Keeping Accountable:’s 2018 Personal Finance Resolutions

Happy 2018!

I have a feeling this year is going to amazing and epic and not just in terms of money.  Last year was amazing and epic because I became a new mom, but I think this year I will start to be able to sleep through the night.  Right?

Amazing and epic could mean a market crash too, which means being able to buy more dividend paying shares that I love.

Here are my personal finance resolutions for 2018.  No, it doesn’t involve drinking a lot of champagne, though that would be nice.

As with 2017’s personal finance resolutions they are pretty similar but with different (hopefully achievable) targets.  I love sharing my goals with you on the Interweb, it really makes me more accountable.  For example, I had about two months left to achieve my $6000 dividend income goal and it was looking pretty slim.  Then I buckled up and committed to investing more to achieve this goal.  If I didn’t have the Interweb to be more accountable, I probably would have let it slide for another year (meaning not achieve my $6000 dividend income goal AGAIN for another year).  So thank you, Internet!

Increase Net Worth to $745,000

This year my income will be really hit because of maternity leave (my top up from my employer will end) so I’ll be conservative with my net worth increase expectation.  Barring a major stock market recession in 2018 or a housing recession, hopefully achieving $745,000 net worth will be achievable.  The last two years have been great for my net worth because of the stock market ride.

Max out Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) Contribution

This is low hanging fruit, and I am a big proponent of giving yourself some low hanging fruit goals, so that you feel more motivated to achieve some more difficult goals.  Likely this would just involve transferring some money from my non-registered account into my registered TFSA account.

The TFSA contribution limit for 2018 is $5500.

Max out Registered Retired Savings Plan (RRSP) Contribution

Again, another piece of low hanging fruit.  I’m not sure what my RRSP contribution room will be like in 2018.  I will have my pension buy back to pay for as well once I return from maternity leave.  Hopefully I will be able to contribute to both.  I anticipate that my RRSP contribution room will be lower since my income was lower in 2017 because of parental leave.

Read 5 Personal Finance/ Investing Books in 2018:

  • The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America by Lawrence Cunningham
  • Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd
  • The Dhando Investor by Mohnish Pabrai
  • A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Gordon Malkiel
  • Rule #1: The Simple Strategy for Successful Investing in Only 15 Minutes a Week by Phil Town (my friend went to a seminar by Phil Town and spent hundreds of dollars for a ticket, it would be interesting to read what Phil Town has to say in his book)

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

I will tackle reading Security Analysis again for 2018.  As you can see, these books are more investing-focused compared to last year’s selection.  My husband has The Dhando Investor and Security Analysis so I will borrow them from him, and for the other books I will try and see if they are available at the library.  I’ve been able to not spend any money on books for my 2017 book selection picks (they were all available at the library) so hopefully I will be lucky again this year.

I’m going to take a page from Frugal Money Man’s resolution to read 30 minutes a day!  What a great idea.  This makes the daunting task of completing a book into a small baby step task.

Spend Less than $4000 on Travel

Again a similar restriction on travel.  Last year I spent just about $4000 and this year I think it will be the same.  We plan to do a road trip down the west coast, go to the Daily Journal Annual General Meeting in Los Angeles to see Charlie Munger (he is 94 this year in 2018) and then venture into Tijuana, Mexico for a day trip.  I have never been to Mexico and I have a goal to see a different country each year.

In addition, a trip to Asia might be in the works (meaning I will have to do some major travel planning to find the best deals because husband’s idea of travel planning is just going with the flow), and I hope to go to the Maldives if we are going to Asia.

Stop the Shopping Ban but be Aware of What I am Spending Money On

I know this personal finance resolution isn’t SMART or measurable, but the last few years I have imposed a shopping ban (alternate month) on myself.  It worked but sometimes on a shopping ban month I would buy something, and on a non-shopping ban month, I would not buy something.  So I think in general, I will just be more aware of what I am spending money on, and making sure that what I am spending my money on is reflective of my values.

