Hello 2018! And a happy new year to you all. I always like the start of a new year; full of 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 are starting the new year as a family of four and adapting to what that means. I’m slightly apprehensive about Mr FC going back to work tomorrow and leaving me to it!
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. I also have some business goals, as I want to take this blog in a [slightly] different direction.
My Financial Goals for 2018 are:
– Put £10,000 into savings
– Overpay our mortgage by £1,000
– Have 200 NSDs throughout the year
– Earn £3,000 in side income
– Receive £800 in dividend payments.
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 I would be very pleased if I manage this by the end of the year. This is lower than previous years as I’m on maternity leave for the first six months. That means greatly reduced income! If I manage this target by the end of the year we’ll have done well.
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. However, as interest rates have risen slightly, I do think we should look at overpaying a bit more than last year. £1,000 equates to £84 a month which is small but still means our mortgage is going down in the right direction. This should be more than doable.
As I have somehow managed to lose the ability to gain multiple NSDs during the week, I have reduced my 2018 target. I want to meet this, desperately. I am such a fan of No Spend Days to make you budget properly, so I’m slightly frustrated at myself for not managing them lately. Watch this space, I will get my groove back! I’m running a No Spend Month challenge over on Facebook so I’m hoping that will help me.
Side income is something that has been hit and miss but something I definitely want to build on. £3,000 over the year equates to £250 a month 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 and helpful to our plans. I need to work on consistency too,
Finally, something that I am so excited about, is building my dividend income. 2018 will be my third full year of investing and I’m looking forward to seeing how much I receive throughout the year. If I achieve this, I will be amazed 🙂
My Personal goals for 2018 are:
– Start a capsule wardrobe
– Set up a bullet journal + use it
– Get back to my pre-pregnancy weight
– Be more kind to myself
– Stop worrying about things I can’t change and focus on the ones I can.
I put starting a capsule wardrobe on my 2017 goals and then promptly forgot about it and didn’t get round to it. I want to do this in 2018; I have so many clothes, most of which I don’t actually wear. I want to get rid of approximately 80% of my wardrobe and have a small selection of clothes to choose from.
I’ve got everything I need to set up a bullet journal, but haven’t actually got round to setting it up – the joys of a newborn 😉 I am hoping to asap as I think it’ll really help to focus and get things done. Especially blog related things! I like writing lists so I suppose this is just an extension of that.
New year, new start – I want to start losing the rest of my pregnancy weight. I was lucky in the sense I didn’t gain that much in this second pregnancy. However, I want to lose it plus a little more. I’m not going to do anything drastic; I need to have enough energy for the day and cutting too many things out quickly will just make me grumpy 😉 but, if by the end of the year, I’m back to what I started out weighing, I’ll be happy.
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 business goals for 2018 are:
– do a rebrand shift of The Frugal Cottage
– Aim for 40k – 50k page views a month
– Grow my Twitter followers to 4,000
– Grow my Facebook likes to 1,000
– Grow my Instagram followers to 1,500
– Grow my Pinterest followers to 1,000
– sort out email subscriber
– start a newsletter
I mentioned earlier about wanting to take The Frugal Cottage in a slightly different direction. Eventually, I want to do an overhaul of the site and simplify things around here. I want to get a new design plus shift the focus on just personal finance to everything encompassing frugal living on a budget. I am excited about this but it’ll be a slow process I think. Again, it’s just time permitting more than anything!
Along with this, I want to grow my page views into something more substantial. They have consistently been rising throughout 2017 so this is just a continuation of this trend. With good content and sharing, I am confident I can reach this.
I really want to build on my social media presence in 2018, 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 think I’m going to focus on Instagram and Pinterest this year, as my main focus. Facebook is really slow for me, and Twitter seems to be growing slowly but surely.
Finally, I want to sort out a better email system and start a newsletter. I’m not sure how to go about this, so it’ll need some research. I do have an opt in at the top of the page to get onto my mailing list, so I’ve made a good start.
Anyway, here’s to 2018 – 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. I am so grateful for each and every one of my lovely readers. I’m excited to see what the following twelve month brings!
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