And just like that, 2015 is finished. I can’t believe that 2015 is already over. Time really does fly when you’re having fun (sorry to talk in cliche, I feel like I am writing in my high school graduation write-up).
I, like many people, like to take some time at year end to reflect on the goals or resolutions that I set out to achieve this year and review whether or not I have achieved my 2015 personal finance goals.
Max Out the TFSA
When I wrote the original post one year ago, I had no idea that Stephen Harper would dangle the carrot and increase the TFSA contribution room to $10,000. Immediately after they announced it, I filled up my TFSA to the max $10,000 for 2015.
So, I think I can safely say that this goal is:
Max out the RRSP
I was able to max out the RRSP, which consists of stocks in my Questrade RRSP, a TD e-series account, and a GIC. I rebalanced my TD e-series account (after three years of not rebalancing) and needing to buy more funds to rebalance, hence I was not able to continue my $200 a month of contribution and instead reduced my contribution to quarterly.
This goal is also:
Writing down when I should be rebalancing definitely helped me to remember to rebalance. I was able to diligently rebalance on a quarterly basis and even managed to rebalance further by re-making my portfolio in an investment portfolio makeover! Now I am just buying new VAB, XIC, and VXC on a monthly basis. I keep a much smaller proportion of the portfolio in equities (I just can’t let go of those dividends completely).
I would say that this goal is also:
Increase Networth to $385,000/$400,000
I had a goal to increase my net worth from $350,000 to $385,000, or $400,000 if you include my defined benefit pension contributions. My monthly net worth updates chronicled how I was doing with an aim to achieve this. I definitely achieved the latter goal, increasing the net worth to $400,000, however, the former goal was much more difficult to achieve.
As of my most recent December 2015, I have $3900 remaining and 30 more days to see if I can reach this target. Hopefully I can mark it achieved as well!
Spend Less on Traveling and shopping
I aimed to spend less than $5000 annually in my travel budget, which seems like a lot but given that I went on multiple trips this year, it was just enough (actually I am under budget by $100 haha). I went to Phoenix, Hawaii, Asia for two weeks, camping twice, a road trip to the wine country of B.C. for a weekend in the summer, and on a road trip down a portion of the Oregon Coast.
I saved money by using my Aeroplan points for a Hawaii flight.
In addition to the ‘spending less on traveling goal’, I also endeavoured to do a shopping ban every other month. It actually worked out nicely, on the months that I could ‘shop’ were also the months I was away so didn’t have to feel bad about shopping. It also helps because if I wanted something I could just wait until the month after (and in the interim, re-evaluate whether I actually wanted it). I ‘saved up’ for my new toilet (and it was probably the best purchase of 2015 ever). I would say I have definitely cut down on my spending on clothes/ accessories/ shoes.
I might have cheated a few times, like spending under $5 for something like a treat for myself, but usually I was pretty good.
I would say that this was:
Read 4 Financial Books
My goal was to read four financial books in 2015.
The four financial books that I read were:
- The Intelligent Investor– a re-read for me, an old but a goody
- The Cold Hard Truth on Men, Women, and Money– I really like Kevin O’Leary and his bluntness/ honesty
- The Single Best Investment: Creating Wealth and Dividend Growth– This was a good book, great for those interested in investing
- The Warren Buffett Way: Investment Strategies of the World’s Greatest Investor
Thankfully this is also:
Readers, what were your 2015 personal finance resolutions? Have you achieved them?