Being financially free; for some it might be fully funded by passive income, for others its more a way of working part-time and being supplemented by (i.e.) dividend income. For me personally its all about choice, begin free for me means having a choice. To either keep working, maybe work part-time or maybe pursue more volunteering work.
Then why 10 years?
If you believe the math, you will be able to reache FIRE within a few short years where you save and invest 80% of your income. While I believe this to be true (providing you are early in your career, have no wife/kids/mortgage, make a generous amount of money and have at least a year to read up on financials, stocks and dividends) it simply isn’t realistic in my personal situation.
10 years is a fixed amount of time in which reall progress can be measured whilst having a real life including a family with two kids. As I’m updating this page (30/12/2020) I realize that I already started my fourth year, so the halfway mark is already in my sights!
I came to the conclusion that I actually never published my goals for this year! Thats not the say that I didn;t have any but I totally forgot :). The only one mentioned is my dividend goal, but there were more:
- Receive €1500,- in dividend:
- Increase forward income to €1500:
- Side-hustle €500:
- Save €7500 towards downpayment of our mortgage:
- Write a 30 blogposts:
- Spend less time with my phone (30 min/day)
- Spend more time with my family:
- Read 6 self-improvement books:
- Exercise 2-3 times a week:
- Start with meditation:
- Receive €650,- in dividends: Nailed it! With a total of €1007,29 I can really say I smashed this one. I need to to set more ambitious goals!
- Increase dividend portfolio to €28.500: I almost crossed the €40k mark at the end of 2019. I’ll probably remove such a goal for 2020 as total worth is not what is most important.
- Increase forward income to €1000: My current forward income stands at €1230 so made tremendous progress in this department (this is in euros en post-tax). I’ll be sure to make a buy report of my last quarter since I still made my monthly buys. The snow ball is running faster since I’ll average an additional €100 in dividens a month to invest back onto my portfolio.
- Write a healthy amout of 40 blogposts: Thats a definite no, I need to up my game providing my wok-life balance allows it..
- Spend less time with my phone: I defintely spent less on my phone but I did not hold my self to the 30 minute limit. I need to do better in 2020.
- Spend more time with my family: Score! This year was a lot better than the year before even with two kids. We spent lots of days together and I make it a priority above all else (especially work!).
- Read 12 self-improvement books: I’ve read a lot again this year, next year I’ll keep track more on which books so I can share them with you.
- Exercise 2-3 times a week: I’ll give myself a pass for this one. I think I kept this up the majority of the year except when I was sick a few times. So that’s a pass 🙂
- Receive €200,- in dividends: My total endscore is no less then €345,25. Its safe to say that I really crushed this one 🙂 Succes!
- Increase dividend portfolio to €10.000: After a constructive discussion with my wife we decided to up my monthly contribution to €500. We ended the year including capital gains around €16.500,- Succes!
- Increase forward income to $450: With my increased capital deployment (including extra birthday buys, tax recoup buys, etc) I was able to make huge progress in this department. Currently my forward income sits at €592,- (post tax and in EUROS!) Succes!
- Write a blog post once a week: I posted a total of 31 messages, especially since my second child was born, free time dropped significantly. Fail!
- Spend less time with my phone: I started of the year great with a very nice focus, gradually during the year I started slipping back into old habits. So’m giving myself a fail for this one. Fail!
- Spend more time with my family: Even though I failed the previous goal I really focused more on family time this year. Multiple visits to our families out house and family-in-law. Succes!
- Read 12 self-improvement books: I really did my best on this one, I read the following books (if you’re interested in one, drop me a mail and I’ll gladly give you my view on it.
- Simon Sinek – Start with Why
- Simon Sinek – Leaders eat last
- Seth Godin – Tribes
- L. David Marquet – Turn the ship around
- The Idea-Driven Organization
- I’m pretty sure I read a few others but can’t remember them at this time.
- Exercise 2-3 times a week: All the way up to the birth of my second daughter everything went fine. After that…not so much. Still all things considered it still a pass. Succes!
- Investigate and start with investing (passed): After extensive researching the types of investiging strategies and making a complete switch from ETF to dividend growth investing I purchased my first (dutch & US) stocks in februari of 2017.
- Make monthly deposits to be able to purchase stock (passed): After discussing my plans with my wife we decided to start out with €250,- monthly deposits. Fortunatelly I have been able to make larger contributions in a few months to accelerate my portfolio.
- Find ways to save on gas usage (passed I guess?): There are two major gas spenders in our household. The first being me and my long showers. For Christmans my wife gave me a small waterproof clock that I could mount in the shower. This shortens my time in the shower. The second being the use of hot water downstairs (awashing off/hands/etc). It takes a long time for the water to travel from the attic to downstairs so this is costly. Last week (ok technically not in 2017) we installed a Quooker that instantly provides hot (boiling) water so it does not use the water from upstairs. Since its costs about 20 Watt on average this is cheaper then gas (in a few years).
- Find ways to save on electricity usage (passed): I have redone every light in the house with LED’s. Next to this we implemented various methods for saving on our electricity bill. We received €200,- back and lowered our monthly cost.
- Check our insurance policies (passed): Done, we redid our insurances and are now saving over €450,- a year.
- Reduce part of our mortgage (passed): On the last day of the year we made a deposit of €7800,- on part of our mortgage. This will save us next year €343,20 in mortgage (tax benefits will lower this amount).
- Receive a day salary via dividends €130,- (failed): One of the few goals that I have failed. I was it too ambitious regarding the amount I would receive so I made about 68,3%.
- Invest €2.500 (passed): I ended the year with a portfolio worth of €5300,- due to additional buys and a side hustle.
- Write at least a blog post once a week (failed): I made a total of 43 posts since starting this blog on the 2d of september 2016.