Increase Dividend Income to $7000 per year

I was thinking of making this goal to $8000 per year, but given that I have had trouble achieving the goal year after year for the past few years, I’ll be more conservative this year.  This means investing another $27,000 or so with an average dividend yield of 3.5%.  I will likely be selling my condo next year so then I will have more capital to deploy, but in the meantime, cash is limited and therefore investing in dividend income stocks and ETFs will be a bit more challenging.

One PF Resolution I am Omitting

As you may have noticed, I didn’t include a ‘get rid of 365 more things’ for 2018.  It was quite the challenge to remove 365 from my home in 2017.  Instead of getting rid of 365 things in my home, I think I’ll just make sure I don’t add to what I have right now.  What comes in (e.g. if I buy a new pair of shoes) must go out (get rid of a pair of shoes).  The lessons I learned about getting rid of 365 things will be shared next week 🙂

There we have it, that’s my 2018 personal finance resolutions.  Now I have to get started working on it.

Readers, what are your personal finance resolutions?  Have you been to Tijuana?

Have a healthy, wealthy, and happy 2018!


About genymoney

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

26 comments on “Keeping Accountable:’s 2018 Personal Finance Resolutions

  1. Those are some great goals!

    One way you could get around your travel spending limit is to use credit card points! Cheating? Maybe, but if you’ve got some fun trips planned that could certainly help out and help you stay below $4K 😉

    Good luck!

  2. Thanks for the SHOUT-OUT!

    You know I looooooove fellow book worms and future reading goals. I don’t have Security Analysis but I do have the Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, and it is giving me the same troubles that Security Analysis is giving you haha. I have read about 100 pages of it, but it is a MASSIVE book that can be very dry. I will eventually get to it and read it, so I will put it on my book list to complete in 2018.

    Also we may see you in Mexico! Mr. & Mrs. Frugal Money Man may be getting married there this summer;)
    Sean @ FrugalMoneyMan recently posted…How Much Are You Really Worth?My Profile

    • @sean- haha! Yes I read security analysis twice and I don’t think I got more out of it the second time. Congrats getting married destination wedding- those are the best (speaking from experience). We are actually going very soon, but enjoy your Mexico wedding!

  3. The goal of reaching the dividend of $7000 is great. All those goals will keep you busy in 2018. For my finance, as I’m retired,
    it’s pretty much in auto-pilot mode. But I do watch the monthly expenses, make sure it stays on the course. Have a great 2018!

  4. Great goals you have here, GYM!

    Wow $7,000 in divs per year! I love how you’re increasing that number each year. Nice and steady steps to achieving your ultimate end goal in the future 🙂

    I agree with your point about low hanging fruit. My fiance says that I’m too harsh on myself and that I need to be happy with my small victories. I’m trying to improve on this. He says that I’m never happy with any of my accomplishments (and that I even fail to see them as achievements). So, I’m happy to have read this point from you… we should still set small goals that are easily achievable and that way motivate us to keep going for more challenging things!

    It’s very odd that I have so much passion giving those tips to others (and I really mean it when I say it), but for some reason I fail to acknowledge it when it’s myself.

    As for shopping ban, I did something similar over a year ago and it actually helped so much. I now don’t feel addicted at all buying anything. I actually don’t have interest going to malls or places to buy things anymore. If anything, I feel like I don’t have time to do that! I learned from this experience that there’s so much other things I can do on my time (and that’s when I tried to learn how to refurbish furniture lol)… and now… maybe got a little bit addicted to blogging stuff… I need to stop!! haha
    fin$avvypanda @ recently posted…How To Save (and Spend) Money The Sexy WayMy Profile

    • @finsavvypanda- girl you should be so proud of yourself! You’re doing really well and you know how to refurbish furniture and make $500 a month doing it! That’s not chump change you know! I thought about reupholstering my mother in laws dining table set thanks to you!

      Yes when you learn to create rather than consume I think one feels happier!

