June Update – 2012 personal finance and investing goals

Over the last couple of years, we’ve written down our personal finance and investing goals in black and white. I figure you can’t fix what you don’t know let alone keep track of.  So, sharing our goals on My Own Advisor is part of keeping our goals top of mind, not to mention keeping us accountable and focused.

In case you missed the last post, here’s a look at our personal finance and investing goals for 2012:

• Goal # 1 – Pay off our LOC by end of February ($2,000).

• Goal # 2 – Starting in March 2012 (after the LOC is paid off) put $300/month as lump-sum payments on the mortgage for the rest of the calendar year ($3,000).

• Goal # 3 – Maximize both TFSAs before end of year ($10,000 in contributions).

• Goal # 4 – Grow our emergency fund by $3,000 (to $5,000) by the end of this year.

• Goal # 5 – Optimize RRSPs ($5,000 in contributions).

• Goal # 6 – Save $3,000 for a great trip in the fall/winter.

Here’s our update:

Goal # 1 – Pay off our LOC by end of February ($2,000).

A few months ago we slayed this financial dragon!  (Can you tell I’m still very happy about this?!)  With our line of credit now at $0, we’ve shifted our focus to the mortgage.

• Goal # 2 – Starting March 2012 (after line of credit is paid off), put $300/month lump sum payments on our mortgage.

So far, so good folks.  March, April and May, saw $300 each month added to pay down the mortgage principle.  If we keep up our current pace, that will make $3,000 on our mortgage in 2012 – a guaranteed rate of return over 3%.

Goal # 3 – Maximize both TFSAs before end of year ($10,000 in contributions).

About 70% complete.  I took a stock unregistered and moved it into my TFSA this year, maximizing my TFSA contribution for 2012.  For my wife’s TFSA we’re trying to contribute what we can in cash and make purchases from there.  When the market dropped a bit earlier this spring, I bought another pipeline stock for her.  We’ve recently started to make her TFSA contributions automatic, transfers every month.  As of this post, we’ve got $3,000 more to contribute in 2012.  I’m optimistic we’ll make it.

• Goal # 4 – Grow our emergency fund by $3,000 (to $5,000) by the end of this year.

A fact of life is, $h!t happens sometimes.  Appliances and cars break down. The furnace conks out. The air conditioner burns out (this actually just happened to a friend of mine at work last month). The list goes on.  I wrote about these realities of life a while back:  we want a $10,000 emergency fund.  Having this fund will help prepare us for a few “what ifs” in life.  Right now, this goal is about 80% complete.  We don’t have far to go to complete this goal.

• Goal # 5 – Optimize RRSPs ($5,000 in contributions).

This remains a work in progress. This is another goal we’ve tried to make automatic by building it into our monthly expenses – paying ourselves first every month.  You might recall from reading previous blogposts I’m not enamoured with the RRSP as much as the TFSA.  I prefer to maximize my TFSA (tax-free) and optimize my RRSP (tax-deferred).

• Goal # 6 – Save $3,000 for a great trip in the fall/winter.

This is our most exciting goal.  Saving isn’t sexy but it’s necessary.  After our debt obligations and investment requirements are met we want to have fun.  Fun for us, means travel.  We got our eyes focused on Central America this winter for at least one week, maybe two.  We’ll need to pay for plane tickets before we go.  We figure those tickets should cost about $2,000-$2,500 and we might need another $500 for other travel-related items paid in advance.  As of this month, we’ve got 0$ saved for our trip.  Yup, you read that correctly, nothing saved.  Well, we’re hopeful that will change this summer.  After Goal # 4 is complete, getting our emergency fund to $5,000, we’ll start saving for the trip.  We hope to have some cash flowing into our travel fund by August 2012.

There’s always room for better financial management but we’re doing OK this year.  By the time you read my next update, we hope to have major progress made on Goal #3 and Goal #4 will be complete.   I will certainly keep you posted on our progress.

How are your 2012 personal finance and investing goals coming along?   Got some comments about our goals?

Before I leave you today, please take a couple of seconds to vote for My Own Advisor at Modest Money’s Top Canadian Investing Blogs Poll.   I’m close to the top but I need your votes to keep me there!    Thanks to Modest Money for including me amongst some of the best blogs in the country.

17 Responses to "June Update – 2012 personal finance and investing goals"

  1. I always enjoy reading your updates. I have various goals too, but find it difficult to achieve them sometimes and get sidetracked on other things. Your updates prove that if you solidify something by putting it in writing, it will help you from taking detours away from your goals. Having it in writing keeps the goals alive and keeps you focused. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks J Young. I appreciate the kind words. We get sidetracked, for sure. Having our goals in writing, really helps keep us honest. I hope we nail all these goals this year. Next year, they will only get bigger and better. Stay tuned for more updates!

  2. I also want to travel in Central America either in late fall or winter 2013. I think your airfare estimate is high, but then if it is, you will have more left over for the other parts. Then again, if your time is limited you may want to pay a higher airfare price for the most direct, shortest flights. I drive myself crazy searching for the lowest airfares when I travel.

    I want to go for about 6-8 weeks, so getting the routing down is the work.

    Great job with your savings, you will do fine in life!
    PS Voted for your blog

  3. Same here Mark. I am trying to save for an emergency fund (a couple of thousand), and also save for travel in the fall. So, hope we both do well with those goals!


Post Comment