Another year over, another year older. Time for a reflection on 2016. We knew that 2016 would be a year of change, starting the year with a 4 month old baby. And we have see huge changes! Just with him, he can now walk, chatter to himself and he’s on the verge of being able to talk. We have had to grow as parents and learn along the way. We celebrated his first birthday along with family and friends. I celebrated my thirtieth birthday.
In terms of blog stuff, I have been lucky in that respect too. I have filmed an advert for an energy company, I have been on various BBC radio shows. I went to an awards show in September and won! I have met lots of wonderful people along the way. 2016 has been good!
At the start of the year, I made some goals for us to achieve by the end of the 2016. 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. I suppose some of them were very much stretch goals, but even so, slightly disappointed in myself when reading this back.
My Financial Goals for 2016 were:
– Put £10,000 into savings
– Overpay our mortgage by £600
– Have 230 NSDs throughout the year
– Earn £3,000 in side income.
Now, for the first half of the year, I was still on maternity leave on maternity pay. This meant that savings goal was very much a stretch aim. My savings amount each month for the first half were low, and this has showed in the end result. As I continue towards my early retirement dream, I need to ensure that my savings amount each month is much higher. In 2016, I have managed to save £6,168.91 which is quite far from my goal. But, I have made a proper start with my investing and this will only grow in 2017, so I am trying not to be too disheartened by this.
Halfway through last year I changed how we viewed our mortgage overpayments; being mortgage free is part of our bigger plans, but we’ve put the bigger overpayments on hold for the time being, whilst we focus on building our savings. So, the overpayment target was small so we could focus more on growing our savings. That being said, I am not disappointed not to have met this aim. I have overpaid our mortgage by a very small £397.47. If we look at this a different way, this pays our mortgage interest for two months.
I know I go on about how NSDs are really key to us keeping to our budget, but I really like the idea and find them really helpful in focusing on not spending money. I thought 230 NSDs might be tricky to meet and I was right. I am struggling more and more to get NSDs during the week. I seem to have fallen off the NSD wagon! In 2016, I have managed 184 so nowhere near. Ouch. I need to get back into this in 2017.
This last goal was very optimistic, as I didn’t have any concrete plan as to how I was going to earn money online at the start of the year. It is still hit and miss, and I am working on various options at the moment to try and increase this. I will talk more about this in my 2017 goals post, however. In 2016, I have earned online, before taxes, £1,263.39 which I’m pleased about. I hit the four figure mark, after all!
My Personal goals for 2016 were:
– 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.
The #thirtybefore30 challenge and the exercise one have fallen by the wayside this year. I am someone who has to really be in the right mindset to lose weight and I haven’t been there this year. Lack of sleep probably haven’t helped mattered; Frugal Baby isn’t the best sleeper and I lose all motivation when I’m tired. I have, however, logged onto My Fitness Pal every day! Not that it’s helped me really.
I am slowly decluttering items, from both our house and my wardrobe. I am seriously contemplating trying the capsule wardrobe idea out and having a mammoth clear out of clothes. I have a couple of posts planned about this in the new year, related to the financial aspects of the idea.
Having only just finished getting the hall and stairway decorated, we have not gone anywhere near our bedroom! I think we will leave it for a couple of months at least before we even contemplate getting anything else done. It’s just such a hassle! But, I must admit, our house looks so much better for getting it done. This will probably be a goal for next year.
The last two personal aims are something I’m continuously working on and I believe that I have got better at this during the year. Being responsibly for a baby is definitely a life changing scenario and one which I am loving. It has been the best decision ever in my life to have a child, However, with that responsibly comes more worry. Stopping worrying about every little detail has proved hard so I’m still working on that.
My blogging goals for 2016 were:
– 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 haven’t posted three times a week consistently, for a while now. I feel that if I force myself to write a post for the sake of posting, my writing is not as good. Plus, if I’m just writing something for the sake of it, the topic isn’t as thought through. I’m leaning more towards posting slightly less but more lengthy, in detailed posts, rather than shorter, more regular posting.
My social media followings are:
- Twitter – 1,512
- Facebook – 277
- Instagram – 261
- Pinterest – 371
Very far from my targets, as you can see! I really struggle with social media; as an anonymous blogger I cannot share as much as others seem to and I struggle to think of what to post. I really want to focus on growing my social media following next year, so need to do some reading around the subject.
I have started an email list, though it’s in the very early stages. I have not got any staff writing gigs, nor am I earning between £300-£500 a month! So, not faired particularly well with my blogging goals, I’ll be honest. More pondering on those in the 2017 goals post.
So, a bit of a mix in terms of hitting our goals, but I’m pleased with how this year has turned out. It really has been an amazing journey and sometimes finances just had to take a back seat.
I’m looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings ?
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