(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)
I review my goals and plan for the following year at the end of each year. And to keep myself accountable, I publish them on this blog and follow them month after month.
So, in this article, I will review my 2023 goals and their progress, what went well, and what did not go well. And then, I will show and explain my 2024 goals.
Over time, I have made my goals simpler and simpler.
2023 Goals Review
As a reminder, here is the status of our goals at the end of 2023:
It was an excellent year for our goals. We managed to pass six of our eight goals. And the two failed goals are not too far off target.
So, let’s look at our goals in detail.
In 2023, we had four financial goals.
Before Taxes Expense < 5000 CHF – Failure
In 2023, we wanted to spend less than 5000 CHF per month (before taxes, blog, and special house expenses). This was the most ambitious of our goals. And we failed that goal by reaching an average of 5478 CHF per month.
However, I still believe we are at a good level of expenses. We did not spend much more than last year. And compared to last year, we paid daycare for our son every month. On top of that, we are still not doing too badly, given inflation.
We can do better, and some of our expenses could have been avoided or optimized. We must look at our food budget next year, which is often totally out of control. But overall, we are doing great.
And considering our excellent savings rate, we are doing a good job.
Increase Income by 10% – Success
In 2023, we wanted to increase our income by 10%. We managed to increase it by 18%. This is an excellent result.
This was done through several means. Mrs. The Poor Swiss worked the entire year as a daymom, increasing our income significantly. My income also increased, given my promotion in 2022, and I got a very good bonus and a nice salary increase in 2023.
The blog income did not go up in 2023. However, since we have been going through an LLC for the second half of 2023, this has not changed much since we now have a salary.
So, I am pleased about this goal!
Average Savings Rate of 50% – Success
Our goal was to save an average of 50% of our monthly income. We reached an average of 49.93%, which is enough to qualify as this goal passing!
This is a slight improvement over the 47% of 2022. I am pretty happy about the result.
We could definitely have spent less in 2023, but saving 50% of our income is a very nice result.
Optimize 3 bills – Success
My goal was to optimize three bills during the year. I am focusing here on recurring bills, so no one-time bills.
I managed to optimize six bills during this year!
- We canceled the incident insurance for my wife now that she is covered, saving about 260 CHF per year.
- We switched to a much cheaper VPS for my usage, saving about 180 USD per year.
- We dropped SERPRobot for the blog, saving 60 USD per year.
- We dropped our legal protection insurance, saving about 400 CHF per year.
- We optimized our heating and reduced our monthly bill by 55 CHF.
This will save us a lot of money in the long term since these savings will come each year.
So, we passed this goal very well. I plan to keep the same goal next year.
I only had one blogging goal in 2023.
Create an LLC for the blog – Success
Our goal for the blog in 2023 was to create an LLC. The idea was to switch from a sole proprietorship to an LLC to separate the business from our finances properly.
It took quite a while and was more work than I expected, but it was still done in time. At this point, all our blogging income is going through the LLC. Most of the expenses also go through the LLC.
So, we passed that goal.
In 2023, I had three personal goals.
Work out at home 100 times – Success
In 2023, I wanted to work out at home 100 times. I managed to work out 107 times. So, I passed this goal! This is also an improvement over 2023, where I worked out 103 times.
Overall, I am pretty happy about my workout routines. It is not yet a habit, and sometimes, I do not feel like doing it. But 107 times is a great result.
Next year, I will need to focus on the quality of the workouts now that I get the quantity right.
Average 6000 steps per day – Failure
In 2023, I wanted to walk 6000 steps per day. For many people, this is a very simple goal because the recommendation is generally more around 10’000. However, I have a very sedentary lifestyle, and I work at home.
I did not manage to pass this goal. I only walked 5796 steps per day. However, in 2022, I only walked about 4730 steps per day. So, I have still increased a lot my steps.
The main difference is that I am walking almost every morning before work. This is a good habit that is very good for me.
Even though I did not pass this goal, I am happy about the improvement over last year.
Reduce energy consumption by 10% – Success
In 2023, we wanted to reduce our energy consumption by 10%. In the end, we managed to reduce it by 28%. It is an incredible result.
We did a few things for that. First, we were more careful with all the lights and replaced the last few non-LEDs from our house. But this is likely a very small effect.
The biggest effect of the year was that I configured my home server to shut down every night. Before midnight, the server shuts down, and the power shuts down slightly after. Early in the morning, the power came back, and the server started. On top of that, I have optimized all my machines for power consumption.
