2018: A Year in Review

We have a tradition here in the Kingdom Of Waffles. We have this journal (See Above) that lives in our holiday decoration box, and every year, at the turn of the year, each of us write a new entry. First we read our entries from the previous year, then we write our new entries independently, only to be read 365 days into the future.

What do we write about?

We write about what happened in the year, what we are feeling at the time, what we think will happen in the up coming year. It’s always interesting to read back to see where we thought things were going to end up, and the difference to where we actually did end up.

We won’t go into what exactly what was in it for last year, or went into it for this year, seeing how it’s super private. But let’s recap what’s gone on for us here:

We were on 5 different podcasts:

We’re looking forward to being on a couple more, and repeating on a few of the ones we have been guests on in the past.

We were included in a book!

We had a lot of Awesome visitors from the FI community this year:

We also returned the favor by visiting the 1500’s, Mr Crazy Kicks and also JD Roth.

Hmmm… What else happened this year?

  • We went to Cambodia, South Africa and Cuba.
  • We finally finished fighting with our insurance company about my bike accident.
  • We went to our second FinCon and met a ton of awesome people.
  • Ran another half-marathon (Mr.) & a 10k (Mrs.)
  • The Mrs kicked off her be-side hustle, and it’s going great!

And the some financial stuff happened as well:

  • We paid off Mr. Wow’s student loans.
  • We paid off Mrs. Wow’s car.
  • We invested in a South African Brewery.
  • And…. Drum Roll…. Our final savings rate for the year was 55.5%*

*I’m too lazy to calculate it exactly, so I just take the Cash Flow and divide it by the Income from Personal Capital. Ours is a little funky with the business income, taxes and other things in there, but good enough for government work!!!*

Wow, that’s quite a bit! I know last time I wrote before we took off for the holidays, I was in a bit of a funk. But, just looking back at all that’s happened this past year, it’s pretty incredible. It really puts into perspective how much has happened and how awesome it’s been.

That’s the beauty of our little journal. It helps keep things in perspective. And is fun to look back and see where you thought things were going to go. As we all know, plans start to fall apart as soon as you make them.

That being said, what’s in store for us in 2019?

This is what we have planned so far:

  • Go to India.
  • Already have two more podcasts scheduled.
  • Run another half-marathon (both of us).
  • 70k steps a week for the entire year (Mrs., Mr. probably won’t escape)
  • Bike across the great state of Iowa (Mr., potentially Mrs.).
  • Travel to Honduras and Peru for volunteering.
  • Go to FinCon Again (of course).
  • We are in the process of planning a Europe trip at some point.
  • Hope to see many, many more friends throughout the year.
  • I even have some side projects that might see the light of day.

And that’s just what we have planned so far. I’m sure there will be quite a bit more. Seems like it’s going to be another great year. So, next time you see me in a funk… Please smack me, and point me right back at this post!

Happy New Year Waffle Family!

How did your year go? What are you excited for in 2019??


  • wendy January 2, 2019 at 5:34 am

    You had a productive and fascinating year, here’s hoping 2019 treats you even better.
    Happy New Year everyone!

    • Mr WoW January 5, 2019 at 1:28 pm

      Hey !! Thanks Hope you had a great New Year. I know you ran with us, and hope you are keeping that up again!!! Best Wishes!!

  • Gwen @ Fiery Millennials January 2, 2019 at 5:44 am

    I saw my Facebook post from Jan 1st, 2018 so that’s kinda the same thing, right? I really like your idea and might have to steal it.

    As for the whole bike across Iowa thing, I really don’t understand the appeal of RAGBRAI. Maybe it’s because I lived there for so long. I will say it was fun to see everyone zoom by on the last day one year.

    Hope the new year brings you everything you want and need and more!

    • Mr WoW January 6, 2019 at 10:31 am

      Well… I guess that kind of counts. Steal it, that’s why I put it out there. Just don’t steal our book. it’s got all our deep dark secrets in it ;).

      I think it will be fun to bike across Iowa. I’ve talked about attempting the entire country at some point. So this will be a great chance to see if I even want to do that or not.

  • Fritz @ TheRetirementManifesto January 2, 2019 at 6:43 am

    I LOVE the concept of an annual entry, a book you’ll treasure for life! WoW, what a year! (See what I did there?). I’m looking forward to seeing you at FinCon19, Beat Wishes for a Great 2019!!

    • Mr WoW January 6, 2019 at 10:32 am

      Best wishes to you as well. We’re looking forward to seeing you at FinCon as well, and following your journey as you fall comfortably into your new life!

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach January 2, 2019 at 10:18 am

    It was a great year overall for you guys. Good luck with everything in 2019 and see you when I’m back in LA! You available to unload the pod? lol!