  5. Hi GYM,
    Good set of goals for 2018. Very ambitious travel plans California, Mexico,and Asia, I hope you will write a few posts on your travel plans. $7000 in dividend nice !!

  6. Great goals you got there for 2018 GYM! I’ve been meaning to read ‘A Random Walk Down Wall Street’ for a while but haven’t got to it. I think I’ll put that down as one of the books I’ll read for this year, thanks for the reminder.
    I watched that Warren Buffet documentary over the weekend and I like how he has an annual meeting for all of his shareholders. Really nice of him to recognize his appreciation for them. Hopefully you enjoy it along with your other travels to TJ(short for Tijuana) and Asia!!
    Kris recently posted…Give Me a High Five – My Five Goals for 2018My Profile

    • @kris- I went to the Berkshire Hathaway AGM in 2016 and it was one of the best trips of my life. We bumped into him on numerous occasions (or maybe the word is stalk haha)

    • @enoch- Kris plans to read that too! I don’t know if I’ve read it- is it by Peter lynch? Will look into it thanks!

  7. A net worth of $745,000, wow! At this rate, you should have no trouble reaching one million by age 40.

    Stopping the shopping ban sounds like a good idea. I’ve never tried a shopping ban, but it must be hard to stick to because you never know when you might need something. I’d probably buy a bunch of stuff I didn’t need in a shopping month, just to make sure I didn’t run out in a no-shopping month!
    Five More Years recently posted…December 2017 Expenses and EarningsMy Profile

    • @five more years- I usually waited until the next month if I needed something but it really did help me not buy stuff. I really cut down on my clothes purchasing 🙂

    • @timeinthemarket- I just looked it up, I haven’t read it before, I should add it to my ‘stretch’ goal, if I finish these 5 books I’ll read that one. Thanks for the recommendation!

  8. Great goals! I have not been to that area of Mexico. I’ve been to other places, and due to an unfortunate bout of food poisoning…I won’t be going back! I think there’s more places in the U.S. and Canada I’d like to discover and are on our bucket list.

    I maxed out all my contribution accounts this past year…boy, I was glad I did that finally…some parts of me I just would have said f it and done it earlier!

    I have been putting some bugs in Mr. DS’s ear to invest in a Condo or duplex…turn it into an AirB&B. We see a need for it in our area…I know a lot of people that are traveling for their professions and needing to stay somewhere 1-3 months at a time, yet, don’t want to do a hotel and short-term leasing isn’t an option. If he gets on board, we will see what we can find/invest in, and maybe someday even flip. #longtermgoals.

    Awesome idea about the bring something in/take something out…wow! That is good discipline and I’m inspired to try it myself as well!
    Mrs. Defined Sight recently posted…Thought Without Action Is MeaninglessMy Profile

    • @Mrs. Defined Sight- I hear Tijuana isn’t really Mexico. We are just going for a day trip as my friend from San Diego recommends not staying there overnight. We are going to Mazatlan shortly. Sorry to hear you had food poisoning! I had food poisoning in Vietnam (I ate street food, bad idea) and it was the WORST. Ooh the Airbnb idea is great, I love staying at Airbnb’s. Is there restrictions for Airbnb for condos in your area? In Vancouver I think there was a restriction or some stratas don’t allow it. But I think that’s changed and all Airbnb owners just have to get a permit or business license now.

    • @Tom- Thanks Tom! We’ll see how impressive these books are 🙂 I’m not sure if the Phil Town one will be any good, but I added it in there just for curiosity.

    • @Caroline- That’s cool it’s on your bucket list too! I read that the Maldives can be done on a budget but I guess it’s a once in a lifetime sort of thing. I just have to find a resort that you can take a boat to since I’m afraid of float planes haha!

  9. Our net worth growth could slow down a bit too cause my wife is on maternity leave. I’m trying to find a way to offset this. Hopefully I can find a value buying opportunity soon that can generate some income.

    • @SMM- Congratulations on your baby! Thanks for visiting! Yeah, I think once you have a kid you think more about passive income or other income opportunities!

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