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September 2013 Financial Goals Update

“Every goal, every action, every thought, every feeling one experiences, whether it be consciously or unconsciously known, is an attempt to increase one’s level of peace of mind.” – Sydney Madwed, poet for the business world.

Goals are good but it’s often the journey that’s more important.  Although we haven’t reached our financial goals for this year yet, we’re on a disciplined path to get there.  Here’s a recap of what we set out to do in January:

  1. Put $300 lump sum payments on our mortgage every month ($3,600)
  2. Make a healthy contribution to one TFSA ($8,000)
  3. Save for and take a great trip ($4,000)
  4. Do not incur any new debt ($0)

At the time of this post here is our update to you:

Keep on paying that mortgage debt

Even though borrowing rates remain dirt low and I’m struggling with doing this now and again we continue to pay down our fat 6-figure mortgage using lump sum payments.  In terms of meeting this goal in 2013, we remain right on target.

Load up the TFSA

Earlier this year, I maxed out my TFSA and since then we’ve been focusing on my wife’s account.  With contribution room carried forward from previous years, we’ve got considerable ground to make up, but we’re all over it.  Year-to-date we’ve invested about $5,000 in her account by saving regularly every month.  With some cash there now, I’m tempted to buy some ZDV for monthly income, National Bank or Telus stock.  The financial experts have been over Telus, which is good for buyers. Thoughts?

Save to have some fun

We love to travel and this year, we’re planning a trip with friends.  Since my last update the flights are paid for.  I figure we need to save about $1,000 USD for this trip and we’re working on that now.

Do not go into the red

Michael James on Money would be happy to know, we haven’t taken on any new debt yet this year.  Heck, my wife and I are very happy we haven’t taken on any new debt this year!  I hope that continues.

Got any comments on our financial goals?  How are your goals coming along this year?

Filed in: Goals & Planning

14 Responses to "September 2013 Financial Goals Update"

  1. Martin says:

    Congrats on getting away for New Years! That’s really awesome.

  2. unbalanced says:

    What are your reasons for picking ZDV? Just wondering,as I am trying to educate myself. Vanguard ? i-shares?

  3. Vanguard has some great (dividend ETF) products as well, but I like ZDV for many reasons. Check out this post here:
    http://www.myownadvisor.ca/2013/04/top-canadian-dividend-etfs-for-your-portfolio/

    iShares XDV has an MER that is too high for my liking.

    I am tempted to buy ZDV for the Canadian stock diversification it provides and the nice monthly yield.

  4. Should be great Martin. How are things with you? Going to CPFC13? If so, see you again in Toronto.

  5. unbalanced says:

    Thanks for responding so quickly. I read the link you provided and I can see why you chose ZDV. Keep up the great work youre doing as I read you religously.

  6. Thanks for following and reading unbalanced. I appreciate you and others supporting the site and spreading the word about it!

  7. I agree that we need to save to have some fun. In my budget update today you will read how we splurged big time this past week. It felt great but I know that we need to save to do something special together because we haven’t since I moved to Canada. Now that we have the cash to pay the mortgage and our emergency fund is healthy we can focus on investments and travelling.

  8. Ah, you have to live!?

    If you have the cash to pay for the mortgage, treat yourself. You deserve it! I know I’d go on a little spree if I had no mortgage debt. Just a small one :)

  9. My debt went up this summer because I used my emergency fund to pay debt. That really backfired. When I had an actual emergency I ended up using debt again.

    I did well selling Shopper’s Drug Mart and Maple Leaf Foods shares and I bought a Vanguard ETF with the money from the sales. It is a dividend ETF and I have to get enrolled in Vanguard’s DRIP program.

  10. Sorry to hear that Jane, but you know, I think we’ve all been there with that scenario…

    You sold Shopper’s? Why? When Loblaw’s bought them? Why not hold for dividends and capital appreciation?

    The dividend ETFs from Vanguard are good and require not stock selection. Is it a CDN ETF? VDY?

  11. I took my profits and got out of retail all together. Who knows what retail will be like in 10 years. I wanted out. A few big companies are now requiring that there employees get their maintenance prescriptions from a mail order pharmacy to cut costs. That will continue.

    Big American chain Target is in Canada now and their pharmacies are very popular in the USA. Costco and Walmart both undercut Shopper’s dispensing fee. There was profit to be made now and I am not sure if profit is guaranteed in the future.

    I did pick VDY because of the dividend.

  12. Fair point Jane, nobody knows what the future holds and investing is no different. If you can forecast the future, let me know ok?

    I know for me, as long as the companies I own continue to pay dividends, I’ll own them. Over time, I should also get some capital appreciation as well. I will need dividends for my “fixed income” and I’m counting on dividends from about 40 stocks to do just that in my retirement.

    VDY is a good product:
    http://www.myownadvisor.ca/2013/04/top-canadian-dividend-etfs-for-your-portfolio/

    VDY has low MER and good diversification.

  13. Mortgages says:

    Thanks for sharing the plans with all of us. It is extremely important for all us to have a solid financial planning for 2013. Your idea of choosing ZDV was made clearer after I read the link. I am currently paying a mortgage and credit card debt, and I am happy for the fact that it has been a disciplined journey in 2013 so far.

  1. […] year, we accomplished all our financial goals.  Here’s a recap of what and where we […]

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