One Year Closer To Financial Independence

One Year Closer To Financial Independence

Well, it’s happened. I’ve hit the final year of my 20’s. At the moment, I don’t feel any different to how I did last year (or the year before that, or…) although I’ve been told by reliable (older) sources that the ‘milestone mindset’ will kick in over the next couple of months.

I figured that since all dates for retrospection are arbitrary (I’ll share my thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions with you sometime…), I might as well take a look at the previous year’s financials – especially since (in the UK), the financial year runs from May to April, so my birthday being in March almost fits.

Did I hit my goals?

Some time ago I wrote an article which outlined the basic financials that I want to achieve with each year-of-age. This is what I had down for last year (Age 28):

Student Debt to 10k / 1.5k in Investments / 5k Emergency Fund

How did I do with each of these?

Student Debt (+5k):

Smashed it! Down to about 5k in student debt as of my birthday. A lot of the pay down speed was, however, due to my putting a chunk of my savings towards this. (I know, I know. Bad Sara for paying off Student Loans and not investing instead…) But this puts me well ahead of where I wanted to be with this, which can only be a good thing!

Investments (-470):

Whoops…I have £1,030 in my current investment pot….and now that I’ve written that number and I’m looking at it straight-on, it’s made me feel a bit more guilty about pushing forward with my Student Loans…maybe the mental tide is turning? I’ll make more of an effort this coming year to make sure I get back up to speed with this one.

Emergency Fund (+5k):

Again, I did really well. I should note here, though, that I basically have two Emergency Funds – one in the UK and one here in Spain. I know it might seem like overkill, but it makes moving different currencies much easier (for family birthdays, visits, etc). Also, I already had a bit of an emergency fund in place, so I wasn’t starting this from scratch.

Total Outcome (+9.5k):

So overall, I seem to have outdone my targets by a surprising 9.5k. I need to remind myself that the number won’t be nearly this impressive next year, as I’m starting from this year as a benchmark, and not half-cheating by choosing goals that I was already on my way towards. Still, it feels good to have come out so well in ‘Year 1’. Hopefully that motivation will continue into this year and beyond.

What’s next?

Looking forward, some of the goals I created last year need updating. Originally, ‘Age 29’ said ‘Student Debt down to 5k’. I hit that target this year, so instead of cheating and keeping it there, I’m going to update it to really push myself. With those sorts of tweaks in mind, here are my goals for the next three years:

(This Year) Age 29: Student Debt FINISHED / 3k in Investments / 15k Emergency Fund (Finished)

Age 30: Family Debt to 5k / 5k in Investments /

Age 31: All Debt FINISHED / 10k in Investments

As you can see, I only have 2 items for 30/31 – but I think becoming 100% Debt-Free is going to be such a head-rush that I can be forgiven for not being able to think up the 3rd financial goal. (Who knows, maybe I’ll have some inspiration between now and then!)

Final Thoughts on my 2018 Finance Goals

I’m happy with the progress I’ve made this year. Of course, things could always have gone better in terms of income, but it is what it is. (For the moment, at least. I’m always taking steps to push myself forward to invest in personal development).

The next couple of years are going to be more of a test. Not only am I starting from a real boundary (instead of already having X amount saved and saying I’ll get to Y within the year), but the past year has seen me start a full-time job, my partner and I move out of my mother-in-law’s place, and a host of other bits and pieces. Plus, the enthusiasm of getting debt-free starts to wear off as the grind fully takes its place (although I hope that keeping this blog alive will help me with that!)

Hasta pronto (see you soon),
– Sara

How did you do with your financial/personal goals last year? Let’s celebrate progress in the comments section below.

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