“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” ~Author Unknown
Forget 2011 folks.
Not because it wasn’t a great year but it’s done. It’s over.
It’s a New Year and that means some great opportunities lie ahead. It could mean trying something new. It could mean taking lessons learned and applying them to something you’ve already tried before. It could mean stop doing something all together.
For my wife and I in 2012, it’s a bit of all three.
In 2011, I think we had a pretty successful year: saving, investing and paying down debt.
- Although we missed our target, building our emergency fund to $10,000 in 2011 we did manage to put aside $2,000. We still have a sizeable variance associated with this fund, but we’ll be working on closing that gap in 2012.
- We bought enough Fortis (FTS) and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) stock in 2011, to start synthetic Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIPs) with our discount broker. Combined, Fortis and Bank of Nova Scotia should earn us just over $500 in passive dividend income this year.
- We also maximized one TFSA account and optimized our RRSPs. In fact, we not only contributed a few thousand into our RRSPs this past year, we might get a small tax-refund back in a few months because of it.
Paying Down Debt
- For 12 months last year, we increased our mortgage payments by $200 – building house equity.
- We also paid down over $15,000 in line of credit (LOC) debt.
“Every ceiling, when reached, becomes a floor, upon which one walks as a matter of course and prescriptive right” ~ Aldous Huxley.
So, now that we’re in 2012, we’ve reached last year’s floor. To define our new ceiling, we’ve got new personal finance and investing goals.
Here they are 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.
Lofty stuff? Yes but…
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” Thanks Yogi Berra.
With some dividend income expected throughout the year, I’ll also be investing in more and new dividend-paying stocks in my non-registered accounts but those transactions will likely occur after we have started to work on the goals above. Or they should! 🙂
What do you think of our personal finance and investing goals for 2012? Too much on our plate? Wrong priorities? What do you have for 2012 financial goals?
Send me a comment and let me know!