2016 goals and plans

It’s a new dawn… it’s a new day…

It’s well into 2016 already so it’s high time I nailed my colours to the mast and posted up some goals, as is accustomed on a lot of lifestyle/PF based blogs nowadays.

However this year I am rebelling somewhat against the “SMART goals” crowd (and that includes myself from 2014 and 2015) and will not be relentlessly monitoring and tracking every single aspect of my life. If I’m honest the tracking and then writing about it on here can be an onerous task, and I’m not even sure it makes all that great reading.

I want to free myself from that burden so I guess my first goal is not to have too many goals!

I’ll still write about things I’m doing throughout the year ad-hoc if they seem interesting, I just won’t bang on about it every. single. month. Everyone’s a winner!

So yea, I’m going to keep it simple, much along the lines of how The Finance Zombie and Quietly Saving have done.

In fact, I think Where Eagles Fear To Perch has it bang on with his post about goals here:

Cut yourself some slack, FFS !


A select few of his goals for the year are:

  • Generally drift along as I’ve done happily for many years
  • Maybe build something in the garden, or maybe not
  • Maybe mess around with new projects or experiments
  • Play a bit of golf when the weather’s fine

This is surely badassity in it’s truest form, and I am definitely moving more towards this mode of thinking!

However, as much as I want to move away from recording, tracking, and judging myself at the end of each month and year, I think it would be silly not to write out some general plans of what I want to get done this year. So I will split this into two sections:

  1. The Goals section – a few short, easily measurable goals that I can tag onto my monthly report and not bore everyone too much about
  2. The Plans section – I will dump everything else that would have previously been a goal in here. I will then never speak of them again, unless I actually get round to doing them and think it might make good material for a blog post. There is no pressure, deadlines, or failure if none of them get done, but I would like to think I am a fairly productive bloke so I reckon I’ll get around to doing a fair few anyway.

So without further ado, it’s time to start planning 😉 !


2016 goals

These are goals I will measure and report back on in each monthly report, the top three are all somewhat related so I’ll probably hit all of them or none, but I think these are actually good things to be keeping track of, so I am going to do just that.

  • Savings rate of 40% – Now this is going to be, by my calculations, a bit of a stretch. If we stick to our budget set out here then we’ll hit a savings rate of around 17% including our pension contributions. The other 23% is going to come from “other income”. Last year we made £4.5K in the “other income” category 1 without really even trying all that much. I think with a more focused attempt at matched betting, plus hopefully some self employed income 2 I think we can boost that up to what we need to hit 40%. I just did the calculations on it though and it works out at nearly £1500 per month or £18,000 per year. So as I say, it is a pretty big ask.
  • Matched Betting £500/month – I think this should be fairly easy but I have missed out most of January and Feb so to average £500 a month from here on in still seems like a fair enough target.
  • Super Secret Side Hustle (SSSH) £750/month – I’m going to keep this one under wraps I’m afraid so please don’t ask about it :p – However I have had an ingenious idea (if I do say so myself) that could pull in a decent amount of money. I’ve only just started it so will report back at the end of February if there have been any results! 3
  • Alcohol consumption less than 20 units/week average – This is something I will be continuing to track regardless and it takes 10 seconds to tag onto the end of my monthly reports so it seems silly not to be transparent and report the figures back to you.


2016 plans

This is a more casual list of things that I might end up doing in 2016. No pressure or anything here, I’ve just written down some things that popped into my head that I would like to get round to doing some day. In no particular order…

  • Kitchen Refurb – Speaks for itself really. I am literally starting this today so will post some pics once I’ve gotten a fair bit of it done, hopefully next week!
  • Build a shelving/cupboard unit – I have two potential places in the house that would be great home for a bespoke shelving/cupboard unit, and since we have cleared out the future babies room we are at a bit of a loss for storage space. Our house is quite roomy but there is a distinct lack of clever storage solutions so I would love to have a crack at building one myself!
  • Decorate Nursery – This is getting pretty imminent as well so I would be surprised if this one doesn’t get ticked off the list fairly soon! It is a horrible bubble gum pink colour at the moment, so a quick lick of paint should do the trick here, it’s not a massive job.
  • Bike Shed – Get or build a bike shed (and some bikes to put in it!). It’s really starting to annoying me not having a bike now. I do like the simplicity of running to do errands but if you want to pop over to someone’s house to see them, that is say, 3 miles away, you don’t want to arrive a big sweaty mess. If I end up having to buy a bike shed to accomplish this goal it would not be the end of the world.
  • Keep on runnin’ – I’ve set myself some pretty big goals on the running which are going to come to fruition (or not) in 2-3 weeks time. After that, I am going to chillax a bit and just sign up to a few more runs, and keep up running every so often as I enjoy it.
  • Keep on bloggin’ – I’ve come to peace with the fact that I’m not ever going to be a 3 posts a week like clockwork blogger. So my plan for the blog is to just keep blogging when I have time and/or when inspiration hits. If the blog grows, great, if it shrinks, so what? I’m not making any money out of it anyway and that is not why I blog so as long as reader numbers don’t go down to zero then it’s still a worthwhile activity.
  • Build some more apps/websites and hopefully get paid for it – I still want to find the time to get another proper freelance side gig for my programming skillz, but with everything else going on, this is really the bottom of my priorities. We certainly don’t need the money and I’m not signing up for something that will take my precious free time away from seeing TFS Junior’s first tender months growing up just for some extra coin.
  • Grow some veg – I really enjoyed growing some bits in the garden last year and so will be attempting to up production this year.
  • Golf – I said I wanted to get my handicap down to 20 last year and that is still my aim. However – again – I won’t go on about it here. I’m having trouble imagining it’s adding much to your lives reading about that I played golf 3 times this month and my handicap got cut by 0.4 shots. Christ on a golf buggy!
  • Squash – I will continue to play squash as often as I can and will obviously try to win each game as best I can. I can’t believe I even had this as a goal last year though, what a stupid thing to “track”! 🙂
  • Friends and Family – I plan to spend quality time with friends and family as much as possible over the year, including a few family holidays.
  • Be a good Dad – I was going to write be the best Dad ever but that is probably a bit of a jump too far! I’ll settle for being a good Dad which will mainly encompass working as little as possible so I have more time to spend with Little Miss TFS 🙂


And that’s it!


Plans vs Goals… what is your preference? I think I prefer the plans method over the goals right now but I will let you know at the end of the year.



  1. Not including investment income or SIPP tax rebates
  2. If I get the time to actually do any, that is!
  3. Don’t worry, it’s not drug dealing, extortion, or stealing other kids lunch money! I wouldn’t do *anything* for money, remember?