Give Me Back My Five Bucks

2016 Annual Goals: Recap

With 2016 winding down, I thought I’d share how I did with my annual goals for the year. It has been a pretty crazy 12 months – completely different in almost every way from 2015. I have a new job, a new house, a new boyfriend, and a new future to look forward to.

12797765_230793770590927_1054840509_nMy biggest achievement this year was being able to really, truly enjoy life and spend money on the things that I value – like being outdoors and traveling – all while saving over 50% of my income. I attribute this to staying on top of my monthly budgets, and working hard at increasing my income this year. I’ll be posting more about my final 2016 numbers in January. :)

Anyway here is how I did with my goals this year:

Financial

  • Stay debt-free. CHECK! I took on zero debt this year.
  • Save at least 50% of my income. CHECK! There’s still a few numbers I have to calculate, but it looks like I’ll end up saving about 55% of my net income this year.
  • Save at least $1,300/month into my RRSP/TFSA. CHECK! Including my employer’s matching contributions, I was able to save $1,700/month towards my retirement.
  • Create realistic monthly budgets. CHECK! I really tried hard this year to anticipate large expenses at least one month in advance. I also made sure to update my budgeting spreadsheet once a week with any purchases and/or transfers from my accounts.
  • Live one month with a bare-bones budget. FAIL. Nope I didn’t even try. If I were smart, I would have done it while RD was away for work for 5 weeks, but I didn’t think it would be a true experiment if I didn’t include him and his expenses. So I stalled, and then felt bad for subjecting him to a bare-bones budget, and just ended up not doing it.
  • Spend less than $500 on clothing and shoes this year. FAIL. Yep, this was a huge fail. I spent well over $2,000 on clothing and shoes this year. In my defense, most of the spending was in pursuit of athletic endeavors and investing in cold weather outdoor gear, which I’m okay with it. But I still failed this goal spectacularly.

Personal

  • Make my body strong. CHECK! I finally gave up on the idea of becoming a runner, and didn’t run more than a 10km distance all year. Instead, I focused on hiking, rock climbing, yoga, spin class, field hockey, and lots of walking. As a result, I lost 10 pounds and two pant sizes (not my intention, but I’ll take it!), and feel so much stronger.
  • Go on a multi-day hiking trip. CHECK! We went on a 3-day hike of the Sunshine Coast Trail in Powell River, and it was amazing.
  • Bring lunch to work most days. PASS. I was horrendous at this earlier in the year, and am actually embarrassed at how many times I ended up buying lunch. But I’ve never been interested in spending the time to pack lunches or meal prep, and I was really frustrated with our cooking situation at home. We were still sharing cooking duties and grocery shopping, but those were two tasks that RD absolutely hated. So after work, we often found ourselves without a plan and too lazy to go grocery shopping. That led us to going out to eat often, and then not having anything for lunch the next morning – which was such a waste of money. So in the summer, I took over all cooking and grocery shopping duties. ALL OF IT. I now do all of the meal planning, prepping, cooking, and shopping. In exchange, RD does all of the household cleaning (and the dishes). This works perfectly for us because I honestly love cooking, and RD has a higher standard for a clean house than me. :) I’m really proud of how we were able to divide up the household tasks without argument, and came to an arrangement where we are both really satisfied.
  • Stop going to coffee shops. CHECK! I started getting up earlier for work to make coffee in my french press. This eliminated any reason to stop at a coffee shop on my way to work. Of course, I still went out with my friends if I was socializing or traveling.
  • Eat less dairy. CHECK! I made a lot of vegan recipes this year (we own 4 cookbooks and they’re all vegan), using a different variety of substitutes, or just leaving out dairy altogether. It was an interesting experiment, and I’ll definitely keep it up. But so far the only dairy products we’ve completely eliminated from the house is milk and butter.
  • Bring more creativity to my life. PASS. I didn’t really do this. I had a few crafty projects on the go, and did a bit of colouring, but I don’t feel like I’ve really found my creative outlet yet. Someone told me that cooking could be my creative outlet, as I really love trying out new recipes and experimenting to make them better. Which I suppose is true.

Professional

  • Rebrand GMBMFB. FAIL. I thought about it and started asking around for quotes, but didn’t actually end up going through with anything. It’ll be something I’ll be really thinking about for next year.
  • Go to three marketing conferences/seminars this yearPASS. I registered for three events, but ended up being busy at the office one day, so ended up only getting to two of them.

I’ll be posting my annual spending recap and goals for 2017 soon. :) Hope you all have a great holiday break!

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.


Comments

  1. Looks like you had a really successful year Krystal! Great job :) I always find it so helpful when an employer has a matching program or even allows you to take money off your paycheck before taxes for RRSP contributions. I do need to start saving a bit more though ;)

  2. Well done Krystal! I hope to recap my goals in the coming weeks as well.

    Holiday cheers,
    Mark

  3. strandedrocks says:

    Hi Krystal,

    I would be interested in reading about making kombucha at home, you mentioned you were going to do it. I would love to know how it went.
    Thanks and see (read) you in the new year!

  4. Great job Krystal. Saving 50% of your income is a big win. And Happy holidays! It’s nice that we got snow this year in Vancouver but I almost slipped and fell the other day because of the icy sidewalks, haha.

  5. Congratulations on your successful year Krystal.

    I agree with ‘Liquid independence’ that saving 50% of your net income is a huge win.
    Thanks for sharing your story, it will surely inspire me to mend my expenses and to start saving more.

  6. lyn says:

    That’s a big win despite so much spent on clothings! On what have you really saved that much?

  7. Jay says:

    Krystal,

    I am a fairly new reader of your blog, and as financial goals go, the 55% of your net income is huge! I read through your previous posts on how you did on your end goals and that is a big one. I myself am trying to get to that point. I am at about 30% right now. I hope to actually be at 60% by the end of 2017.

    Great Stuff!

    Jay

  8. Jay says:

    Meant to leave this if it’s okay!

    http://www.artfulmoney.com

  9. Congrats on achieving all those goals. A 55% saving rate. I can’t help but just stare at that number in awe.

Leave a Reply to strandedrocks

Buy the Book!

A beginner's guide for Canadians looking to get their financial life in order. Get great info on budgeting and saving, RRSP's and pensions, investing types, insurance, and where to go for additional resources.

Recent Tweets

Instagram

  • Made vegetarian congee for dinner and it was the perfecthellip
  • Sunset walk on the pier newwest
  • Cant make a trip to the Sunshine Coast without stoppinghellip
  • Saturdays are for field hockey and rock climbing and cathellip
  • Spent a few hours on Sunday at the vanartgallery! Bonushellip
  • My crew catlife lapcat
  • For my birthday dinner last night RD took me tohellip
  • Snuck in a climbing session this evening at climbbase5gym!

© 2017. Give Me Back My Five Bucks. All rights reserved. Powered by WordPress & Designed by Mike Smith