A very quick round up today to put my December figures out there and have a look at how I got on with the goals I set myself towards the end of the year.
As always last month’s figures are in brackets for comparison. I break down my figures to both include and exclude my house equity. The latter figure is to show how I’m doing in my quest to reach mortgage neutrality.
Mortgage £81,415.99 (£82,063.70)
Cash £15,248.10 (£15,568.45)
Money in share save £14,804 (£14,304)
AVC’s £5,055.46 (£4,750.46)
Shares £36,932.81 (£35,562.18)
House £250,000 (£250,000)
Total Assets £322,040.37 (£320,185.09)
Net Worth including house equity
£322,040.37 – £81,415.99 = £240,624.38 (£238,121.39)
Net Worth excluding house equity
£72,040.37 – £81,415.99 = -£9,375.62 (-£11,878.61)
That was a pretty good month for me. Cash is down a little bit, but considering I paid the balance on my Berlin trip and booked a June break to Fort William for myself and the folks for a trip on the Jacobite steam train over the Glenfinnan viaduct made famous in the Harry Potter films, I think I’ve done not too badly. My December credit card bill is in now and that’s higher than I’d like it to be, but that’s Christmas for you. It’ll get cleared anyway, so no doubt the cash will be even lower in January, so time for a wee bit of belt tightening.
All the other categories are doing pretty well. As always the one that is pleasing me the most is the net worth excluding the house equity. Barring any disasters I should reach mortgage neutrality this year. I’ve been there before, but to get back there only three years after buying a bigger house and effectively starting again with my mortgage is especially pleasing. The good thing is that although I am undoubtedly spending more on housing than I need to, I have a lovely house to live in just now whilst my boys are still at home. Once the kids are out in the world and living independently I’ve got something there to sell to free up some cash to add to the FIRE coffers.
One of my share saves has now matured, so I’m just keeping an eye on the share price to offload that. I’m going to cash them in and take the profit, which should be a good few thousand hopefully, and invest the whole lot in index trackers. I opened up a Vanguard ISA last year, which currently has just over £650 in it, which was set up using the final dividend payment I received last year on my work shares. I’m looking forward to being able to put a good chunk in there and start the all important diversification of my investments, which is what 2020 is going to be all about.
Now let’s have a look back at how I did on my end of year goals.
- Go to running club twice a week. Continue to work hard and challenge myself so that I start to see improvements. It’s difficult to quantify what “work hard” means, but I’ll know if I’ve been taking it easy or not. PASS I missed a few sessions due to illness, but I went along to all the ones that I was able to. I have really been pushing myself and there have definitely been some encouraging signs of improvement. I was getting a few comments about how I was running strongly, and I was keeping up with people that I normally only see in the distance, so I’m taking that as a good sign.
- Watch at least one film every week with at least one of the kids. PASS I didn’t actually track this, but we definitely watched quite a few films, so I’m going to say that I did this.
- Meet up with my parents in Edinburgh for the Christmas markets and generally a bit of a catch up. PASS We had a lovely day out at the markets and a delicious lunch. Great to get together and spend some time enjoying the Christmas atmosphere in Edinburgh.
- Keep my Duolingo streak going and get section 3 of the Spanish tree finished. PASS I just checked my streak, and I’m currently on 228 days. I finished section 3 on Christmas day.
- Get caught up on my volunteering debt with parkrun. PASS I’ve volunteered 6 times now, and did my 69th parkrun on Christmas day. I’m subsequently up to 72 parkruns, so I’ll need to volunteer again to keep my 1 in 10 quota up, but it feels good to have repaid my volunteering “debt”
- Do one new parkrun. PASS I got Polkemmet done in November, which I really enjoyed. I’m getting ever closer to tourist status, with seventeen completed now, and just another three to go for this particular challenge.
I’d set myself some nice fun goals for the end of 2019, and it was nice to achieve them. I’ve been working really hard at my running, and am starting to reap the rewards from that. I was spending a lot of time working on my Spanish, not just on Duolingo but listening to podcasts and watching TV in Spanish with Spanish subtitles on (Big Bang Theory in Spanish without Spanish subtitles was a step too far for me, I just about had a nervous breakdown trying to keep up with the breakneck speed!)
So overall I think that’s been a pretty solid finish to the year. The Net Worth figures are looking fairly promising, going in the right direction anyway. Now that we’re in 2020 it’s probably time to sit down and assess my finances again. I definitely need to be paying more into my AVC fund, so I need to work out how I can afford to do that. Some rejigging may be required.
I had a nice balance of a fun time at the end of the year enjoying the festivities, but also running and studying reasonably hard. I’ve eaten too much, but I’ve kept running right through the holidays (not that I had many actual days off work, but you know, it’s still holiday time) including a parkrun on Christmas day and two parkruns on New Year’s Day. I even had the chance to try out my new trail shoes on a forest run, so all is good with the world. Hope you all had a great time over the holidays and are raring to go now that we’re in 2020.