A lot has changed in 2018. In exactly 3 days on the 11th of January, this blog will turn 6 months old. Has it really only been that amount of time? It seems like I’ve been talking to you forever.

Even though I’ve not been posting for a whole year yet, the start of a new one is the perfect time for contemplation and planning. This way, at the end of 2019, we can look back at the progress that has been made and see if our goals and expectations have been met.

Even if you’re not a blogger, reviewing your year and planning the next one is a great way to keep you on the best path through life and ensure that you’re still heading in the right direction. We need all of the motivation we can get on the pathway to financial independence.

Before we get started, there have been some updates to the Savings Spreadsheet to mark the end of the year. There is now a ‘Savings - 2019’ section. So you can track your monthly savings in this sheet now.

You’ll need to update your ‘starting figures’ in the 2019 sheet with December 2018’s figures before you track your first month or some of the formulas won’t work.

You may also notice that there is now an ‘Analytics’ section. Here you’ll see 4 new time series graphs which analyse your 2018 data. It will plot out your year totals and predict your future savings for the next 6 months. This is a handy way to see where you might be in the new year if you continue with your current trajectory.

I’ll be using these graphs to help me illustrate where 2019 might lead, so you can check them out below :]

If you’d like to run these predictions with your own data just head over to the Ninja[note]The Ninja page link is sent to you when you subscribe to SavingNinja. Read the disclaimer at the bottom of Savings Spreadsheet .[/note] page to download spreadsheet v1.14+, you’ll have to click “Data -> Refresh all” at the top of Excel to update the charts once you’re finished with your 2018 data.

How did my finances do?

Since I started tracking my savings, all the way back in August , my total net worth has grown from £47,948 to £65,626, gaining 36.87% in value with an increase of £17,678.

Even though my investments have actually lost £3,474 in the last 6 months, I’m still proud to be £17,678 better off since I started this blog.

My net worth, excluding my home has actually gone up by a whopping 74.73% in the last 6 months. I really only started investing a lot 6 months ago.

My investments have grown from £21,578 to £37,704 almost doubling. The data forecast predicts that I should be at around £70k in July if things keep going in the same direction.

It looks like I may fall slightly shy of hitting £100k excl house net worth in 2019 unless the stock market picks up again. £100k invested is my yard-stick for when you can stop being poor , not how much I earn, so I’m really hoping that I can hit this milestone soon.

It does look like I should be able to smash the £100k barrier for total net worth including the asset which is my home in 2019, which is awesome!

Again this will depend on how the stock market behaves, and if it does misbehave, whether that will be at the end of the year or the start!

My biggest pot change has been my pension pot. It grew by 95.17% going from £12,078 to £23,573!

I’m still nowhere near having to worry about my lifetime allowance yet. The forecast shows that I may have around £65k sitting in my pension at the end of 2019. I’ll start thinking about the LTA then :)

My ISA pot still grew by a nice £4,564. It would have been more if it wasn’t for the festive correction , but it’s still 48.74% growth nontheless.

I am hopeful for filling my ISA pot by more than £12,000 each year going forward. It really depends on how well my emergency fund and side-hustles go. I don’t earn enough in my day job to max my pension and my ISA yet, but maybe that will change in 2020.

I’m going to get my home officially valued at some point in 2019. We’ve put a new kitchen and bathroom in since we bought the place. After fitting new carpets, upstairs flooring and painting, we’ll be fully ‘complete’ with turning the place from a shit-tip into a serviceable home. So I’m hoping that the house value will go up by a few bob. That’s if Brexit doesn’t desemate the housing market! Fun fun :]

How did the blogging go?

In the last 6 months since this blogs inception, I’ve posted 6 Savings Reports , I created the Thought Experiment blog series, and I created a highly functional Savings Spreadsheet and Budget Spreadsheet which I adore using!

All in all, I posted 28 articles. I’ve got a lot better at writing and met so many new people through the comments section and social media. 2018 was the year that I learned that I really do like blogging. I enjoy writing and using words to help me focus and think. I have no doubt that Saving Ninja will keep me on the FIRE path and help me find true happiness. I’m in this for the long haul.

