This was easily one of the best years I’ve ever had. Not only did I get to fulfill my dream of travelling, but I strengthened my relationships, made some awesome friends – and did it all while on a pretty tight budget. :) Part of me is disappointed that I didn’t save as much money as I could have had I stayed in Canada, but the experience of travel was truly priceless. That being said, I’m excited to get back on track with my finances for 2013.
I also learned a lot about myself professionally. I’m happy that I succeeded as a freelancer, but my personality is better suited to corporate work (with freelancing pushed into a part-time role). And I feel like that was reflected in not achieving many of the professional goals that I set out for myself.
Anyway, onto my 2012 goals recap. :)
- Earn $70,000. FAIL. As my first year as a full-time freelancer, this was my only financial goal for 2012. It didn’t make sense to me to create specific financial goals, when everything depended on how much money I could bring in. Anyway, I optimistically thought I could bring in $70,000 – and I would have, if I had stayed in Canada. Unfortunately there were a lot of opportunities I missed out on because I was abroad and couldn’t take on projects. My income this year was just about $57,000.
- Travel. CHECK! We actually travelled a lot more than I thought we would this year, and extended our trip by 3+ months definitely helped out. In the 10 months we were living in Germay, I went to 18 different countries, travelled for 80 days, and spent approximately $9,500 CDN. That’s a large chunk of money, but IMO it’s pretty good considering we spent the majority of our time in Western Europe.
- Go on a trip by myself. CHECK! I went to Iceland for 3 days on a solo trip.
- Learn basic German and French. FAIL. We ended up learning very, very basic German. We knew how to order from restaurants, and answer simple questions – but I never got to the point where I could have a conversation with someone. As for French… well, I mean, I can read basic French and over the last few months my boyfriend was teaching me small phrases and pronunciation tips. So I’m slowly getting there. But I think what I’m going to need to do is actually taken lessons.
- Read 12 novels not related to marketing or personal finance. CHECK! I caught up on a lot of reading this year, and managed to read almost 50 books. :)
- 2012 Canadian Personal Finance Conference. CHECK! CPFC12 ended up being such an amazing experience. Meeting so many bloggers, and hearing such inspirational presentations really renewed my passion for personal finance. I cannot wait for next year’s event. :)
- 2012 Financial Blogger Conference. FAIL. My original plan, of course, was to go to FINCON12. But we ended up staying in Germany for an additional 3+ months, so I had to scrap the trip. I think CPFC12 is better in terms of networking, but I did end up landing some freelancing gigs out of FINCON11, so I might go next year. Depends where it is, I guess.
- Write one guest post each month on another blog. FAIL. Instead of writing guest posts, I actually received quite a bit of freelance work. So of course, I decided to get paid for my writing instead of giving it away for free. But I did try to do as many interviews as possible.
- Take all of my own photographs. CHECK! I used a couple of my boyfriend’s pictures, but my main goal was to stay away from stock photos.
- Post a new photo every day while abroad via Tumblr. FAIL. I had really good intentions, and posted new photos for about half of the year. But then I launched Frugal Wanderer, and started using Instagram, which basically meant my Tumblr account got pushed back in terms of priority.
- Take on three steady freelance assignments. FAIL. I actually lost a freelance client halfway through the year. But thankfully I got a raise with another client, and picked up different projects along the way which helped to boost my income. Had I not lost that client, I would have likely made my income goal of $70k. Oh well. :)