2017 Personal Finance Goals Recap

It’s January 1!  Happy 2018!  If you’re hungover and in need of some light reading, you’ve come to the right place because I’m going to recap my personal finance goals for 2017.  I will likely not be hungover, because gone are the days of NYE parties now that I have a baby, but I will likely still be sleep deprived post NYE anyways 🙂

I seriously can’t believe that 2017 has come to an end and 2018 has already begun.  So much has changed for me this year, like for instance, I’m a mom now and responsible for another human being!  As is my usual tradition, I review all my personal finance goals at the end of the year and also sometime in the mid-year.

Grab your ‘hair of the dog’ or your mimosa (oh how I wish I was doing the same, I am probably wiping off baby spit up right now instead), here’s my 2017 year in review.

2017 personal finance goals in review:


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.  This number was without calculating the assessed value of my home.  Even if I didn’t include my assessed value of my home, my net worth by the end of 2017 is over $500,000.

I thought that being on maternity leave would really cut out my income but with the employer top-up and less deductions (for example, I don’t have to pay into EI anymore while on maternity leave), my income hasn’t been that bad.

Evaluation: Completed!

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.

Evaluation: Completed!

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.
Evaluation: Completed!

Read Five Financial Books

These were the books that I intended to read for 2017:

Security Analysis is sitting on the bookshelf, and it stares at me all the time and makes me feel guilty but I haven’t read it yet.  I had some ambitious ideas that I would have all this free time to be able to read a book on maternity leave, let alone a behemoth of a book like Security Analysis.

Evaluation: FAIL

Spend Less than $4000 on Travel this Year

Pre-baby travel and post-baby travel seemed eons away from each other.  During our babymoon in the second trimester, we went to Iceland and Palm Springs and I spent under $2000.

Post-baby, we went to Hawaii for about 5 weeks and I spent about another $2000.  We saved money by staying at an AirBnB so that we had access to laundry and most importantly, a kitchen.  I spent $75 on my flight because we used Aeroplan points.

So I squeaked out at $4000, just barely.

Evaluation: Completed!

Alternate Month Shopping Ban

This is an ongoing goal of mine, but I really should just drop it because sometimes I am away during a ‘shopping ban’ month (e.g. in Hawaii) where I will for sure buy stuff.  I think what it has done is it helped me be more cognizant of my spending so that it doesn’t end up being mindless spending.  On some shopping ban months, I buy something here and there that I feel I need and on some non-shopping ban months I don’t end up buying anything.  So I think it sort of works out but hard to gauge since some months I bought stuff and some months I didn’t.  I also got really hungry during my pregnancy, you know because I was feeding an 8+ lb baby and indulged in a lot of sweet drinks during most of the pregnancy.

Evaluation: Fair

Increase Dividend Income to $6000 per year

Although my actual dividend yield for 2017 did not meet the goal of $6000 for the year, my forward dividend yield is more than $6000 as shown here in my most recent dividend income update.  This means that because I have continually added to my dividend producing assets throughout the year (rather than chunking it in the beginning), the $6000 in annual yield will definitely be reflected in next year’s payouts.  Barring any dividend cuts of course.

Although I was hopeful that Husky (HSE.TO) would reinstate their dividend, they did not.  Maybe they will do it in 2018!  This would have helped my dividend income to a great extent.

Evaluation: Completed, technically!

Get Rid of One Thing a Day

In the spirit of Sparking Joy, I set out in the beginning of the year to get rid of 365 items, so one thing a day.  In the beginning of the year I had some fantastic purge sessions, and would check an item per day for months.  For example, on a weekend, I would get rid of 10 items.  That would be 10 days worth of ‘check marks’ on my day calendar, which by the end of the year equated to 365 items.  To be honest, near the end of the year, I was getting anxious that I would not achieve this goal, because I was away for 5 weeks and would have to get rid of things ahead of time (before we left for our vacation).  I found that I was getting rid of things for the sake of getting rid of things (which completely detracts from the spirit of minimalism) and even got rid of things that I might have needed later on.

I then was forced to get rid of more things (about 40 items in one go) because the crib wasn’t fitting into our bedroom (well it fit, but I would have to push it aside to get to my desk).  Because of this, I completed this goal.  If I didn’t have to get rid of my desk to fit the crib in the bedroom, I probably wouldn’t have been able to complete this.

