Well here we are again at the end of the year. It is our 2021 wrap up. So how was our 2021?
Non-Financial 2021 Wrap Up
If we start with the non financial, I regrettably have to note not much has changed from our 2020 wrap up. We are still awaiting decisions in the foster care world. I am still managing finances for our POA.
I am also still at the same employer. Frankly with each passing day I am more burned out and ready for a change. But like what I wrote a few months ago until things solidify a bit more for foster care, I won’t be going anywhere. As it is I have a few more months until I plan to reevaluate. So while slightly better then 2020 (where I lost some love ones), 2021 has not been a stellar non financial year. If I were to think of a word to describe 2021 it would be ho hum.
Now if you remember in 2020 I noted that financials are not everything. In that post I noted our financials had been stellar but everything else was poor. Well in a similar fashion this year the financial part of the story was all roses.
If you recall I expected 2021 to be the year of decreased income. Well it didn’t happen. My cash bonus this year was the largest it’s ever been. And the stock decline I predicted to impact my dwindling RSUs? Well the stock went up again. Ultimately my income went up about 10% in 2021.
If you recall I also predicted 2021 would have decreased expenses by 10%. Well this estimate was right on the money.
The travel trailer decreased our vacation costs while our credit car rewards remained at normal levels. Combined those rewards offset other expenses beyond vacation. Also while we began to engage with the world opened up from Covid, we still did not open up fully. So holds on child activity expenditures also remained. Finally things like school lunches continued for our kids. We have not experienced inflation.
Combined our savings was up for 2021. It still rounded to our normal target of 2x expenses, but it was on the north side of that target. Not a bad savings year.
Investment Return for 2021
I had predicted a major decline in low risk investment return. While I was right in general, I was wrong in my prediction that I-Bonds would continue to be low. At 7% annual currently, the ibond portion of my new investments are more then earning their keep. In general my new low risk investments are achieving my prior year 3% goals and then some. Although as I noted at the beginning of the year I set no goal to avoid chasing yield. So I guess I can’t really count this as successfully completing a goal.
No Real Estate Investing in 2021
I did keep to my original plan of holding off on real estate investing until the market quiets down. For now I continue to focus on bonds and stock investing. Maybe in 2022.
2021 Credit Card Hacking
I kind of alluded to it, my credit card hacking also did not decline in 2021. We ended up getting the Chase Sapphire Premier after my 4 year Chase time limit expired. Also added was the new American Express Platnum, again due to changes not subject to life time language. Basically the credit card situation for churning was somewhat easier this year due to offering changes. I took advantage of this and reduced my expenses as a result.
Finally on the financial side my donation levels remained constant at 5% of income. Our contributions went primarily to the Foodbank of Delaware. But they also went to a number of other groups throughout the year based on our priorities. As noted we continue to prefer donations to organizations in our local community.
2021 Wrap Up of Blogging
So with finances out of the way we come to the last goal, blogging. Originally my goal was to post ever few weeks. Well that obviously didn’t happen as I posted about once a month, sometimes less. Still income remained at the pay for the hobby level and the site is still here. So I guess we did ok at least.
Well that’s it for 2021.. Onto the 2022 goals in the next post.