So without further delay, here are my 2016 Personal Finance Resolutions:
Max out Tax Free Savings Account
Since the Liberal government rolled back the TFSA contribution room to $5500, accomplishing this goal will be easier. It is so confusing to keep track of the TFSA limits, that the Canadian government provided a handy chart outlining the changes over the years since its inception in 2009. I anticipate that this goal will be easy to achieve because all it takes is me moving some money from my cash stores into the TFSA account. My TFSA account has taken a beating (thanks to Husky among other things in the Toronto Stock Exchange), but Keep Calm and Carry On. So next year, the maximum allowable limit in the TFSA were one to never invest is $46,500. With my added $5500, My TFSA will be roughly sitting at $53,000 provided the stock market stays relatively stable.
Max out RRSP
Again, this is easy to accomplish because I have a defined benefit pension and maximum RRSP contribution is quite low. With the RRSP, I will just be adding US and International exchange traded funds, but I will likely need to put additional US/International contributions into my non-registered account (and hence get taxed) because my RRSP is about as slim as you can get it in terms of US/Int’l focus.
Increase Net Worth to $420,000
As mentioned above, this one was a tough one to complete, especially with the stock market because so iffy for 2015. Even though it really sucked to try and achieve this goal in 2015, it did push me to really work hard and limit any unnecessary spending in 2015. So I will continue with this one. So, I’ll aim to increase my net worth to $420,000 or $450,000 if I include my defined benefit pension.
Read Four Financial Books
Last year, I set out to read four financial books. I would like to continue that for this year, to read at least four financial books.
So far, on the reading list is:
- Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, by Alice Shroeder
- Beating the Street, by Peter Lynch
Any other recommendations?
Spend a Set Amount on Travel
Last year, I set out a maximum amount that I would spend on travel. It was $5000. I’ll keep it the same for 2016. So far, for 2016 I am going to Omaha (the ticket alone was $700 it was kind of ridiculous), on an Alaskan cruise, and possibly Hawaii again. Hopefully I will be able to add another trip in there. Even though it is a lot by any one’s standards, I was still able to go on a number of trips throughout the year and kept under budget by $100 or so.
Continue Alternate Month Shopping Ban
Again, I liked having the alternate month shopping ban, I feel that it really reduced my sense of consumerism, which wasn’t very high in the first place anyway, but it still helped. Starting in January 2016 I will not be buying any additional things for myself (such as clothing, Starbucks coffees, chocolate) on an alternate month basis. Last year, all my trips coincided on the months that I did not have a shopping ban, so that was nice. Hopefully I will be lucky again this year, however, I doubt I’ll be doing much shopping with the US dollar so low.
Increase Dividend Income
My dividends took a massive hit from $5300 to $4000. My goal for 2016 is to hit $6000 of passive dividend income by the end of the year. Basically I would probably need to invest about $45,000 (at least) to get at the $6000 mark if I assume that I can get a 4% average dividend income return on the $45,000 invested. Of course, I won’t do this at the expense of chasing dividends, and would be happy with a growth in my portfolio even if I don’t hit the $6000 target.
Readers, what are your 2016 Personal Finance Resolutions?