Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Q1 Review: 2011 Goals

The first quarter of 2011 is almost over, so I’ve decided to review my goals for the year. As usual, the goals I made for myself late last year might be changing altogether with the idea of becoming a homeowner AND deciding to get braces ($7,000). I think that I will still be able to achieve all of the goals I want to achieve, it just means I will need to work that much harder!

ON PACE! means that I’m on track to achieve the goal this year
PENDING means that I haven’t done anything with the goal yet
CHECK obviously means that I’ve already achieved the goal :)


  • $45,000 Retirement Portfolio. ON PACE! I have increased my contributions to $350 bi-weekly. I think this is a good spot to be at. When I first moved to Vancouver about 3 years ago, my contributions were $150 bi-weekly. So I’ve more than doubled my savings rate. I’m happy with that, and I don’t think I need to increase my contribution rate again this year.
  • $5,000 Emergency FundON PACE! I currently have $4,300 in my EF, and will have $5,000 once I get my tax refund.
  • $1,000-3,000 Savings Fund. ON PACE! The money in this account is always revolving, so I want to make sure I have some sort of cushion. I’ve had over $1,000 in this account for most of the year so far, but will have to empty it out to pay for the down payment on my braces. After that, the money will be flowing in and out as I pay for a variety of expenses throughout the year.
  • Pay all travel expenses in cash. ON PACE! So far, I’ve paid for my trip to New Orleans, Toronto and New York City trips by saving up cash. Now I need to focus on saving for my trip to Chicago in the fall, a potential trip to San Francisco with my family (approx. $500), and my trip to Thailand with BF (approx. $2,750). Whew!
  • Open up a joint chequing account. ON PACE! A few nights ago, we sat down and discussed how we will merge our finances. Our initial plan is to have a joint chequing account to go with our current joint savings account. Rent, internet/cable, utilities and groceries will come out of this account. Our joint savings will house our Travel Fund and House Fund. Everything else we will keep separately.
  • Make an additional $25,000. ON PACE! So far this year, I’ve made $6,934.89. In order to be on track to earn $25,000 in freelancing, I needed to be at $6,249.99 by March 31st. So I’m on track and hoping to gain some momentum into the summer months.
  • Make 3 extra payments to my car loan. PENDING. I haven’t made a single extra payment. I suck.
  • Shopping ban (clothing/shoes/accessories). ON PACE! Since the beginning of the year, I’ve ripped a huge hole in my tights, and also ripped my only pair of casual jeans beyond repair. My black flats that I wear every day to work are developing a hole in the leather. I try to replace work shoes every 2 years, so I’m coming due. I still haven’t done any shopping, but I’m limping along.
  • The Lunch Challenge. ON PACE! I’ve avoided all temptation and haven’t purchased a single snack, coffee or lunch so far this year. :D


  • Go on 3 hiking trips. PENDING. We have so many ideas, but have yet to turn those ideas into actual trips.
  • Go on a trip with BF. ON PACE! Right now our plan is to go to Thailand over the Christmas holiday. We’ve planned out a budget, decided where we want to go, and now my next step is to figure out vaccines and figure out how to approach getting the time off at work.
  • Go on a trip with my sisterCHECK! New Orleans in February.
  • Go on a trip by myselfCHECK! I went to Toronto in January.
  • Go kayaking or paddling. ON PACE! My mom and I have tentative plans to do this in the summer, thanks to a Groupon my sister and I bought her for Christmas.
  • Read at least 1 novel per month. PENDING. So far, I’ve read one book. Where to find the time!?
  • Finish my cross stitching project. ON PACE! I’m doing very well and I’m probably about 50% done the stitching. After the rest of the stitching is done (which I think will take me into the summer months), I’ll have to do a lot of outlining which is really time consuming.
  • Work out at least 3 times/week. PENDING. This is already a straight-up fail. Of course, I can make it up so that I average 3x/week, but I already haven’t kept pace. I want to blame this on my suspected fractured foot that I’ve had since mid-January, and being so super busy with my freelancing work. But in the end, it’s me that isn’t getting motivated enough to exercise. I need to be fit once field hockey tryouts come around in June.
  • Lose 10 lbs. PENDING. I’ve only maintained my weight.
  • Run in a 10km race. PENDING. I’m finding it difficult to commit to signing up for a race. Because I work so much, I just don’t have the time to train properly. I can run 10km right now, I just want to run it well during a race. And if I can’t run it well, then I really don’t want to pay the money to run it at all.


  • Maintain an updated resume. CHECK! It is updated and ready to go.
  • Maintain LinkedIn profile. CHECK! I’m keeping it updated and adding new contacts every month.
  • Take 3 seminars. ON PACE! I originally felt like this would be strictly marketing and to do with my full-time job. But now that I’m going to FINCON in Chicago, I will be taking many seminars during that weekend and feel like that satisfies this goal of mine.
  • Print business cards for side business. ON PACE! I have finally designed my cards, and am in the process of getting quotes from a few different print shops.
  • Put side business website back online. ON PACE! Well, technically I’m on pace. Because my side business seems to be 90% writing at the moment, I’m thinking of just linking my side business to my LinkedIn profile and focusing my efforts into revamping this blog. I’ve already purchased the template and just need to take 3 or 4 days to implement it. I have yet to create a plan for that part.
  • Try to be at least one week ahead of my blogging with scheduled posts. ON PACE! I’ve downloaded an awesome calendar app for WordPress, and am trying to stay 2-3 posts ahead of the game. Now my goal is to implement that for my Moneyville blog.

How are you doing with your goals for 2011?

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


  1. Ihmhi says:

    I came here via Consumerist. I'll definitely be reading through your blog.

    If I may offer some unsolicited advice:

    1) Look for "Light Novels". Light Novels are popular in Japan and are just what they sound like – typically sub 300 pages. You can knock one out in a week easily.

    2) Bedtime? Ditch the Blackberry. There have been studies cropping up where using electronics right before bedtime can make it hard to rest. Go to bed a half hour earlier and spend the time you would have otherwise spent on Facebook on reading a book with the lights low. (I seem to sleep better when I read a book compared to reading a website, but I could be biased somehow.)

    3) Make the time, it's always there – you just need to use it. Time on a plane, bus, train, or toilet is prime time to read because, well, there's not much else to do.

  2. gmbmfb says:

    Agreed. I find I do most of my reading at night before bed, or while traveling. Thanks for the tips! I'm motivated to get on track with my reading goals again.

  3. I like how you have laid out your goals in a quarterly format…so gonna steal this idea… Stolen! Thanks!

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