Another year, over! And another year older, though not necessarily wiser 😉 I’ll be honest, 2017 has been quite a tough year on us as a family, for various reasons. In most ways I’ll be glad to wave goodbye and hope that 2018 is better for us. Obviously, the best thing that happened to our family this year was the addition of Frugal Baby #2 just under three weeks ago.

 

We’re now a family of four and I’m definitely outnumbered by boys in our family. Frugal Toddler continues to grow and learn; he’s so entertaining and can babble on for days now. He likes to sing songs and play games. He can make up imaginary stories whilst playing with his fire engine, and he is definitely a cheeky chap with a very energetic character.

 

Blog wise, it’s been a bit hit and miss. I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time to it as I’d like. But, I’ve launched my first e-course and I’ve filmed with the BBC; both achievements I am hugely proud of. I am aiming to take the blog in a slightly different direction in 2018, but I shall talk a bit more about that in another post.

 

At the start of the year, I made some goals for us to achieve by the end of the 2017. 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. However, we are in a very different situation by the end of the year than we were at the start, so I am staying optimistic.

 

My Financial Goals for 2017 were:

– Put £12,000 into savings

– Overpay our mortgage by £300

– Have 220 NSDs throughout the year

– Earn £3,000 in side income

– Receive £300 in dividend payments.

 

For someone who talks about budgeting and saving money for early retirement, I am really struggling to meet my savings target each month/year. This year is no different! I really need to look at increasing our income next year so that I can put more into savings. Otherwise, we just aren’t going to succeed in the long run! In 2017, I have managed to save £8,295.25 which is quite a way off my goal! But, as I continue to invest and build my passive income, that total should increase year on year. I am trying to stay hopeful about this!

 

Being mortgage free is part of our bigger plans, but we’ve put  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 the savings side of things. I have overpaid our mortgage by a very small £353.76 so I have met my target for this. Every little helps, as they say!

 

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 220 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 2017, I have managed 191 so nowhere near. I am now running a Facebook group about having a No Spend Month so hopefully this number will increase overall in 2018.

 

This online income 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 planning on working on this next year. There doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day! In 2017, I have earned online, before taxes, £1,352.76 which I’m pleased about. It’s slightly more than in 2016 so going in the right direction 🙂

 

At the start of the year when I wrote these goals, £300 in dividend income seemed like a lot! After all, this is only my second full year of investing [I started in November 2015] so I wasn’t expecting much. However, I smashed through that goal in August so I very cautiously upped it to £500. Well, I’m slightly amazed to say that in 2017 I have received £654.58 in dividend income. More than double my original target! I’ve got a more detailed post coming up about this next week but I can honestly say I’m so glad I started investing for dividend income.

 

 

My Personal goals for 2017 were:

– Start a capsule wardrobe

– Decorate our bedroom

– Be more kind to myself

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

 

I started the year out with the best of intentions regarding my own wardrobe. There are too many items I never wear, or that don’t fit me properly. But, I haven’t got round to it! I’m slightly annoyed at myself about that to be honest. Once I’ve lost the last of my baby weight, I’m going to do this.

 

We decorated our bedroom earlier in the year. The previous owners had an interesting taste in decorating so we’re slowly making our house more in our taste. We painted the walls grey and then the other colour used is a navy blue, such as our curtains. I’m really pleased with how it looks 🙂

 

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 two children is definitely going to be an interesting challenge, plus a big responsibility. However, with that responsibly comes more worry. Stopping worrying about every little detail has proved hard so I’m still working on that.

 

My business goals for 2017 were:

– Officially launch Frugal Cottage Coaching

– Begin second project (revealed later on…)

– Grow my Twitter followers to 3,000

– Grow my Facebook likes to 500

– Grow my Instagram followers to 800

– Grow my Pinterest followers to 1,000

– Earn between £300 – £500 a month online by the end of the year

 

I finally launched my first e-course in October which is officially the start of Frugal Cottage Coaching 🙂 I wrote a course all about reducing your food spend and I’m proud that I finally found some courage to press publish. There is a real fear about putting myself out there, so to speak. I need to work better at marketing this though! It’s on my to do list for 2018 🙂

 

I can’t actually remember what the second project is so I’ll move on from that…

 

My social media followings are:

  • Twitter – 2,111 – fail
  • Facebook – 760 – pass!
  • Instagram – 624 – fail
  • Pinterest – 587 – fail 

 

Very far from my targets, as you can see! I really struggle with social media; the only one I managed to achieve was the Facebook one and I think that’s mainly down to the fact I ran a giveaway on there recently that proved very popular. I need to do some reading around social media growth, when I find some time.

 

Online income is nowhere near my goal – I wish! I think I need to write a better business plan and actually implement some strategies to try and achieve consistently next year.

 

I feel like 2017 has been quite hit and miss in terms of the goals I set at the beginning of the year. However, the year has ended on a massive positive so I’m not too worried about missing some of these. At least I’m trying! I’m looking forward to (hopefully) finding a better balance in 2018 and using my time more effectively.

 

Finally, thank you for every page view, every comment and every follow this year. I continue to be amazed and humbled by the support I get and the people I get to talk to. Here’s to much more of that in 2018!

 

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