Our Ambitious 2012 Personal Finance and Investing Goals

“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.

Saving

  • 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.

Investing

  • 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!

My name is Mark Seed and I'm the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I've surpassed my goal and I'm now investing beyond the 7-figure portfolio to start semi-retirement with. Find out how, what I did, and what you can learn to tailor your own financial independence path. Subscribe and join the newsletter! Follow me on Twitter @myownadvisor.

17 Responses to "Our Ambitious 2012 Personal Finance and Investing Goals"

    1. Thanks Money in Training!

      Nice of you to stop by and comment. We all have different goals and objectives, whatever they are, what’s important is to keep moving forward.

      Have a great 2012 and check in again soon.

      Reply
    1. @SPF,

      Thanks for that, making this article the one you chose to read!

      I think we’ve got a bit of everything, as you have said, I just hope I can nail them all 🙂

      I look forward to checking out your blog more this year. I appreciate the support.

      Cheers,
      Mark

      Reply
  1. Great post! Those aren’t lofty goals, I think you can achieve them for sure 🙂

    I like how you broke it down 🙂

    Congrats on the $500 dividend income that’s great! I need to start more DRIPS on my other shares other than EIF.TO

    Reply
  2. Can’t stress the importance of paying extra on your mortgage. Depending upon your mortgage, this can significantly cut down the number of years required to own your home.

    Good, practical goals. Wish you the best for 2012!

    Reply
    1. @Moneycone,

      Thanks for the comment, I’ve seen your name around Twitter and the blogosphere!

      Yes, extra payments on our large mortgage are really going to help. We hope to keep the pace up, and be done our mortgage in another 12 years.

      I hope we can nail this goal this year!

      Reply
  3. Looks like a sound financial plan, Mark! We have a lot of the same personal goals, except I allocated more money to paying off my wife’s student loan. Once it’s paid off we will start to maximize her TFSA for this year.

    Hope your goals will be reached and more!

    Reply
  4. Sounds like you’ve got an achievable goal to optimize each of your financial priorities and still have some fun too. Our goals for this year are quite similar, except we’ve got RESP contributions to make instead of LOC payments. Like you, we’re working with about $2,100 per month in extra cash flow that we’ve divided up into extra mortgage payments, vacation savings, RRSP and TFSA contributions.

    Good luck with your goals this year!

    Reply

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