Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Q1 Review: 2012 Goals


  • Earn $70,000. I chose this as my only financial goal this year because it just made sense to me. As a full-time freelancer, all of my other financial goals hinge on how much money I can earn – so it just didn’t make sense to create anything more specific. At the end of Q1, I needed to be at the $17,500 mark, and I currently sit at just over $18,000. So I’m right there, but I need to keep working hard.


  • Travel. By the end of the summer, we’ll have seen around 15 countries in Europe. Plus I’m starting to think about my trip to CPFC12 in September, and maybe heading down to NYC if possible. I’m most thrilled about securing sponsorship with though. It was something I never even considered as a possibility, but by the end of the summer, we will have saved thousands of dollars on accommodation costs.
  • Go on a trip by myself. Right now, my thought is the Canary Islands for a 4 or 5 day working vacation. The cost of a roundtrip flight is only €98, so it’s pretty tempting. Has anyone been there before? I’m a little nervous to do this on my own, but I think it will be really exciting (even if I’ll be working a lot of the time). I was also thinking Budapest. Or even going on both trips.
  • Learn basic German and French. I need to get over my fear and have my boyfriend teach me French. Although at this point, he thinks it would be hilarious to teach me French slang, instead of anything that might be useful to me the next time we go to Quebec. :) My German is also getting a bit better. I can usually understand the basics of what someone is asking me, but I can’t reply in German. Unless the reply is to say please, thank-you, or is a number between 1 and 5.
  • Read 12 novels not related to marketing or personal finance. CHECK! I have been destroying books left and right lately, and if you can believe it, I’ve already read 13 books! Those long train rides gives me tons of time to read, and I’m one of those people who just can’t put a book down once they’ve started reading it. In fact, I’ve joined the website GoodReads. If you’re on that website too, feel free to add me!


  • 2012 Canadian Personal Finance Conference. As of writing this post, there are only 6 tickets left to the conference! Everything is coming together, and I am so excited for this event, and all of the wonderful speakers, bloggers, and writers I’ll get to meet. To finally have all of Canada’s top personal finance names under one roof, sharing ideas … well, it’s going to be an incredible experience for sure.
  • Write one guest post each month on another blog. I’ve only gotten around to writing one guest post, and that was really just in interview-style. I’ve already got so much on my plate at the moment, plus I’m trying to work on another website, which has priority over writing guest posts.
  • Take all of my own photographs. So far I’ve been able to do this. It hasn’t been easy, but I plan on setting up a photo shoot sometime soon.
  • Post a new photo every day while abroad via Tumblr. Because I didn’t think you guys would want to be bombarded by a million photos of Europe while I’m gone, I decided to create a Tumblr account instead. I’ve been posting new photos every day, although sometimes I get a little behind. I’m also posting pictures via my Pinterest account.
  • Take on three steady freelance assignments. I think I’m on track with this. More opportunities are coming up. I’m steadily increasing my freelance income, and branching out into different areas.

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. Frugal Fries says:

    AH! If your boyfriend can teach you French, you totally need to jump on that! I really wish I had someone to keep up my French with, because you get so rusty after years of barely using it.

  2. I’ll be in Budapest in August – can’t wait for the thermal baths!!

  3. Daniela says:

    My friend went to Budapest and said it was ah-maz-ing. Must do.

  4. Marianne says:

    Wow! Congrats on your great earnings- that’s amazing! I spent a few months in France and spoke not one word of French after stepping off the plane back home. I was young and stupid and absolutely should have kept up with it but didn’t. me= dumb. :) I could never learn a language from my husband though- we would end up hating each other! That’s just the kind of relationship we have though- we don’t learn well from each other. lol

  5. Freckles says:

    I was in the Canary Islands (Lanzarote, specifically)in November of 2005 for a surf camp. I travelled there on my own but met up with a surfing tour group once there. (I was a never-before surfer, first time). I didn’t spend any time on the other islands, only Lanzarote (except for transit). I liked my time there, there’s a very heavy Spanish influence with a LOT of British tourists. Which means there were plenty of fish and chip shops and pubs showing football (soccer) matches. I’m sure the main cities have full amenities, but the tiny surfing village where we stayed for a week did not have a telephone in the hotel, never mind Internet access, so double check the amenities where you think you want to stay if you want to be working while there. The islands would be more of a relaxing vacation where you would just relax with great weather, sun, sand beaches and surf, and Budapest would be more of a sight-seeing and walking around expedition I would guess.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    If you have figured it yet, “Ein grosse dunkel bier, bitte” I would like one large dark beer please!

    *The only useful phrase of German I remember, but I have heard many tales of great food and drink in the little towns at the local establishment:)

  7. Modest Money says:

    That’s awesome that your boyfriend can teach you french. You should totally pressure him to help out more there. I’m sure there are plenty of times walking around or taking trains that you could fit in short lessons.

  8. Congrats on the freelance income and being on target for most of your goals! Enjoy your time in Europe; you will continue to pick up more and more of the languages.

  9. Daniel says:

    Congratulation for huge earning. I think freelancers should take a sun-glass to protect their eyes. How do you can you explain it?


    • Ranjit says:

      Jesus, why does the Federation even bother with these idoits? Of course there’s a point to all of it, but episode after episode of it can bring a person down.Season 4 was the best overall. Episodes with General Martok are reliably good, there’s no getting around it. Martok is the Al Bundy of Klingons; just watch the episodes where he’s bellyaching about bureaucracy or some other new indignity, and imagine him sitting on the couch with his hand down his pants.And of course, the Defiant is the finest ship yet seen in any series, with the possible exception of those beautiful Bajoran sailboats.

  10. Michelle says:

    Sounds like you’re doing good! I still can’t decide if I want to go to FinCon. I mean of course I want to, but don’t know if it’s possible!

  11. katherine says:

    since your number 1 goal is early retirement- how much do you sock away in rrsps per month? or because your income is unpredicatble, will you wait till end of year to drop rrsp money?

    you saved 2000+ dollars like where does it go? just a savings account or..?

    Sadly I save 2000+ too but I lay my savings on the mortgage.. : (

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Well I’ve only been a freelancer for 2 months, so I haven’t figured out exactly what I’m going to do with my RRSP contributions. Before, I was putting $400/bi-weekly into both my RRSP and TFSA accounts. Then, I stopped contributing for 2 months while I quit my job and moved to Europe. Now that I feel a bit more secure with my income, I’m going to start my bi-weekly contributions again. It won’t be up to the amount I was saving before, since I’m paying for my mortgage in Vancouver still, as well as rent, living expenses, and travel here in Europe.

      Once I get home at the end of August, I will go back to 20% increased mortgage payments, as well as my regular RRSP contributions.

  12. Eddie says:

    Great job with your goals thus far.
    I’m sad that you won’t be in Denver for FINCON12, but glad we’ll be able to catch up in Toronto.

    *PS – Don’t forget the Jays Game.

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