Evaluation: Completed!

Readers, how were your 2017 resolutions?  

Did you have an epic 2017?  

What was one of your favourite memory of 2017?

About genymoney

GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle.

32 comments on “2017 Personal Finance Goals Recap

  1. Good morning GYM and Happy New Year! I’m not much of a concrete goal setter in my personal life. Too many years in the corporate world setting and pursuing goals has left me with a softer approach in my personal and teaching life. I always have a vision for the future and a tactical to do list, but not much on annual goals. Your approach is probably better, buy mine works for me. Congrats on your 2017 accomplishments. Tom
    Tom @ Dividends Diversify recently posted…The 1 Resolution I Would Make – If I Were You (Part 1)My Profile

    • @Tom- Happy New Year to you too, Tom! A tactical to do list sounds like a list of annual goals in disguise 😉 I think we know what works for us by now (which is great especially since I’m in my mid-30’s!).

  2. Looks like you accomplished so many of your goals in 2017. That’s great that you have your TFSA maxed out. Seems a lot of people have a hard time accomplishing that.I have read a couple of those financial books you’ve mentioned but I haven’t heard of the others. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m going to have to take a look at the others. Congratulations on your financial accomplishments!!

    • @Alanna- My theory- I think people have a hard time putting their money in the TFSA because most people still think of it as a ‘savings’ account. So they think they don’t need that much emergency fund ‘savings’. I have another list of books I plan to read for 2018 in my New Years resolutions next week. These books from 2017 are very easy to read and were found at my public library (minus Security Analysis of course).

    • @Steve- Thank you Steve! Happy New Year to you too! I hope 2018 will be a great year too! Baby (I think) is napping right now in his crib (or at least is quiet) so I think all signs point to 2018 being a great year.

  3. Happy New Year GYM. 2017 had been a great year and I am happy to close it out and begin a new year.

    In previous years I always had New Year’s resolution set, but this year, I am changing my mindset. I am going to set goals and try to do one better than what I have been doing. It’s a motivation factor and I hope that I can push myself to do better.

    For me, my goal is to increase my net worth by 10%. Hopefully, I can make it three years in a row with 2018.
    Leo T. Ly recently posted…Is Bitcoin An Investment Or A Gamble?My Profile

    • @Leo- Happy new year too Leo! Increasing your net worth is no small feat given that it’s so high! Good luck on your 2018 goals!

  4. I love these! Maxing out your contributions is quite a feat – I admit I’ve been a bit lazy on that front, although something is better than nothing I suppose. For 2018 our main financial objective is to pay off our remaining $45k student loan balance. After that, we’ll have a car note and our mortgage. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel!
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What A Frugal Christmas Week! December 29My Profile

    • @Mrs. Picky Pincher- Paying off $45K is quite a feat! I haven’t paid off my mortgage yet- it would be nice to put money towards that but then I would be missing out on 12% of gains rather than <3%.

  5. Glad to hear you have achieved most of your goals in 2017. The top three goals are very impressive. You made it, cool! Wish you the continued success in 2018.

    I took 2017 as an exception: didn’t make any New Year resolution. 2017 turned out to be a good year for stock market, and I’m happy about it. Something trivial but it’s a sweet thing to me: I bought a nice chair for myself. I used to sit on a wood chair. The wood one is not too bad. But the new chair is really comfortable, and I use it everyday.

    • @Helen- Thanks Helen. Interesting that you didn’t make a resolution for 2017- what was different about 2017 that you decided not to do a resolution? That’s great that you treated yourself! Sometimes I think us “FIRE” folks strive towards so much utilization of our dollars towards retirement that we end up not spending money on ourselves. I think it’s okay to spend money on yourself if it’s purposeful, and it will provide you good utility.

      • Good question. I was totally shocked by the election in Nov 2016. My first thought for 2017 was to survive. I did it all right, lol. Life moves on.
        Yes, I definitely make good use of that chair.

    • @Dave- I’m excited to read it! So many 2018 resolutions posts, so little time! I’ll look out for it this week for sure. Haha, I like to have a little mix of goals- I do like the low hanging fruit goals because it makes me feel better but I do throw in a few difficult ones in there (case in point the $6K dividend income).

