What a year it has been. Several things that one year ago I would not have held possible has happened. One year ago my biggest concern was the Australian forest fires. They just kept going and going. Proof of climate change was delivered! But that was without taking some unexpected events into account.
I know its been said 100 times already. Corona impacted all our lives and even our freedom. In my case it meant moving back from abroad to Belgium. I remember sitting on the trainride back and not realizing I would not return. I did return on a 1 week visa to clear out my apartment. I left my 90m2 2-bedroom apartment in Amsterdam and traded it for my one bedroom apartment in Gent of 55m2 that until then only sporadically visited. It became a home to me, my stuff from Amsterdam and on top of that my living room also suddenly became my office!
On the Finance side it meant saying goodbye to travel reimbursements I got giving a blow to my income.
After moving I also ended up being locked away here, as I was not even allowed to take the car to visit my family. Of course this is nothing new to you all, you were all in the same situation, and I fully understand why it was needed.
I would be lying if it all had negative sides. In fact I believe that thanks to this I had a chance to self reflect, sport move and improve my physical health.
I had to come back from living abroad to Belgium. I had to learn new hobby’s and find my way again, but generally I enjoyed that. I had a great summer here spending most of my free time at and on the sea. Even winter I enjoyed cycling trough forests, hills and winter landscapes.
But I can’t go around the negative side either. My goals were severely affected. Investments, saving rate, buying a house and even my sportive goals.
When looking at my financial goals then I can say I was not successful, at he same time I would not say that I failed either. The two law suit in peer to peer investments that ties me up will probably take a few years to round up. The rise in my ETF portfolio could not make up for this loss, so financially I must say it was not a good year.
But it was not that bad either. My losses are all in all limited, there is still a good chance to recover some funds by law suits, and the experience I had this year was priceless. I feel more confident then ever about my investments in the stock market.
Goals should be measurable so that was what I tried to do for the first time. I would say this was okay for a first attempt, but when making my goals I should pay more attention to what I can control more. For example instead of 5% better saving rate, a 5% cut on expenses might have been better.
Financial goals for 2020
In the end I achieved 2 goals fully, 1 half, and 2 I missed completely.
1. – 30.000 EUR invested in my ETF Portfolio
In the end this 30.000 became 18.000 which is still a lot. Actually a chunk of this came from transfers from my peer to peer portfolio to this. All in all I am satisfied with this goal as it probably was set a bit to high
2. – Passive income of 350 EUR per month
Initially I hoped to get some passive income from peer to peer investments. If not there I might have been able to buy a second home, and rent out my first apartment. Last but not least I could have rented out my couch during the Ghent City Festival, 10 days a year where touristic rental prices skyrocket.
All of this failed, and I have serious doubts I would set such a goal again, without having at least some passive income to begin with. At this point I even think passive income is not useful anyway. In all of the above it comes with extra hassle and is not fully passive.
3. – 5% higher saving rate then 2019
A very optimistic goal, and pre-corona I really believed I could make it, even without proper budgeting. In the end my saving rate ended 3% lower, but I did learn a lot about spending.
4. Buy off university years
It costed me 6000 EUR from my savings but I did accomplish this goal. And in 2021 I will be able to substract 3000 EUR of my taxes from this. Additionally this is really a needed goal to have financial freedom at an earlier age.
Remember if you didn’t do this yet you can still do this but not up to any age. The first 10 years you started working this will cost you the same as I paid. After that it will cost more every year.
5. – 1000 views / month on the blog
Not only did I managed to successfully complete this goal, I actually managed to get over a 1000 readers 9/12 months! It seemed like an impossible number when I started this blog.
This is all thanks to you guys! I am so grateful to the people who come here and support me just by reading this blog! I hope you will stay with me on our Roadtrip to Financial Independence!
I also had a few sportive goals set. It included participating at some mountainbike tours in the Ardennes. All of these got canceled however so I could only complete 2/5 goals.
I was able to complete “Mountainbike 60km” and “Run for 10km”.
In sportive terms 2020 was a record year for me with almost 200 sportive hours logged on Strava. Mostly this was cycling but it also included running, spinning, gym, sailing and hiking. I do hope I can break this record in 2021! I plan to set some high goals for myself for 2021.
Setting 21(!) goals for 2021
I’m not going to make it easy for myself. With 20 goals for 2021 I am preparing to put new boundaries and test myself more then ever in the upcoming year!
As you know I love tracking, so I will be tracking these goals at my main goals page and I will update it regularly which I will announce in my portfolio blog.
To measure is to know. 2020 was my first attempt to set some goals, I think all in all I am quite happy with how I performed given the circumstances.
How was your year? What are your top 3 goals for 2021? Let me know in the comments bellow!
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