In October 2020 we had thoughts of converting a van and going travelling. We optimised the initial plan (read more about the van here!) and worked on a campervan conversion, experiencing vanlife travels and developing passive income simultaneously.
We set goals for 2021 (and we blew them out of the water!)…
2021 goal re-cap
The overall ‘umbrella goal' was to be in a position to travel Europe in a camper van for a year without too many money worries. This would involve buying and converting a van plus developing modest passive income streams…
As 2022 kicks in, we have far exceeded that (those) goals!
How did we do it?
Very briefly we…
- Reduced our van costs (instead of a decent van, we bought a budget one)
- Delayed plans and traveled nearer to home for a year (Ireland, not mainland EU)
- Reduced our living costs/expenses (usual stuff; phone, internet, gym etc)
- Sold crap & decluttered (bye-bye unused clothes, tech, books etc)
- Sold most my crypto (I didn't have any normal ‘big' things to sell eg a car)
- Took on extra freelance/contract work
…and put the savings & earnings into ‘passive income' opportunities.
Those decisions had many additional benefits…
By choosing a budget van, we weren't so worried about drilling holes in it or scraping along the side of a hedge. And by travelling Ireland (instead of sunnier EU spots such as Spain & Portugal) we saved us a fortune and we had an amazing experience doing parts of The Wild Atlantic Way we'd never seen.
We got rid of loads of stuff we didn't use and choosing passive income opportunities (rather than eg developing an affiliate website or writing a book), I could freelance and work hard for several months without distraction – ie. I could earn more money while my money was simultaneously working for me…and ultimately de-risk my spends/investments.
You can read the 2021 roundup here: https://vanlifeincome.net/2021-roundup
Much bigger goals for 2022…
The 2022 ‘umbrella goal'
Ultimate freedom (or financial freedom) doesn't mean much if others around you are struggling. The big overall goal for 2022 is to develop a “freedom base” for my family and myself — to get everyone to a place where they can take some time to relax a little and breath; where they can stop worrying so much about their future and enjoy life more.
For the most part, this involves money (although, when you break it down, it's really about time, emotional wellbeing and responsibilities!).
The following 10 goals are already “in progress”…
And they are in no particular order! I have much more specific versions of course, with numbers etc, however they are personal so this is just an overview (the more accurate and explicit and visual your goals are, the more likely you will be to achieve them);
- Decide on if we want to move to Portugal (or other EU location), and if so, find a six-month rental to base ourselves whilst we explore further. Goal: by March 2022.
- Pay off our mortgage (maybe)* so we can move abroad and rent house out and distance ourselves from UK residency. We're not talking New York or London prices; our mortgage is small — Northern Ireland house prices are around 50% less than the UK average, and we only have about 50% remaining. Goal: by mid-April 2022.*
- Pay off my COVID ‘bounce back’ loan. Again, if we decide to stay in the UK this wouldn’t be something I’d consider, but for tax residency purposes it's probably better getting it done. And just takes away some of the risk. Goal: by end April 2022.*
- Upgrade the van – ie. get a new one! Our 2004 DIY conversion has served us well, however we’d love to be setup for a bit more ‘off-road’, general efficiency and for snow/cold weather. Goal: by TBC (July 2022?).
- Build up passive income & crypto for family. I’ve already been doing this but don’t have defined targets yet as it also partially depends on my personal situation eg if remain in UK or go abroad and the various tax implications. Goal: by TBC (already in progress).
- Assist parents with some pension stuff (eg mum is in the age group that got screwed by UK changes and never received any advice…ie she has virtually no pension). Goal: by March 2022 (ie before UK tax year end).
- Assist parents towards retirement in the sun. Goal: 50% complete by EOY.
- Help sibling clear some debt and (maybe!) pay off mortgage…or, if after explaining stuff, maybe looking at income sources instead. Again, her mortgage is tiny compared to ‘the UK norm’ as lives in small, inexpensive Northern Ireland house. Goal: 30% complete by EOY.
- Help other sib get out of debt (Goal: 100% complete by EOY.) and grow a deposit to get on the property ladder — she lives mainland UK and house prices are crazy-high £££ (Goal: started by EOY).
- Create a plan for stability / sustainability eg stable coins, ISA, pension. Some decisions need to be made before end of UK tax year. Partial goal; 4th April 2022 (remainder: ongoing).
