progress made. Currently the weather remains too cold. I really need to get out of this mentality and just bite the bullet.

Wrap up

A pretty good month, especially on the goal #3 where it has been a good dividend month. Long may compound return be working in my favour!
How are your 2018 goals progressing? Please comment away.