Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Q2 Review: 2011 Goals

The second quarter of 2011 is over, and that means 1/2 of 2011 has already passed us by. Crazy, eh?

Like I mentioned in my Q1 review, the goals I had made for myself in late 2010 have changed a lot now that I’ve become a homeowner, decided to get braces, and am now on my own. I’m continuing to work hard at my goals, and I think that reflects in the progress I’ve made so far. There’s still a lot to do, but I feel like I’m on track.

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 / FAIL! means that I will 100% not achieve the goal
CHECK obviously means that I’ve already achieved the goal :)


  • $45,000 Retirement PortfolioFAIL! I withdrew $25,000 from my RRSPs, so my Retirement Portfolio sits at around $13,000 right now. My $300 bi-weekly contributions mean that I (obviously) won’t hit this $45,000 target.
  • $5,000 Emergency FundCHECK! I currently have $5,600+ in my EF, and growing it by $200 every month.
  • $1,000-3,000 Savings FundCHECK! The money in this account is always revolving, so I want to make sure I have some sort of cushion. I’ve had at least $1,000 in this account for most of the year so far. Right now I’m sitting at $2,000+ but I still have to pay my property tax (approx. $950).
  • Pay all travel expenses in cashON 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 San Francisco in August, Chicago in the fall, and whatever other small trips get sprinkled into the mix.
  • Open up a joint chequing account. Not applicable anymore.
  • Make an additional $25,000ON PACE! So far this year, I’ve made $12,957.25. In order to be on track to earn $25,000 in freelancing, I needed to be at $12,500 by the end of June. So I’m on track and hoping to gain some momentum throughout the summer months. This is the goal that I’m most proud of right now. I set a seemingly unattainable goal (for me) with no real plan or direction, but I’m actually on pace to achieve it. Gotta keep my eye on the prize for Q3 and Q4!
  • Make 3 extra payments to my car loan. CHECK! I paid off my car loan in full. :D
  • Shopping ban (clothing/shoes/accessories). ON PACE! I successfully completed my shopping ban from January-May 19th of this year. While in NYC, I spent $519.49 on clothing. Now, I am back on my shopping ban from June 1-December 31st. Wish me luck! I think I’m going to need it. :)
  • The Lunch Challenge. FAIL! Even though I failed at this challenge, I’m proud of what I accomplished by going 161 days (or 5.5 months, 44% of the year) without buying snacks, coffee or lunch.


  • Go on 3 hiking tripsPENDING! I have so many ideas (West Coast Trail, Cape Scott, Black Tusk, just to name a few), but have yet to turn those ideas into actual trips. It doesn’t help that I no longer have an experienced hiking partner to go with (and all of a sudden I find myself with the most hiking experience among my friends), or the fact that there’s still a brutal amount of snow up in the mountains. I think the key for me is to find one or two good friends to go on hikes with, and actually plan them in advance instead of trying to plan on the fly (which almost never works).
  • Go on a trip with BF. Not applicable anymore.
  • Go on a trip with my sisterCHECK! New Orleans in February, and we are going to San Francisco in August.
  • Go on a trip by myselfCHECK! I went to Toronto in January, and am headed to Chicago in October.
  • Go kayaking or paddling. ON PACE! My mom and I have tentative plans to do this in the fall, thanks to a Groupon my sister and I bought her for last Christmas.
  • Read at least 1 novel per monthPENDING! So far, I’ve read three books. Where to find the time!?
  • Finish my cross stitching projectPENDING! I haven’t touched it since I moved. Whoops!
  • Work out at least 3 times/weekPENDING! This is already a straight-up fail for the year, but I can make up ground by working out more for the rest of the year to get to an average of 3x/week. I mean, it’s doable. It’s just a shame that I had to take a few months off of anything that wasn’t field hockey, because of a suspected fractured foot. But for the last month, I’ve been back on track and running 3-4x/week. Field hockey is starting soon, which should help me out a lot.
  • Lose 10 lbsCHECK! This has really helped my running. If I lose another 10 pounds, I will be in prime rock climbing shape. And one of my big goals is to get back into climbing again, so that’s something to strive for. Although I don’t know how realistic it is.
  • Run in a 10km raceON PACE! I’ve been training, so I feel confident that I can run 10km fairly comfortably. I just really want to reach my target time (less than 50 min). I have tentatively committed to the Terry Fox run in my hometown in the fall, and am thinking about another race in Seattle for September.


  • Maintain an updated resumeCHECK! It is updated and ready to go.
  • Maintain LinkedIn profileCHECK! 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 businessON 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 onlineON 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 postsON 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 – which is proving to be much more difficult.

How are you doing with your goals for 2011?

