Hello 2016! Happy New Year everyone 🙂 I always like the start of a new year; full of hope and optimism for the year ahead. The unknown of what’s in store for everyone in the next twelve months, plus lots of new experiences to enjoy and memories to treasure forever. We’ll be going on our first family holiday, celebrate our boy’s first birthday, juggle returning to work with a child in the mix and many more things in between.
Each year I like to set myself goals that I hope to achieve by the end of the year; to keep me on track and to challenge myself throughout the year. I also feel like it makes me more accountable over the year; 12 months is a long time and focus can drift at times, so knowing I have yearly goals to reach as well as monthly ones make me more focused. Again, like with the monthly ones, I do a financial section and a personal section. This year I’ve also added in some blogging goals, as I want to grow my blog substantially over the next year.
My Financial Goals for 2016 are:
– Put £10,000 into savings
– Overpay our mortgage by £600
– Have 230 NSDs throughout the year
– Earn £3,000 in side income.
The savings goal is self-explanatory; to continue our journey towards early retirement, I need to save as much as possible. Ideally it would be more than this, but as I’m on a very reduced income for the first four months of the year, I think this will end up being a stretch goal for us in the end. I’m going to try my hardest to meet this, hopefully by getting some more side hustles going. More on that later 😉
Although being mortgage free ties in with our early retirement goals, it has taken a backseat now, especially since we’re now in the five figures bracket. Our focus is more on saving and investing, and getting the ball rolling on that aspect of our long term plans a lot more. £600 equates to £50 which is more than do-able, and still means our mortgage is going down in the right direction.
As I managed to achieve 227 NSDs in 2015, I have upped this target slightly to 230. As I’m hoping for January and February to be quite low spend months, I am secretly optimistic that I will go over this goal! However, I know that little expenses can arrive when you least expect them, so don’t want to count my chicken before they’ve hatched, so to speak.
Something that I started with relatively late into 2015 was side income. I want to build on this properly into 2016, so that I’m not just relying on one income stream. £3,000 over the year equates to £250 which seems quite a daunting task at the moment, but I have lots of plans in the pipeline. To bring in an additional £3,000 before taxes would be amazing; I know this isn’t a lot compared to many PF bloggers out there, but I have to begin somewhere.
I am determined for 2016 to be the year I get Financially Fit! I’m also looking into getting a cashback credit card. I hear so many stories about, if you use the credit correctly, you can get some decent cashback during the year. If it’s spending I’m already doing, surely then this would be a good thing? As long as I pay it off every month, I think that’ll be an additional bit of money. I’ve been looking at Credit Card Insider to see what they recommend as a good card to get.
My Personal goals for 2016 are:
– The ’30 before 30′ weight loss challenge
– Do some kind of exercise three times a week
– Log onto My Fitness Pal every day.
– Declutter/sort through all of my wardrobe and reduce the amount of stuff I own.
– Decorate our bedroom
– Be more kind to myself
– Stop worrying about things I can’t change and focus on the ones I can.
2016 marks the last year of me being in my twenties 🙁 whilst I cry into my cup of tea about this, as I’m not a fan of being in my thirties, I have decided to do a weight loss challenge so that when I reach 30, I’ll at least look vaguely good when I get there! 😉 So, I want to lose 30lbs before my 30th birthday, which is at the end of the year. It gives me plenty of time to do this, as it’ll be less than a lb a week I need to lose. If I manage, it’ll be the longest I’ve ever stuck at anything!
Linking in with the #thirtybeforethirty challenge, I want to do some kind of exercise three times a week. I’m a member of a gym which has a swimming pool, so I have no excuse really. I can also go out for walks when the weather is nice. I need to do more exercise and generally move more, so I’m going to try my best at this as well. Logging onto My Fitness Pal, to log both my calorie intake and my exercise will also keep my focused and hopefully on track.
I am very conscious that for someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy clothes shopping, I have a lot of clothes. A huge amount really. I need to have a proper sort through all of them, and then either keep/charity shop/throw out. I think that I want to try a capsule wardrobe type thing in the year; there really is no need for the amount of clothes I have! Lots of them are old and worn, and just need to be thrown away. There are things I probably won’t wear/don’t fit properly any longer which could go to a charity shop, and then there are things I am (obviously) going to keep. I think I’ll feel a lot better once I’ve done this too.
We are slowly getting our house to how we want it to be, and our bedroom is next on my list of rooms I want to decorate. It just needs a lick of paint and a new carpet, so it’ll be done on a budget. I keep looking on Pinterest for room inspiration; I think I’ve chosen the colour scheme I’d like so it’s just a case of choosing paint and looking at carpets. I’m hoping to have this done by the Spring, as long as I can get my husband on board with the idea….
The last two are the same as last year, as I am still working on not being so self critical and more accepting of myself. This was working well last year, and I want to continue.
My blogging goals for 2016 are:
– Get back into posting three times a week, every week
– Grow my Twitter followers to 2,000
– Grow my Facebook likes to 500
– Grow my Instagram followers to 500
– Grow my Pinterest followers to 1,000
– Start an email list/newsletter
– Get two staff writing gigs
– Earn between £300 – £500 a month online by the end of the year
I really want to build on my social media presence in 2016, as some of the people I follow have huge amounts of followers on their various accounts. I need to come up with a concrete social media strategy that allows me to connect with more people with a similar mindset, and to help people with their financial journey. If you have any of these accounts and don’t follow me on there, I’d be extremely grateful if you could!
I need to start an email list and create a newsletter that goes out to subscribers. All of the bigger business blogs that I read seem to swear by an email list and subscribers this way. I need to research which would be a good one to use to do this – does anyone have any suggestions?
I’d love to be a staff writer for other websites other than my own, so one of my goals this year is to find/apply for staff writing gigs. If I could get two that would be consistent then that would be fantastic by the end of the year. If anyone needs any posts writing, then check out my Hire Me/Advertise page!
Finally, and this links in to my financial goals for the year, I want to be making at least £300 a month online by the end of the year. I hope this will be a mix of blogging revenue/staff writing/Swagbucks/InstaGC/affiliate programs and anything else I can think of! I’ve got an eBook in mind that I’m hoping to start this year, plus perhaps an eCourse if I can manage to educate myself enough so that I know how to launch it successfully. Like I said, lots of plans in the pipeline!
So here’s to 2016 – I have a feeling it’s going to be great! Thank you for sticking around, reading my posts, commenting and generally making me feel like I’m doing the right thing.