It’s amazing to think we’re getting towards the end of 2018 already. That means it has been well over a year since I discovered the financial independence community and started blogging about our journey.
Financial goals were set for 2018. Some we met and some we failed spectacularly. Here’s the Frugasaurus year in review, and my new, hairy goals for 2019. Most of which are suspiciously similar to this year’s goals.
I’ve written about the special rules in Norway which incentivize young people to save for their mortgage. You can have one mortgage savings account (BSU) where you get a very favorable interest (my bank provides 3.2% currently). You even get 20% tax back on your savings up to a maximum of 25k NOK. The only caveat is that you have to use this money to pay of your house or to pay down a mortgage.
I have never had much money to throw around before. So my goal for 2018 was to do twice that and save 50k NOK. The hairy goal was to have 150k total in my account by the end of the year.
Now, I never would have reached that last goal if not for the incredibly generous wedding gifts we received this summer. We asked for funds to help buy a house – and boy did our guests deliver!
BSU goal – check!
I also aimed to have 50k NOK in a savings account by the end of the year. This represents almost half a year of expenses, and we considered it a healthy goal to stat with.
I tracked my progress and squirreled away money here and there. I was well on my way with 45k NOK saved up when… we bought a friggin house and that entire emergency fund plus most of my index fund investments went to paying closing costs of 70k NOK.
Still, we never would have been able to buy the house or cover the closing costs if not for our new and very healthy savings rate. You win some, you lose some.But as far as the goal of having 50k NOK in a savings account by the end of the year went?
Emergency fund goal – fail!
We had another hairy goal of striving for a 50% savings rate in 2018. We are both used to the poor college student lifestyle, so my extra influx of money from my current job was no issue socking away in BSU accounts, savings accounts and investments.
Just as with the emergency goal, we were well on our way of hitting the goal when we went ahead and bought a house. Aforementioned closing costs sent our savings rate from a healthy 49.7% to a more average 24%. I am not such a mad hustler that I can rectify that in the next week or two before 2019 rolls around.
Savings rate – fail!
And that is more or less where we are for the major goals of 2018.
Still – we bought a house. Which is not something we would have been able to do this year by far if we had not discovered the personal finance community.
So all in all – I would say 2018 has been a win!
Because so many of the primary goals for 2018 were a failure I will simply carry them over to 2019.
50k NOK to the BSU is still on. We managed to keep the accounts because we did not buy at our maximum. Filling those accounts will remain high priority every year until we reach the age limit at 34. If we don’t need the money, we can still let interest accrue on them, but cannot save any more. So you can see why filling them up is a priority.
50k NOK in an emergency fund is also a priority, along with 50% savings rate. However, I am already dubious about our ability to reach said goals because there are some things on the house which need attention and maintenance.
New for 2019 is that I intend to take all sidehustle proceeds and save in a separate bank. I have seen again and again that I do not really treat my emergency fund as an emergency, but will draw from the account every time we need money. I am hoping that by saving in a different account it will be easier to keep it separate from the rest of our finances.
I also hope to double, if not triple my modest sidehustle income by the end of 2019. I am bad at being ambitious when it comes to goals with lots of uncertainty. Perhaps I should say I aim to 10x my sidehustle income instead. it is averaging between 250-450 NOK ($30-50) per month, so a dramatic increase is not impossible. What do you think? Should I try to be more ambitious, at the risk of failing spectacularly?
Last but not least, I fully intend to keep chipping away at our debts. With my modestly increased payments, I should get my student loan under 200k NOK by the end of 2019. Neither of us are pursuing our debts aggressively, because interest is 2% on the student loan and 2.2% on the mortgage. Filling the BSU, building a healthy emergency fund and making our home suitable for hosting airbnb guests all come before getting aggressive with our current debts.
Those are the primary financial goals we have set ourselves for 2019. There are also goals about adventuring with friends, growing some food in the garden and celebrating our very first wedding anniversary. All in all, 2019 has all the makings of being a great year.
What about you? What are your big money goals for 2019? Do you prefer realistic goals or leaving something to strive for?
Onwards to 2019!