Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Q1 Review: 2013 Goals

I can’t believe this year is already 25% gone – which means I’ve been working full-time at a 9-5 job for nearly 3 months. As I’ve said before, it’s been a real adjustment for me, and I’m still not there yet. But, it’s really nice to be able to predict my income each month, and know that I’ll have at least that amount to work with on a regular basis.


  • Earn $85,000 to $90,000. NEEDS WORK. This is a stretch goal for me, and if I keep earning at the pace that I’m earning, I won’t make it. I think I’ll likely hit around $75,000 to $80,000. That’s why I’m debating going back into freelance writing again. I’ve gotten a few offers that I’m thinking about, and that would put a significant dent in the income I need to make up to reach this goal. But I have a really important personal goal of running a half marathon this year, and I don’t want to jeopardize that.
  • Put an extra $2,500 onto the mortgage. ON TRACK. I lost one month of increased payments because the bank took a long time to process my request, and then they couldn’t do it until the billing cycle lined up properly. But I’m back on track.
  • Save $16,000 in my Retirement Portfolio. NEEDS WORK. Because I’m not in line with the monthly income I had anticipated, I’m also behind in contributing to this.
  • Diversify my investments. ON TRACK. I’ve opened up a Questrade account, and started playing around with a few stock market simulators online. Hopefully in the next couple of months I can move onto the real thing.
  • Start contributing to charity. ON TRACK. I’ve decided on the charity that I’m going to contribute to, I just need to fill in the paperwork to get my monthly contribution started.


  • Go on one big trip. ON TRACK. Now that it’s 99% confirmed I’ll be going to France in October for work, I’m also 99% sure that I’ll be headed to Morocco as my “big trip” of the year. I had originally wanted to go to China with my family, but other obligations throughout the year meant that I didn’t have enough vacation time to do everything. That’s why Morocco makes sense – I’ll already have a free flight to Europe, and I’ll likely only spend 5-6 days there. Additionally, I have trips planned to Vegas and Toronto this year.
  • Run in a half marathon and two 10km races. ON TRACK. I’ve signed up for the half marathon race, and I’m going to take a look at the schedule for 10kms this year too. I’d love to head to Seattle and do a race there sometime this summer. Or perhaps do a trail race – I have a few friends who are into that, and it looks ridiculously fun.
  • Take a French language class. NEEDS WORK. I haven’t even looked into this yet.


  • Invest in a grown-up wardrobe. ON TRACK. I’ve purchased myself a suit, a spring jacket, and a couple of nice work tops. I’d like to get a couple more pieces, but I think I’ve really improved my wardrobe a lot already.
  • Read 6 marketing books. NEEDS WORK. I’ve purchased a couple of books, but haven’t had the time to read them. Okay, that’s not true. I have time, but it hasn’t been a priority for me. I read so much at work that when I come home, the last thing I want to do is pick up a book. I think once I start traveling a bit, that will change.
  • Scale back my freelancing. CHECK! Maybe it’s a bit premature to say that I’ve achieved this goal, but I feel like I have. I stepped down from my gig at the Toronto Star (where I was writing 3x/week), and I’ve actively rejected many freelance opportunities that have come my way. That being said, I’m considering taking on one or two smaller projects because I realize that if I want to hit my income target for the year, I’m going to have to do a bit of writing. As long as I’m not working an extra 25+ hours/week on writing, I should be able to maintain a pretty balanced lifestyle.

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. Good job so far Krystal. We’ve started to ‘dip our toes’ into the investing market,,,it’s fun, but a little scary!

  2. Seems like you’re doing very well so far Krystal! Keep it up :)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great job Krystal! I hope you share with us what Marketing books you end up reading !!

  4. you`ve done good progress on your goals so far! keep it up!

  5. janesavers says:

    I am on track with my debt repayment goals but I find the progress to be painfully slow and frustrating.

    Fail at generating more income and at my personal health goals. I stand all day at work and I must loose weight to keep my body healthy so I can continue to work. I am surrounded by slightly chubby middle aged ladies like myself and see them dealing with knee, hip and foot issues that are probably directly related to their weight.

    It is Monday so I have started a healthy eating and exercising campaign (for the hundreth or thousandth time in my life) but this time I am going to succeed. My financial health depends on my physical health.

  6. Great job! I know from personal experience it’s hard balancing fitness goals with extra freelance goals. There is not enough time in the day to do everything you want to do, right? ;p

    We paid off our car loan this month! No more debt for us :) Other than credit card we pay off every month.

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