My 2018 goals

What were my 2017 goals? Did I achieve them all? What am I aiming for in 2018?
 
​Happy 2018 everyone! Let’s bid 2017 farewell and look straight ahead into the horizon of 2018 and see what exciting challenges life throws at us. To me the glass is always half full and as an optimist and believe that life will improve as time goes on, therefore I always look forward to the new year. Shamefully I didn’t create a concrete list of actionable goals for 2017, so that’s something that needs to be changed immediately this year, starting now!
 
However here’s a quick review of everything that’s happened on my personal finance front in 2017:
  • My employment-based income remained at the healthy level of £3,300 per month
  • My company started renting out a property at the start of 2017 and now receive £2,400 per month
  • My dividend income has grown nicely from 0 and now have a run-rate of £300 per month, despite being only 80% invested (the remainder 20% sits as cash earning peanuts)
In total, my monthly intake is now at £6,000.
 
I will dedicate another blog post to my expenses as outgoings deserve more attention than I can dedicate to here, however they are at a healthy level in my opinion. I firmly believe that like in business, it’s far better to focus on increasing your top line (i.e. revenue or as personal finance people confusingly coined the term, income) rather than trimming your outgoings. The reason is simple. The growth potential for your income is infinite whereas the amount of expenditure you can save is finite (you can never trim your expenses to lower than zero).
 
So for 2018, my goal remains focused on increasing my top line!
 
Financial Goals
  1. Get a pay rise – I think a raise to £3,500 per month is definitely doable, since I was offered the same raise last year but turned it down (crazy I know, more on it here).
  2. Increased rental income – the property owned by my company is at an excellent location and it’s been refurbished to a high standard. It’s currently being rented at close to the market rate however given the demand in the area, I believe there’s scope for some increase, perhaps an additional £100 per month. Nominally it may not sound too much however when accumulated and compounded over time, the maths is staggering.
  3. Increase dividend income – currently every taxpayer in the UK is entitled to £5,000 of dividend income tax-free per year (although this is changing), regardless of your income level. It’s crazy that I’m not utilising it. Even an increase of £50 per month will get me to £4,200 per year, still well below that threshold. So that’s my goal.
  4. Develop another source of income – this is the most challenging and yet the funnest one. I’m a great believer in income stream diversification because like most things in life, you should never place all your eggs in one basket (i.e. your employer for most people). My criteria for success in this goal is simple: to create an income source, no matter how small, that is sustainable into the future. By sustainable, I meant by results that can be easily replicated. For example selling your unwanted goods on Gumtree is not sustainable because the amount of goods in your house is very limited, whereas being a freelancer is sustainable, because you can be reasonable sure that your earning power will still be here 10 years down the line.
  5. Save £20,000 into ISA ISA is another modern day financial miracle introduced by HM Treasury. You save up to that amount per year any income and capital gains derived from that amount is exempt from all forms of taxation. I really regret not maxing that out in the earlier years.
  6. Save £800 per month into SIPP – last year my monthly contribution was £600. I want to raise that to £800 this year. SIPP is an amazing deal if you don’t have a company pension as it forces you to save for your retirement, which is something I believe every sensible human being should do. Even if you have a company pension, SIPP is still a deal sweetener. For every £1 you put in, the government gives you another £0.20-0.45 to top it up, no matter your circumstances (there are some restrictions, will do a deep dive later). So effectively you make 20-45% on your contribution on Day 1. What’s not to like?
 
Personal Goals
  1. Have a baby – well the good news is that Mrs WB40 (aka Mrs WealthyBy40, aka2 my wife) is already pregnant and is half way there. I pray for a healthy baby and an even healthier Mrs WB40.
  2. Develop WealthyBy40 (WB40) – I want this blog to be the champion for sensible personal finance habits and inspire millions of “just about managing” households to achieve financial freedom and independence. My aim is to maintain traction by posting 2 posts per week. I feel this is a good balance between coming up with interesting content to engage the audience and my other life demands. Since I’m new to the blogosphere, my secondary aim is to get at least 2 comments per post by year-end and have 500 visitors to the site per day. So all you readers, please comment away.
  3. Have a tropical holiday with the family – my only regret in 2017 was that we didn’t manage this, for a variety of reasons ranging from medical conditions (all resolved) to moving house. This year I really need to make this happen for Mrs WB40 and myself!
  4. Do 2 office-station runs every week – my office is 5 miles from the train station that I commute into every day. Currently I cycle this journey every day, twice a day. I’d like to replace add some running elements into it to spice things up. Simple as.
Wrap up
Did you have a list of actionable goals at the start of 2017? If so then you are one step ahead of me! Did you achieve them all? What are your 2018 goals?
 
Please share them in the comments.
 
Happy new year and may 2018 bring you and your beloved ones health, happiness and prosperity!