After sharing with you all our monthly results, I want to take a step back and look at 2022 as a whole. I present to you, Lazy FI Family’s 2022 annual results.
I already share with you our personal-life updates every month. For that reason, this post will be more number-focused.
Let’s dive in.
2022 Annual results- Income
In total, our income grew by 17.67% in 2022 compared to 2021.
That definitely improved our 2022 annual results.
I am quite surprised by this number because Lazy FI Mum was on maternity leave for a few months, which reduced our income.
So how did our income grow?
When I say salaries I mean net salaries + employer pension contributions+ employee (our) pension contributions.
I explained why I include the pension contributions as part of our income in the “How to calculate your savings rate” post.
Lazy FI Mum’s salary (+pension) decreased by 6.69%, this is due to maternity leave offset by a raise she received in mid-2021. This means that in 2021 she got the higher salary only for roughly half the year but in 2022, the full year was with her new, increased salary.
My salary (+pension) increased by 27.78%, this is mainly due to a big bonus I received in 2022 (I was not eligible for the 2021 bonus), but it’s partly also due to tax savings using my NI tax hack.
You can read about it here:
But please also read this warning:
Since April 2021 (the new tax year), we’ve been getting the full child benefit. This is thanks to the method I went through in the “How to increase your child benefit with pension contributions” post.
Our “child benefit” line grew by 102.63% due to our son joining our family and the fact that we only claimed child benefit since April 2021, while we claimed it for all of 2022.
As you know, I teach (mainly Excel). 2022 was amazing from that perspective. Our “other income” line grew by 15.96%, which is mainly my Excel side hustle.
This had a big impact on our 2022 annual results
We also had a few more “other income” items like a gift from a relative and cashback from American Express, you can read more about this here:
2022 Annual results- Expenses
Our income grew by 17.67% in 2022 compared to 2021 but our expenses grew faster than our income. In 2022, our expenses grew by a staggering 23.72% compared to 2021. However, most of this can be explained by holidays and “cheating” (prepaying for 2023 expenses).
This will help us meet the 50% savings rate goal in 2023.
Time to look at the main lines that make up our expenses.
Housing (mortgage/rent) and bills
As you may remember, we live in a shared-ownership property. This means we used to pay a mortgage (only the interest part) and rent. Since we bought 100% of our flat (the official term is “staircasing”), we pay no rent. This section includes our mortgage, rent (when we used to pay it) and other bills.
First of all, I know there’s an energy crisis and energy prices are crazy. We are very fortunate to have listened to Martin Lewis’ warning, we fixed our tariff before the end of 2022 for 3 years. Our energy bill barely increased this year. In addition, we fixed our mortgage for 5 years before the interest rates increased (pure luck). These two items played a huge part in the number I’m going to share now:
Our housing (mortgage/rent) and bills line decreased by 15.81% in 2022 compared to 2021.
Most of the decrease came from the housing (mortgage/rent) part.
First of all, we switched our mortgage to a better rate in the middle of 2021, which means that for the first half of 2021, we were paying a lot of money towards our mortgage and too much of it went towards the interest and not the principal. In addition, in 2022, we bought 100% of our flat, which means no rent and more money going towards the principal (not an expense).
As I look at net amounts (how much I paid minus how much I got reimbursed), the amounts are tiny, less than £100 per year in both years.
If you have no idea what Mystery Dining is, here you go:
Going out and eating out
in monetary amounts, our “going out and eating out” line grew by 50.71% in 2022 compared to 2021.
That’s a huge increase (from a % perspective. from a monetary perspective, it’s not that big).
The explanation is simple- we went out more. I’m happy we did that.
This is made of days outside of London, family meals out or times when I didn’t have time to cook because I was teaching Excel during my lunch break (I can assure you I earned more than the cost of that food).
If the reasons stay the same, I hope to see an increase in this line in 2023 as well.
However, I like to look at the granular detail so let’s see what happened in 2022 regarding our “eating/going out” line.
Nando’s vs Wagamama vs Lazy FI Mum’s local Cafes
Nando’s- 14 visits (2021:15 visits) account for 31% of our “going out and eating out” expense line. I was expecting this number to be a lot lower considering my daughter now prefers Wagamama over Nando’s (she’s wrong, I know, I’m working on it).
Wagamama – 6 visits accounts for 16.3% of our “going out and eating out” expense line. Only 6 visits? feels like 60, weird.
Lazy FI Mum’s local cafe- 22 visits, accounts for 36.4% of our “going out and eating out” expense line.
Each child has theie own line but I will combine it here for you. It includes only expenses that we can easily separate (clothes, childcare, furniture, toys etc.). Their combined line does not include groceries as it will be too time-consuming to separate their items. It also excludes any travel fare we pay for them, which goes to the “holiday” line.
Our “Children” line increased by 12.82%, which is not surprising considering our son was born in 2022, another kid equals more expenses (and joy). The increase would have been a lot bigger if we didn’t include gifts our kids got as an offset to those expenses.
Yes, we have a cleaner. The FI police didn’t arrest me for this last year but I’m still waiting.
This line is totally worth it in our opinion. Not only do we have a cleaner, our spending on a cleaner increased by 50.67% in 2022 compared to 2021.
The main reason is that we found a very good cleaner and she comes every week (as opposed to once every two weeks, which is what we did for most of 2021).
Furniture/ electronics, clothing, and misc
Our “furniture/ electronics, clothing, and misc” line increased by 92.86%! in 2022 compared to 2021.
What the hell?
This one actually has a simple explanation and it’s due to something weird that happened in 2021.
In 2021, a family member decided to gift us money to pay for some furniture-related purchases we made back in 2020. I included the expense in 2020 but I treated the gift as a “negative expense” in the same category, which artificially reduced the expense in 2021.
