My 2022 review and some strong suggestions for 2023

In addition to my usual monthly updates, I decided that I should do an annual review of the previous 12 months.  I have done similar articles for in previous years so you can check them out 2021 and decide how I’ve done: 2021.

Highlights

2022 was a year filled with highlights.  I shall list the major ones below:

  1. Getting married;
  2. Travelling to Australia, France, Spain, Portugal, Scotland, Wales, USA;
  3. Seeing the Rolling Stones and the Eagles;
  4. Winning a long running dispute over service charges in my building and having my account credited with £14k.

These were all really fun and happy times.  I think I’ve done a considerable amount more travel than I had planned or envisaged last year and had some really high peak moments when I saw those concerts.  Also, the service charge battle felt like a giant anticlimax as it took over 5 years to get there.  It still counts as a win.

Lowlights

Of course 2022 wasn’t all holidays and fun.  The following were some lowlights for me personally:

  1. My mum’s mental health crisis and its effect on me (happily this seems to have passed and she is doing a lot better);
  2. Work has had its dark moments – mainly surrounding my lack of progression in line with where I see myself.
  3. Lack of progress with conceiving a child;
  4. Lack of progress with FIRE (Dec 2022 at 33% to FI; Dec 2023 at 33% to FI).

I won’t go on to talk about most of these, but all despite the highlights, all I can say is that there is a definite picture of feeling ‘stuck’ with some of my goals and desires this year.  I just haven’t made the progress I expected to or wanted to and I am frustrated about it.

2022 goals review

  • FI Fund of £330k – only at £256k – Fail;
  • 50% savings rate – 45% achieved – fail but very good – B+;
  • Wedding – pass – A+;
  • Baby – fail;
  • Move to Australia – fail.

If I look at my goals for last year, only getting married has been achieved.  That is why I shall not make any firm goals for 2023, as the world just seems too uncertain, and I don’t want to set an arbitrary goal which I won’t meet and then feel bad about.  I don’t want to add to the feelings of frustration that I am feeling, although of course, I hope that by next year, I will have overcome all these challenges.

It’s interesting that the goals I achieved were the ones which I could control, like getting married. 

My savings rate this year was 45%.  I am actually very pleased about this rate as it is close to 50%, although it was less than the 53% I achieved in 2021.  Considering all the holidays, our wedding, and the purchases that I made this year (PS5, TV, hifi, sofa), I’m even surprised that I had made it as these were not present in 2021!  I had some wildly varying rates in each month, with a peak of 72% in February 2022 (bonus month), to a low of 27% in December 2022.  I’m going to take that as a win.  

The goals I did not achieve were the arbitrary FI fund number (only at £256k) which was entirely reliant on both my savings rate and the market rising.  Due to the massive decline in the stock markets this year I did not achieve this and that seems entirely out of my control.  I sensibly sold my Tesla shares in April 2022, when I judged that Elon had gone a bit mad by buying Twitter and then reengaging on the deal.  That was a good decision. 

I have also been investing in index funds since then and watching my money evaporate almost as soon as I invest it, which is not fun.  I know it’s a good time to invest but it doesn’t make it easy. 

This year, my goals will be more like strong suggestions.  I don’t want to set myself up for failure.  I just want to be a bit kinder to myself this year.

2023 strong suggestions

Instead of goals, i’m going to call these strong suggestions. Here are what I settled upon:

  • Savings rate of 45%. I don’t believe 50% is sustainable for me in a post Covid world;
  • Increase pay (either from promotion or job move);
  • Look into starting a business;
  • Cut back on alcohol;
  • Somehow, stop feeling frustrated!
  • Make it to, and celebrate my 40th Birthday!!!

Now, re-reading this it does sound somewhat gloomy, which is possibly due to the dreadful weather, dry January, and my mood today, but on reflection, I have a lot to be grateful for and really my problems are not serious nor are they insurmountable.  Compared to many people in the UK now, I am very comfortable and living a good and healthy life with no money problem.  Life is good.

What are your goals for 2023, assuming you dared to set any?

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