2019 Financial Goals

2019 Financial Goals

I figure if you never have an end in mind you’ll never get to where you want to be.

No doubt I’m a bit late to the goal-setting party by most 2019 blogging standards but you know what – who cares – better late than never!

Typical financial goals

Many bloggers will likely write about this sort of list for 2019:

  1. Establish an emergency fund
  2. Save for retirement
  3. Get out of debt.

I find the problem with some of those generic statements is often they lead oneself to generic outcomes.  The devil is in the details.

On the subject of our emergency fund, we already have one – this is how much we keep.  There are no plans to keep more because we’re saving for retirement AND getting out of debt at the same time.

On the subject of saving for retirement, we focus on investing in two accounts:  maxing out contributions to our Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) (first) and then establishing monthly contributions throughout the year for our Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs).

We prefer to maximize contributions to our TFSAs every January for these reasons. Your mileage may vary.

Your Money, Your Life Behavior Gap2019 Financial Goals

Without further ado, here are our goals for this year and why:

  1. Save for our 2020 TFSAs. This implies we’re going to try and save $12,000 this year to max out contributions for next year.  That’s the plan anyhow.  Why 2020?  Because our TFSAs for 2019 are already maxed out with some of these five favourite stocks of mine.
  2. Completing the My Own Advisor $5 daily money challenge. Yup, brand new for 2019, I just made this up!  Throughout 2019, I’m going to find $5 in every day savings (by avoiding buying crap I don’t need); make automatic bill payments to the Me Inc. savings account every week in the amount of $35 per week. All told, we should be able to save close to $1,820 ($35/week x 52 weeks) by the end of 2019 if we stick to this savings plan.  (This money will be used for flights for a future vacation!)  Gotta live too!  (Just for the record, we’ve saved $70 already at the time of this post.)
  3. Reduce our mortgage by $20,000 by the end of 2019.  Why?  Because debt is an anchor for us.  Using our existing bi-weekly payments and/or any lump sum mortgage payments, we hope to make a sizable dent on our mortgage by year’s end.
  4. Max out my wife’s RRSP.  Why?  My RRSP is pretty much out of contribution room.  We also believe in maxing out any available tax-deferred investment accounts before taxable investing – although we do have a non-registered account with Canadian dividend paying stocks.  Over the coming year we think it would be outstanding to have all our registered accounts (x2 TFSA and also x2 RRSP) full of contribution room – this would be a major financial milestone for us.  We need to save a bundle to make this happen, more than $15,000 at the time of this post.  While a great goal, to be honest though, I doubt this goal will happen completely.  We have priorities #1-3 above for 2019.  We can’t do it all.   But it is nice to have stretch assignments.

Beyond investing

Beyond saving for any financial future it’s important to enjoy today.  So, we hope to take an international trip in the next 12-14 months.  We have our eyes on Chile for beach, sun, hiking, and wine tours for a couple of weeks in early 2020.  It’s always been on my list and I would love to go.

This is where our money challenge goal comes in.  I suspect flights will be close to $2000 to get to and from Santiago.  There might also be flights to Patagonia while there; maybe go to Easter Island?  Anyhow, we gotta figure that out…

I’ve already started to daydream a bit about what our ~ two week vacation in Chile might look like.  If you’ve been there or know of folks that have been there, feel free to comment below or use my Contact page.  I would be happy to learn from you all that I can, including brushing up on my Spanish 🙂

What financial goals did you set for yourself in 2019?   What do you make of our approach to save, kill debt and have some fun?   Let me know in a comment – I read every one.  Mark

My name is Mark Seed - the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I'm looking to start semi-retirement soon, sooner than most. Find out how, what I did, and what you can learn to tailor your own financial independence path. Join the newsletter read by thousands each day, always FREE.

