And my 2016 goals be like…

Last time out we had a fairly comprehensive go over our 2016 expenses and set out a budget for the new year.

Now it’s time to have a look at what goals I set at the start of 2016 to see how we measured up. Seriously, I can’t even remember what they were now so I’m going to have a look now before carrying on writing…

2016 Goals

Ah yes. So it looks like I cut myself some slack from the uber list of goals I set in 2014 and 2015. Thank goodness for that! At least it makes for a shorter post this time round. Here they are again with a pass or fail:

  • Savings rate of 40% – Fail with a final rate of 34.87% so no where near really. This was a combination of missing our budget and not quite earning enough.
  • Matched Betting £500/month + Super Secret Side Hustle (SSSH) £750/month – Originally two separate goals, but seeing as we now know the secret side hustle is also just a matched betting type of activity, we can just lump this into a single goal of £1250/month. Did I hit this target? Did I f**k. 🙂 – Actually I wasn’t too far off. I made an average of £927/month which, considering the amount of time I spent on it each month, was fairly impressive. Also this includes January where I did no matched betting at all, so that was a bit stupid not to factor that in. Matched betting is great but sometimes I feel like a break from it and took a few weeks off here and there. To really hit these sorts of numbers you need to be very regimented on it and do it every week. It is definitely possible but that sort of commitment is not for me so I’ll reduce the target for next year!
  • Alcohol consumption less than 20 units/week average – Well it looks like I’m “Oh for Three” this year as there were quite a few months where I went over the average – 7 in fact. When you average it over the year it comes to 24.58 units/week as well so it is another straight up fail!

How do I feel about all this failure? No pity parties being thrown here as, well, I’m not so bothered as it turns out 🙂

  • I am absolutely stoked that I earnt £11,124.14 from gambling activities over the course of one year. That’s some pretty decent tax free income for doing something that I either enjoy (normal gambling) or spend very little time on (Matched betting). Plus as I say I think the goal was shooting for the stars a bit on that one.
  • The same could be said for the savings rate, as this was inextricably linked to the matched betting income. Also, I have been working part time and Mrs T has had 10 months of the year off looking after our baby, we had about 27 holidays, and we still managed to save 35% of our total income (including pensions, etc…). I mean, I am being pretty harsh on us if I can’t be happy about this situation. So happy I will be 🙂
  • The average for 2015 was 28.83 and 2016 was 24.58 so I am at least heading in the right direction here. I am therefore going to continue tracking my alcohol as I believe it is helping me reduce consumption slowly over time. So I think this is still a worthy exercise even if I go over occasionally on certain months and even over the average target for the year. I still think 20/week is a decent target to shoot for next year though. Let’s see!

What do you guys think? Are you getting fed up reading about a guy who sets goals every year and then pretty much consistently fails to hit them? Do you find this demotivating and would you rather see someone succeeding in all areas?

As many others have said I think you are better off putting up goals that you know are going to be hard to hit and then miss out on it, rather than set easy ones and then toot your own horn at the end of each year. (This made me think of one final and quite scary question… do you think my goals are actually easy and I’m just an incompetent buffoon, not fit to run the Wonga personal finance blog let alone a FIRE based website?! 🙂 )


2017 goals

With that thankfully over with let’s have a look at what I’d like to happen in 2017 financially…

I know I said I’d rather put up goals that are hard to achieve so this savings rate is going to seem rather, I don’t know how else to phrase is but let’s go with pussy-ish. Unfortunately I just cannot square the peg of our now lower income with the round hole of our slightly higher budget. Anyway here it is:

  • Savings rate 25% – With Mrs T going back to work but part time, and me obviously staying part time, this is where we are at. I’ve run some rough calculations and to hit this would involve Mrs T getting a job pretty much straight away (her old company won’t have her back part time), myself receiving a moderate bonus, and making £750/month from the gambling stuff. Now we could end up smashing this and ending up at 35% again which would make it look like I’ve set an easy target, which I said I wouldn’t do, but there are so many variables up in the air I just think 25% could still be a very hard target to hit – for example if I didn’t get a bonus or even just a crap one compared to usual, either of which scenarios is looking like it could be the case with 5 months to go till end of our business year, then this would instantly become a very hard goal to hit.

Erm… I think that’s it? I don’t want to set another matched betting income or any other financial ones because they are all linked to the savings rate anyway. And as I have mentioned before, 2017 is what I am calling “The year of the big chill”. So yea, that is actually all I’m going to write on the subject.

However just for fun here are some….


other things I may or may not do in 2017

  • Run the marathon. I will nail my colours to the mast here and let you know my target time (in my head, now on the internet) is 3:30 so I will obviously fill you in on how I end up doing! It’s not really a real goal but just something I’d like to do time wise, like it’s not going to ruin my year if I don’t hit it if you get my drift!
  • Also, I am running for Young Epilepsy and I have a fund raising target of £3,000 which I will definitely do so no need to mark this up as a proper goal either! However, if you would like to sponsor me I would be very grateful and my sponsor page link is here. If you do then many many thanks, but if you leave a comment on there, please try not to mention theFIREstarter or anything like that, just refer to “the blog” or do a cheeky #TFS at the end, just in case anyone from work sees it. Thanks! 😉
  • Learn to juggle (already start on this. Let’s see how far I get with it!)
  • Finish off loads of loose ends with DIY stuff around the house, but crucially do not start any new big projects.
  • Sort the garden out and finally grow some tomatoes that bear fruit and become ripe before September 🙂 (and some other stuff as well hopefully!)
  • Go on lots of short breaks with friends and family and a long (hopefully 3 weeks!) road trip around France.
  • Spend lots of time with Mrs T, baby T, and friends and family!
  • Donate 10% of matched betting profits to Charity. Also myself and Mrs T have found the fundraising for the Marathon extremely rewarding so I might look into more ways to help out with charities and community based stuff.
  • Continue to play golf and squash. Ironically the year I stopped having “Get handicap down to 20” as a goal, I actually went and did it in 2016 (although creeped back up to 21 now). So definitely no goal for the golf this year either 😉
  • Teach Baby T some awesome stuff – She is just starting to learn stuff properly now and it’s really exciting. I can’t wait to teach her everything I can about everything I know (OK… maybe jumping ahead a bit here. Maybe walking, clapping and saying “dada” would be a good start here).
  • Bikes – Yes it’s ridiculous but 4 years after discovering MMM I still haven’t got a bike. To be honest I really quite enjoy running and walking for transportation for local journeys but it would be good to get a bike just to nip up to the local parks on summer days at least, so I may keep my eye out for a dirt cheap one (plus one for Mrs T and some sort of contraption to hold the baby in). Plus somewhere to store them!
  • Keep the blog going – Ideally I will start writing more thoughtful pieces again as those are the ones I enjoy writing and I think the ones that get bigger traction out there in the world of the t’internet. I feel like I just about kept the blog alive in 2016 with updates and a few sparse “decent” posts so hoping I can get back to my roots a bit more in 2017. I will also try to write a bit more about matched betting as well as I find writing about that interesting.
  • Generally Chill the eff out after having 3.5 manic years of saving and hustlin’!


Let me know what you plan to get up to in the coming year in the comments below?