    • Mr WoW January 6, 2019 at 10:33 am

      Yeah, you had a fun year as well! I’m sure I can figure something out. Just keep us posted.

  • Dave @ Accidental FIRE January 2, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Awesome dude, the waffles are going to taste delightful this year!

    • Mr WoW January 6, 2019 at 10:33 am

      Thanks!! Here’s to wishing you a great and healthy new year, and may you have more waffles than pancakes!

  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life January 2, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    I did my recap but I STILL feel like 2018 was mostly meh overall, and I am not totally sure why. It wasn’t objectively stellar, that I can think of, nor was it terrible – but it might just be the leftover blues of as yet unresolved work stresses keeping me on edge or feeling like I’m engaged in a constant battle with my health more so than ever to get it to an acceptable level of pain.

    Whatever it is, I’m enjoying the feeling of a blank slate with the new year opening up again – at least as far as playing with numbers is concerned and looking for some good investments to anchor our someday retirement plans.

    Happy New Year!

    • Mr WoW January 6, 2019 at 10:35 am

      Perspective is what makes reality. So if you think it was a blah year, than it was a blah year! But if you think it was a great year, than a great year it was!

      Here’s hoping the blank slate of the new year brings you many happy returns!!!

  • Deanna January 3, 2019 at 4:12 am

    I love seeing other people’s traditions in bringing in the new year. What a lovely way to look back and reflect on all that occurred. It certainly puts things into perspective.

    • Mr WoW January 6, 2019 at 10:37 am

      It’s certainly an easy way to keep tabs on how much we’ve grown. It makes it nice and easy. The book just lives with our decorations. So when we pull them out to decorate, we find the book again. And it’s always interesting to go back and read the entries. Even from a few years back.

  • familymoneytravel January 3, 2019 at 6:09 am

    The journal is a great idea, I will mention it to my wife.

    • Mr WoW January 6, 2019 at 10:38 am

      You should. it’s a great way to keep track of life and what you were thinking. One journal entry a year, isn’t that bad. And it’s something that we look forward to each year.

  • Young FIRE Knight January 3, 2019 at 11:44 am

    What a great tradition! Love that idea. Back when I was in middle school my English teacher had us write a letter to ourselves on what our thoughts, ambitions, future plans, etc were at the time and then mailed those letters to us the day of our graduation from high school. It’s crazy to see how your thoughts and situation changes over a few years! May have to steal this from you… best of luck with everything in 2019!

    • Mr WoW January 6, 2019 at 10:39 am

      that’s a really cool idea. And I’m sure it was fun and surprising to get.

      BTW – It’s not stealing if it’s given away for free 🙂

  • FIRECracker January 8, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Wow, what a year guys! Well done. I love how you balance, accomplishments, with socializing, and giving back. And what an amazing job getting to an awesome 55.5% savings rate. Hats off to you both!

    Keep me posted on your European plans please! I’d love to meet up.

    • Mr WoW January 8, 2019 at 8:12 pm

      Thanks!! And we will most certainly let you know when/where we end up. Happy New Year to you as well!! What a hell of a year 2018 was for you guys… and 2019 is shaping up to be even better!

  • nick January 9, 2019 at 3:24 am

    I think, journal is a better idea and I would definitely recommend it most people know me. this article is good

    • Mr WoW January 9, 2019 at 9:36 pm

      Have fun with it. it’s a great little tradition!

  • My Family FI January 13, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    Sounds like you both had a fantastic year! I love this idea of yearly reviews. I’m new to the FIRE community and heard you both on the Bigger Pockets Money Podcast. Best of luck to you both in 2019.

    • Mr WoW January 14, 2019 at 9:35 pm

      Thanks!!! And best of luck in this new year to you as well!

      Steal it! Do something fun with it!

  • Kevin Nielsen January 15, 2019 at 2:32 am

    I would love to know more about the brewery! I read the original post about it. Is this something they are open to other investors? or was just this a one-time thing?

    • Mr WoW January 15, 2019 at 8:44 am

      So they were doing something akin to KickStarter where they were raising funding. It was limited to South African residents, so we had to do a bunch of fancy footwork to get the ability to do it, including international wire transfers and all sorts of other fun stuff.

      That being said, I’m sure there are other breweries that are raising money through different ways that you could look into. We just happened across this opportunity and couldn’t pass it up.

      From what I understand, if all goes well, they might be looking for more funding in a few years. And that will give us a chance to either cash in our shares, or buy more. So, maybe when that round of funding comes about, it will be open again.

      FWIW: It looks like there are several around. Maybe one near you that you can try and see if you are interested…



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