54 Responses to "2019 Financial Goals"

  1. Wonderful read and thanks for being so generous with your time and knowledge.

    I’ve got most of my goals accomplished to the best of my ability (no mortgage or debt) and now have to let the market dictate how successful I can be with dividends, DRIP’s etc. Its been quite the roller coaster for the last several months but if I have picked my stocks right they will weather the uncertainty over the long term. All except for oil and gas… it is killing my overall return and will rethink my position over the next while.

    But we are now paying it forward (hopefully). With 10 grandchildren we have set up a little game plan with the older ones. Instead of Xmas and birthday gifts, we are setting up trading accounts of $1,000 each; managed by them to research (all have this website to refer to as an example) and then discuss best options (such as a DRIP) or what exchange to focus on etc. I can tell you every single one of the grandchildren is excited for all the right reasons, to watch their money grow and knowing they are starting to build their financial future. It’s not much, to begin with, and we will revisit on at least an annual basis but its a start and we as grandparents get to be involved in their lives much more frequently. And that is our gift to ourselves.

    Keep up the great work.

    1. “But we are now paying it forward (hopefully). With 10 grandchildren we have set up a little game plan with the older ones.”

      Great stuff 🙂

      My wife and I gifted a few shares of some stocks years ago to some of our nieces and nephews – in hopes their parents might be able to start creating a small stock fund for them. We haven’t really followed up on it so I suspect those gifts didn’t really take but maybe someday they will.

      Keep up the great work yourself!

  2. This blog is helping me get on track and fix up my financial life. Starting small when looking at everyone’s goals here but they give me something to strive for.

    First time doing specific goals this year;
    2K emergency fund in HISA
    3K in contributions to TFSA, investing in low cost ETFs
    1500 contributed to RESP, investing in low cost ETFs
    650 to RRSP (to pay back HBP)

    Goal will then be to increase each goal every year.

    Thanks for everything!

    1. If the TFSA is not fully funded, use a HISA in a TFSA to shelter from taxes. It’s easily accessible and if/when the emergency money is used it can be replenished the following year.

  3. I love travel goals. Do you do any credit card churning Mark? Before we had kids my wife and I took a trip to Japan, flights were similar in cost to Chile, but we were able to save a bunch by using points, we only had to pay tax & airport fees.

    The mortgage is also a great goal. While not “mathematically optimal” I personally believe being completely debt free is worth it. Such a great feeling. Definitely prioritize TFSA & RRSP, but after that paying down the mortgage is a perfect way to use extra money!

    1. Hey Owen, you know, we don’t do it that much. I really can’t be bothered churning cards and keeping track of all that stuff. Sure, I do a few sign-ups here and there but I definitely don’t obsess over it 🙂

      “Definitely prioritize TFSA & RRSP, but after that paying down the mortgage is a perfect way to use extra money!” – you got me figured out!

      Thanks for being a fan.

  4. Ohh your trip to Chile sounds amazing!
    Easter Island is a long way from Chile though but that’s on my bucket list. Pantagonia looks beautiful– are you going to go to Ushuaia (I may have spelt that wrong)?
    Looking forward to live vicariously through your pictures.

    1. Ya, it is… Easter Island. Not sure yet. Sooooo many places to see: Santiago, Valparasio, Patagonia, Ushuaia, Chilean Fjords, where does it end? 🙂

      Need the money first – gooo $$ challenge!

      Thanks for being a big fan.

      1. Didn’t get to Santiago (Dec’16/ Jan’17) but did visit La Serena/Coquimbo, Valparaiso, Vina del Mar, San Antonio, Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas, Chilean Fjords, Ushuaia (Argentina), Cape Horn, Puerto Madryn, Buenos Aires, and Montevideo, Uruguay, as well as brief stops in Mexico & Costa Rica. The highlight for us though was Falkland Islands with our offroad LandRover adventure and seeing 3000 penguins in one site. A second was in Peru with the Paracus area and Ballestas Islands. Regret not being able to fit in Machu Picchu but maybe another time!

        Sound like a fantastic trip for you to look forward to Mark.

        1. I’m going to have to email you back. I recall your trip and I would love to pick your brain about what you saw/visited in Chile!

