2020 Year in Review / 2021 Goals

I had to get this in before the end of January as you can’t do a year in review once we are February. It’s the rules!

2020 was another good year financially. I remained fully employed working at home, with limited discretionary expenditure on going out and holidays allowing me to increase my savings rate. I like to measure

  • Increase in cash and investments
  • Increase in net worth (exc home)
  • Increase in net worth (inc home)
  • Savings rate

Some good numbers comparing last year. I have either maintained the number or increased it everywhere except ‘Increase in net (exc home)’. I think this is because last year our buy-to-let property was revalued so had a bit of a jump for that category. A big increase in Savings Rate so was hoping for a bit more on ‘Increase in cash and investments’ but obviously the numbers are getting bigger making it harder to increase the percentage. Most of the increase is through investing rather than capital growth.

Increase in net worth (inc home) shot up as my neighbours sold their house last year giving me a reliable revaluation.

My Financial Year in Numbers in 2020

and for comparison…

…. 2019

Last year I was boasting I had got into good habits in 2019 in terms of increasing % of savings in investments and decreasing the % of my total net worth in cash – I was delusional. This year I nailed it by moving all cash except £5,000 in premium bonds into investments. I also decided with my partner to sell the buy-to-let we have, realise the cash and invest and forget. My 2020 goals were


  • Increase savings rate to 40%
    • nearly there at 38% but could have done better, but I was using gross income as a measure and have change to net income so am fudging my figures a bit !
  • Increase in net worth to exceed or at least be in line with 2019 figures i.e. 28% increase in net worth
    • done
  • Increase savings / income by £2,000 with side hustles / squirreling / being more ruthless with budgeting
    • done easily through not having to be that ruthless with budgeting, just nothing to spend our money on due to Covid-19. I did manage some side hustle income to around £900 with the rest and more being made up of extra money due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The full suite of squirrel pots to manage all my current and projected expenditure including living expenses, discretionary expenses, holiday, DIY fund and Xmas expenditure are doing a great job.

I did try some new podcasts out after I did the Our Favourite Personal Finance and FI Podcasts post back in May, but I must admit, I know what I like and like what I know and still mainly listen to Dave Ramsey, ChooseFI regularly and Meaningful Money, Money to the Masses and Maven Money.


  • Focus on well-being and get a better better work / life balance, leave work on time, sleep better and don’t self medicate – which will leave me more time, energy and head space to do more of the things that make me happy
    • This is all a bit of a blur, I am not sure I did achieve this at all. Work bleeding into life, life bleeding into work, lots of cheap cider, very little energy and head space unfortunately. Someone at work had a good phrase for this blurring of our work and home lives, ‘I am not working at home I am living at work’. This did improve as the year went on but this is something that needs attention in 2021.

Preparation for FI

  • As well as all the the financial goals above, I also want to work on getting myself and my partner ‘on the same page
    • Oh this makes me laugh, this definitely did not go to plan, we are still very different, am working on it, but it will not be resolved any time in 2021.

Other achievements in 2020

The MCR FIRE meet-up went from strength to strength and we had 6 online meet-ups after lockdown, two as joint events with our friends at London Financial Independence meet-up.

I have also upped my reading of FI books, am not a great reader any more but worked my way through, Your money or your life, Simple Path to Wealth, Financial Freedom and RESET. I also took some free financial online courses as well as registered for the Award in Financial Services, signed up to take the initial module R01 – Financial Services, Regulation and Ethics with the aim of taking the exam in February 2021.

2021 Goals

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

Have been participating in ChooseFIx – a community to develop and grow personally as well as part of my journey to FI. The first activity we did as a group was goal setting using the principles of Dominick Quartuccio – listen to him on the ChooseFI podcast.

As a result I have loads of goals, but the main ones are


  • Have a consistent savings rate of 60% with one month at 70%
  • Give monthly to charity
  • Raise £500 for charity
  • Earn £3,000 in side hustle income

Learning and work

  • Achieve award in Financial Services. Produce Research proposal for a PhD in FIRE
  • Take the qualifications to be a a Senior Project Manager

Health, self, friends and family

  • Look after myself, ensuring I have a good nights sleep, have a good work life balance and don’t drink to much
  • Loose 10lbs
  • Run three times a week and do a half marathon
  • Read a book a month
  • Connect with family and friends weekly

Good luck with your goals and keep safe and well in 2021.

6 thoughts on “2020 Year in Review / 2021 Goals

  1. If you get a PhD in FIRE, you’ll be putting me to shame!

    Looks like a productive 2020. Good luck with your 2021 goals, especially with the R01 exam in February!


    1. Thanks very much – fingers crossed
      For 22/2.

      Am not 100% sure about the PHD but thought I’d do a proposal and see how it felt and what the opportunities are for funding.
      If u have a phd would v much value your feedback!


      1. My PhD is why I called myself “Dr” F! Although, with two years of hindsight, I should’ve gone with something else. Everyone (understandably) assumes I’m a medical doctor!

        I’m not sure how much feedback I could give. I did my PhD straight after undergrad, and didn’t have to look too hard for funding. There is always plenty of funding for science PhDs, less so for humanities! But if you do have any questions, feel free to ask 🙂


  2. Thanks for the offer – I would really value some feedback on the proposal itself – is it at the right level of detail /
    Cover what is needed – as strong as it could be – will let u know how I get on !


  3. Congrats on some great increases in your savings and investments for 2020 – well done! Ref your preparation for FI, I’m guessing you’re very much looking forward to the ‘FIRE partners’ topic in the next London meet? 🙂

    Wish you all the best for your 2021 goals – wow, a PhD in FIRE! Sounds both exciting and intriguing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks weenie – I was going to put myself forward to discuss FIRE with your partner but probably not as would like him to listen in the background !?
    The Phd is a bit of a punt you never know until you give it a try – I have a half proposal drafted. I put it on the update on the premise you talk about it, people ask you about it and it encourages to do it !


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