How time flies! We’re already half way through the year and it’s time to check in with those goals I set way back in January.
1. Set up an additional savings account to allow saving in different pots e.g. emergencies, holidays, car loan pay off, Christmas.
Completed! In addition to my stocks and shares ISA (which is strictly for long term savings i.e. retirement) I now have a regular savings account which I have earmarked for emergencies and an easy access savings account which I have earmarked for other short term expenditure.
2. Save up to pay off the car loan currently just over £6k.
In Progress. I haven’t made any savings directly towards this but the loan value has dropped to less than £5k just from making the normal monthly payments. I think I will struggle to save up enough to pay the whole balance off by Christmas but I will be looking at ways to increase my income and any extra I do make will go to this goal.
3. Increase the overpayment on my mortgage by £100.
In Progress. I’ve been putting this off as the original plan was to achieve this by May. Reviewing the goals has given me the push I needed so I’ve decided to commit I’ve now amended the overpayment online to increase by £100 from August.
4. Build my emergency savings to £3,300.
In Progress. Emergency savings are currently at £1,500 or 45% of target so only slightly behind schedule. Recently I have been considering the level of emergency savings I would actually need based on discussions on the Choose FI podcast (Episode 66 – The Emergency Fund…Is it a Bad Idea?). This is based on the Early Retirement Now blog that argues that if you have a credit card with no balance, a reasonably secure job and access to free or low cost healthcare, you don’t need any emergency cash. I can tick all of those boxes but I’m nervous about having no emergency fund at all! Therefore, I have decided to continue to let my emergency fund build (in a regular saver earning 2.5%) until it reaches the point when there is sufficient to pay off my car loan (charging 4.15% and see point 2 above). After that, I think I’ll let it sit around £1,000 which would be more than enough to cover a month of expenses giving me enough time to arrange funds to cover whatever the emergency is.
My non-financial goals were:
1. To lose 2 stones in weight.
In Progress……slowly! I’ve lost 9lbs which is 32% of the target so I’m somewhat behind schedule. But I could pull that back and still achieve that goal by Christmas as it’s just over 3lbs per month. I’ve started writing about my weight loss journey here in an attempt to keep myself accountable and motivated.
2. To learn to play the violin.
In Progress. I’ve been having violin lessons since January and have learned to read music at a basic level and I can play Level 1 songs like Twinkle Twinkle and Old MacDonald! However, my progress has slowed as the songs have got harder and my violin teacher is now taking some time off to have a baby. I also need to get the bridge fixed as it’s not quite in the right position and this results in the some notes sounding a bit off. Over the summer I will get this fixed and commit to 30 minutes of practice every week.
Overall, I’m happy with my progress but reviewing my goals has reignited my motivation and I feel super keen to keep going and achieve or exceed all of them by Christmas. I might do a 3rd quarter review at the end of September which will also be my FI awakening anniversary! How are you progressing with your goals for the year? How have you stayed motivated to achieve them?