Another new year, same old Spendthrift

I’ve just opened up my blogpost to write about my new year intentions and realised my last post was in January! It’s been nearly a year since I last posted. That is WILD. I didn’t prioritise my finances or this blog in any way last year and I’m about to change that as part of my plans for 2019.

Stacks of coins - pounds, 50p, 20p and 10p.

These coins were once my lifeline – I needed them to get through my lowest week in 2016

How was 2019?

In summary, it was pretty good. Here are a few good things that I did in the last year:

  • Spoke at a big conference! There were around 1500 attendees and at least 250 people attended my symposium.
  • Got a new job and role – at a startup
  • I moved back to London
  • I moved into an apartment with my girlfriend i.e. no roommates
  • I got two pets in my life
  • I bought furniture including a bed and mattress, a couch and a TV (which may or may not count as furniture)
  • I visited Krakow and Pasadena for the first time
  • I went to Disneyland
  • I finally understood why people like New York – and got to see Brooklyn and the Bronx for the first time
  • I invoiced £12,650 as a freelancer
  • I increased my base salary by £13k
  • I got honorariums for 2 speaking gigs
  • I got an Amex SPG card (this was huge because this was the first time I qualified for Amex since 2010)
  • I got the 8% match on my pension

It wasn’t all good though. I did a few things I’m not as proud of

  • I got into more debt – the upfront deposit and furniture for my new place as well as shipping things back to London were expensive.
  • I got over 40 lbs heavier than I was in 2018
  • I didn’t track my spending
  • I bailed on attending so many things, often with very short notice

What have I got planned for 2020?

I’ve decided that my word for the year is craftsmanship. There was a lot of upheaval and big change in my life last year and I got sidelined by dealing with those. As a result, I neglected myself in many ways. I’d love to change that in 2020.

Work and career

I’m going to focus on my craft in work. I need to master the foundations of an element of my role that I previously had no knowledge of. I’m going to focus on the craft of teaching – through public speaking, writing and teaching. I’ve already got 6 workshops scheduled for next year and would like to get that up to a dozen at least. I’d also like to launch an aspect of my business that I was supposed to have focused on this year but didn’t. This will require that I hone my craft in a specific way.

Health and wellness

I used to play for a football league team in 2017/18 and left the 2018/19 season due to my move. Yet, I couldn’t get my fitness back up enough to make it into the team at all when I moved back in September. I’m too out of shape to play a 90 minute football game and I wheeze when I walk briskly, even for 5 minutes. I’m going to focus on my craft in play, get my skills good enough to get back into a league side.

Love and relationships

Relationships are my thing. I’m usually a reliable friend. I turn up for family. I enjoy planning fun and surprising romantic adventures. I let life and fatigue get in the way of being awesome at relationships last year. This year I’m going to focus on my craft in love. Give good gifts, stop being fickle, date my girlfriend, be a source of delight.


I need to get back on top of my finances. I’m currently unaware of exactly how much I owe and have no plan at the moment for how to pay it off. At the end of the year, I should know how much debt I’m in and have paid off a big chunk of it.

Here’s my 52 things I want to do in 2020

These are a mix of big, small, serious and playful things that should help me feel totally accomplished by the end of the year.

  1. Read 26 books
  2. Complete Freecodecamp’s responsive web design certification
  3. Get some formal accessibility training
  4. Mentor 1 or 2 juniors
  5. Launch (new) business
  6. Land a keynote speaking role for 2021
  7. Write 6 professional blog posts / articles
  8. Get 500 followers on Twitter
  9. Volunteer/do some work for a charity/non-profit
  10. Create a stylish capsule wardrobe with expensive base items like great black jeans, black t-shirts, pale blue shirt, an amazing tweed and/or black blazer
  11. Complete the Spartan 5k race
  12. Complete 12 park runs
  13. Play in a basketball league
  14. Play in a 5-a-side football league
  15. Join a local football league team
  16. Play in a badminton competition
  17. Complete the beginner’s (12 session) programme at local boxing gym
  18. Go to kick-about football matches or games at least 18 times in the year
  19. Cycle to/from work 100 days of the year
  20. Drink 2 litres of water a day for 21 consecutive days
  21. Eat 5 vegetables a day for 21 consecutive days
  22. Do carbohydrate addicts diet for 3 consecutive months at least
  23. Get a full medical done
  24. Go to the dentist a couple of times at least
  25. Go roller blading at least once in the summer
  26. Go on 12 bae dates – these are pre-planned, dress up dates
  27. Create a date jar
  28. Maintain a list of awesome restaurants and food in London
  29. Go camping/on a low key holiday like “Lochfest
  30. Furnish the outside of the flat
  31. Buy some plants for the flat
  32. Host 1 wine and cheese evening with friends
  33. Host 4 film nights
  34. Host 2 game nights
  35. Get twists done
  36. Cut my hair regularly and deep condition at least once a month
  37. Buy bae’s tootsie chair or something similar
  38. Have sex in 3 foreign countries
  39. Practice tantra regularly
  40. Make £90,000 before tax
  41. Hit a 40% savings rate i.e. savings + pension + debt payoff should be 40% or more of my take home pay
  42. Tidy up my bank accounts – close the Barclays account at least
  43. Track my spending such that I have 12 complete spreadsheets for the year and know exactly how much I spent
  44. Write 24 blog posts for reforming spendthrift
  45. Watch a Wimbledon and/or Roland Garros match live
  46. Eat at Sketch
  47. Visit Asia
  48. Take a cookery class
  49. Learn to play one Christmas song on guitar
  50. Register for Spanish lessons
  51. Visit home
  52. Get my (UK) driving license

What about you? How was 2019? And do you have any goals for 2020?


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