Give Me Back My Five Bucks

2011 goals

I think that it is going to be a very challenging year for me. My main focus is going to be the merging of our household finances,  traveling as frugally as possible, and saving as much as I can towards a down payment for our first home.

[updated: June 10, 2011] This year has been crazy, and I never thought I’d be where I am right now – as a single homeowner living in the Vancouver area. It’s been a challenge, but I believe that I am stronger because of all of this change, and I’m happy. My main focus continues to be traveling as much as I can (paying in cash), and increasing my freelance income.

Created: January 1, 2011
Q1 update: March 30, 2011
Q2 update: June 30, 2011
Q3 update: coming September 30, 2011


  • $45,000 Retirement Portfolio. My regular $250 bi-weekly contributions most likely won’t get me to this goal. I need to start contributing more and looking into different ways of investing, besides mutual funds.
  • CHECK! $5,000 Emergency Fund. I currently have $3,900 in my EF.
  • CHECK! $1,000-3,000 Savings Fund. This money will be revolving as I save and spend. I would like to keep at least a $1,000 cushion in this account for unexpected/emergency travel, as it currently sits with only a few hundred dollars in it.
  • Pay all travel expenses in cash. If I want to go traveling, I will need cash, not a credit card. My flight and accommodation for my trips to Calgary and Toronto/NYC were paid out of my 2010 income, so I only have to worry about spending money for those trips.
  • Open up a joint chequing account. Our goal is to buy our own place and get married within the next few years. So in order to do that, we will need to consolidate part of our finances together. This includes getting a joint chequing account to pay for joint expenses, as we already have a joint savings account. Also, I will be taking control of the household finances (with BF’s input of course).
  • Make an additional $25,000. This is above and beyond my full-time job income and would bring my annual income to approximately $75,000. My 2010 goal was to make an extra $5,000 so this year is going to be extremely challenging. But, I am resourceful and I know I can do it. My main streams of additional income will be through my PT job with the Toronto Star, this blog, freelance graphic design work, and any other way I can come up with to make money.
  • CHECK! Make 3 extra payments to my car loan.
  • Shopping ban (clothing/shoes/accessories). This will last from January-May, and then resume from June-December.
  • The Lunch Challenge. My goal is to not spend any money on lunches, snacks or coffee from Monday-Friday for all of 2011. The only time I can break this rule is if it’s legitimately work-related (which doesn’t happen often, and most work-related costs are almost always expensed anyway). I am also allowed to use gift cards (that I haven’t purchased myself). I’m doing this to challenge myself to be organized by always having lunch prepared, and to save money on the little things. Every dollar counts when you’re saving up to buy a place!


  • Go on 3 hiking trips. These trips need to be at least an overnight adventure.
  • Go on a trip with BF. Right now our plan is to go to Thailand over the Christmas holiday.
  • CHECK!Go on a trip with my sister. New Orleans in February.
  • CHECK! Go on a trip by myself. I went to Toronto in January.
  • Go kayaking or paddling. My mom and I have tentative plans to do this in the summer, thanks to a Groupon I bought her for Christmas.
  • Read at least 1 novel per month. I got a bunch of books from my sister for Christmas, and the rest will come from the library. Anybody have any good book recommendations? :)
  • Finish my cross stitching project. Last year’s project took way longer than the 8 months I had anticipated. This year my goal is to finish before Christmas.
  • Work out at least 3 times/week. All year long. Even when on vacation.
  • CHECK! Lose 10 lbs. I’ve gained a bit of weight since moving in with BF and would love to get back down to a size 4.
  • Run in a 10km race. I can run 10km, I have just never officially done it in a race before, and I would really like that.


  • CHECK! Maintain an updated resume. Although I plan on sticking around at my current job for a long time, you never know what will happen. I found that out first-hand in 2o10 when I got fired from my job.
  • CHECK! Maintain LinkedIn profile. I think this is a really valuable tool.
  • Take 3 seminars.
  • Print business cards for side business.
  • Put side business website back online.
  • Try to be at least one week ahead of my blogging with scheduled posts. Right now I blog on the fly. I don’t have anything scheduled, and sometimes it can create a bit of a panic when it’s 10pm and I need to write something for the next morning.

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