If I manage to tick off some of those, and/or make a dent in others, I’ll be very, very happy! 😁
* paying off low-interest loans isn’t something I’d normally jump at, but if it assists us in other ways too such as tax residency then we need to consider it. TBC if this is required eg maybe our mortgage company will give us permission to rent for a year.
Pushing further ahead into 2023, I'd love to see those goals closed off and be living happily in mainland Europe with freedom to travel whilst working on or supporting a ‘social good' project.
Those are just the ones more ‘finance' goals. I have others eg learning languages, other (non-computer) activities etc.
My 2022 crypto projects plans
For the first few months, I’m going to stick with what I know; my Top 3 projects. This is because they require so little time and don’t take up any headspace. Also, I’m travelling a lot In Jan and Feb so won’t have much time to research more or take action.
Whilst parts of November/December 2021 were interesting and fun, it's also quite exhausting being a ‘degen‘ and constantly monitoring so many new projects. Interesting, but not exactly ‘passive'…and there have been so many rugs in the space recently I'm grateful for a break!
The few ‘extremely high risk’ projects I mentioned in December/2021 update post, eg $MCC, $POWER, $WEAVE I’ll continue to grow (eg if they are “nodes”) or HODL into the new tax year and see what happens. These are high risk as they are new and unproven.
As one of the 100 founding members (contributed to initial liquidity capital and voted on decisions), I’m obviously bullish on Project X (PXT) and am confident that the people involved have best intentions for the project and for its supporters and long-term sustainability. Obv, it's still very new and thus very high risk, so as always, be sure to do your own research (DYOR)!
I’ll continue to use some of the profits to grow various crypto holdings, inc the big guns, Bitcoin and Ethereum.
I’m also looking at stablecoins and general stability. I've got an account with $FWT Freeway from AuBit (aubit.io) – a regulated platform that currently enables you to earn 43% on stablecoins (future will be 20-50%)!! You can register at the general address above, or you can use my referral link: https://freewaylite.aubit.io/ref/fwda94d51e (you get an extra 2% APY for life by using a referral link). Either way, this is a KYC platform so you will need ID to register. I’ll do a full article on Freeway at a later date. Update: AuBit Freeway Supercharger article is live 🙂
Another I might split some stables with is Anchor Protocol $ANC which I've been considering for a while (there are a few others I might explore too to reduce/spread risk further).
And, as the cryto pots grow, I’ll be looking more closely at the insurance options such as Nexus Mutual.
My 2022 non-crypto plans
I don’t have any intention to do more web or book publishing projects in 2022 due to the investment of time and money involved compared to that of crypto.
I’m debating if I should use my 2021 ISA allowance for which I have a Freetrade stocks and shares ISA (an ISA an annual tax-free allowance in the UK; basically, we can invest and then withdraw without paying any tax on profits) or, if I’m better off with AuBit/Anchor stablecoin projects (or other crypto projects).
Same goes with pension allowance; should I put more into my Vanguard pension? Or stick with crypto?
It will probably be March 2022 before I look more closely at these options.
What are your 2022 goals? 🤔
If we didn't have any goals / tangible reasons for growing passive income streams, I very much doubt I'd be where I am today.
Looking back, those goals were fairly modest; a budget DIY van conversion 🚐, the freedom to travel 🌎 and a small ‘passive' monthly income 💸, but they gave us a vision to action (and to persevere!).
And it worked.
Never in a million years if someone told me in October 2020, “you'll be [insert where I am now] in a year”, would I have believed you (I spent most of October 2020 confined to an 8ft box as part of a medical trial to earn some cash!)….Nevermind believing there was a possibility we could pay off our mortgage…nevermind the possibility of helping my family do the same.
However, I'm proof that it is possible.
Note that whilst this came pretty fast (within a year), it was not “overnight”, nor was it without sacrifice.
There was a long period of intense freelance work at the start of the year, we made lots of day-to-day savings and we adapted our “vanlife” plans to de-risk and take the chance to (possibly!) make the ultimate freedom lifestyle become reality.
🤔 Think about the “why” behind your goals and be precise…they will become much more real and you'll be much more determined and likely to see them through.
Good luck and here's to a successful 2022! 💪 🚀 🙌
You can read my 2021 roundup here: https://vanlifeincome.net/2021-roundup