2010 has come to an end (time flies when you get older, eh?) and I thought I would kick start 2011 with some Financial Resolutions for the new year. Seeing as I somehow managed to fulfill my 2010 Financial Resolutions, I thought I would start fresh and create some new challenges for myself for 2011.
I find that financial resolutions are easier to keep compared to other New Year’s resolutions. For example, I epic FAILED in exercising more or doing more yoga (though I did sign up for a few yoga classes) but I managed to do all my financial resolutions. Therefore, to make myself feel better about resolutions in general, I will share some financial resolutions for 2011. This blog was meant for me as an outlet to track my personal finance and keep accountable to myself, so I will go ahead and continue sharing 🙂
As with 2010, I will continue to track my net worth (which I believe everyone should do regularly- doesn’t have to be monthly, can be quarterly) and pay myself automatically. Paying yourself automatically is the most important (and easiest) way to save, in my opinion.
2010 came with a lot of changes to my personal finances- now I have mortgage debt to contend with, which completely changes your perspective on everything you spend your money on. I find myself being very cognizant of whether I actually NEED something and I think my frugality has really gone to new heights!
Goals have to fit a certain criteria to ensure they are attainable and achievable.
The best way is to use the SMART acronym (I’m a big fan of acronyms):
So in following the SMART acronym, I came up with my:
youngandthrifty’s 2011 Personal Finance Resolutions:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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. Then I can compare weekly to see how my spending is, like Krystal does with her spending recaps at GMBMFB.
There you have it. These are hopefully achievable and realistic goals I have set for myself, so I hope I can stick to them for 2011!
Readers, what are your financial goals for 2011? Do you find that financial goals are easier to stick to than personal behaviour change-type goals?