That's the first time ever I make public new year resolutions. I actually don't (never?) make resolutions for myself usually - except at work.
But since I got into financial freedom, and even more since I started this blog, I tend to naturally set various challenges to our household in order to shorten our journey towards early retirement!
Goal #1 - Average at least one blogpost per week
I got the blogging virus since the beginning of 2014. Although I love writing, I struggled so far to find enough time for it. There is always priority work to do, children to play with, fun with friends to have, etc.
In order to not let the daily business ruin my publishing rhythm, I decided that 2015 would be the year where I will put at least one blogpost online per week. I find nothing more boring than a blog which gets updated once every two month. Hopefully you will like it!
Goal #2 - Write between 15 and 30 minutes per weekday
I set this objective in order to support the goal #1 above. There is no better way to build a new habit than to decouple it into small chunks.
I'm using the amazing Swiss public transports every morning and evening (always in time, no matter what) so I commit to use part of this commuting time for building this writing habit!
Goal #3 - Propose RSS to readership
To complete the list of painful things of a blog, we could add the absence of RSS feed. Thankfully, the reader @pldrnt reminded me that earlier this year and I already added the RSS feed to the top right of every page of the blog.
Here is the direct link if you didn't subscribed already: http://www.mustachianpost.com/feeds/all-en.atom.xml.
Goal #4 - Setup a newsletter email for new blogposts published
I want your reading experience to be as comfortable as possible, hence I want to offer you to receive automatically new Mustachian Post blogposts right into your mailbox, so that you never miss any freshly published Swiss made post!
Being a lazy person myself, I find this way of subscribing very handy as I then use my mailbox as a reading list. You just have to be careful to not register to too many of them in order to not start getting spammed.
Hope you like this feature once it's live!
Goal #5 - Have a first blogpost where reader's involvement is rewarded by something cool (like not a Swiss chocolate box - or at least not only that!!!)
A cool thing I like a lot as a reader is to have the possibility to win something as part of the readership community. As I'm now a blogger (that's weird to write that actually), I want to give back what others did in the past on websites I read.
I have one idea that's already validated by a sponsor and another one which is still under discussion. Stay tuned!
And yes, I promise (remind me if I forget), I will add a Swiss chocolate box in the reward package!
Just to make it clear, it won't be something useless or some hidden advertising. Only useful stuff, tested and trusted by myself.
Goal #6 - Find another Swiss blogger who is seeking financial freedom
People like NMW know my wish to see Financial Freedom / Early Retirement take off here in Switzerland. I thought I would put as a goal to find (or convince) at least one person amongst the 8 millions swiss citizens to blog about this topic I like so much.
While writing this blogpost draft, I had the chance to see this 6th goal already checked thanks to RetiredAt50 who started his blog about Early Retirement in Switzerland the 2nd of January this year!!! And he is even from the French speaking side!
I'm looking forward to sharing with you mate!
Goal #7 - Have "Early Retirement in Switzerland" ebook written, ready to be proofread by family and readers who subscribed early to buy it
As you might have notice the page, I plan to write and release an ebook about Early Retirement in Switzerland.
I'm at the very beginning of the process and I can tell you that this goal is by far the most challenging one I set for 2015. We will be able to validate it if the book is advanced enough to be proofread by early subscribers.
As I want it to be as complete as possible, I'm afraid to not reach this objective but at least, this public commitment will for sure make me go further than if I wouldn't state it!
Wish me luck!!!
What about we talk about some money, numbers and figures?
Goal #8 - Average 40% of monthly savings
Last year, we managed to average 34.5% of savings rate. You can't imagine how great this number sounds to us who where starting from almost 0% one and a half year ago.
But we don't wanna rest on our laurels in 2015; that's why we decided to take our family savings up to the next level and try to reach 40%.
I'm very excited to kickstart this goal as we will have the data for the whole year compared to 2014 where we missed January.
