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I can't believe we are in the middle of 2015 already. Time really flies when you are having fun. In the 2015 Personal Finance Goals post, I outlined a few goals that I had in mind for 2015. Because writing for this site has been a great way to keep accountable, I thought it would be a good idea to share how I am faring so far for 2015 with my personal finance goals.
Max out the TFSA
My goal was the max out the TFSA. I had added the $5500 in January 2015. Then the Canadian government announced that they were further increasing the TFSA amount to a total of $10,000 per year. Basically if you have not ever contributed to the TFSA, you have $41,000 of tax free investing room available at your disposal, which is pretty awesome. The next day I then happily contributed another $4500 to my TFSA and double checked that it was okay to do that because I do not want another TFSA over contribution penalty. I now have over $50,000 in my TFSA but about 20% of it is in cash, which I should probably do something about.
Max out the RRSP
Unfortunately I did this almost too well! I transferred some USD from my margin account to the RRSP (a lot of my RRSP is in USD and I didn't want to convert my CAD to USD) which added up to a larger contribution than I thought. I also had less contribution room for 2015 than I thought because I deferred some of my RRSP deduction to next year so it evens out a bit more. I also rebalanced my RRSP TD E-series portfolio and had to buy more shares to balance everything out, so then reduced my contribution room too for the rest of the year.
So far, I have been doing well with this. I have been rebalancing at the aforementioned times, March, June, September, and December. Well, so far, I have done March and June. Instead of rebalancing a specific portfolio four times a year, I am alternating- for example, my RRSP and TFSA ETFs I will rebalance in March and September. With my non-margin I will rebalance in June and December.
Consensus: In progress
Increase Networth to $400,000/$385,000
My goal was to increase my net worth to over $400,000 if you include my defined benefit pension contributions and over $385,000 if you do not include these contributions. So far, I have completed the $400,000 part of this personal finance goal. I have over $20,000 remaining in the second part of this goal, which is kind of crappy. However, I expect to have a good tax return this year so hopefully that will keep me afloat and on track with this goal.
Consensus: In progress, somewhat on target
Spend Less on Shopping and Traveling
So far, I have spent about $1500 this year on travel to Hawaii and plan to spend another $1500 on a trip to Asia. My travel budget is set to be under $5000 (which is still an obscene amount of money) so if I go well under this I will be happy. I have had to forgo a lot of smaller trips, like a trip to San Francisco or a trip to Toronto… The small trips really add up (each ‘small' trip equates to be about $500 each time) so I am trying to limit those.
As for shopping, I went on an alternate month self imposed shopping ban after feeling especially gluttonous with my shopping purchases in December of last year. So far, doing decently. Clothes haven't really been attracting me, but I did cheat and buy some ikea kitchen shelf thing-a-ma-bobs for $5.99 each (I bought four) to organize my place a bit more..on a ‘no-shopping' month.
Consensus: Not too shabby
Read 4 Financial Books in 2015
I was set to read four financial books in 2015, so far, I have read three. I do hope to read The Intelligent Investor again but I will definitely have to read it on vacation because it's hard to concentrate with so much on my plate when I work 50 hours a week.
Consensus: Doing well!
Readers, how are you doing so far with your 2015 personal finance goals? What's the best way that helps you keep accountable with your goals?
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