So, I’m a bit late with my monthly update… what can I say, it’s summer and I was sunnin’ my a** on a beach all of last week! In fact, hubby and kids are still there which is why I’m able to pound out a few posts today (finally)!
On another note, 6 months have flown by already, so now’s the perfect time to see if I’m at least halfway to my goals or not… Here we go!
- $12,500 in RESP contributions – Total for June was $900, bringing my year-to-date total to $8,580. The halfway point is $6,250 and I’m much further ahead than that so I’m super happy with my progress on this one!
- Increase automatic investment amounts ($500/month excluding pension contributions at Jan 1) – Still $900/month. There’s no ‘halfway’ point on this goal, but knowing that my increased automatic contributions have been in place 5 full months now confirms that we can afford it. In fact, I’ve bumped them up a bit more in early July… stay tuned for the July update for more info!
- Annual spend under $80K – Our June spend was $6,320.50, which includes another $1,200 put towards our property taxes, which are due at the end of October. So far, we’ve paid $3,500 of our taxes, which shouldn’t be far off the total amount owing (we haven’t received our tax bill for the year yet). Our year-to-date spend is $37,757.08. The halfway point for this goal is $40K (clearly, I’m a math whiz), and we’ve come under that by about $2,200 so that’s good. We’ve got a bit of cushion in terms of meeting this goal. Some thoughts on this:
- With $3,500 of our property taxes already paid, we won’t have to pay much, if any, taxes in the 2nd half of the year, so that should increase the cushion.
- Our cheapest months in terms of expenses are typically July and August, and if that holds true this year, that should give us even more cushion for expenses in the next 6 months.
- Our renewed mortgage has much higher payments, so our mortgage costs in the 2nd half of the year will be $2,148 higher than they were in the first half of the year. Bye-bye cushion.
- Increase our saving % (20% at Jan 1) – According to today’s calculations, this percentage has crept up another few points, to 31% of our gross income. Again, there’s no halfway point here, but I’m super happy with this increase. I actually think a person’s save percentage is the most important number in terms of attaining financial independence.
- NOT incur any consumer debt – None incurred. I’m super happy about this as well. The more I think about finances, the more I come to hate debt. Any debt.
- Declutter at least 2 things a day – I’m totally slacking with this goal. I didn’t declutter a thing in June. Well, I probably did, but I didn’t write anything down and can’t remember anything, so my year-to-date total is still 377 items. I think one of the reasons I’m having a harder time with this one is that it’s harder to measure. Stuff gets thrown out all the time, but what counts as ‘decluttering’?? We accept hand-me-down clothes for the kids all the time, and give them away to others as well – how do I count those items? Do I just count what goes out the door or do I offset it with what comes in?? Anyhoo, I keep thinking that one of these days, I’ll just take a day off work and stay home and rip through the house, making ‘donate’ and ‘trash’ piles left and right, and reach my total count that way… we’ll see…
Six months in, I’m pleased with my progress. The only goals that might give me some trouble are the annual spend and decluttering goals. I’m pretty confident the others will be fine. Then again, I’m contemplating some changes in my life that might derail all of them, but I’ll cross that bridge later…