2016 might have been an incredibly sucky year by many standards, but it was a banner year for me on basically every front imaginable. I hit all of my personal, professional, and financial goals for the year, which I think is the first time that’s ever happened for me.
Highlights include trips to Seattle [Camp Mustache], San Diego [FinCon], and London [Harry Potter play], expanding my FI network with tons of awesome people, and getting my new job!
One of my personal goals for 2016 was to meet more FI/money minded friends. I accomplished that by going to a number of events specifically geared towards those kinds of people. If you haven’t started to expand your Mustachian network yet, I highly suggest you do so! Having a community that understands the reasoning behind your goals means so much when you’re celebrating or commiserating.
My professional goal for the year was to get through the end of my early development program and into a position that was better suited to my personality and skill set. I can say I achieved that in spades this November when I got hired into what’s basically the perfect position for me. I haven’t been this happy with my job in I don’t know how long. The people are nice, the work is just varied enough to keep me engaged, and the benefits are stupendous (both compensation and unstated).
Career Update #2 is a post that covers a lot of the excitement I felt when I got this job!
However, I would say it’s my financial goals where I really killed it this year. I didn’t buy a multi-family rental property like I wanted to, but I still managed to not only hit $100k net worth at the age of 25, but also hit my stretch goal of $120k by the end of the year!
Everyone loves graphs right? So why not throw out some awesome charts and graphs to show exactly what happened in 2016!
I started off the year with a net worth (ahem, cash stash) of $81,459. I finished the year at $125,000! (Number is approximate until 1 January at which point I will amend with the final total. This is a finely tuned estimate based upon forecasted spending and my last paycheck.) This means not only did I hit my stretch goal for the year but it took me 6 months to go from the big $100k milestone to $125k! Part of that is market gains, part of it is lowered expenses, and still another part is all the money I got from work in December [bonus, moving allowance, raise].
That means I saved $43,541 this year, which means I saw an increase of 54% in my net worth! Go back to the start of 2015 and my net worth has increased a whopping 166%!! It seems incredible to me that I have managed to squirrel away just shy of $80,000 in two years! It still doesn't feel quite real to me yet…
I made recent strides towards reducing my spending, although I would have liked to spend less through the year. Considering just about everything I spent the money on was productive in some shape or form, I'm not too bothered about spending $41k this year. Remember when I said I wasn't particularly frugal? Case in point.
I also found it interesting to compare my spending this year to my spending from last year. Different months were at highs and lows depending on where I was, if I was moving, and if I was prepping to go on a trip. So far, there isn't really a discernible pattern. Yellow is 2015, green is 2016.
Unlike my spending, there is a very predictable pattern to my income. Spending stays at roughly the same level unless I move, get my tax refund, or get my bonus at the end of the year. It might fluctuate a bit, but that's dependent on side hustle income or people paying me back for things I paid for. I'm glad to see this went up from last year thanks to raises, moving allowances, side hustle income. In 2015, I earned $78k. I'm happy to report I earned almost $87k this year! That blows me away. That's almost ten thousand dollars more than 2015! I'm so grateful I have a great job that allows me to have all these options as to what I want to do with my money. As above, yellow is 2015 and green is 2016.
Overall, every thing went swimmingly. I got a new job, which lowered my expenses and boosted my income, traveled to a bunch of incredible places around the US and the world, met a lot of amazing people, and continued to blog about my journey to financial independence.
Thank you for reading along today and this year! I'm excited to see what 2017 has in store for me!