    • @Troy- Wow, congratulations on the engagement!! Sorry about the hedge fund cessation but it sounds like you have more time to start a new business venture now, so maybe it was a blessing in disguise. Haha, I am curious- how come you didn’t see that one coming (the engagement)?

    • @Matthew- Thank you Matthew! Best in the new year to you too, wishing for lots of dividend payment increases to us lol.

  6. Happy new year!!!

    Lol I failed reading the snowball book and security analysis… I only read part way for snowball, but learning about blogging got in my way. I see myself reading or watching videos related to blogging now 😂 or purely trial and error with random stuff related to the blog.

    so I attempted to read security analysis over two years ago, and I was struggling (embarrassed face). I didn’t find it an easy read… I got into the first few and I don’t know what it was, but the read was not straight to the point. I found reading a finance textbooks from school much easier >.<

    I’m thinking maybe I just need to give it another shot at it. Lol… I think this was one of the reasons why I started a blog. I need to improve my reading and writing skills!!

    Btw, great job w/ your overall goals this year! There are times we don’t reach them 100% and that’s ok. Just need to attempt them again and continue on w/ your journey!!
    fin$avvy panda @ finsavvypanda.com recently posted…5 Amazing Money Tips From a BillionaireMy Profile

    • @fin$avvy Panda- Yeah, The Snowball is a big book- it’s so good though! If you liked Becoming Warren Buffett (I think that’s what the documentary was called) you will like this book. I will hopefully crack open Security Analysis at least in the next few months haha.

  7. Hey Happy New Year GYM!!
    Hopefully you will have time to read Behavior Gap as well. I high recommend it, it is a straight forward approach when making financial decisions. I need to check out Think and Grow Rich sometime this year, heard it’s a great read.
    Looks like you accomplished most of your financial goals, congrats on achieving them. Hopefully you will have the same success this upcoming year.
    Kris recently posted…A Personal Finance Checklist for the New YearMy Profile

    • @Kris- Happy New Year Kris! I read Behaviour Gap already, I liked it and liked the drawings, he made it so simple. It is very straight forward.

  8. Looks like it was a pretty successful year (aside from the reading goal)! I’ve tried reading lots of financial books but they tend to be pretty dry and I usually give up one or two chapters in. I find that watching videos on YouTube works better for me.

    Ooh, you went to Iceland? I went there in 2004 and would love to go back. I haven’t figured out the travel hacking thing yet. I redeem my Air Miles for groceries, but maybe I should let them accumulate and use them for airfare instead.

    I didn’t have any resolutions for 2017 but I have plenty for 2018! The main idea is to set up/max out all of my tax-free investment options. I’ve thrown away enough money on taxes over the years!
    Five More Years recently posted…Finally…an Update!My Profile

    • @Five More Years- Oh yes, there are tons of great Youtube videos out there related to investing. Yes we went to Iceland in 2017 it was so great. It was SOOO busy the tourism has exploded there. The airport is small and people were getting very agitated because the airport wasn’t built to handle the million tourists going through Iceland that year. Air Miles for airfare would be a great idea- I have never redeemed for airfare yet but there is a new BMO credit card that gives you 3000 Air Miles that I was looking at. Yes, don’t give your dividend money to the tax man! We pay enough taxes as Canadians 😉

    • @Caroline- Thanks Caroline! It’s the way to go! I was thinking about doing it again for 2018 but haven’t gotten to that mindset yet. Good luck for 2018 and happy new year!

  9. I don’t have resolutions, I have goals instead, but I think maybe about half of them were check marks. I’m itching to clear out things as well but part of that is dependent on people buying them so that I don’t have to put them in the landfill, so it’s necessarily slower.

    2017 was epic in terms of big scale change but we made our way through and were able to settle down very nicely into the new place for the most part. Now we just have some lingering issues to feel like the fallout of last year is wrapped up.

    Going into 2018, I find that I haven’t learned my lesson about not overplanning. Exactly this time last year we were discussing turning our 2017 plans upside down and yet I’m still sitting here thinking I can craft the “perfect”, most evenly distributed plans for 2018. Hope springs eternal?
    Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life recently posted…2017: Our year in reviewMy Profile

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