2014 Financial Goals – August Update

 To keep me honest and focused I post my financial goals on My Own Advisor.  One thing I’ve learned over the years is I have a much better chance at realizing my goals if I keep tabs on them, and often.

In case you missed earlier posts on this subject, here’s a recap of our 2014 financial goals:

  • Continue putting $300 lump sum payments on our mortgage every month ($3,600).
  • Maximize both Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) ($11,000).
  • Increase Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) contributions by $200 per month ($2,400).

Here’s where we stand this month:

Continue putting $300 lump sum payments on our mortgage every month ($3,600) – on target

Since January 2014 we’ve been meeting this goal.  By making mortgage prepayments automatic, we never see this money.   If we keep up mortgage prepayments our mortgage debt will be under $200k soon.  Being mortgage free years from now will provide us with some significant financial flexibility.  If things go well for us we should be able to slay this dragon in 8 years.

Maximize both Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) ($11,000) – done!

I have some stocks that pay dividends in a non-registered account so I moved some holdings into my TFSA earlier this year.  I use these updates to show how compounding is working for me, growing my passive income retirement fund across a couple of accounts.  My TFSA along with my wife’s TFSA are out of contribution room.  I’m looking forward to adding more contributions to these accounts in early 2015 – making more investments that should spin off more tax-free income for retirement.

Increase Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) contributions by $200 per month ($2,400) – on target

With this goal in mind, we now contribute a few hundred bucks each (per month) to our RRSP accounts and there is no intention of changing that.  We’ve been meeting this goal since January and I fully expect we’ll hit this target by December this year.  I figure by 2016, my RRSP will be out of contribution room.  Depending upon how much we can save over the next few years my wife’s account will be out of contribution room as well.

*NEW* Save for home improvements – $4,000

September through December, four full months left in 2014.  This new goal is to save for some home improvements we plan to do in 2015.  Those updates will likely cost more than $4,000 but I figure we better start saving now.  *This is a major stretch goal for us given our other priorities.

A total of four goals now for the rest of the year, it’s aggressive for sure but we’ll see where we get.  Stay tuned for more updates later this year.

Got any comments for our saving and investing goals for 2014?  Do you have any stretch goals?

16 Responses to "2014 Financial Goals – August Update"

  1. Good for you Mark.. I have plenty of contribution room in my RRSP which I need to start focusing on once the baby arrives and we re-work the budget a bit more. Renovations cost and saving for them really does ease the pain. When I told my wife the bathroom would cost about $4000 she said so about 5 or 6 thousand lol. Always expect more but if you can stay under budget, even better. I learned you can’t put a number on something until you rip open the walls.

    1. Yeah, my wife has tons of contribution room, a good problem to have and lots of opportunities to max it out there in the years to come.

      No doubt when your baby arrives, you’ll have lots of new things to focus on – a great thing!

      I figure with any reno, you might as well double the cost and double the length of time to complete it 😉

  2. hi mark,
    great blog. i am just new here. i was wondering if you have an article that tackles how to start investing? i mean where do you purchase your stocks and/or etfs? would like to know how you started and what tools do you know that can help in investing in stocks for the first time.

    1. Hi Helen,

      Thanks for dropping by. Here is an article to check out:

      Your questions are good ones…”where do you purchase your stocks and/or etfs? would like to know how you started and what tools do you know that can help in investing in stocks for the first time.”

      Here is another article:

      After you read these articles, let me know what specific questions you have and if they are not already answered somewhere on my site, I might write a post about it. I suspect if you’re asking, other readers might be thinking the same thing.

      Thanks for checking out the site,

      1. hi mark, thanks for the reply and for this great blog. i now have a new site to always check into in terms of investing. My specific question would be on how to open an account in order for me to buy stocks/etfs. i know RBC has one but i want to know any other broker(?). do you purchase your investment purely online? how did you start opening your account ? i would like to hear your journey on this. i only have mortgage as debt and have savings for emergency. thanks again.

        1. Hey Helen,

          Yes you do…

          How to open a brokerage account? I’ll see if I have written a post about that. If not, potentially some new material for me. All the major banks (RBC, CIBC, BMO, TD, ScotiaBank) have discount brokerage accounts. Those are likely a good place to invest for a few reasons.

          Yes, I do know how to invest purely online – but potentially I can start with a post about opening your online brokerage account.

          In the meantime, check out this MoneySense article. They compared all the online brokerages:

          All online brokerages are not created equal 🙂

    1. Ha! Thanks Glenn. I have considered it but I think I’ll leave the plumbing and new walls to the experts. I just need to find a very good tradesman. The search will be on in the spring. I wish I was very handy and very handsome – can’t have it all 😉

  3. I have some serious stretch goals that I’ll be working toward over the next few months that include saving $12,000 as well as contributing my regular amount to my TFSA and RRSP. It’s a stretch because I will be away travelling for a month, and we are also focusing on saving for home improvements.

  4. Mark

    Where do you house your TFSA? I have had one at ING but wanted to open one where I’ll be able to invest it properly other than sitting in a high interest savings acct.



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