No. 1 goal: Don’t worry be happy!


It’s that time of year you all look forward to, which brings much merriment to the FI community, where you can all laugh at how I achieved none of my goals that were set the previous January 🙂

You’re mostly out of luck this year though as I finally caught onto your game and only actually set myself one, reeeeeeeally easy goal last year, which was this:

Savings rate 25%

The great news is that I still managed to mess it up, falling just short at 22.82%.

On paper this doesn’t seem such a bad effort 1, but in reality 25% was a pretty easy target to hit.

So I am disappointed with the outcome, especially given our higher than expected income, which is all detailed in my 2017 income/expenses report in case you missed that one.

What about some of the other things I said I may or may not do during the year? It would be silly to have written them down and not check in whether they happened, wouldn’t it?

  • 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 – I did this, and in 3:28 as well! If you are signed up for The Marathon (or even just a marathon) this year be sure to check out my 26 tips on running a marathon part I and part II. I also smashed the £3000 fundraising target and got it up to £5000+ in the end.
  • Learn to juggle – I am undoubtedly better at juggling than I was at the start of the year, but there is definitely scope for improvement. TFS Jr seems to find it more amusing when I drop the balls anyway so not really much incentive to do so 🙂
  • Finish off loads of loose ends with DIY stuff around the house, but crucially do not start any new big projects. – I guess this is a fail because I started a mahoosive Garden project in August/September. Oh well… not exactly a bad one to “fail” on haha.
  • Sort the garden out… – Following on from above, I did this and then some! Still didn’t have any time to grow anything decent though. This year…
  • Go on lots of short breaks with friends and family and a long (hopefully 3 weeks!) road trip around France. – Tick! 🙂
  • Spend lots of time with Mrs T, baby T, and friends and family! – Tick!
  • Donate 10% of matched betting profits to Charity – Pretty much did this, we fell £115 short of the 10% but I will just donate that this month so we are fully up to date with this.
  • Continue to play golf and squash – Obviously this was always going to happen.
  • Teach Baby T some awesome stuff – Not sure if I taught her specifically but she has learned a boatload of new and cool stuff in a year. I guess babies tend to do that anyway but I would like to think I had a fairly large part in that.
  • Bikes – Yes it’s ridiculous but 4 years after discovering MMM I still haven’t got a bike – Let’s make that 5 years! I think this will be inevitable sooner or later as TFS Jr will get one and so we’ll all end up getting one. But in all honesty, we live in such a walkable area I just don’t find any pressing urge to get a bike which I guess is why we still remain bikeless.
  • Keep the blog going – Well I guess I did that as you are reading this now 🙂 although as usual didn’t put as much into it as I’d have really liked to.
  • Generally Chill the eff out after having 3.5 manic years of saving and hustlin’! – I definitely did this and in fact, probably went a bit too far the other way (see more below)

So, what’s in store for 2018?


2018 GOAL!

I’m sticking with just the one goal again in 2018 as it’s really the only metric which matters to achieve Financial Independence and that is savings rate once again. According to the expenses and spending budget I set out, we should be able to hit a 33% savings rate if it pans out exactly as predicted. However this is massively dependant on whether my company share scheme pays out, so I’ll have two different targets depending on whether that happens:

  • 35% if share scheme pays out – Because, well why the hell not round it up?
  • 30% if share scheme doesn’t pay out – Again figures suggest around 27% should be achievable so let’s round this up to 30% to try to stretch ourselves a little this year.

Oh actually, it’s probably also worth mentioning an aside goal of £750/month matched betting as well. With most of the easy offers on my accounts done now this is mainly going to be a combination of No Lay Accas and Each Way Sniping (or arbing, whatver you want to call it). This will likely result in a very variable “income” from the MB and also will depend on accounts being gubbed, so will have to see how it goes. Could be an interesting year on this front to say the least! It’s only a side goal really because it ties into the savings rate goal quite closely as I detailed that on our income budget, so if I don’t make the 750 goal it is very unlikely we’ll hit the savings rate goal either.


a year of going deep?

I’m not going to write down the “other things I may or may not do” this year because they will look pretty much the same as they did last year. But I  will tell you about two posts I recently read from the brilliant Raptitude website, which really struck a chord with me:

My main takeaway from both really is that we need to cut things out of our lives that we aren’t 100% into, in order to really give the remaining important things a proper go. From Why there’s never enough time:

The modern world puts so much within reach if we just play our cards right, but there are a thousand cards to play. The stakes are extreme—these are our lives, after all—so to avoid playing the wrong cards, we try to play them all.

Now, in go deeper, David suggests all we have to do is simply not take on anything new. This involves:

No new hobbies, equipment, games, or books are allowed during this year. Instead, you have to find the value in what you already own or what you’ve already started.

The issue for me is that I feel I already have way too many of all of the above to really “go deep” on any one, or small number of things. So the hard part is what (if anything) to cut out? Here is a non-exhaustive list of things I am already interested in doing which take up time, in no particular order of how much time they take up or how important they are to me:

Being a parent, golf, squash, running, blogging (reading and writing), cryptos, matched betting, home maintenance and gardening, brewing beer 2, home cooking, actually working, going on holidays/short breaks, socialising with friends and family, reading books, learning random sh!t on the internet (i.e. procrastination). Hell… I even have the guitar just like Mr Cain himself seems rather obsessed with*

*I can play nursery rhymes to TFS Jr, the first bit of “Wonderwall” and err well that’s about it actually… 🙂

With all that going on is it any wonder why there is never enough time!?

Honestly, I started writing this section hoping something obvious would present itself but it 100% hasn’t, so it’s just going to have to end up as one of those brain farts that I had to get down into written word and share with you guys in case you’d missed it as I think it’s a great concept.

I will certainly be keeping this “Going deep” concept in mind this year, especially if and when new stuff crops up.

Thinking about it, last year’s theme of “the big chill” was a similar kickback reaction to trying to squeeze too much into life, but I think it was in retrospect the wrong way to look at things. Rather than just saying “Screw it, I’m not doing any of that” and just loafing about – or more accurately having lots of leisure time which as I noted later in the year, is not the path to happiness – I think I am much better off choosing some things that I find rewarding to do in between the family/friends time.

I need to realise that time is finite, prioritise what I want to get done and then just do it.

If I value making beer over say, matched betting (which I do), then I should really just kick the MB briefly into touch and crack on with that thing that will actually make me feel good about doing it. Last year I stopped doing MB but didn’t really replace it with any other rewarding activities so I ended up just being a bit “meh” for a few months at least.

Right… I’m definitely rambling now so will stop!

I would be interested as usual to hear peoples thoughts on the above cranial flatulences! And also let me know how your 2017 goals went and 2018 goals are going!

So… Whaddaythink friends?!


  1. And in fact most of the year I thought I’d set the goal at 30% but apparently and kinda luckily, I was mistaken!
  2. OK I only did this a couple of times a few years ago, but I want to do another batch soon if I find the time!