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It's always nice to take a trip down memory lane to see what sort of ambitious goals you had at the beginning of the year. Since I like to do PF related resolutions (because IMO they are 50x easier to adhere to than personal/ physical activity related resolutions), I only shared my PF related resolutions for 2012. I may or may not have even created personal resolution but this cannot be confirmed. 😉
Here's my attempt at being accountable to January 2012! I've copied and pasted my resolutions for your viewing pleasure below.
- Contribute $5000 to the TFSA– I plan to sell some of my Canadian non-registered stocks in order to put money into my Tax Free Trading Account. With the remaining amount, I may use my RRSP tax refund (provided I got one lol) to top it up to the $5000, for a total of approximately $20,000 total contribution in the account.
I have fully funded the TFSA but didn't end up using the RRSP tax refund because I didn't actually end up getting one (boo-urns I know). The downside to this was that because I am an impatient girl, I ended up spending the money I contributed int he TFSA to buy in March, when the general stock market was 10% higher than they are now. Next year I'll need to remember to buy in May or June instead.
- 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. Next year will be the first year where I have to start repaying my Home Buyers Plan withdrawal. I believe I will be paying back into my RRSP at a rate of $150 a month. The remaining $50 contributed per month can be used towards offsetting taxes.
I'm still contributing the $200 a month automatically. This year is the first year for the HBP payback- however since my income is so low because I'm a starving student, I believe I'll be in the lowest tax bracket and if I don't pay back the 1/15th of the HBP this year it might turn out advantageous for me to do so because of my low income. If we remember that the RRSP is a tax deferral mechanism (you will get taxed somehow when you withdraw, and it makes sense to withdraw when your income is low). If I don't pay back the 1/15th that means I can't use the RRSP to deduct my taxes, but this again should be fine with me since one should wait until the income is high/ marginal tax rate is high to use the RRSP for deductions. I need to call CRA to double check this is doable.
The other option would be to aggressively pay off my HBP so that when I am no longer a student, I will have more RRSP deduction room. I should try and do some calculations comparing and contrasting these two options.
- $5000 baseline for Emergency Fund: I would like to save $3300 before year end for my emergency fund, in case I need to repair my car, or pay for a veterinary bill since I don't have any pet insurance, and other unplanned necessities.
Well, kinda. I say kinda because I didn't put very much effort into it. The transfer of ownership of this blog sort of funded this.
- Save up $3600 total for Travel Fund- I plan to climb the highest peak in Africa in 2013 and will need some cashola for that (not to mention get in shape)…I will try and set aside $100 a month for this travel fund (automatically). I have an ING savings account for that. This should be doable as long as I keep the $100 a month contribution to this account. It currently sits at $2600.
I'm almost there on this one. I'm at $3300.
- Pay down the Mortgage extra $200/month- We just started this before the end of the year. If it were completely up to me, I would be paying this down very aggressively and sacrificing many things for this. However, my boyfriend lives in the same roof as me and I need to make sure he's on board with the aggressive pay down plan, and he wasn't. I'll need to work on him … 🙂
This worked out well in the first few months of 2012 but then it sort of fell apart when boyfriend wanted to start saving money up for his part-time schooling. I will definitely pay this down aggressively (with him or without him I guess!) when I cease being a student.
- Slowly change most of my equities into dividend paying equities– Organize DRIPs for more investments if possible, and also arrange for a TD e-series fund for a TFSA account (though this means I would have to apply for a mutual fund TFSA account, which can be a pain in the behind).
Didn't do the TFSA TD e-series account because dividend investing was just too attractive for me (good idea or bad, who knows). I also didn't do the DRIPs because it seems more fun to be able to buy different companies with that money and diversify, or value invest and buy the same shares when they seem like they are at a rock bottom price. I guess it's the sense of control I want.. so I guess my values/ resolutions have chanced since beginning of 2012.
- Write down what I spend my money on daily– I’ve been terrible at remembering to do this last year- though I think I was pretty good at it up until September. I need to continue to remember to do this in order to keep track of my spending. Let's just say December was a bit of a gong show in terms of trying to keep track of my spending, what with Christmas presents and all.
I was really good at this in the beginning of the year and then somehow it just sort of all fell apart. I'm terrible at budgets. To me, as long as I'm making my “paying myself first” payments and more, I'm good. It's not excuse of course, and I should get on track with writing things down again.
Readers, how have you been doing with your PF resolutions from the beginning of the year?
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