It has been a few months since I spoke about my financial goals for 2017. There were a number of things I wanted to accomplish, including a double digit increase in net worth. Tracking progress is key to accomplishment of these goals and I wanted to do a post on how I’ve been getting along since.
I have listed the goals I had sought to achieve by the end of the year in the table below and updated the progress on the same in the adjacent columns. The results are little mixed as you will see, but I’m glad that some progress has been made, although at a slightly slower pace than I would have hoped.
So, here goes…
|Goals for 2017||Status update||% Complete||On track/Off track|
|Add more to Emergency Fund size||The target fund size I had laid out for myself was SGD 20,000. As as date, the fund stands at SGD 11,111. That is modest progress.||56%||I am reasonably happy with this effort, though I would have liked to have been in the 65% completion range. We had a couple of furniture replacements over the last quarter and this impeded further growth of emergency fund.|
|Reduce fixed costs by 10%||There has not been any progress on this front, unfortunately. In fact, fixed costs have increased by c.3% in FY17 thus far to SGD 5,200 per month.||–||There was some success in FY17 on the fixed costs front as there was a secular decline in telephone costs (data usage) and savings on monthly home loan installments, but this was negated by increased insurance costs and education costs (children’s activities). Well, this will need much more effort in FY18!|
|Increase passive income by 15% y-0-y||Increasing passive income is key to the financial independence journey. Forecasting passive income for FY17 and comparing with FY16, I reckon my passive income will mostly grow by c.9%. That is below the ambitious target I set.||60%||Sadly it looks like this is as far as I will be able to go this year on the passive income front. The growth this year came from increased rental income, marginal increase in interest income on deposits and included a small windfall gain from an inheritance.|
|Double-digit growth in Total Net Worth (TNW)||The goal was to increase Total Net Worth by at least 10%. Happy to report success on this goal as at date. TNW has grown by c.14% so far y-o-y.||100%||While this looks like an achievement, one must remember that this is only as at date and I still need to close out the year strongly to ensure that there is no TNW erosion. The increase this year so far is on account of marginal increase in property values, increase in market value of legacy investments, effect of incremental savings and increase in long term investments.|
|Prepay home loan to the extent possible||I have mentioned before that partial repayment of home debt is an attractive goal to have. It frees up monthly cash flow by lowering monthly installments and this has a compounding effect on savings and on future interest payments. I have, thus far, prepaid SGD 10,000 towards the home loan this year.||100%||While I would like to try and prepay another tranche of SGD 10,000 this year, this looks particularly challenging as of now and I doubt this will be possible during the remainder of the year. Nonetheless, this goal has been met and I look forward to consistency on this front in the coming years as well. Savings on the monthly installment as a result of this early capital repayment was c.SGD 40 per month or c.SGD 480 per annum.|
|Give SGD 500 away to charity||Some progress has been made on this front. I have made a modest donation of SGD 150 to the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) bursaries, from where the funds will be used to support the education of students from financially weaker sections of society.||30%||I should have donated 50% of the total by mid year. So I will classify this as off track. I have identified the beneficiary of the balance allocation. I plan to donate this towards the ‘Adopt a boy’ Scheme at the St. Xaviers’ College, Kolkata. This would cover tuition and board for 1 economically backward student for 1 year.|
So how have you done on your 2017 goals?
It is important to set goals for yourself, especially if your larger aim is quantifiable. It is even more important to track them periodically to ensure you remain on track. Tracking goals helps you stay focused, gives you data to see what you are doing right and what needs more attention, and helps you keep yourself motivated. From the above you will see that there have been some successes and some abject failures, some reds and some greens. Time to focus on the reds and close out 2017 as best possible.
All the best to you as well.