What a year!!  2017 is the first year that I set financial goals for myself and I can’t believe the positive effect it’s had on our finances.  Here are some highlights, some of which you’ll already be aware of if you follow my monthly updates:

  • Received a bonus,  a promotion and a raise.
  • Achieved a savings rate of approximately 34% of our gross household income for the year, based on:
    • Maxing out our RESP contributions ($12,500 was required to receive maximum government grants; we ended up contributing $12,660).
    • Contributing $3,780 to my TFSA.
    • Having $26,943 contributed to my pension, including my contributions and my employer’s, and some pension deficiencies that I’m repaying relating to previous maternity leaves.
    • Making 7 extra mortgage payments, totaling $4,662.42 (we don’t include regular payments towards our savings rate, but we do include extra payments).
  • Renewed our mortgage with a lower interest rate (2.64% instead of 3.24%) and shorter amortization period (5 years after we took out a 25yr mortgage, we renewed for 15yrs instead of 20), which increased our bi-weekly payments but will lead to substantial savings in the long run.
  • Paid all of our property taxes well in advance (by the end of August even though they aren’t due until the end of October), instead of waiting until we get the bill and then using our line of credit to pay it.
  • Moved half of the investments in our non-registered account to our TFSA, as it made no sense to have investments sitting in a non-reg account when our tax-advantaged accounts weren’t maxed out (we only moved half because we didn’t want to pay too much in capital gains; we’ll move the other half sometime in 2018).

I really feel like all this was achieved with not that much effort… like all it took was to tilt the balance ever so slightly in our favour, and then the positive momentum built up slowly at first and then started snowballing faster and faster!

I truly hope your financial balance is also tipped in your favour…

LS