End of year wrap up

We’re racing towards the end of 2018. So I thought I would sit down and do an end of year look into our finances. I’ve never done that before. Normally, I stick to doing monthly financial reports. But since I have been serious this year and started to record my progress in blog form I thought I would take a yearly look.

I’ve nearly been blogging for a year now. This will be my 70th post. I admit, my posts have been of varying quality and length. I’m not a natural writer, but I’m really into personal finance and early retirement. I’m betting on my enthusiasm for the subject to overcome my lack of writing skills.

So let’s look back at some of the best articles for this year;

My post about 9 money rules was copied, word for word, by another blogger- so that was a first. I preceded to attempt to get them to remove it. Their site was shut down, as they had copied a number of other personal finance blogger articles- for instance, they had copied work from Retire Before Dad, The Simple Dollar, and She Blogs.

It was great the site was taken down. However, they retaliated and got my Facebook and Pinterest accounts taken down. I have yet been able to convince both networks that I am legit and not spamming. So I have given up on them. So if you want to follow me, check me out on twitter.

I’ll be doing another we paid $x in debt next year after checking out how much we managed to pay down. Currently, we have paid around $46k onto the mortgage- which is another great effort for 2018.

Back to the numbers

I’ve been tracking my expenses, income, and network for seven years now. It’s been spreadsheets for the majority of that time- but midway through 2018 I started using pocketsmith.com

Pocketsmith has made it easy. All my bank feeds are automatically linked- and once you have set up sorting rules, the whole process is automated.

Expenses

So lets have a look at how things have changed from 2017, in percent terms.

  • Groceries +35%
  • Home expenses +128%
  • Petrol +30%
  • Car maintenance -11%
  • Consumables -29%
  • Entertainment -19%
  • Holiday -100%
  • Insurance +24%
  • Power bill -12%
  • Local Taxes +14%
  • Eating out +9%

Overall, it looks kind of bad. A lot of categories have gone up. Some have been due to external factors- like petrol prices rises, insurance and local tax increases. But others are our own doing. Like the 128% increase in home expenses- We installed some skylights to get some more light into our house. We didn’t have to do that- but the natural light keeps us happy.

Investing

My overall savings year to year change was a massive +257% compared to 2017. That is one heck of an achievement in my eyes. The size of my portfolio has increase by 68% this year.  The overall returns on my portfolio have to take a substantial hit in the last few months. Some performing better than others, but overall it’s not been good.

Net worth

For 2018- our net worth has shot up by 16% from 2017. That’s not bad I think. The year on year change for 2017 was 7%– but we did buy a house and the related expenses there made it low. For 2016 the change was 26%. So 2018 was not as good at 2016- but still a good result.

In terms of our income- its stayed about the same from 2017.

So that is it for my 2018 wrap up.  I’ll be off for the summer, so you may not get another blog post from me. But then again. You should also take a much needed break, spend time with family and friends, have a great time. And don’t go overboard on Christmas presents shopping!

Remember- small incremental steps can lead to great strides. 2018 has just been one step in your journey. And 2019 will be another- so make it count!


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