What’s more appropriate than a badass Donkey Kong, his buddy Diddy Kong, and trusty Rambi the Rhinoceros to depict the year 2015? Nothing in my humble opinion. DK’s smile, Diddy’s smug look, and Rambi’s forward-dashing stance clearly show how happy and satisfied I am with the progress I made this year and how dedicated I am to continue the same way in 2016. Also, it’s infographic time!
Well yes, dear visitor. Since I like infographics so much I thought I’d give them a spin and create one myself for my 2015 review. And I must say I’m rather pleased with the result. It consists of four main parts: the activity on this blog, visitor characteristics, my net worth growth, and a review of my goals.
While infographics convey a lot of information in a fast and neat manner, they fall short in clarifying subtleties – statistics remain statistics after all. So if you feel like the infographic to the right doesn’t cover my 2015 in enough detail, simply continue reading.
Oh, and for reference sake, be sure to check out my 2015 goals if you haven’t read that article before.
1. Blog activity
2015 was a stellar year on the blogging front. It marked the first anniversary of my blog and already you guys have surpassed my wildest expectations. Over the entire year No More Waffles served up 65 brand-new articles, which together with the 2014 articles were read a total of 210,000 times.
On top of that many of you also came out of the woodwork and contributed to the lively discussions in the comments section. At over 4,000 comments it’s fair to say that our community remains as tight-knit as I first experienced when starting out in July of 2014.
2. Blog visitors
Of course, these numbers have to come from somewhere – you, the readers. In 2015 you guys grew to a massive 42,378 in total! And I use the word “guys” quite literally here since 87% of this blog’s visitors are males. I guess the stereotype that men are generally more interested in finance holds some truth – where’s smoke there’s fire, after all.
The United States of America confirms its title as the number one capitalist country in the world, delivering 19% of all readership. However, most visitors turn out to be from the other side of the Atlantic ocean with Belgium, Holland, Germany and the United Kingdom making up the bulk of European readers.
3. Net worth increase
At the end of 2014 I said “go big or go home” and that’s exactly what I did with my 2015 net worth goal. Guess what? I made it big! With a net worth increase of 41% I finish the year with €71,580 in assets, most of which generate a solid stream of passive income.
Interestingly, this number turns out to be a bit higher than first reported, mainly because my December savings rate remains unknown at the time of putting the infographic and this article together. That’s why you’ll see another big spike upwards in January’s update.
4. Goals achieved
Apart from achieving a personal net worth of 70,000 Euros I also set five other goals. First, I wanted to match 2014’s savings rate, as explained in last year’s review. My new road bike, which I also use to commute to work, spoiled that party though. I finished just shy of my goal at 67% of my total annual income. Still, I couldn’t be happier about that number.
Speaking of commuting to work by bike, I did manage to do so over 50 times the past months. That’s another goal out of the way! Now that I’ve got the hang of riding my bike to work – yes, it requires a bit more planning ahead than just getting on the train each morning – I even think of cycling to work every single day of the week.
Third, I hoped to follow three work-related trainings and one hobby-related one. It was a close call, but I can also tick this box! At the beginning of the year a bunch of friends dragged me into dancing classes, something I really wasn’t prepared for at the time. Expanding my comfort zone keeps me fresh and young though, so I hesitantly said yes.
Fourth, the main goal for this blog was to serve up to 100,000 page views by the end of the year. In june I had already reached that number, and as mentioned above it didn’t stop there with 210,000 articles read in total.
Lastly, and quite possibly the main goal of this blog, I set out to make €500 in dividend income. By mid-september the blue progress bar on my blog showed a bold 100% already, so it’s no surprise that passive income stands at 870 Euros in total for 2015.
Boom! That’s a total of five out of six objectives realised.
All of the above in the name of financial independence, whew. In my opinion it’s totally worth it. Financial independence is a process of self-improvement, a process in which you slowly build yourself to the point you’re less reliant on outside forces for both personal and financial security.
And that’s what I feel I’ve achieved this year.
Not only are all financial indicators pointing firmly upwards, my curious and always-eager-to-learn mind got its way too. On top of that, I’m feeling better than ever due to all the cycling. All in all, I’m a better version of myself. I’m NMW 2.0, if you’d like.
Yes, there are some things that I’d like to see different next year, such as avoiding another Kinder Morgan debacle or actually achieving my savings goal, but I’m not here to play the Complain Game. I’m here to make 2016 even better than 2015 – and with your continued support I’m sure to do just that. Besides, I already feel like I’ve won the lottery.
So let’s continue our financial freedom journey the exact same way as we ended 2015. And no, this isn’t one of those instances in which you’re insane for doing the same thing over and over – we’re actually building a better future for ourselves.
Thank you for your kind support over the past year and I wish you all the best for 2016!