The year 2016 in review: learning and growing

Leaf-water.jpgOh, how the time has past quickly. Every year again people will tell you how fast the year has passed. Well, I’m no exception. It seems that there is no way near enough time to do everything you want. Remember the saying: time flies when you’re having fun. And it even seems to get faster when were getting older. I don’t want to be getting all dramatic here. Because we, and hopefully you too, have seen some truly positive milestones in the past year.

First of all, the biggest happening in the past year, was the birth of my niece. A tiny little girl taunting her parents with sleepless nights for weeks now. But making up for it big time by bringing immense happiness to the family.

Next there are two events that made this year quit different for us.

The first is that Mr. Divnomics started an education in Financial Management in January. A step he wanted to make in order to get ahead in his career. Alongside came the negative side-effect that we had a substantial loss on quality time we were able to spend together or with friends and family. But no drama here, we still managed to see each other, and our family quite regularly and felt no ‘real’ loss here.

And we found some spare time to travel around a bit. We spend 1 vacation with the to of us in Portugal (Porto) and Spain (Santiago & Vigo) which was so wonderful. Spend a relaxing weekend in a hotel in the middle of the forests in the Netherlands to get some rest. And I’ve been on a trip for the first time with my mother and sister to the beautiful Prague. For next year we hope to add some more destinations to the list.

The second event is the start of this blog in September. Which I started to document ideas, thoughts and our journey towards financial independence.

By doing the above we are currently spending our evenings in our in-house office instead of laying on the couch with a bag of chips. It also opened up the doors to the amazing online community of personal finance bloggers out there. So next to writing blog posts, I also began reading a lot of them. And I’ve been writing, reading and learning ever since. But it also got me thinking of how to improve the blog even further?

The first big (like massive) milestone we achieved was crossing the 30% savings ratio target with a much higher average savings ratio of 41% for the year 2016. Who would have thought.

This is by far the biggest accomplishment (and one I’m really proud of), because we never knew how much money we actually saved each month. We’ve made some harder choices, like getting rid of the car, in order to grow our savings ratio this year, and it paid off. But I’m still wondering how much higher we can go for next year?

Besides the savings ratio goal I had set up some other goals I wanted to achieve, but they were a bit, ahum, ambitious… to say the least.

Let’s get to it.

Having €35.000 of invested capital

It’s a bit sad to say, but we came just 25 euro’s short on achieving this one. As of now, we have €34975.53 of invested capital. If we add our cash position we end with a total of  €37433.05.  So depending on how you look at it we did or didn’t meet this goal. Personally it’s still pretty awesome we have almost 35.000 of invested capital, as we started the year with only €21000. That’s a solid f growth 66%. 

Receive €900 of dividend income (by the end of 2016)

Another goal we didn’t meet. Partially because we invested in some companies with a lower dividend yield. The key factor for us is growth, not yield. Looking back, the calculations we used when we set up this goal were not quit right. Although we do believe that our little snowball has just begin it’s fall downhill. As long as we keep investing in quality companies who are growing their dividends every year, there is not much that can go wrong. 

Getting my motor drivers license

Ok this one was very, very ambitious.Clearly I’m nowhere near this goal yet. Hopefully I will finish my last exam before summer so I can ride around for a bit in the next year. I still have to get my theoretic exam (January), then one in motor control (ABV) (February) and lastly in traffic participation (?).  I almost have all the gear I need, so I’m already on the right track. 

Reading 4 books about personal development or investing

It’s getting even worse, clearly I never posted something on reading books. I did read some, but none about investing or personal development. In order to read more next year I clearly need to step up the game here.

Write at least 2 articles per week for Divnomics

Well this one turned out pretty good for the first few months. Until december that is. The busiest month of all. Being busy is not a ‘real’ excuse, because it’s all about setting priorities. With all the holidays and such I just shifted them a bit. Therefore the activity on the blogging part was a bit lagging. I’m currently having a few days of, and getting the hang of it more. So this one will probably stay on the list for a long time. 

In all honesty, the goals listed above didn’t all motivate me to achieve them. Not because I didn’t think they were important, but because there was no real HOW behind it.

Setting goals is easy (they have to be realistic though), actually achieving them is the hard part. Finding the motivation to work on your goals doesn’t come easily and also requires a lot of determination. I was thinking over my goals for 2017 and how I wanted to improve my plans. It reminded me of the following story: 

What if you want to be able to run half a marathon. So you set a goal: to run half a marathon. And you start running once a week. Then when the date for the competition comes closer, you starting to train two or even three times a week. Only to find out you will not be ready on time… In order to complete half a marathon you need a plan. You need to know when to begin, how often you have to run and how fast you have to go. Without ‘the plan’ you will not make it. So instead of focussing on the goal, you have to focus on the habit or system instead: the training. 
So you’re goal should be: running at least 2 times a week

I’m already working on a list with goals to set for 2017, and will publish them here once it’s finished. But besides setting goals, I’m looking to change some habits as well.

2 thoughts on “The year 2016 in review: learning and growing

  1. Congrats on your 2016! Reading it through made me realize that we seem to have much in common, like the September blog start, rough dividend income, plus I also don’t have a motor license 🙂
    Happy New Year and all the bests for 2017!


    • Thanks! haha maybe you should with the motor and all, really fun to do.

      Best of wishes to you too. We have some high growth to accomplish. Maybe we end next year equally close 🙂


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