I don’t normally do new years resolutions or that type of thing but there is a Reddit subgroup I’m on and people list their FIRE Goals at the start of each year. A lot of what was on there gave me some great ideas and I started to realise that a list of FIRE goals at the start of each year could be really useful, so here it goes for 2023.
- Work out my detailed expenditure and come up with an easy way to track it
- Sort my financial plan out and track it annually
- Develop a side hustle
- Reduce alcohol assumption
- Start running 4x per week
- Lose a little weight (14 pounds/6kg)
- Some dedicated time every weekend where MAFF & I do something together
- Go on holiday for at least 1 week
Work out my detailed expenditure and come up with an easy way to track it
When I started Getting to grips with my outgoings the first thing I obviously needed to do is find out at a fairly granular detail what we spend and on what. This took me ages due to multiple bank accounts, the bank I used not having decent categorisation tools etc. So I’m working on what I think will be a very slick way of doing this.
Sort my financial plan out and track it annually
I have a plan of sorts, I know how much money we have and where etc. I know what our pensions are worth and when we can access them etc. But, I don’t keep and annual historical view of this, so I can’t easily see how much our savings are going up each year. Nor have I done any form of robust Safe Withdrawal Rate planning/forecasting.
I want to get all this sorted so I have a forecasted plan for the next 30 years, how much we should be worth at each point, what our SWR scenarios look like etc.
So one giant spreadsheet coming up. Luckily I’ve recently come across the SWR Toolbox from https://earlyretirementnow.com/safe-withdrawal-rate-series/ from Karsten Jeske who is a FIRE geek (also happens to be a professor of Economics, a CFA and a maths wiz, so I suspect his modelling might be a bit more robust than if I had built my own tool). Basically the SWR Toolbox is one giant spreadsheet that you put your numbers into and it comes up with a range of SWRs and their chance of success or failure over your stated retirement period.
Develop a side hustle
I would like ideally to build a small passive(ish) income stream that is not investment related. This will also keep my brain a bit more active in RE. I have already been working on something for a while so I’m going to focus in on that and give it a go.
One aspect really got me thinking from the Reddit FIRE goals I saw people posting. I tend to only think of financial goals, whereas people were pointing out that health, lifestyle and general mental wellbeing and happiness are arguably more important.
So I’ve come of with the following which are lifestyle/wellbeing and happiness goals:
Reduce alcohol assumption, Start running 4x per week & Lose a little weight
I have lumped all of these under one category which is basically get fitter/healthier. I find when I’m not working I tend to be a couch potato. This is ok when it’s every Sunday but won’t be ok if it’s every day. I also love running (I used to run regularly until about 5 years ago), I find that it not only keeps me fit, keeps the weight off etc but is great for my mind.
To give me some added incentive to stick to these I have just started a challenge with a friend that is based on something called ’75 Hard’. We’ve modified the rules to be less, well, woo woo wanky, but basically means I won’t be drinking alcohol for 75 days and I’ll be exercising twice a day. That should help establish some better long-term habits.
Dedicated time with MAFF
I’ve realised that although I spend a lot of time with MAFF (we live together after all) we rarely just spend quality time together doing something we both enjoy. Walks on the beach, hill walking, going out for a coffee together, that sort of thing.
So I’m going to make a conscious effort to do something with MAFF every weekend. Summer is coming up, we live in a beautiful city (Edinburgh, UK) with beautiful beaches etc. so it shouldn’t be that hard.
Go on holiday for at least 1 week
OK, I know, everyone is going to be thinking just 1 week. Truth is I’ve not been on holiday for a number of years (MAFF has gone with friends) because I don’t like them or rather I don’t like them until I’m there.
I hate flying (not scared, just hate the whole end to end experience), I hate packing, I hate leaving the dogs etc. etc. So I dread it for weeks before I go on holiday. Thing is, once I’m there I usually love it.
We do have a practical limitation on holidays as well at the moment which is our older dog who is 15 is not in great shape. We definitely couldn’t leave him in a kennels and friends would struggle with him, so it’s definitely staycationing for the time being. Given we live in Scotland this isn’t an issue, it has some of the best scenery etc. in the world and MAFF & I love the West Coast of Scotland (just not the weather).
Wrapping up my FIRE Goals for 2023
OK, so that’s everything set out and in public. So come back in Jan 2024 and I’ll tell you how it went.