2014 reflection

A reflection on 2014

2014 has been quite a mixed year for us in the end. Some of it has been fantastic – we have travelled to various places this year, including Cyprus, Canada and America, we’ve got a new bathroom and have decorated the kitchen. We have spent lots of time with various family and friends over the year, and have created yet more memories for us to treasure.


At the start of the year, I made some goals for us to achieve by the end of the 2014. I like to make both monthly and yearly goals, to keep us focused and motivated throughout the year. I have to say, as yearly goals go for me, I haven’t done as well as I would have hoped to have done, but I guess you live and learn from the experience.


Our Financial goals were:

– Overpay our mortgage by £4,200

– Put £6,000 into savings

– Have 220 NSDs during the year

– Opening a S&S ISA


Firstly, as the year went along, we changed our priorities in terms of overpaying our mortgage. Instead of overpaying a set amount each month, we decided to change it so that we would overpay the interest added on only, so the number would gradually decrease as the months went on. So, with this in mind, our overpayment total for 2014 is £3,988.81 so we didn’t met our original target with this one. However, I still think it’s a good number and I’m not too worried about the shortfall in this case.


Our savings target was supposed to be relatively easy to reach, so long as we were careful with our miscellaneous spends. However, again, we have fallen short of this target. I think that the unexpected car expenses and then work being done on the house put it just out of reach. In 2014, we managed to save £5,565.20 which again is under our target. I know why we haven’t met this target, but it’s frustrating that we haven’t done as well as we should have.


In what seems to be a theme on this goals, I haven’t met my own NSD target either. 2013’s target was 200 NSDs, which I met with ease, so I upped it for 2014, thinking that it would be relatively straightforward to reach as well. How wrong was I! Those little spends really do add up over the year and it shows when thinking about NSDs in relation to savings. In 2014, I have managed to have 198 NSDs, which is 22 less than our target.


Finally, I have not managed to open a S&S ISA. I came to realise quite early on that I don’t really understand the world of investing, and have been reading and researching for quite a while. I still do not feel entirely comfortable with the idea, and in fact might arrange a meeting with an IFA in the new year to help me with some options. I’m not disappointed with this; I want to make sure I fully understand what I’m doing before I start to risk our money.


My Personal goals were:

– Bake at least one type of loaf a month

– Make more meals from scratch and rely less on ready-made food

– Eat healthier and lose 25lbs 

– Be more kind to myself

– Stop worrying about things I can’t change and focus on the ones I can.


I can honestly say that I have definitely failed on baking one type of loaf a month. I don’t even know if I’ve baked any bread this year. How is that for failing a goal?! I couldn’t have done any less if I tried. I said in my December recap yesterday that I seem to have lost my baking enthusiasm somewhat, which although doesn’t excuse me from this, does perhaps explain why I haven’t met this aim. I can’t remember the last time I made us any bread.


On a (finally) positive note, I have definitely been making more meals from scratch and relying less and less on ready-made food. This just comes with more organisation on my part, plus taking time to think about what I want to cook, and looking for straightforward recipes that don’t take too long to cook when I’ve had a long day at work. I have lost 12lbs this year, which I think is alright. I could have tried a lot harder at times, but I enjoy good food and I don’t think it necessarily helps me! I’m trying not to worry about my weight too much at this stage though; I’m in the healthy range so as long as it stays there in the long term, then that’s alright by me.


The final two personal goals were to make me more accepting of myself and to remember that if I’m trying my best, then that’s enough. I am often quite hard on myself but I have found myself being less self-critical and more understanding of scenarios, and trying not to feel as disappointed in myself when things don’t go the way I had planned. Likewise, I have been trying more and more to not worry about the things I can do nothing about, and focusing more on the things I have the power to change. I think I will probably keep these as aims in 2015, as I feel that have had a positive effect on my general outlook.


So, definitely mixed in terms of goals, but I’m trying to to be disappointed that we didn’t met all of our original goals. You can never know what is going to come across the path during a year, so many variables can change at a moments notice, so I think we’ve handled everything well this year. There have been lots of positives to come of this year, and lots of things to be appreciative of.


Thanks 2014, you’ve been great! I’m looking forward to seeing what 2015 brings.

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