Progress Update – December 2017

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! It’s such a busy time of year that I’ve taken an extra day off work to rest and relax after all the festivities and get myself back on track and ready for a more normal routine. It also gives me a chance to review my saving progress!

In terms of spending this month, Christmas came in around £500 including presents and food and drinks for the big day (we cooked Christmas dinner for 9 adults and 2 toddlers!). There will be another £400 to add to that in March as I’m taking my parents away for the weekend as their Christmas present. I much prefer experience presents and with this one I get to enjoy a trip away too! I would like to save more in advance for Christmas 2018 so I’m going to look into having a specific savings pot for it this year, more on that in a later post.

On to my net worth progress! At the end of December, my assets totalled £152,733 and my liabilities totalled £62,881 leaving a net worth of £89,852. This is an increase of £9,849 on my starting figure or 12%. Not included in these figures is my new investment of a rental property! This will be included in my January update now that it is official and the paperwork is all sorted. I’m hoping this will dramatically increase my net worth over the next 5 years and I’ll be adding blog posts specifically about this in the future.

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As we all know, the New Year is traditionally a time to reflect on the previous year and set new goals for the coming year. In terms of financial goals, I set these in September 2017:

1. Clear the credit card debt first as it’s now the most expensive (September and October 2017)

Done! ✅ No more credit card debt for me! I do still have one for big purchases including travel but it will always be paid off straight away. 😇

2. Then save up to pay off the car loan being the next most expensive (November to April 2018)

Not completed, I need to look at ways to split my savings into different pots to make this easier to achieve.

3. Then make more overpayments on my mortgage whilst the base rate is so low (from May 2018)

Not started yet.

4. I will split the amount for savings/investments by adding £400 each month to a regular saver account paying 3% interest with the remaining £450 going to a stocks and shares ISA (more on that later). The regular saver account will be used to fund holidays and will act as my emergency fund.

Done! ✅ I now have standing orders going to my regular saver account and my Vanguard ISA account. I will also be looking at an additional savings account I can use to split my savings into different pots, as per goal 2 above.

5. Get my regular saver account up to £3,300 as a baseline and then use the excess for holidays (and get better at sticking to a budget when booking holidays!). I think it will take at least 12 months to achieve this as I don’t want to give up holidays in the meantime.

Not completed but splitting my savings into different pots should support this.

Having only set these goals 4 months ago I’m pleased with my progress so far and I only need to update them slightly for 2018:

1. Set up an additional savings account to allow saving in different pots e.g. emergencies, holidays, car loan pay off, Christmas.

2. Save up to pay off the car loan currently just over £6k.

3. Increase the overpayment on my mortgage by £100.

4. Build my emergency savings to £3,300.

Outside of my financial goals I also want to focus on losing 2 stone in weight and learning to play the violin! What are your goals for 2018? Are they all financial or have you included other areas to improve your life?

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