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December 2018 Overview and Yearly Update

This post is the December overview, and the 2018 yearly update! I liked previous month’s format with finances and blogging so I’ll keep it. Also I promised to start posting detailed numbers. I will start doing that with the January 2019 update. For now an update as you are used from me.

Finances

I had an exceptional savings rate in December, a whopping 53.2%. I expected it to be lower, closer to 40%. Although I knew I would have some additional income this month, I also anticipated some one-off expenses (that will probably hit in January) and of course the holiday expenses (of which some are delayed).

One of the expenses is related to my company car (I expect 250 euros) and one is my health insurance premium for December that wasn’t drafted from my accounts. I don’t expect them to give me a Christmas present like that, so I think it will clear this month.

For the year 2018, this means my savings rate was 40.7%, so I reached my goal of saving 40% of my net income! 

Out of every 1,000 euros I received in my bank account, I managed to save 407. That is amazing, and I hope I can do that this year again. In 2018 I had the luck of receiving some bonuses and one time payouts. For 2019 I hope to replace them with side hustle income.

I expected to receive a payment in December from one of the clients I work for in my side hustle, but I got the message the payment will clear in the first week of January. That’s fine. It can offset the expenses I now expect to fall in January.

My net worth stayed almost flat this month (up 200 euros). Even though I managed to save a lot of my income, the markets weren’t friendly. In the stock market (both pre-tax and post-tax) I lost quite some value. Not that it really matters, the market will recover.

On my progression to financial independence I leave the year 2018 at 5.9% independent. I calculate this number by taking all my passive income (3.5% withdrawal rate on investments, plus any passive income from other investments) and dividing it by my 12 months trailing expenses.

Blogging

In December I published 12 articles and attracted a record number of page views and unique visitors. December got 5,226 views from 1,665 visitors making for nearly a 50% increase. Of course I don’t blog just for the number of visitors, but it is inspiring to see that more and more people are finding Fire The Boss.

The growth of Fire The Boss is also outpacing that of my Dutch blog Ontsla De Baas. At ODB I breached 5k views in the 7th month, FTB breached it in December in the 4th month.

For 2019 I hope to grow to 20,000 views per month. Now that seems like a lot, but when looking at other finance bloggers I think that’s a realistic goal. Also, to reach this goal I don’t have to grow by 50% per month (that would bring me to almost 700k views per month, a little unrealistic!). No, to reach the 20k number I have to grow about 12% which is reasonable for a blog that’s not even half a year old.

The best read article in December was Looking Forward to 2019. The article that you all could show more love was Fire The Boss on Air, about my podcast interview. I understand the timing there was a little awkward, during Christmas.

I want to thank you all for your kind e-mails, comments, and just your readership. Thanks a lot!

Check out the January 2019 update here.

8 thoughts on “December 2018 Overview and Yearly Update”

  1. Very well done, 2018 was a great year for you! Especially the savings rate for December is really high, I’ll also start to calculate it, it’s a good number to have. Also, congrats with your blogging number, you’re doing a great job! ✨

    • It’s not just a good number to have. It’s determining your pace to become financially independent. Higher SR = faster FI. That’s the reason I use this as my key metric.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Wow, that’s some incredible savings rate!

    We also saved around 40% in 2018. I hope I can bring that up to 50% in 2019, but it is going to be difficult.

    I did not get the part about 700k views per month, is that a typo?

    Good luck for 2019!

    • Nope, no typos here. The blog grew 50% month over month from Nov to Dec. If it would keep doing 50% MoM I would have 700k views per month after 12 months (so Dec 2019).

      I figure I don’t need 50%. My goal is to reach around 20k views per month this year. That means the blog has to grow 12% month over month to get there.
      Thanks!

  3. Well done with the better than expected savings rate! Also good that your net worth at least stayed roughly the same even with a strong decline in stocks. It’s the same for me, but only because I continued to deposit money. I virtually lost 4944,71 EUR due to the stock drop.
    Congratulations on the visitors as well, I’m happy I’m one of the new visitors :)

    Keep up the good work and let us make 2019 another good one!

  4. Can you share some earnings in terms of money. What are your monthly expanses + income for example blogging and groceries.

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