          We’ve been to Argentina (BA, Mendoza, other) and Costa Rica a couple of times but would love to see Chilean Fjords, visit Valparaiso, see Santiago – do some wine tours, stay in villas, etc. At least that’s the idea for now. Gotta dream!

  5. Great list of goals, Mark! I like the idea of being specific as well. I really like your $5 daily saving challenge. That’s something I should do to get ahead with savings. As for my goals, I focused on keeping them specific as well. I am aiming to save $6,000 this year, reduce my student loan to less than $3,500, and the rest of the goals are centred around how much dividend income I plan to earn. Good luck with your goals this year.

    1. RTC, great to see you on the site. Happy to follow you as well.

      Reducing your loan and investing sounds like a great one-two punch for 2019. I hope you nail them and keep me posted.

  6. Some great set of goals Mark. Lots of similar goals for us.

    You put it well, that (mortgage) debt is an anchor. We paid down a similar amount in 2018 and feel great seeing that remaining balance tumble. We intend to keep chipping away at it every year.

    Here’s to a great 2019.


  7. I have one goal for 2019 – Make More Money! (because apparently, I do not know what “Enough” means). I love my hobby (making money). It makes me feel good – being able to help others. I do not need any more money to LIVE – But, I love making it – so I can help others. I hope to be able to increase my donations this year. 🙂

  8. I think you will achieve all your goals without any problems.

    For us, 2019 financial goal would be:

    1. Keep our jobs for another year and try to save 50% after tax money.
    2. Control our expenses. Reduce waste on throwing away food not eaten (my bad, too much costco shopping) and clothes not used or used very little (mainly kids clothes, I buy too much and the kids are picky sometimes).
    3. Continue to invest cash on hand to generate enough investment income to cover basic living expenses.
    4. Two trips with kids. One is planned and partially booked. Another still in looking.

    1. All the best in 2019 May. The first one – hard to control. Hopefully it continues nicely for you. The others- yes achievable for you. Not a grain of rice is wasted here and we shop Costco weekly too. I’m the leftover king. Clothes, ha. I think that was covered in another thread somewhere.

  9. Devil is in the details. Yeah, for sure.

    Nice goals. Best wishes for 2019 Mark.

    I have some goals for 2019 too but they might be considered boring.

    1. Contribute 12k to TFSAs in 2019. Done.
    2. Increase investment income 3%+ in 2019.
    3. Have cash ready by end of 2019 for 2020 TFSAs.
    4. Get my body healthy and healed to run a competitive half marathon this year at age 60.

    1. Half marathon? Nice. I purposely left out other goals on my site but I have a few of them that are non-financial. Maybe at some point I will weave those into my posts in 2019 🙂

      Best wishes on your goals.

      1. I’m sure you do. I have lots of others but wouldn’t bore others with them.

        Ya, a half if I can get my chronic hamstrong issues minimized. They’ve been bad for many years though but I can’t give up. I won’t do it unless I can get in the training to also be competitive in my age group. The last full was 2005 and when I began to have chronic overuse injuries. I’m also still nursing a groin strain from 2 mths ago, and a back strain from last week. Body feels like a wreck right now but the physio folks just love me, and I’m determined to get healthy.

        Re the volunteering, ditto here. As it happens I’m filling out an app right now to help with a library driven English Conversation Language program for immigrants. And yes your blog is definitely giving back. Admirable.

        1. I’m trying to walk about 30-45 min. every night. I can’t run – well, don’t want to in -20 Deg. C. I think I’ll do some stretching tonight as I watch some hockey and think about another blogpost.

          Sounds like you’re in pretty decent shape overall RBull – continued success on the health.

          Wow, good for you to give back.

          1. Good job. Keep it up. Ran for many years no matter the weather. Have been stopped by city police and RCMP in cold/storms asking me to please stop running and go home. Those days are over. LOL

            Thank you very much Mark.

