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Part of blogging about your goals and resolutions means trying (key word, trying!) to keep accountable with them.
So in order to keep accountable, I thought I would share with you how I'm doing so far with my personal finance resolutions for the year 2011 so far. As you know, I blogged about my personal finance goals for this year early in January, and also shared my personal goals. I will share how I'm doing for both.
- Max out TFSA to $15000– In January, I’ll have $15,000 of TFSA space because I took out all of my TFSA’s for my down payment. I plan to sell some of my non-registered stocks in order to put money back into my Tax Free Trading Account and top it up with savings.
40% to goal completion: I'm at about $6400 in my TFSA, so I have about $8600 more to go to max out my TFSA. Initially I was thinking of selling my non-registered stocks because I hate keeping track of capital gains when I buy and sell, but I don't want to interrupt my beautiful dividend paying stocks by selling them and having to pay capital gains. I've been slowly selling my non-registered portfolio and moving it into my TFSA. I also put in an $1000 from the tax return I got this year.
- Max out RRSP allowed contributions- I set out $200 a month automatically to an RRSP TD e-series and top up the rest before the year ends. I’ll need to make sure I have money for the extra contribution before the end of the year.
100% completed: I have $200 automatic contributions with my TD e-series account. I think I had sold a USD non-registered stock earlier and moved that money to my USD-RRSP anyway, so after the automatic $200 payments, I will be at max contribution.
- Replenish my Savings Account- Since my savings account was basically ameliorated from the down payment, I would like save at least 15% a month for this.
50% to goal completion: Although I am saving about 13-14% a month pre-tax, I had to dip into the savings account for some extra renovation costs, like the window treatments. After all the renovations have been done though, things have settled down (thank goodness).
- Save $2400 for Travel Fund- I plan to climb the highest peak in Africa in 2012 (before I turn the big 3-0… some people jump out of planes and sky dive…I hike) and will need some cashola for that (not to mention get in shape)…I will try and set aside $200 a month for this travel fund (automatically). I have an ING savings account for that
Goal has been delayed and only at 40% completion: I'm not sure what I was thinking when I thought it would only cost $2400 to travel to Africa and hike Mt Kilimanjaro. I would estimate the costs would be more to the tune of $4000 (including flight, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, a safari– c'mon no trip to Africa is complete without a safari, right?). I have about $1700 in this account now, but realized I won't be going to Africa until 2013 (which is fine, I suppose because I will have a longer time to save some cash). I will have probably turned 30 when I do this hike, but it will make it much more rewarding.
- Pay down the Mortgage extra $500/month ($1000 total)- BF and I are going to rent out the basement and plan to use that money to pay down the mortgage and attack the beast principle amount.
Um… BIG FAIL for now. We're still waiting for some last minute renovations to take place (in terms of upgrading our AMPs to our old house so that we can run two stoves and not have the fuse blow) so have not rented it out yet.
- Slowly change most of my equities into dividend paying equities– Currently I have some “play” money in my portfolio with which I invest in growth stocks, but I think I’m going to try and convert most of my portfolio to blue-chip dividend paying equities
Hard to measure this goal. I guess this goal wasn't SMART 😉 I think I have bought some more dividend paying equities this year so far, but I am unsure how many. I think most of the stocks I bought were in my TFSA portfolio.
- Write down what I spend my money on daily– I’ve been terrible at remembering to do this last year. I think it’s because I have the Mint app now so I’ve been bad at recording my expenses. I feel like a big hypocrite because I advocate for people to write down what they spend their money on. So to fix this- because I am a visual person, I’m going to use one of those free calenders you get from banks etc. to write down what my expenses are day to day. Then I can compare weekly to see how my spending is, like Krystal does with her spending recaps at GMBMFB.
Give myself an B+ for this: I would say I've been pretty good at this- I've been writing it in my day planner (didn't end up using a calender)… I've been bad at categorizing them into my budget though. The Mint.com app doesn't do it for me- I find it annoying to split my expenses, and it always tells me that I'm paying for fees, even though the fees are deducted again.
So to summarize, I have a long way to go for some of my 2011 personal finance resolutions, specifically with getting better at budgeting, making sure I save up more money for my savings accounts, and finding a tenant to rent the basement out to so we can start to pay extra towards the mortgage.
Readers, have you done your mid-year resolution check in yet? How did you do? Can you believe that half a year has gone by already? (I certainly can't!)
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