If we ignore the gift, we actually spent less in this category in 2022 compared to 2021.
To sum it up, 2022 was pretty normal, and 2021 was weirdly low, hence the increase.
Our “groceries” line grew by 12.68% in 2022 compared to 2021.
This makes complete sense. We have another mouth to feed and another bum to cover with nappies.
This is a gym membership (now cancelled), health insurance, home massages and osteopathy treatments.
Our “health” line increased by 88.96% in 2022 compared to 2021.
While this sounds crazy, there’s a simple explanation here as well.
As I shared with you in our November 2022 results, we bought Urban gift cards to use towards massages and osteopathy treatments (Amex offered 20% cashback, and we used it). Most of these massages and treatments will take place in 2023 so it’s another form of “cheating”.
Those gift cards explain more than 80% of the increase in this line. The rest is actual health treatments (dentist etc.).
Our “transport” line increased by 36.79% in 2022 compared to 2021.
This is mainly because my employer now insists we come into the office a couple of times a week. It is mostly TFL (86.89% of the 2022 transport expense). Nothing we can do about it.
In addition, it’s a very small part of our expenses as it only accounts for less than 3% of our expenses.
I also feel it’s important to mention that we don’t drive in the UK. Both Lazy FI Mum and I have our Israeli driving licenses but we don’t have English ones.
Finally, the elephant in the room.
Not only did our “holiday” line increase by 129.29% in 2022 compared to 2021, but it also accounted for 15.3% of our total 2022 expenses!
Let’s dive in and see what happened in this line
In 2021 we had one visit to Israel, one visit to Canterbury, and one prepaid (apparently not a new trick) stay at Center Parcs for February 2022.
As I mentioned above, we went to Center Parcs in February 2022, there were still expenses to pay once we were there. We had so much fun that we went again in October 2022!
We also went to Israel twice (April 2022 and November 2022).
From 2022, visits to Israel became more expensive. Not only did my daughter turn 2 (which means she now pays for flights as if she was an adult), we are now a family of 4. This means it’s much harder to stay with family. This is a blessing in disguise because I think having our own place (sublet/AirBNB) gives us the privacy we need and reduces tension.
In addition to all of the above, we “cheated” again and prepaid for two (!) holidays in 2023.
The first one is flights to Israel during the first half of 2023. The second is the stay in Center Parcs in the second half of 2023.
You can probably tell by my language that I’m not worried at all about the increase in our expenses.
There are a few reasons for that:
- Our savings rate (see below) is above 50%, which is better than I could ever expect.
- A big part of the increase is due to prepaid expenses that relate to 2023.
- While I don’t feel that we’re now a “spendy” family, I must admit that I learned how to spend in 2022. As an FI follower, my saving and investing skills were strong but spending was a skill I had to learn and I can thank Ramit Sethi’s podcast for a big part of the change I’ve made in this area.
2022 Annual results- Saving rate
We ended 2021 with a wicked saving rate of 51.92%!
At the end of 2021, I set our goals at 33.33% (a third) due to Lazy FI Mum’s maternity leave. I also set our long-term goal at 40%, which was also the “ambitious” goal for 2022. As you can see, those goals were too easy for us.
From now on, no more “regular” and “ambitious” goals, it’s just one goal- 50%. That’s our goal for 2023– beat 50% for the third year in a row.
Not only that, we’re not aiming for anything over 50%. I want to be as close to 50% as possible, 51% is better than 60%. I want us to spend money on things that make us happy and improve our life.
Just to clarify- I’ll be very annoyed with 49.9%! there’s a huge difference for me between 49.9% and 50.1%. It’s the difference between meeting our goal and failing.
2022 Annual results- Net worth (nominal)
In 2021, our net worth increased by 6.92%. The 6.92% is made of 2 parts:
- Our actual savings increased our net worth by 16.73*%
- Our investments went down in value, which decreased our net worth by 9.82*%
Despite a horrible year from Mr Market, our savings were still enough to offset the market downturn.
You can look at Mr Market’s performance as a bad thing (decreasing our net worth). Alternatively, you can look at the bigger picture: We’re in a stage called the accumulation stage, which means that we’re still buying these ETFs, not selling them. Just like anything else in the world, you want to buy for a lower price. I believe that in the long term, this period of low prices will really help our FI Journey once Mr Market recovers.
In addition, as you invest more money, the more control Mr Market has over your net worth. As our goal is to have more and more money invested, we’re happy to pass the control to Mr Market.
2022 Annual results- Net worth (real)
Reminder: I set our FI number (how much we need to retire) in July 2020 and update it every month for inflation (I use CPIH** index).
In 2022, the CPIH increased by 9.38% (124.8 / 114.1). This means the nominal amounts above need to be adjusted for inflation by dividing them by 1.0938, let’s do it.
While our nominal net worth increased by 6.92%, things got more expensive (by 9.38%), which means our purchasing power (our real net worth) decreased by 2.25% (1.0692 / 1.0938 – 1).
As you can see, 2 factors are out of our control:
- The market performance (are our investments worth more or less this year?)
- Inflation (are things more expensive than last year?)
As these factors are out of our control, we’re left with only one factor which is in our control- savings, which was great this year.
Unfortunately, despite our impressive savings rate, it was not enough to fully offset both the market decreases and inflation. Regardless, I’m very proud of us for what we’ve achieved in 2022 and we also had lots of fun along the way.
That’s it for our 2022 annual results, see you next year.
* I know 16.73% – 9.82% = 6.91% and not 6.92%. That’s because these numbers are rounded to two decimal points. 6.92% is the correct increase in our net worth.
**CPIH- “Consumer Price Inflation including owner-occupiers’ Housing costs”. As we are consumers and we do, partly, own our home- I think this is the best inflation metric for us. You can see the changes in the index here.