June 2011 Goals: Recap

Well by the time you read this, I’ll be out on a boat on a lake overseeing a video shoot near Sun Peaks Resort, about 5 hours east of Vancouver. :) Looking back, I can’t believe how fortunate I was to have gotten fired from my last job. I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to be working for such a great company. When I first started, I was amazed at the extremely low turn-over rate, positive and encouraging atmosphere, and sense of belonging. Which is why I can’t stop thinking about where I want to take the next 5 years of my career. So many things have been changing lately, making my simple life just a little more complex for the time being. Time needs to slow the eff down!

The only thing I am sure these days is my finances. That’s the one part of my life that I have complete control over, and I’m grateful for the stability. Even though June wasn’t that great of a month.

My “educated guess” on my utilities seem to be a little ridiculous. I only spent $29.55 for my first full month, and $12.50 of that was a set-up charge. I will monitor my usage closely over the next couple of months.

Cell Phone – I made a few long distance calls while in NYC, as well as some text messages.
Entertainment – I ended up buying 2 tickets ($106.50) to a Sam Roberts concert in October.
Miscellaneous – There was that tattoo ($144.40), and then there was a trip to MEC on Monday ($181.48).

NETWORTH CHANGE: – 6.73% ($4,280) … this is due to renovations ($3,780), and spending money while in NYC (which came from my Travel Fund).

June 2011 Goals (link):

  • Make an additional $2,000 above and beyond my FT job. FAIL! Argh. I came so close, making $1,863. This makes me mad because I really wanted to prove to myself that I could destroy the month of June. That gives me more motivation to decimate July.
  • Find a new Toastmasters club to join (the one I was going to is now too far away). FAIL! I didn’t even look into it. It’s hard to find the courage to do something you don’t want to do. Especially since I already went through the trouble to find and attend meetings with a different group. I need motivation!
  • Sell at least 1 item online. FAIL! Not like I could have anyway, since Canada Post was on strike. I know, excuses, excuses. I could have used Craigslist.
  • Buy at least 3 pieces of furniture. CHECK! I ended up buying a TV stand, coffee table, dining room set, and dresser. Still on the list is a bed, desk, chair, storage unit, and outdoor sitting furniture.
  • Do research into figuring out how to rent out my extra parking stall. PASS. I did do some preliminary research, but in the end, decided that it’s not worth the money to rent out the space. All of the guests that I have over to my place use the space, and it’s so much more convenient than having them try to find street parking.
  • Complete 10x runs around my new neighbourhood. CHECK! I only ran 13 times, but at least I hit my goal.
  • Go on one day hike. FAIL! I did not have one weekend day free for the entire month.

Ongoing 2011 Annual Goals:

  • No buying lunch, snacks or coffee during the work week. FAIL! I ended up buying lunch to celebrate a co-worker’s upcoming wedding. But, I’m back on track and moving forward.
  • No buying clothing, shoes or accessories until December 31, 2011. CHECK! Haven’t made any purchases since coming back from NYC.
  • Work out at least 3x/week. CHECK! I worked out a total of 16 times, or 4x/week.

A list of some upcoming expenses

So I’m going to have to do a little bit of spending in the next few weeks:

  • Hiking/Camping supplies
    • Backpacking water bladder ($35) – I must have lost it in the move, because it’s gone.
    • Tent ($300) – This purchase is going to hurt because lightweight backpacking tents aren’t cheap. I’m going to buy a new 2-person tent because I don’t trust used tents not to have tiny holes or rips in them. I might actually wait until I go down to Seattle in August and check out REI, but that would mean no overnight hikes until then. Not that it’s really possible right now anyway, with so much snow still up in the mountains.
    • Backpacking stove & accessories ($75) – Another expensive purchase. I’m going to scour Craigslist and hiking forums for used stuff first.
  • Flight to Chicago ($600) – I still haven’t purchased my ticket to the Financial Blogger Conference. It pains me to have to throw that much money at a flight. I’ve got the cash sitting in my Travel Fund, I just don’t want to spend it.
  • Computer desk & chair ($350) – There’s one desk that I really want to order online, but it’s a tad pricey. I could buy a cheaper alternative from IKEA if it came down to it. I would also like to buy a really nice computer chair. Currently scouring Craigslist.

Over the weekend, Blonde on a Budget and I got to talking about a trip to Seattle to run in a 5k/10k race in September and to watch a ball game. It’s not confirmed yet, but it would be pretty awesome. I would anticipate the cost for this would be around $200-250, including registration fees, hotel, and miscellaneous spending (gas, food, baseball ticket, etc.)

I also really want to go on a trip somewhere this winter. A few girlfriends and I were thinking of Jamaica in March. But that can be pretty pricey. We’ve all been to Mexico, and I was just in Hawaii so I don’t think I’d want to go again so soon. Jamaica is preferred, but maybe Puerto Rico? Cuba? I think if my friends don’t end up going on this trip, I might end up going myself to North Carolina. Totally random and the opposite of somewhere tropical, but I’ve just always wanted to go there. This trip might not be possible though, depending on the timeline for Kilimanjaro.

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