I’ve also learned that blogging is hard. It’s been my number 1 side-hustle for time consumption and my worst side-hustle for income generation. But nothing has paid me dividends in knowledge gained quite like blogging has.

Going forward I may have to create some smaller posts to complement the bigger ones. The post schedule of 1 per week has worked quite nicely for me and most of the time I have them ready for Thursday! But, the stress comes when I haven’t written anything as other things have cropped up and Thursday comes along far too quickly.

I really want to stick to a weekly posting schedule for my readers, but I don’t want to feel bummed out when I’ve left it too late and need to have a late night to get a big post finished.

To help combat this I need a ‘reserve’. Posts that I can keep on the back-burner and release if I’m working on a particularly big guide or my work schedule is rammed.

My reserve will be full of smaller posts such as ‘5 tips for keeping your house clean’ or ‘5 tips to own at interviewing’ and all of that shit. These aren’t the detailed blog posts that I want to be giving you guys each week, but sometimes there’s just not enough time for one. Hopefully, this will change when I draw closer to financial independence, but for now, you’ll have to enjoy some ‘quick bites of info’ posts every now and again :]

A place to call home

I’ve got a bunch of draft posts and guides that I’m working on for 2019. Some that I’m unsure whether I should post as they may not be liked by everyone. I have to decide where I want my place in the blogging community to be; whether I want to try and not offend anyone or just do me.

With regards to site upgrades, my plan is to add some more intuitive widgets and improve and clean up the top menu (it’s waay too overcrowded).

I’d also like to add Google ads to the site. Not too many, don’t worry. I won’t have any invasive pop-ups that you’ll have to dismiss. Just a couple here and there. Saving Ninja runs on quite a beefy server that is pretty expensive, that’s why it’s so fast! It would be nice to fund that. It would also be nice to get some experience setting up and running Google ads.

You’ll also be seeing a lot more graphically sexy pins pop up throughout the site. TuppennysFIREplace was awesome enough to give me some 1on1 training on how to rock on Pinterest so I thought I’d give it a go. It also hits that same graphical itch that Merch by Amazon does, so it should be fun!

Like this one!

What about real life?

Another major part of this blog is seeking happiness. How are things doing for me on that front?

Happiness always seems fleeting for me, I’m forever lusting to be somewhere else, never feeling settled. That’s why I’ve changed jobs and location 4 times over the past 5 years!

I am very happy with the things that I have achieved last year. I enjoy my life and I have a loving partner. I’m very excited to be getting married this year. But, even with all of these things. I long to be somewhere else.

I feel like I’m waiting until I find my life. I’m waiting to head off into the big wide world and find that perfect place that I can call home, the place where I’ll know in my heart that I want to stay forever. This feeling makes me unhappy sometimes. Why are we waiting?

I think before I’m ever truly happy I’ll have to flee the nest which is England and live somewhere far away. Maybe then I can come back without this longing.

But for now, me and Mrs SN have got a wedding to plan! And even better, we’ve got a 3 week road trip to plan for our honeymoon as well. This will also be in one of the places we may like to emmigrate to; California.

The wedding and honeymoon is also the reason why I’ve decided to not try a switch to freelancing in 2019. A big guaranteed bonus will be paid out by my employer in the summer which I’d like to get before I leave, it also didn’t seem very smart to switch to freelancing then take over a month off :] I’ll have to focus on one thing at a time.

After the wedding, it will be straight to figuring out where the hell we wanna move. We’ll be spending 2020 visiting Canada to see if that could be a potential destination. I’m sure this will turn into a series of blog posts; “Where’s the perfect place to live?”

On that note, I’ve also got my Minimalism adventure to get started. Me and my partner are veeerryy nearly finished with Marie Kondo’s book; The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying . We’ll be getting right on to that first category, clothes, as soon as we’ve finished.

Goals TL;DR

  • Reach £100k total net worth
  • Finish renovating the house and get a valuation
  • Marie Kondo the house and simplify
  • Get married!

Nice and simple :] Now let’s get going!