Give Me Back My Five Bucks

2014 Annual Goals: Q1 Review

I saw on Twitter that someone had posted that they were late with their quarterly review of their annual goals, and I started to panic because truthfully, I haven’ t really thought about my annual goals much over the past month. But now that I’m working full-time again and chugging away with my freelance income, I can refocus on what I had wanted to accomplish this year. Maybe the 6 weeks off is going to affect a lot of my financial goals, but I’m okay with that because I think I’m in a better place than I was when the year started.

This year has been going by pretty quickly, but I couldn’t be any happier. I feel positive about the future, and I love seeing my friends and family achieving their goals as well. I’m excited about what the rest of the year has to offer because I have a sense of freedom. Freedom in having a job that’s so generous and flexible with taking time off, and freedom because I’m (trying) not to stress about money every day anymore.

Anyway, onto the review of my goals…


  • Stay debt-free (aside from my mortgage). ON TRACK! This is a pretty obvious goal, but it needs to be said. The number one goal is always to stay debt-free. :)
  • Increase my income by 10%. NEEDS WORK. Losing work for 6 weeks in Q1 has definitely hurt this goal. But, I have much more earning potential at this new job, and I’ve already taken on some fun freelance projects, so I’ll have to keep plugging away at this and not let that setback bring me down.
  • Increase my net worth to $115,000. NEEDS WORK. This is an increase of approximately $22,000 from 2013. So far, I’m off pace but I’m going to try to increase all of my automated savings to try to make up the difference.
  • Buy stocks. ON TRACK! I’ve already put $600+ into my Questrade account this year. I’m never going to be big into stocks, but it’s fun to learn and play around with it.
  • Save at least $750/month into my RRSP/TFSA. ON TRACK. I’m giving myself a pass here because I was doing this until I got laid off – saving $600 into my RRSP, and $150 into TFSA.
  • Save at least $50 bi-weekly into a long-term travel fund. ON TRACK. Surprisingly, I’ve saved over $1,100 already this year. It’s all thanks to banking a whole freelance cheque, and any ING Direct referral bonuses I’ve been getting.
  • Stay on budget every month. FAIL. I’ve already failed at this goal because of my job loss, but I’m still going to work hard at making achievable targets each month and being super conscious with my spending habits.
  • Sell at least one item every month. ON TRACK. Well, I’ve technically only sold one thing. But I’ve put items up on eBay every month, and I have given away a ton of stuff to goodwill, so that counts for something. At least for me, anyway. :)


  • Go on one big trip. ON TRACK. Well, originally I was going to Sweden this year for a work trip, and that was going to be where I based my vacation from. But now, I can go anywhere. Still thinking Europe, because I’m planning this trip with BF, and he hasn’t seen much of Europe before. We’ve tossed around a bunch of different itineraries, but haven’t settled on anything yet except for the timeframe – likely in late September for 2-3 weeks. Originally I was thinking it would cost less than $2,000 because work would pay for my flight to Europe… but now I’m thinking it might cost upwards of $4,000 because of the added cost of the flight, and the potential change from 2 weeks to 3 weeks. If 3 weeks is the case, then I’ll use the $$ in my long-term travel fund to help with the additional cost. :)
  • Run in four half marathons and set a PR. NEEDS WORK. Well, I’ve run in one half marathon already this year, but it was rough, and I haven’t really gotten back on track since that run. I’ve been nursing a foot injury for a couple of months, but I still have aspirations of running in at least two more half marathons this fall. My stretch goal is still to run one in 1:48, but realistically I just want to stay healthy for the rest of the year.
  • Read 20 books. NEEDS WORK. I haven’t really been into reading the past couple of months, even though I have a huge pile of books just begging to be read. I actually think it’s because I don’t spend much time alone these days. But I just need to get into the habit of reading a little bit before bed each night. Traveling helps too, and when we go to Vegas this month I’ll get to catch up on some reading while in the air. :)
  • Spend less than $1,000 on clothing/shoes. ON TRACK. Well, surprisingly I’ve only spent $38.22 on clothes this year – and they were on nylons. I don’t know why I insist on buying nylons since I’m so clumsy and end up ruining them before the day is over. :| And they’re so expensive! But I do know I need to update my work wardrobe since the place I work at now is a bit fancier than my last job.
  • Make one new recipe every monthON TRACK. I’m still vegetarian, and it’s been fun to experiment with new recipes and ideas in the kitchen. BF is a meat eater though, so sometimes it can get a bit tricky. And I do find that I need to eat a lot more to stay full.
  • Tackle three household projects. NEEDS WORK. Well, I’ve done none of these things. The closest I’ve gotten is discussing painting my bedroom with BF, who said it would be an easy job and we could get it done in a day. It’s not that I haven’t thought about refinishing my cabinets or getting blinds installed, it’s just that I keep flip flopping about what I want to do with my home in the long-term. If I want to sell in a year or two, then there’s no point in putting in that money, because I won’t get it back at all. But if I plan on staying long-term, or if they change the complex rules to allow for rentals, then I would definitely get going with these projects. So I’m going to give it until the end of Q2 to see if I can make any progress in my decision.


  • Research project management programs. ON TRACK. I’ve looked into project management and marketing management certifications through BCIT. They’re something that I’m interested in doing for sure. Originally I didn’t think I needed to do anything to advance my career, but over the past few weeks I’ve gotten a clearer picture of where I want to be in 5-10 years, and I know I’ll be better off with more education.
  • Take a French language class. NEEDS WORK. If I do end up taking a management program, I might drop French language lessons. It was a good goal to have in the last industry I was in, but I’m not sure it’s needed in the direction that I’m headed. It’s still worth taking a look though, because a second language is always beneficial.
  • Get published 4 times. ON TRACK. I was published once this quarter, but I don’t have anything lined up for the next 3 months so I should start thinking and pitching some ideas. :) I also got back to doing some media interviews – once for MoneySense Magazine, and one for a podcast.

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. Looks like you are doing alright on most goals, Krystal. I have a few goals such as reading more books that I am falling behind on :( Theres always so much to read and so little time.

    Good luck in achieving your goals this year. Wish you the best.

  2. Jacquie says:

    Hey Krystal, regarding nylons….there are these stay up ones by Secret that you can get at Walmart for about $5. Best thing is that if one leg rips, you still have the other you can use with another pair. Also I find the tights by Hue last forever and ever, and are warmer too. Bonus is they make them without control top so you can still be comfortable all day. They put these ones on sale at The Bay pretty often.

    Hope you have fun planning your trip!! Travel plans are the most exciting :)

  3. You’re doing better than me! I finally got back on track with my net worth increase goal (selling a 5 figure car helped…), but I’ll fall behind quickly if I can’t keep up with my monthly NW goals. I’m also behind on my reading goal, which is 36 for the year, at least 12 non-fiction. Here’s to a better Q2!

  4. That’s great you want to take French lessons. My advise is to practice as much as possible. It’s not enough to just watch French TV programs. Unless you speak it at least once a week, it’s very hard to grasp. I’m lucky to be able to speak it in my daily job as a pension analyst.

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