May Monthly Progress Review Of My 2018 Goals

Hi folks, happy June The First! This day is apparently the International Children’s Day in many countries.


2018 is gushing past us and as usual, I’m going to perform a quick review of how it went vs. the goals I set myself at the start of the year. Here’s the progress summary chart:

NB: to my American readers, to convert £ into $, simply multiply by 1.35 (GBP is being hammered currently thanks to Brexit!)

I have added 2 metrics into the progress summary:

  • WB40 ratio = Total Income / £60,000 (this is my WealthyBy40 financial goal which is to generate £60,00 of monthly income by 40)
  • Saving rate = Total savings / Total income

Currently my total savings are comprised off:

  • Mortgage capital repayment (which increases my equity in the property and adds to my net worth)
  • Personal emergency account
  • Family emergency contribution
  • Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)
  • SIPP tax rebate
  • Brokerage account
  • Dividend and interested income not paid out

1. Pay rise – SORT OF

I had my pay review in March 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.

Thanks to a change in my tax code as a result of the government increasing my personal tax-free allowance by £350 to £11,850 per year, my net pay has increased slightly to just over £3,400. It’s getting a step closer to my £3,500 per month goal however for entirely the wrong reason.

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 – COMPLETED

Done and dusted in January. Reached the £2,500 per month target. Want to know more? Find out here.

3. Increase dividend income by £100 per month – YES

May has been a great month for dividend as I received £430 from 6 different stocks. I hit my goal this month.

I did a proper review of my 2017 dividend history last month and set myself an ambitious goal of achieving over £420 of dividend income per month this year.

I noticed a trend in the monthly dividend payout where:

  • Month 1 of the quarter (Jan, Apr, July, Oct): very low payout, around the £100 mark.
  • Month 2 of the quarter (Feb, May, Aug, Nov): medium payout level, around £200-300 mark.
  • Month 3 of the quarter (Mar, Jun, Sept, Dec): highest payout, around £700-£900 mark.

I believe this is due to most companies pay out their dividends quarterly according to their financial year and most of the financial years coincide with the calendar year.

4. Develop another source of income – COMPLETED

In Q1 this year, I developed a side hustle as a freelance management consultant on Upwork which netted me $3,307 in total.I love Upwork. I think it’s flexible, easy to start and convenient. The projects on there can be interesting as well. You can read about my experience here.

The downside of this was that I simply did not have sufficient time to take on additional projects. Realistically I only had around 6 hours during the weekday and 10 hours at weekends and that’s simply insufficient for bidding, interviewing as well as consulting. Furthermore with the coming of WB40 Junior, I want to devote time to him rather than sitting in front of my laptop bidding for projects. This is why I am leaving Upwork because

I simply want to stop trading my time for money.
In the March progress report, I wrote that I want my future side hustles to be more of a passive income nature. I am pleased to announce that I will be publishing my first novel this year.

I’ve always loved writing and the idea of sharing my story with millions of readers across the globe simply is too thrilling an idea to be passed. You can learn more about my writing experience here.

As a result, I will be updating my 2018 goals in June to retire this one and replace it with novel publication.

5. Save £20,000 into ISA – COMPLETED

Done and dusted. April 6th is my favourite day of the year.

6. Save £800 into SIPP per month – COMPLETED

For those of you unfamiliar with SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension), 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 I am still on track. Furthermore I have decided to set up an additional £150 monthly saving to my brokerage account in order to increase my saving rate further.

Long may it continue!

7. Have a baby – COMPLETED

WB40 Junior was born on at the start of June.

#HelloWorld #WelcomeToEarth


8. Blog twice a week on WB40 – YES

I managed to publish 8 blog posts in May, which hit my goal squarely in the bull’s eye!

An exciting project which I completed in April was to migrate my entire (albeit relatively young) blog from Wix to WordPress, which means I can now customise and build a site that truly reflects the identity of WealthBy40.

Don’t expect to see magical change overnight though. I am still getting used to WP so nothing will be perfect. Such is life 🙂

9. Have a tropical holiday with my family – NO

No progress made, again! I think I might as well scrap this goal as the coming of WB40 Junior this month isn’t going to make it any easier.


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

No progress made. I can’t even use the weather excuse now because we have just hit 25 C (77 F) today. Damn! Must try harder.

Wrap up

A decent month. Good progress on hitting the dividend goal and the imminent completion of the my novel which will hopefully enhance the WB40 ratio.

How are your 2018 goals progressing? Please comment away.