Finally, we also changed our electric boiler to a heat pump boiler. But since this only happened in October, it probably did not make a huge difference. But this will make a difference in 2024.
So, I am pleased about this goal.
In 2024, I want to be reasonable with my goals. I do not plan to invest any large amount of time towards any of them. But that does not mean I do not want to commit to improving our situation. The main difference is that I will not commit to any large blogging goal.
I also want my goals to be working towards the gain rather than the gap. So, instead of fixing myself a specific value, I want to improve based on where I am now. Ideally, I should not even put a target, but I still like having one. I now consider the target more as an expectation rather than a true target.
For instance, If I want to spend 10% less, I will measure the percentage of how much less I am spending. Even if I am not reaching the goal, reducing my spending by even 1% will be great. This is a healthier way to deal with goals.
So, here are our goals at the beginning of the year:
The colors are all over the place because the current status is full of placeholders since we have not yet completed a full month.
We will now look at each of the goals independently.
For 2024, we have four financial goals, quite similar to the 2023 goals.
Spend 5% less
Contrary to the previous years, I do not want to set myself a fixed monthly expense goal. Instead, I want to reduce our expenses.
So, in 2024, we want to reduce our monthly expenses by 5%. We are talking about expenses, not counting any taxes.
Considering that several of our expenses are going up, like kindergarten and power bills, reducing our by even 5% will be an excellent result. Ideally, we should aim for 10%, but 5% is already a good goal.
Increase income by 5%
Since we are close to being unable to spend less, we should focus on earning more. So, in 2024, we want to increase our income by 5%.
Since we are moving the blog to an LLC and not extracting the full income as salary, it will be difficult to increase our income (unless we change our definition). Nevertheless, we are still going to try!
Increase savings rate by 5%
This goal aligns with the previous two because earnings and expenses influence the savings rate. However, I like having a savings rate goal on my agenda. The savings rate is a fundamental metric because it gives us an idea of how well we are doing and is easy to compare.
So, in 2024, we want to increase our savings rate by 5%.
Optimize 3 Recurring bills
I have kept the same goal for optimizing my bills as in 2023. I think this is an excellent goal, and I like having it. Every year, I think about what bill I can optimize, and I can come up with exciting results every year.
So, in 2024, we want to optimize three of our yearly or monthly bills. I have no idea what this will be, but it will be interesting.
For 2024, I have kept three personal goals, which are very similar to the goals of 2023. Ideally, I should be more ambitious on my health goals, but I am unsure I can take out more.
Work out better
In 2023, I managed to keep a good workout habit. However, I feel like the quality of my workouts is not great. I do a circuit workout, and the number of circuits I do per workout is not increasing.
So, in 2024, I want to work out better at each workout. In 2023, I did about 2.2 circuits per workout. In 2023, I would ideally want to reach three circuits per workout. I am not sure I can do that, but I will try.
Walk 5% more per day
In 2023, I managed to walk significantly more than in 2022, even if I failed my goal of reaching 6000 steps per day. This is very important because of my extremely sedentary lifestyle. I already have issues with my knees because of not moving enough.
In 2024, I want to walk 5% more per day. I hope to do more walks with my son as well now that he can walk longer distances (when he wants).
Ideally, I should have a running or cycling goal, but it is currently too ambitious for me to put a goal on it (I hate both).
Reduce energy consumption by 10%
In 2023, we managed to reduce our energy consumption significantly. I want to try to do the same in 2024. Since our energy price will go up more than 40% in 2024, it makes sense to try to reduce our power bill even further.
So, in 2024, I want to reduce our energy consumption by 10%. I do not have a plan yet for that goal. I know that much of the energy consumption comes from my computers since I work at home. This is already quite optimized, but I will try to do better.
Overall, in 2023, we passed 6 of our 8 goals. And we significantly improved in several areas compared to 2022. So, I think we did a good job.
Of course, we can do better in some areas. And, of course, the goals themselves are not perfect. But I am happy with the result.
Our 2024 goals are better aligned with our current life than before. Since I have very little time available, I decided not to put any goals for the blog. If the blog is still alive by the end of 2024, it will be good enough already.
I like the new goals format, which focuses on incremental gains rather than on a set value to reach.
I also have a few unofficial goals, like learning Chinese again and running at least once a week. However, I already have too much on my plate now, so I do not see how to integrate more into my days. I need
What about you? What do you think of our goals? What are your 2024 goals?
Download this e-book and optimize your finances and save money by using the best financial services available in Switzerland!Download The FREE e-book