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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Readers, how were your 2017 resolutions?
Did you have an epic 2017?
What was one of your favourite memory of 2017?