Give Me Back My Five Bucks

2013 goals

This year is going to be all about making and achieving outrageous goals. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do with my life, and I’m really excited and motivated to get going. Moving back home and getting a new job really means a clean slate for 2013. Maybe I won’t achieve everything I want for myself this coming year, but at least I can try. And who knows, maybe I’ll surprise myself along the way. :)

Q1 update: March 25, 2013
Q2 update: July 5, 2013
Q3 update: October 7, 2013
Q4 update: December 24, 2013

Financial

  • Earn $85,000 to $90,000. This includes my full-time income, freelancing, and advertising on my blog. Last year I earned $57,000 as a full-time freelancer, but I’m also cutting back drastically on my freelancing, so I feel like $90,000 is a bit of a stretch for me. I don’t exactly know how I’m going to get there, but I feel like it’s within reach if I really go for it.
  • Put an extra $2,500 onto the mortgage. I want to increase my mortgage payments by 20% again for 2013, and potentially put down a lump sum on my anniversary date.
  • Save $16,000 in my Retirement Portfolio. This is 18.8% of my income goal of around $85,000 this year. I feel like I could be saving more, but I also want to make sure I’m paying down my mortgage as well. I plan on putting $10,000 into my RRSP and $6,000 into a TFSA.
  • Diversify my investments. I’ve always invested in e-series index mutual funds, but I’d like to diversify a bit and look at different investment vehicles. I’ve already started doing a lot of reading, and I’m pretty excited to try.
  • Start contributing to charity. Every year I contribute to the Easter Seals and the Ride to Conquer Cancer, but I want to start giving on a monthly basis. I’m looking at sustainable living projects in developing countries, as well as clean water initiatives.

Personal

  • Go on one big trip. It’s going to be tough coming from a year when we were constantly travelling, but I have too many financial goals to achieve this year, so my travel budget is going to be drastically slashed. Instead, I plan to focus on exploring closer to home (road trips!) and go on one big trip this year. Right now the front-runner is going to China for 2-3 weeks with my family. But Kenya, Peru, Nepal, and Thailand are really high on my list as well.
  • Run in a half marathon and two 10km races. This is the year I actually start entering races. Ever since high school (where I ran cross country and track), I’ve always just run for myself, or for field hockey training. Races have never appealed to me because I’m too competitive with myself. But it’s important to do it just to get over the fear.
  • Take a French language class. I’m serious about this. French has always been a hard language for me to learn, but I need to do it. Not only because I’m in a long term relationship with a French guy, but also because it’s really good to have for professional purposes.

Professional

  • Invest in a grown-up wardrobe. I need to stop spending money on casual clothing and focus on my professional wardrobe and how I present myself at work. I want to figure out a polished, professional look, while still having a bit of fun and showing my personality. I’ve come a long way in the last 7 years, but I still don’t even own a suit.
  • Read 6 marketing books. This is a fun goal because I love reading about how other companies and people go about marketing and starting new businesses. I don’t have any books in mind at the moment, so if anybody has any recommendations, just let me know! :)
  • Scale back my freelancing. My goals over the last few years have always been to ramp up my freelancing projects, but this year I’m starting a new full-time job that will likely see me working more than 8 hours/day. Especially during the first year. But, the extra income I’ll be making with this new job means that I can afford to scale back a little bit with my part-time work. Previous to 2012, I was working an additional 25-30 hours/week. I’d like to bring that down to 15 hours/week. But it’s going to be kind of a balancing act, because I do have some lofty income goals for this year.

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