Well, THAT, my friends, was an amazing summa!!  Hot, hot, hot, and no mosquitoes! Glorious! So glorious, in fact, that I haven’t posted here ONCE since my June goals update! Yikes.  Well, here I am now with a 2-for-1 post – that’s right, might as well update both July and August in one post (if that’s not efficiency, I don’t know what is).  Here we go!

  • $12,500 in RESP contributions – Total for each of July and August was $1,240, bringing my year-to-date total to $11,060.  I may have mentioned this before, but we have 2 different RESP accounts, one that I fund through my day-to-day bank account (currently $420/payday), and another funded by an account set up solely for RESP purposes ($400/month).  We’ve now contributed enough to the RESP to make this goal with just the $400/month contributions, which will result in a total of $12,660 for the year (from September to December, the $420 bi-weekly contributions will go towards my TFSA instead)!!  So I’m pretty much considering this goal accomplished now!  Woot woot! Goal (basically) accomplished, although it won’t be official until the end of the year!! 
  • Increase automatic investment amounts ($500/month excluding pension contributions at Jan 1) – Two things happened this summer that led to higher pay for me: i) a pay raise, and ii) I maxed out my EI & CPP contributions for the year.  I seized the opportunity to increase our automatic investment contributions by the same amount as my pay increase, so our automatic contributions are now $1,240/month (well, $420/pay, which isn’t quite the same, but close enough!). This goal was so important to me as it represents one of the most important tenets of financial planning – pay yourself first – so I’m incredibly happy to see my progress on this one and super motivated to keep pushing this number up!
  • Annual spend under $80K – Our July spend was $5,429.25, which is quite a bit lower than usual (just a buck and a half more than our cheapest month so far this year!)!  Only expenses of note was about $500 for an outdoor patio set and $450ish for clothing.  Our August spend, on the other hand, was $7,054.84.  Ouch.  Some August expenses of note:
    • vehicle service/maintenance: a total of about $500 for rear axle work on the truck and an oil change and battery on the van (which hurts, but we’ve spent hardly any money on the vehicles this year, so this really isn’t so bad), plus another $250 for parts for the quad.
    • paid off the rest of our property taxes – $260.52 – as we finally got our tax bill.
    • paid our annual utility bill for our cabin – around $450.

With those 2 months in the hopper, our year-to-date spend stands at $50,241.17.  The 2/3 point for this goal is $53,600, so we’re still doing ok here, but we’ve got some pretty pricey months ahead, so I’m a bit worried about meeting this one…

  • Increase our saving % (20% at Jan 1) – Of course, this goal is tied to the ‘increase automatic contributions’ goal, so now that those contributions are up, our save percentage is up as well, to approx 33% of our gross income.  I’m super happy with this increase, cuz like I said earlier, I actually think a person’s save percentage is the most important number in terms of attaining financial independence.  I need to rethink how I calculate this thought to make it more meaningful. I try to calculate it annually but so many things change throughout the year that it’s hard to do it that way before the year is actually done.  I think I need to calculate it monthly and then do a year-end tally once the numbers are all in (what can I say – I’m learning as I go).
  • NOT incur any consumer debt – None incurred. Yes, me! Boo, debt!
  • Declutter at least 2 things a day – This is a goal that’s I’m clearly not feeling.  Yes, I still get rid of some stuff around the house from time to time, but not as often or as quickly as I’d like, and I’m no longer tracking it it any way.  I either need to ditch this goal altogether, or find some other way to measure it that clicks for me.  Need to think about this one some more… Boo, me.

Eight months in, and all is well!!  Will really need to watch the annual spend goal closely as we’ve got all kinds of expenses coming up: curling registrations (x5), hockey registrations (x3), a December trip for me, a January trip for the family that will need to be paid for this year, and, of course, Christmas.  Oof.

In other news, things are going so well with these goals that I’m already starting to think about 2018 financial goals! I’ve definitely found that setting out clear, measurable goals and reporting on them monthly are INCREDIBLY helpful in actually accomplishing those goals, so you can bet I’ll be doing this again and again!

LS