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.
Here’s a recap of what we tried to accomplish starting in early 2014:
- 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).
I’m very proud to report we nailed every goal but one – the most recent entry.
1. Continue putting $300 lump sum payments on our mortgage every month ($3,600)
Done! With our mortgage expected to be under $200k sometime during the 2015 calendar year, there is actually some light at the end of the our mortgage tunnel. If we keep up our prepayment schedule I’m predicting we’ll be mortgage free by the end of 2020.
2. Maximize both Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) ($11,000)
Done! I had some stocks that pay dividends in a non-registered account so I moved some of those holdings into my TFSA earlier this year. We also saved enough money to max out my wife’s TFSA this year. In January 2015 we’ll likely repeat the process and we’re trying to save up for 2015 TFSA contributions now.
3. Increase Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) contributions by $200 per month ($2,400)
Done! Contributing to our RRSPs is a must around our house. We have no hope of retiring by our mid-50s if we do not maintain, if not increase savings to these accounts. Increasing our RRSP contributions is likely to be a goal for us in 2015 once again.
4. Save for home improvements ($4,000)
Fail! This new goal was added in August 2014 since I was optimistic we could reach it by the end of December. That didn’t happen, not even close. Our home improvements are expected to cost thousands of dollars next year and with only $1,500 saved for it since the summer, we’ll have to pull up our socks in the New Year. This was a failure but it was also a stretch goal for us so I can’t beat ourselves up too much.
Looking back on our 2014 financial goals, it was a very successful year, things worked out. I’m convinced we are realizing some of our financial goals because they are documented, they can be monitored and discussed around the kitchen table over a cold beer or a glass of wine. Our financial planning process is working and hopefully yours is too.
I look forward to sharing some of our plans with you again in 2015.
What 2014 financial goals did you have this year? Do you have any goals planned for 2015 yet?
I rarely set goals since all my savings are automatic but maybe this is something I should revisit.
I budget everything so I don’t see much wiggle room but at least I know I’m taking full advantage of the free money offered to me. e.g. employee stock plan and pension.
I have yet to take full advantage of my wife’s TFSA. We’re currently using her account to park money for an eventual home purchase. My TFSA at least is nicely invested. In index funds of course =D
Nicely done Barry, re: indexing in the TFSA. I will be adding more indexed products to mine in 2015.
You accomplished all three of the original goals which is great. Home improvement is good but it can always wait. 🙂
Yes, but we failed big time at the last one because we have a number of expenses this fall. Such is life and yes, this improvement can wait a bit.
Home improvements, specifically the basement reno, was something I failed to plan for last year. I thought we could do a ‘pay as you go’ renovation, but it didn’t work out that way. Instead we borrowed on a line of credit, and so our goal next year will be to pay that off (not as exciting as saving, I know).
I hope to get closer to obtaining my CFP by the end of next year, and grow my fee-only planning business by adding new clients and retaining existing ones.
I don’t get a lot of personal development and satisfaction from my day job, so it’s nice to be able to work on things I’m passionate about on the side. Plus, the more I can increase my side income, the faster I can reach my personal savings goals.
From what I saw and read about Robb, your basement reno was very well done. Some things cost money, what can you say? Nothing wrong with paying off your LOC.
As for having your CFP, that will be an excellent designation to have and I suspect really allow you to accelerate your business…hopefully to the point whereby you can leave your current day job. You are gaining choices it seems, what a great thing to have as you get older 🙂
Nice work, Mark. I know you probably have the 2015 TFSA set aside and ready to go for Jan 1 (I know I do). What type of home improvements are you looking at?
Well, we’re still saving but I hope to have it ready to go soon Dan, re: TFSA. As for the home improvements, likely a bath renovation. This one won’t be cheap 🙁