      1. You folks are too kind. It’s not climbing Mt Everest. I am having difficulty walking right right now due to hamstrings so have quite a ways to go.

        Good luck everyone with your health and activity goals for 2019.

  10. Obviously the goals change a lot for those of us no longer in the accumulation phase. TFSAs can be just as simple as a transfer from another account. Research on CPP/OAS and when to take it. Research on RRIFs/LIFs/LRIFs. Downsizing and de-accumulation of *stuff* (I say good stuff, wife says junk). Have to start thinking about the end game for the farming soon as well. Maybe get back into more volunteering. Cinnamon shakers need re-filling too. 😉

    Specific financial goals for me this year, one more endowment fund to set up and annual contributions to the other four. Do the wills.

    1. I think you’re smart to chat with Doug R. and get some numbers run. He seems like a good guy to give some honest advice.

      I would like to volunteer more too…I need to make the time. It’s something I know I should and rather want to do more but I have other things getting in the way of late. I figure at minimum wage, this blog is a bit of giving back at least. I try to keep it current and it helps a handful of folks here and there then mission accomplished.

      I hope to volunteer in “real ways” sooner than later. I just donated a bunch of good clothes to The Ottawa Mission and I hope I have some time to offer there in the coming years.

      Do the Wills is a great one 🙂

          1. lol…you’re training for a friggin marathon at 60 and I get an attaboy for driving a mile to the lawyer’s that I’ve put off for years?? I feel like a toddler who’s just had his first potty training success.

          2. haha, thanks for the laugh Lloyd. Potty trained. That’s a good one.

            A “half” marathon. My days are full marathons unfortunately are over. No way body can take it anymore. I’ve done the Manitoba full twice and the half once. And Mark I’ve done Ottawa full 3x and laundry list of others.

  11. Amanda Gwynne-Farrish · Edit

    Thank you too Mark – I still have yet to implement some of your strategies – I am working on it – garnering as much info as I can before I do anything – I am a little fuzzy when it comes to purchasing dividend paying stock and moving my funds from where they are now. Your blog is a real Godsend and an eye opener. I have a lot to do as my portfolio is held with a financial company stuck in mutual funds – the returns this year were dismal – I have to let go of the hand holding and figure out how to do this on my own. So ditto all the things LA thanked you for, so do I. And thanks to all of your other followers who share so their experiences willingly too.

    1. Wow, nice to hear. 🙂

      To be honest on the dividend paying stock stuff, I can only speak that this approach both appeals and is helping me. Your mileage might totally vary. That said, when I look at what dozens of big bank mutual funds and ETFs own, they basically all own the same top-20 or 30 CDN stocks – so I figure, why bother and just own the companies outright/myself? So I do!

      I can’t offer direct advice but I do write about (often) what I think about and my journey and if you’re just starting to break the ties with your funds – you might want to consider those all-in-one funds from Vanguard I wrote about (see below), or new iShares products (not written about yet but will!).



      Investing can be simple (save) but not easy (what to save and invest in and why over time).
      See my recent post about that here:

      I could also recommend a few other books from my Books page if you want. Happy to answer specific questions via a future blogpost. Just let me know.


      1. Hi Mark – thanks for responding to my comment here – appreciate the insight and will look into the links listed – thank you!! If I respond to the comment that landed in my inbox, if I respond does this go to you personally? or will it show in the comment thread? Let me know, thanks!!

        1. Hey Amanda, comments here are best this way I can respond to you, others can see and be transparent all at the same time.

          If you reply via my newsletter directly, comments go to my email inbox directly.


  12. Your #2 is a fun one. The others are boring 🙂

    My goal is financial independence so everything is geared towards that and all the buckets and processes are second nature after 15 years of being diligent.

    TFSAs are done.
    RRSP is maxed – my pay contribution and company match maxes it.
    RESP is done – I am withdrawing.
    Investing in non-registered now.

    No rush on the mortgage. Interest rates still too low and the stock market is on sale.

    Avoid lifestyle inflation is what I fear the most.


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