Goal #9 - Reach CHF 122'000 of net worth to support mid-term goal
Finally! Some real figures for you Mustachian readers!!!
In order for our household to buy our first home here in Switzerland by January 2017, we will need to reach CHF 122'000 of savings by the 31st of December 2015.
As you can see on the graph below, we have stashed less than we should as of today.
Last year we saved about CHF 30'000. If we want to fix this in 2015 and be back along the pink line, we need to save about CHF 45'000 in the next twelve months. That can sound pretty tough but some quick rough calculation shows that it's feasible:
- Put aside CHF 2'000 per month = CHF 24'000
- Bonus at work paid in January 2015 = CHF 6'000
- 2014 taxes deductions reimbursement = CHF 2'000
- Guardianship duty income ("curatelle" in french) = CHF 1'200 (this will deserve an article on its own)
- Reimbursement of some money from apartment owner due to issues last years = CHF 2'000
- Expected monthly raise (fingers crossed) = CHF 6'000
- Company usual small bonus = CHF 500
- Part of my 2015's 13th salary = CHF 3'300
There we go: CHF 45'000!
And this is without taking into account the growing surrender value ("valeur de rachat" in french) of our 3a pillar.
Idem, our 2nd pillar value will grow as well with the money stored in it during 2014.
Can't wait to be the 31.12.2015 to check where we stand!!!
Goal #10 - Max out our two household 3rd pillars
In Switzerland, we have a pension system which allow you to own a private pension. The good point of it - versus investing this money in some diversified ETFs - is that you can get tax deductions if you choose to save money this way.
Every year, the third pillar maximum annual contributions grow slowly but surely. In 2015, you can deduct up to CHF 6'768. For this amount, you usually get around CHF 1'000 of money back!
I will dive deeper into this big topic in a future blogpost but I must precise something right away: never make the same mistake as I did and don't get your 3rd pillar from an insurance with their useless life insurance package! Get it from a bank or another financial organism, but never ever take it packaged with a life insurance.
Since some years, we take care of maxing out both of our pillars in order to maximize our tax deductions. We will do the same this year.
After the easy and funny financial objectives, let's continue this series with more studious stuff. I really have a hard time to focus on reading books. I always add these to my work yearly goals so to ensure I will finish them. I'll do the same in 2015 on the blog!
Goal #11 - Read either "Your money or your life" or "A Random Walk Down Wall Street"
Since I started to dive into personal finance, I always wanted to read something more complete than a series of blogposts.
Depending on your comment, I will choose one or the other as my financial book reading of 2015.
What do you think? With which book would I learn more stuff? Which one would you advice me to read first? If you are persuasive enough, I might take the challenge to read both!
Once I will have finished one of the two books, I will make sure to write a review here to let you know what I thought about it.
Goal #12 - Read "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less"
I stumble upon this book reference on Pat Flynn's "Smart Passive Income" blog. I really like these kind of productivity/priorization readings that make your life better, simpler, richer.
Same as above, book review will be published. Stay tuned.
Goal #13 - Read "The Miracle Morning"
Same as goal #12, I discovered this book on Pat's same article. "Productivity before 8am" is a concept that attracts me a lot. Hopefully it will help me to sustain this blog publishing rhythm. Review to come.
Goal #14 - Go to sport training once a week
Since I left high school where sport was a mandatory activity, my regularity in practicing a sport was like stocks during a stormy period: up, down, up, down, down, up, etc... Do you see what I mean?
Since this year (i.e. three weeks ago...), I decided to be consistent and stick to a training once a week. I write it down here even if it has nothing to do with finances, because I'm sure you will put pressure on me by asking where I am with this objective during our quarterly reviews! I rely on you for this one!
Gosh, what a lengthy list! Hope you didn't fall asleep? I might be a bit crazy to have opened so many challenges at once but well, no risk no fun! Right?!?
I'll keep track of my goals on this page so that you can follow my progress.
What about you? Did you take up some new challenges for the awesome 2015 to come?!?