Part of blogging about your goals and resolutions means trying (key word, trying!) to keep accountable with them.
So I thought I would share with you how I think I did this year. 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.
100% completed: I ended up transferring in kind my non-registered dividend stocks. I did receive capital gains or losses (net capital gain for this year is only about $120) because I moved them when the markets dipped to near the purchase value of what I bought them as.
- 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 ended up contributing almost the maximum allowed RRSP contribution for my final tax deduction before next year's tax return (2012) where I will start having to pay back my Home Buyers Plan withdrawal.
- 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.
Goal wasn't met: I had wanted to save up at least $5000 in my emergency fund, but I only have about $1700 now.
- 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 with new criteria: For some reason, I thought it would only cost $2400 to do this hike but it's more in the tune of $4000 for this trip. I currently have $2600 saved up (were I to use the old criteria, I would have completed this goal, but because this goal wasn't “SMART” to begin with, I need to adjust the goal). I think this should be achievable for this year since it wasn't difficult this current year. I have also been contributing $100 a month and not $200 a month.
- 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.
FAIL: We finally have tenants but are not paying an extra $500 a month. We could technically do this, but after spending on the renovations etc. we would like to enjoy a bit more cash flow before we buckle down and pay down the mortgage more aggressively. We are paying an extra $200 a month. I am also a student now and it has changed the situation dramatically in terms of disposable income available.
- 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.
Ran out of Steam: I did well with this resolution until about September, when I got a new student planner. It just wasn't as easy to bring that out with me in my purse to write my expenses down. I know I can put it in an iPhone app or something but I'm too lazy to do that and I find that I like seeing things on paper.
Readers, how did you fare with your 2011 personal finance resolutions?