Give Me Back My Five Bucks

2016 Annual Goals: Q2 Review

I know I’ve said this more than once this year, but 2016 is flying by. I can’t believe the year is more than half over, I can’t believe RD and I are about to celebrate our one-year anniversary, and I can’t believe I’ve already been at my job for 8 months!

Q2 was good in that I was able to really focus on myself. I spent a lot of time practicing yoga, and hanging out in forest. But one of the biggest changes to my attitude in the last 3 months was taking a good look at who I’ve been surrounding myself with. I’ve realized that I’ve been hanging onto toxic friendships and spending time with people that made me feel bad about myself (or have a way of bringing down my mood) – just because it’s hard for me to let people go from my life. But I need to focus on the friendships that I value the most, and put more of my time towards making those relationships stronger … and just learn to let the rest of it go. Even though that seems to be an incredibly hard thing for me to do. :)

The last 3 months have also made me examine where I feel like I belong. I went through a bit of a tough time because my love affair with Vancouver seemed to be strained. Even though I love where I live, and I love living with RD, a big city can be an exhausting place to live for an introvert. :) So although we both know we’ll be living in the city for the foreseeable future, I can’t help but want to explore options for where we’ll end up later. Maybe that’ll be 5 years from now, or maybe 10. There is no timeline. But it’s interesting to really examine where in the province there are challenging jobs available, mountains and/or ocean to play in, and is small enough where there’s still the ability to have quiet. Maybe such a place doesn’t exist. And if it doesn’t, Vancouver is still a pretty good place to be for now, but not forever.

Anyway, here’s how I’ve been doing on my goals so far this year:


  • Stay debt-freeCHECK! I have not gotten myself into any debt so far this year.
  • Save at least 50% of my income. CHECK! As of the end of June, my savings rate sits at 65% of my net income. I don’t expect this savings rate to stay steady (the first few months of the year were really good for freelancing), but I am extremely satisfied with my progress so far.
  • Create realistic monthly budgets. CHECK! I think I’m getting better at forecasting my spending, and checking in every couple of days to input numbers into a spreadsheet. So far, so good.
  • Live one month with a bare-bones budget. PENDING. I haven’t done anything about this yet, and am not sure it’s possible to do while living with another person (who likely would not want to go through a month of bare-bones living with his crazy girlfriend). I might need to re-examine this goal and see if I can do something just for me, that wouldn’t affect RD.
  • Spend less than $500 on clothing and shoes this year. FAIL. I’ve already failed at this goal, as I’ve replaced a few items that could not be repaired, as well as buy some hiking clothes that were needed (like waterproof hiking pants).


  • Make my body strong. CHECK! I think I’ve been doing a really good job watching what I eat, as well as continuing to exercise on a regular basis. It’s been a fun mix of yoga, spin class, rock climbing, hiking, and the gym. I’ve been running short distances (around 5km) for the past few weeks, and have gotten down to my 10km race pace. I might not be able to run long distances again until I get surgery, but I’m going to enjoy the short runs while I can. :)
  • Go on a multi-day hiking trip. CHECK! We did 3 days of the Sunshine Coast Trail.
  • Bring lunch to work most days. PASS. I was doing really well in the first few months of the year, but haven’t been the best at this for the last two months. RD has been gone a lot for work, which means I’ve been lacking with my batch cooking, and making dinners like I used to. But now that he’s back for the rest of the year, I’m sure this will improve again.
  • Stop going to coffee shops. PASS. Just like with bringing my lunch, I never go to coffee shops if RD is home (we make french press coffee every morning before work). But since he’s been gone, I just haven’t gotten myself as organized as I should be. So I have been buying coffees a few times a week – but just drip coffee, no fancy lattes at least. :)
  • Eat less dairy. PASSWe still eat cheese, but have switched over to non-dairy butter, mayo, and milk.
  • Read 12 books. PASS. I’ve read 5 books this year, and have been on the hunt for my next read. I’ve got some marked through Goodreads, so hopefully will catch up soon.
  • Bring more creativity to my life. CHECK! I originally thought my creativity would come in the form of crafts. But instead, I’m finding a bit of creativity in the kitchen. Back in May I started brewing my own kombucha (and have been loving the process so far). We’ve also been experimenting with new recipes, and hope to continue that for the rest of the year.


  • Rebrand GMBMFB. PASS. I’ve mapped out a little bit of what I’m looking for (and have even contacted a couple of designers), but am beginning to wonder if it’s the right move for me right now. I still need to give it some serious thought.
  • Go to three marketing conferences/seminars this year. PASS. I’ve gone to two marketing seminars so far this year, and will likely get in at least one or two more in the fall when they start up again.

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. Great job on meeting your goals! I always appreciate seeing others’ honest evaluation of their goals.

    I’ve tried the bare-bones budget while living with my fiance and it was hard, but eye opening! He is more social than me and is a spender, so he wanted to go out all the time. I think that by doing the bare-bone budget, he was able to see that we spent a ton of our budget on eating out and socializing and we are now trying to reel that in a bit :) Good luck!

  2. Lynn Ling says:

    You did really well on keeping your goals, Krystal. And they are pretty organized. It truly inspires me to set up similar goals. :)

  3. Peter says:

    good job overall, keep up the great work

  4. Just a thought on the clothes thing, what if you were to not count things you need to replace or use specifically for your active lifestyle. If one of your goals is to keep your body strong and be active that goal shouldn’t be conflicting with another goal to spend less money on clothing and shoes. If you didn’t purchase or replace you would fail at the goal of being active but succeed at spending under $500 on clothes.
    Either way great job and I agree that the year is flying by.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Yeah, true. I’ve spent very little on non-sports clothing/shoes this year. I might re-allocate that amount into Fitness going forward. Something to think about for sure!

  5. Looks like you are doing very well with your goals. I see 1 fail and so many passes / checks, keep it up! I’ve recently thought about writing my goals down.. Real life just started for me so fingers crossed.

  6. Jaclyn says:

    Cool goals. Let me know if you need another estimate. Me and my husband whom is a web developer do wordpress websites.

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