2018 has just started to set in and I told my colleagues yesterday that it feels like nothing much has changed – at work at least. Life still goes on, work still goes on, CPF interest is in, Nikko AM STI ETF went XD two days ago… Yeap pretty much the same…
…except that there’s actually a lot more stuff going on now as compared to the beginning of last year.
2017 to me was a great year, in fact, much greater than what I would have expected myself to achieve. I consider 2017 as a boost to my personal self, both emotionally, financially and socially. I actually made some resolutions for 2017 but it was lost when I was moving offices (>_<), so let’s see how reliable my memory is…
1) Exercise at least once a week (NOT Achieved)
Well, to give some credit to myself, I did exercise quite frequently at the beginning of 2017. After meeting BF and some increasing personal commitments, I didn’t join my jogging kakis much anymore even though they are still religiously exercising weekly and occasionally still jio me to join them. So I did really badly for this resolution in the last half of the year >_<.
2) Maintain weight at 50kg (Achieved!)
Similar to my portfolio, the numbers for my weight are pretty alright. I am now 47-48kg. It really helps with reducing the amount of food that I normally eat while trying to save money. For a height of 153cm, I am actually still not on the skinny side but considering that I was quite chubby 2 years ago, I can fit into smaller sized clothes now! Unless you’re a female, you can never understand how satisfying that feels – even better than watching pimples being popped on YouTube.
3) Get promoted! (Half Achieved)
Not quite something that I could control since this was very much dependent on my boss, but I ended up changing jobs instead and accepted a decent pay increment. Yay on increasing my income!
4) Make a new friend every day (13% Achieved)
I initially placed this resolution to expand my network. It was only after sharing my resolutions with BF and he told me how unrealistic this resolution was, since I had to know 365 new people by the end of the year. Of course I did not achieve that, but I did start a blog and switched jobs to a new environment, so knowing new people both online and offline wasn’t that difficult. But to consider all of them friends now would a long shot on my end.
If I were to really consolidate the numbers, I probably “met” 50-60 new acquaintances this year. Still ain’t that bad, but I should review this goal to make it more achievable in future.
5) Save $20,000 (Achieved!)
Goal achieved! After starting this blog, being aware of my cash flow really helped with controlling everywhere that my money goes to. If I were to consider only the liquid part of my net worth, it has increased about $48,000 this year after taking away my expenses and factoring in all the extra income and profits from the stock market.
6) Make a person’s day happy every day (NOT Achieved)
This resolution is supposedly more simple than it looks. What I intended to do was to pay compliments to people who I interact with on a daily basis and make them feel better about themselves. I kinda managed to do that by trying to spread less bad gossip, but there was still some negativity that I’ve undeniably contributed to. I could definitely do better.
7) Get a tattoo (NOT Achieved)
Really, Miss Niao? A tattoo?! I must have been in the wrong state of mind when I wrote this. I am
happy ecstatic this resolution didn’t go through.
I think I did pretty okay on almost everything except for Number 1 and 7. Time to review my financial goals when I started this blog too, and since they are all long term, I can only talk about the first closest goal…
Achieve a net worth of S$350,000 by Age 30.
In case you’re wondering how I calculate my net worth, it isn’t all that complicated. I just consider the amount of money that my heirs will get should I die today, excluding any coverage from insurance payouts. Very ominous way, but very simple and effective for me personally.
In terms of percentage points, my net worth has increased about 58% in 1 year. I have three more years to hit the big 3 and I’m actually about 50% to 60% there. I doubt that my net worth can increase at this rate by the end of this year because there is a limit to what I can earn from my full-time job and I don’t think I have even reached the point where I can appreciate compounding effect on my finances. Also, the math isn’t helping either.
Maybe it would be a better idea to refine my financial goals in general and set more short term goals to reach them.
At the moment, this goal is still achievable if I were to continue saving around $35,000 in cash per year for the remaining 3 years based on my current income.
Here are my resolutions for 2018.
1) Save $35,000
As explained above, this amount will help me to hit my first long term financial goal.
2) Beat the STI ETF by a margin of 5%
Last year, I beat the market by 3.37%. This year, I intend to do better with a margin of 5%. I will be more proactive in stock hunting and be diligent in reading more investment books (library, here I come!). I would like to think that I’ve gotten the basics of investing right, and all I need now is time to prove that my methods work, together with a lot of luck. By beating the market again this year would give me more justification to my investing approaches.
3) Create a new source of income
I need to think of another way to increase my income other than just from dividends, earned interest. To be honest, I am very lost in this goal because I do not have any concrete ideas at the moment, but it would probably be somewhere along the line of starting up a sideline. I will try to see what I can do and review this goal again at the end of 2018.
1) Exercise at least twice a month
Not the ideal health guideline for exercise frequency, but I think at least jotting it down would make me want to place this activity on my schedule once in a awhile. *cross fingers*
2) Maintain weight at 48kg
To continue reducing cholesterol levels and look awesome. I will review my annual health report again to see if I’ve done better on the health aspect. Also, this goal can only be justified when I receive comments from other people that I’ve lost weight. :p
3) Pay a compliment every day
Not too easy to track because I’m not consciously aware of it all the time, but nonetheless it is my aim to appreciate the people around me and spread less negativity. If I have nothing better to say, I should just zip it!
4) Bring family on all-paid holiday
Going on holiday with my family has always been a luxury that I’ve never gotten to experience when I was young. Now that I’m more financially capable, I have decided to bring my mum and grandmother to Taiwan. It will be an upgrade from the last all-paid trip that I’ve brought them to Batam 2 years ago, and I will be allocating some extra funds for this goal.
5) Move forward with BF
BF will always be a major part of my life and whatever decisions that I make will influence him in some way, and vice versa. As I try to improve my quality of life, I am hoping that he would also want to do the same so that we can be aligned with our goals. We are slowly phasing to the point where some inevitably conversations will have to take place, and I’ll be looking forward to see how our relationship will progress in 2018, both emotionally and financially.
6) Blog at least 4 times a month and achieve 100 subscribers
One of the best decisions that I have made in 2017 was to start a blog and to write in my alter ego of Miss Niao. This platform has helped me to reach out to other bloggers on the same scene and quite a number of readers who have sent me emails to share about their lives and how I have inspired them to also take charge of their finances.
I am glad that my blog has helped and it is really quite tiring to generate quality content every single week. There is a lot of research to be done and one post can take up to 1-2 days, depending on how in-depth you want it to be. Also, I always try to keep my blog personal to my own experiences because it is unique to me, although some topics may be a repeat of stuff that you’ve read.
To make sure that I continue learning about investing, reflecting on my decisions and inspiring others, I made a promise to myself that I will blog at least once a week, and I want to increase my subscriber count by 50% to around 100 people by the end of the year. This goal will allow me to be more creative and engaging with my content, and more importantly, bring value to the lives of my own and others.
I think 2018 would be an exciting year ahead, and I’m looking forward to gaining even more knowledge. Investing is really fun to me and I foresee myself taking it as a main priority for the rest of my life.
Thank you very much for reading this entire post! Do spend some time to also review and make some resolutions for 2018. I promise that it will be fulfilling and you would be surprised at what you can achieve in one year alone. Share them in the comments below if you’re comfortable enough. 🙂
Miss Niao xoxo