2017 is going to be a fun year full of travel and adventure. And normally I’d have quite a few goals that I want to achieve, but this year I really want to focus on intentional spending and living a balanced lifestyle.
I learned a lot about myself in 2016, and I feel lucky to be in the financial position that I’m in today. But I felt like I let my habit of intentional spending slide a little bit, and I want to get that back. I want to make sure that as much of my spending as possible is going towards purchases and experiences that will make my life better. And I want to feel that way every time I think about spending money – whether it’s grocery shopping, or at my favourite clothing store, or deciding where to stay and what to do when traveling.
So along with continuing to save for early retirement (my number one financial goal), intentional spending and balanced living are my themes to this year.
- Stay debt-free. This is obviously an important goal. :)
- Save at least $1,650/month into my RRSP/TFSA. For those of you curious, I use the Couch Potato method of investing, modified a little bit to suit my comfort level. But basically, I’ve got Option 2 in my RRSP and TFSA, and also am using Option 3 in my TFSA. Additionally I hold stock through Questrade and my SPP at work is in a TFSA.
- Create realistic monthly budgets. This means planning ahead and checking my progress on a weekly basis.
- Curb buying lunches, snacks, & coffees during work hours. I’ve gotten pretty good at bringing my lunch to work, but sometimes I just get lazy. Or I’ll forget to pack a snack, and end up going to the coffee shop for something sweet and unhealthy. This is going to be difficult now that I work right in downtown Vancouver. The exceptions to this (of course) are planned lunches/coffee dates with friends (very irregular), and on the days that RD works out of the downtown office and we feel like a Tacofino lunch date. :)
- Say yes when traveling. I actually almost always say yes to a trip, but I’m a natural planner, and I usually get a bit out of sorts if travel plans change for whatever reason. Sometimes it’s because I’m worried that my travel partner isn’t having a good time, or because a change in plans might mean more money spent or less time to see things … but sometimes change is good. And travel should have an element of spontaneity. So while I think I’ll be doing quite a bit of travel this year, I want to focus on living in the moment and not necessarily being worried about an itinerary.
- Curb impulse spending. Sometimes I just get it in my head that I need to have something immediately – a dress that I think will make me feel and seem a certain way, or a gadget that will make some obscure kitchen task a bit easier, or some sort of outdoor gear I’ve somehow decided is necessary (even though I’ve gone without it for years). Even if it wouldn’t really affect my budget, I need to just pause for a day (or two) and figure out if it’s something I actually need.
- Continue to be active. Last year I ended up losing the 10 pounds I gained from when RD and I first started dating and we didn’t want to do anything except hang out with each other. :) Losing weight wasn’t an intentional goal, it just happened naturally from changing my diet a little bit and increasing my exercising back to what it was before. I want to continue this trend by getting stronger this year, and being smart with injuries. I have a bad habit of just pushing through because that’s what I used to do when I was playing competitive sports, but now that I’m getting older, it’s not smart to play through pain anymore.
- Keep in better touch with friends. Most of my friends don’t live in Vancouver – they either live in my hometown or in some far away suburb. So even though I don’t get to see them that often, I could do a better job at keeping in touch with them – whether it’s a text, social media, email, or a phone call. They’re important to me, and I want to keep our relationships strong.
- Rebrand GMBMFB. I’m finally going to get off my butt and do this – and it’s my goal to get this done before I do a talk at a conference in April.
- Go to three marketing conferences/seminars this year. There are some really great opportunities to learn within my industry, and I want to take advantage of that.