2014 Aspirations

Aiming high in 2014!

In the spirit of a “Let’s get down to business 2014” – without further ado, here are my goals for the upcoming year.

Financial Goals

  • Increase Net Worth by £30,000 – I haven’t done any figures on this yet but I am hoping that this is acheivable when I…
  • Make a solid retirement plan – I need to get this done asap so it must be put in the macro goals section to cement its importance. I need to crunch the numbers and make some educated projections to see what is really possible.
  • Save over 50% of income, after tax and other deductions – This may sound low but I have set up a share save scheme with work which I am going to max out contributions to and count that plus my standard retirement contributions as “a deduction”. So it’s literally 50% or more of what Mrs TFS and I receive jointly in our paypackets that we want to save, even though there are other savings going on on top of this. Anything higher would be too harsh a target (unless we moved into an RV, of course 😉 )

Educational Goals

  • Internet learnings – I’ve read a lot of brilliant and free stuff on the internet this year and it has taught me an absolute shit load! I want to continue this next year and read more thoroughly into the following non-exhaustive list of subjects.
  • Financial – Touch up on Index Investing, asset allocation, read at least one investing book. Macro and Micro economic principles. Alternative economy ideas. History of the stock market. Taxes!
  • Philosphy – Epicureanism, Stoicism, Zen, Samurai.
  • Environmental – Peak Oil, Peak Water, Corporate Sustainability, Renewable Energy, Environmental and Political Activism, World Hunger, GM food, Large scale farming, Globalisation, Waste reducing techniques, Energy efficiency, Bio fuels, Reducing carbon footprint.
  • Health: Learn more on healthy eating, Cooking home made healthy meals, Cheap ways to keep fit and exercise
  • Read 6 books (TBC) – This sounds like an extremely wussyish target but as mentioned there is a wealth of free information out there on the internet and that is my primary reading vehicle of choice right now. I have got a few (at least 10) books on the wish list which I will try to get through at a rate of one every two months. Hopefully I can increase the rate as my educational and other goals start to be hit and time is freed back up again. There is unfortunately only so much free time in each day to read and learn, so once I feel like I am more “well read” on the above subjects I can devote more time to books over varying subjects, and a few fun reads as well no doubt.

Blog Goals

  • Grow the blog to 50,000 page views per month (!!! Go big or go home, right?)
  • Write an average of 3 blog posts per week – Time should be the only factor here. I’m still enjoying writing and have loads of ideas in the pipeline so burnout and motivation should not be an issue. I think 3 posts a week is a good amount to keep regular reading, and grow a blog.
  • Write enough articles to be able to send out and get one guest post published per month – I guess the big hurdle is going be getting someone to accept and publish the article, but all I can do is try.
  • Read and comment on 5 articles per day – Again this is all to do with growing the blog. I’ve been over doing it on this front in the last month so I actually want to pull myself back on it, but I keep finding great new blogs and articles to read and comment on! Hopefully I will reach saturation point in a month or two and can tone down the amount of stuff I am reading to get a bit of time back for other activities.

Other Goals

  • Do some more challenges – There are a few listed below but I will think of some more throughout the year.
  • Buy a new car (used obviously!) – I am looking at a model that will double our fuel efficiency
  • De-cluttering – We actually did a lot in October time but have not sold/donated it all yet. So need to get rid of it and also re-assess if any more clutter has appeared (I am certain it will have done!)

Six month “to do” list

The above list of “stuff” to do, learn, put into action, and then write about it to tell you guys what I’ve been up to, seems really rather daunting, and when I see a list like that I normally either:
A) Want to do it all at once and get frustrated that I can’t due to that annoying thing called “there’s only 24 hours in a day”
B) Get hideously overwhelmed by it all and go hide under a rock crying
So I thought it would be helpful for me to split some of the tasks over the first 6 months into some sort of shedule, so that I don’t attempt to do them all at once, which would clearly end in disaster and possibly an admission to the local asylum.
Also I’m pretty forgetful, so this is something I can handily refer back to and remember what I am supposed to be doing each month, hence: my “to do” list
  • Challenge: Complete the 30 day mega-detox challenge (TBA)
  • Financial Task: Make a solid retirement plan
  • Financial Task: Set up a SIPP account to save pre-tax £££’s into
  • Financial Task: Set up an ISA in Mrs TFS’s name and use it to invest in Vanguard funds
  • Task: Buy a new (used!) car to increase fuel efficiency (MPG), and sell the old one.
  • Challenge: Run 2 half marathons (already booked in so I have to do this really!)
  • Financial: Research alternative methods of investing available to UK investors, and invest if possible.
  • Environmental: Energy efficiency in the home. Test all devices, make necessary changes
  • Task: Sell rest of stuff from decluttering project, and have a re-assesment
  • Financial Eductation: Learn how to submit a tax form, for the purposes of having “side hustle” income*
  • Financial Task: Open some new credit cards to start “Travel hacking” – hopefully I can pay for a holiday in 2015 with airmiles
  • Education: Start reading a book!
  • Blog Milestone: 10,000 page views per month 🙂
  • Challenge: Complete a 30 day no meat challenge
  • Financial Task: Complete a self assesed tax form for end of year.
  • Environmental: How to reduce waste in the home
  • Environmental: Start a compost heap in the garden
  • Financial Goal: Start “Maxing out” both of our ISA allowances which equates to putting around £2000 a month into them jointly
  • Finanicial Task: As it will be the new tax year, set up a new ISA in my name which uses Vanguard funds only and work out an optimum asset allocation strategy.
  • Challenge: Complete a 30 day “no added sugar” food challenge
  • Other: Celebrate Mrs TFS’s 30th birthday in style, but on a budget (am I allowed to put that? Oh well too late!) 
  • Financial Education: Learn more about real estate investing – Research the local market intensively to see if a local rental property would be viable, and if not see if buying a property somewhere else in England would work.
  • Blog Milestone: 20,000 page views per month
  • Other: Celebrate my 33rd birthday. Eek!

Final notes

This has been a really eye opening, extremely useful, and satisfying exercise for me and I would heartily recommend you writing down some goals, challenges, and a plan whether you have a blog or not! One of the best things about this has been splitting some of the stuff out over the first six months. So anyway in a nutshell, I actually feel quite relieved, relaxed and looking forward to the year rather than stressed, daunted and overwhelmed with “the task(s) ahead”!
*This year will be minimum to none, but I’m hoping to grow this in future years. Plus I am guessing even if this is £5, the tax man needs to hear about it. Back ↑