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Milestones Review 2021

2021 milestones Reviewed: Mind-blowing And Financially Successful Year

Last Updated on March 4, 2022 by Mr. FightToFIRE

2022 is over 3 weeks old now so I had some time to review 2021. I’ll review my investments soon, but first I want to go over the milestones I set myself. Throughout 2021, I updated my milestones, but now it’s time to hold them against the light and see which milestones I reached in the end and which ones I failed miserably.

2020 was impactful but it’s nothing compared to 2021. Of course, I’m talking about the birth of my daughter!

It really was the highlight of 2021.

The first half of the year was dominated almost entirely by the upcoming birth. In the run-up to the big moment, we naturally had some expenses such as a pram, a car seat, etc. But fortunately, a lot was covered by family, friends, and colleagues.
However, it did result in a large Savings Rate and consequently fewer deposits to my Lynx portfolio.

For the second part of 2021, neither I nor my wife did a lot of special things, mainly because we were saving for our trip to visit her family at the end of the year. Purchasing those plane tickets was the biggest expense we made in the latter half of the year and it caused another major dip in my Savings Rate. But it was all to create a wonderful time with family and friends.

All in all, 2021 really blew me and my expectations away into the stratosphere.

This post may contains affiliate links to products I bought or used.

Financial milestones

SUCCESS - 20,500 EUR Portfolio Deposits

It was close this year but even while paying off my mortgage and spending quite some cash on kids’ stuff, I managed to deposit €20,500 to my Lynx portfolio.

I’m not taking into account the 30K I withdrew from the Beobank managed account and transferred to Interactive Brokers nor will I change anything on that account in 2022. It will remain just 3 trades, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA), and DataDog (NASDAQ: DDOG). For my Lynx portfolio, I will continue to increase the size bit by bit.

FAILED - 42.49% Average Savings Rate in 2021

Another year where my Savings Rate is below 50%. Damn. Even though I have done more on-call, my wife started working as well, and we received child allowance for our daughter, I still failed to reach the elusive 50% Savings Rate. You’d think with such a financially successful year, I’d be able to save a great deal, but as you saw in December, I kept it all but simple with a 5 week trip to South America. Though to be honest, it was worth it for all involved. My wife saw her family again after 2 years, they saw our daughter in person and we could celebrate Christmas and New Year’s together.

Looking back at the year, there are a number of outliers that made it nigh impossible to reach a yearly average of 50%. A €1600 plane ride is one, obviously, but another month that set me back was July. I had to look up why.

Shame on me for forgetting. It was the month my salary got cut because of the paternity leave after my daughter was born! It was also the month where we had that dead body smell in the fridge. Hold up! No not because of that. Because our fridge broke down. I opted to get a Siemens and ended up spending €800 on a nearly new one from Coolblue.

I really thought 2021 would be a calmer year thanks to the birth of my daughter but boy was I mistaken. Anyhow. +40% is still good of course, but I still think I can reach 50%.

I can feel it, 2022 is going to be the year I get an average annual Savings Rate of 50%!

FAILED - received only 349.80 EUR of 400 EUR in dividends

While a lot of businesses were able to operate somewhat normally (e.g., REITs) it still left a mark on Kinepolis for example. They are still not paying a dividend. If they did I would probably have made the 400 EUR. That said, I don’t plan to really invest a lot more in dividend-paying stocks. While the tax deduction is nice, it only applies to regular companies and not ETFs which is the type of investments I want to focus on in 2022.

For 2021 I was pretty close to last year’s 328,19 EUR  It’s better now but still not €400 and while I don’t plan to focus on dividends, I do hope to reach €400 in 2022 thanks to some stock purchases in 2021.

My personal milestones

Yikes, not even one personal milestone was achieved in 2021.
I have no excuses. I simply didn’t commit enough to either my physical or mental health. I have to do better in 2022!

FAILED - Ran only 8 instead of 15 km on average/week

Cross my heart and hope to die, I genuanly thought It’d make this one. I was even able to run a bit during the summer while taking care of newborn baby. But it was far from enough to get 15 km/week.

If I check my Garmin statistics I see a total of about 80 km. Horrible. I really should do better in 2022.

Running on a dirt road
Something I didn't do nearly enough: running. Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash

FAILED - 0 of 4 books read

I continued reading the books I started in 2020 but I barely read a couple of chapters during the lockdown. Even though I had ample time, I somehow was able to find other things to do. As a result, the two books I started in 2020:

  • The Common Sense on Mutual Funds
  • Your Money or Your Life

Still aren’t finished yet. At this rate, I’ll be FIRE before I read anything about FIRE.

Just like last year, I will keep a reading milestone, but it’s going to be broader this time. I will keep it simple and just say I want to spend more time behind books -brrr, I never thought I say that after I graduated- and just read.

My Blogging milestones

For the first time, I will share details about my blog using the metrics I put forward at the beginning of 2021.
Description/metric 2021 target 2021 result
Create a Logo  
Write guest articles on other blogs 5 0
Have guest writers on my blogs 5 0
Pageviews 200,000  
Average time on page 1 m 50 s 1 m 14 s
Bounce rate 58% 47.42%
Percent of Returning Users 13% 19%
Pages / session 1.95 1.92

The main lesson I get from this? It’s a lot harder to grow this blog than I thought. Google doesn’t make it easy with the constant changes to their search algorythms but there is also a lot of competition from all sides. Regardless of how easy people find me, I will continue to write about my personal finances.

Next up: an in-depth look at 2021's financial books

While I have covered my 2021 financial and personal milestones, I didn’t go into the nitty-gritty of my finances, specifically, I didn’t cover my personal portfolio nor the other funds I hold over different banks and brokers.

Rest assured, that is coming in a week, so pay attention to your mailbox.

Not subscribed yet? Then here is your chance to stay up to date on my latest developments.

What about you? Did you start what said you would do at the beginning of the year? Did anything come from those lofty New Year’s resolutions or is there just a pile of smoldering ash left from what was once a passionate fire?

I'm a developer for a major financial institution in Belgium that is present in over 40 countries. I have over 8 years of working experience in the development of customer applications focussing on all aspects of banking. This helped me gain a deep understanding of the inner workings of a commercial bank. All of this experience in both banking and life culminates in this blog about personal finance and my fight towards FIRE.

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