HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Well, here we go again… it’s a new year which means it’s time to set my financial goals for 2018!!  It worked well last year, so I might as well do it again, amirite?! Here they are in no particular order:

  • Contribute $10,722 to our kids’ RESP, which will allow us to receive maximum government grants for the year (3 kids x $2,500, plus Kid #1’s $2,500 of carryover room, plus Kid #2’s $722 of carryover room (Kid #3 has no carryover room)).
  • Make at least 5 extra mortgage payments.
  • Keep our annual spend under $75K – we barely kept our expenses under $80K in 2017 so we’ll need to challenge ourselves to find another $5K to cut from our spend… cause really, $80K is still waaaaay too much to spend in a year (so is $75K, but baby steps…). Related to this, I’d also like to achieve:
    • At least 4 months with spend under $6K.
    • At least 1 month with spend under $5K.
  • NOT incur any consumer debt.
  • Assemble a binder of all of our financial information – I take care of ALL of our finances – our banking, bill payments, saving, investing, etc.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that G would not even know how to log on to his online bank account.  That works for us (I love doing it, and he’d rather not), but could be disastrous if something happened to me.  If I bit the proverbial bullet tomorrow, G would have to figure out how to access our money, my will, my life insurance, keep paying the bills, all while having to deal with his own personal grief, and that of our three young children… Not ideal.  The least I can do is compile all of our money info (list of all of our banking and investment accounts, including account numbers, passwords and contact numbers; mortgage information; copies of all important documents, like wills, powers of attorney, health directives, birth certificates, passports, etc; lists of all of our assets and liabilities, etc) in one place to eliminate unnecessary finance-related stress during what would be an incredibly difficult time.  For more info on this, take a look at these posts on The Simple DollarBudgets Are Sexy, and SeedTime.

I had also wanted to include one more goal for the year – to increase our save percentage again – but I know that might be too difficult this year so I’m leaving it out for now.  In fact, all these goals might be difficult because…

  • First – and this one’s a biggie – I will almost certainly have lower income this year, due to one of the two following reasons, and lower income will mean less money to save / invest:
    • Over the last year, I’ve been keeping my eyes / ears open for other career opportunities and have applied for a few, and even interviewed for one in mid-December.  I reaaaaally hope to get this position (and at this point, it’s certainly looking like a very real possibility), but there’s a downside to it – it’s only part-time.  While going from full-time to part-time employment might seem like questionable behaviour especially for someone like me who’s so obsessed with finances, this is actually the exact reason why it was so important to me to get our finances in order – so that I could pursue other opportunities and not feel handcuffed by my current job.  This position I’m hoping to get is much better aligned with my skills, passions and interests, and may provide better opportunities for advancement down the road.  It’s unfortunate that it’s only part-time, but I wouldn’t want to turn it down for that reason alone.  We’re so incredibly fortunate that we live on much less than we make, so we can afford for me to accept a lower-paying position.  Of course, I’d try to make up the difference in income somehow (with other part-time work), but not sure exactly if / how that would work out yet… Stay tuned for more info on this in the coming months…
    • If the position above doesn’t work out and I end up staying in my current position, I will be applying for ‘leave with income averaging’ this year, which basically just means that I’d be taking 5 weeks off unpaid, but instead of going without a paycheque for those 5 weeks, my annual salary would be reduced by 5 weeks and then averaged out over the entire year.
  • G is still on long-term disability.  We have no way of knowing whether that will continue throughout 2018, or whether his employment status or income will change at some point during the year…

Two last things…

  • I said  last year that we were working towards living on my income alone and saving all of G’s, but that we weren’t even close to that yet, but it turns out we did in fact save all of G’s take-home, and then some… It would be nice to keep that up in 2018, but that’ll all depend on whether and how much of a hit my income will take this year…
  • There’s a really significant net worth milestone we’re getting very close to achieving and one of my goals is to hit it this year, but I’m not sure yet how comfortable I am talking about it… I certainly don’t want to sound braggy or anything, but I’m pretty effin proud of it… Then again, a market downturn (which is bound to happen sooner or later) could easily put this goal miles out of reach for years to come… In any event, I’m leaving this here as a  placemarker for now and I may or may not write some more about it as the year goes on…

So anyhoo, those are the goals!!  Once again, it’ll be tough, but we’re up to the challenge!  And of course, I’ll keep you posted throughout the year as to how I’m doing with these goals…

What are your goals for 2018??

LS