And just like that, half the year is over already. The first half of this year has really gone by quickly, I think in part because we are so busy preparing for baby. As with every personal finance resolution I make for myself, I usually get a bit nervous in the beginning of the year creating these goals because I worry that I won’t be able to achieve them. Some are much easier than others (like maxing out the TFSA or RRSP) for me and I often put them in there because you know, they are filler goals, and completing them makes you feel better.
Increase Net Worth to $475,000
My goal was to increase my net worth to $475,000 from about $450,000 which does not include my pension contributions and included the purchase price of my home. As of June 2017, my net worth with these parameters is $482,300 so I thankfully achieved this goal. I have a feeling this goal wasn’t very lofty, but with me going on maternity leave this year, I think I was being easy on myself. Hopefully it will be sustained until the end of the year.
Max out Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) Contribution
This was easy to complete and just involved transferring $5500 from my non-registered account to the TFSA account.
Max out Registered Retired Savings Plan (RRSP) Contribution
This was also easy to complete and involved transferring money from my non-registered into the RRSP account.
Read Five Financial Books
These were the books that I intended to read for 2017:
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- The Behaviour Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money by Carl Richards
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason
- Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd
- Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John Bogle
So far, I have read all of them except for Security Analysis. Thankfully I didn’t have to purchase any of them and was able to get them online (specifically The Richest Man in Babylon, it is widely available online in PDF) or borrow it at the local library. I plan to borrow Security Analysis from my husband.
Evaluation: On track!
Spend Less than $4000 on Travel this Year
This was an easy one to do because being pregnant limits your travel opportunities I suppose. This year we went to Palm Springs and Iceland and I spent under $2000 for both of these trips. We are hoping to travel with baby later this year and stay in Hawaii for 1-2 months but nothing is booked since we’re not sure how baby will travel or sleep yet. I am leaning towards just going ahead and booking things but my husband is leaning towards waiting to see how baby does.
Evaluation: Unfortunately on track!
Alternate Month Shopping Ban
My usual annual goal is to not spend on myself on alternate months, e.g. not buy things that I covet if it is in a shopping ban month. This allows me time to think about whether the purchase is really necessary. I don’t restrict myself with eating out with friends, but I restrict myself from buying myself a ‘treat’ or a $5 drink on a shopping ban month.
In May I bought myself a $5.25 Starbucks drink (which was a shopping ban month) but I think I blamed it on 2nd trimester cravings. In general though my spending has been pretty good, on clothing and accessories I think I spent less than $150 so far for the year.
Increase Dividend Income to $6000 per year
So far in mid-year, I have just under $2000 in dividend income. It’s not ideal and I don’t think I’m on track to reach $6000 dividend income this year (again). Obviously Exchange Traded Funds do not provide a dividend payout that is as hefty as individual companies. I was hoping that Husky (HSE.TO) would reinstate their dividend by the end of the year but it doesn’t look like that’s happening. Also, Fortis (FTS.TO) a long time dividend payer recently reduced their dividends, which is another hit to the $6000 annual dividend income per year.
Evaluation: Needs work!
Get Rid of One Thing a Day
This is probably my most fun personal finance goal. In the spirit of minimalism, I have been trying to get rid of one thing a day, so 365 items over the year. Even though Marie Kondo recommends you do a one time purge instead of getting rid of something every day (because people lose track). Every time I get rid of something, I put a checkmark in my agenda on the date, and so far, I am in “August” so I have about 120-150 more things in my home to get rid of to mark 365 things to get rid of.
Evaluation: On track!
Readers, how are your personal finance goals coming along?