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Q3 Review: 2013 Goals

This has been an interesting year so far. I wasn’t sure how I thought I was going to increase my salary, while decreasing my freelance workload… but I thought I could figure it out. Clearly, based on my results so far below, it hasn’t worked out in my favour.

What I have learned is how much I’m enjoying having free time. My schedule is still busy, but not working until 2am every evening has helped me achieve many goals this year, as well as strengthened friendships with people that are really important to me. Field hockey has become a bigger part of my life again (playing 3-4 times/week), and I’m finally starting to run the distances that I’ve always wanted to run. So, I think I’ve hit the right balance in terms of work/play, but I’m missing the income generated from work/work. :)

Anyway, below is my progress so far on my annual goals.

Financial

  • Earn $85,000 to $90,000NEEDS WORK. This goal is fading, and fading fast. Realistically, I don’t think I’m going to make this goal. I scaled back my freelancing and blogging a lot this year. Still. I did pick up a few freelance writing contracts – including a couple of feature pieces for the Toronto Star – so that will help. But I think I’ll end up around $75,000.
  • Put an extra $2,500 onto the mortgageON 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 and averaging around $220 extra each month.
  • Save $16,000 in my Retirement PortfolioNEEDS WORK. I just increased my auto deductions, and am looking to ramp them up again for next year… but because I was so far off my income target, this was the one category that suffered.
  • Diversify my investments. CHECK! Go, Questrade!
  • Start contributing to charity. CHECK! I’ve decided to contribute monthly to WaterCan.

Personal

  • Go on one big tripCHECK! I’ll be headed to Morocco at the end of October for about 2 weeks, and am really looking forward to it. I’ve budgeted just over $2,000 for the trip (which includes a 10-day group tour with Intrepid Travel), which I think should be more than enough.
  • Run in a half marathon and two 10km racesCHECK! I’ve already run two 10km races (with a PB of 49:59), and have two half marathon races coming up – one this coming long weekend in Victoria, and another one in late November in Stanley Park.
  • Take a French language classFAIL. Since Nic and I broke up, I’m less interested in learning French. But that being said, I do still think it’s a valuable skill to have – especially in the industry that I’m in. There are so many jobs that require a second language… so perhaps I should make this more of a priority next year.

Professional

  • Invest in a grown-up wardrobeCHECK! Since realizing how much I’ve actually spent so far this year on my wardrobe, I’ve drastically reduced my shopping. That being said, I’m still happy with everything I’ve purchased and I think I look a lot more professional.
  • Read 6 marketing books. ON TRACK. Okay, technically I’ve only read one book on social media. But I think that since I’ve been watching a lot of business and marketing-related documentaries, they should count for something. Right? Right.
  • Scale back my freelancingCHECK! Do you love how one of the only goals I’ve actually completely achieved so far this year is my goal of doing less? :P I do think I need to step up my freelancing a little bit (because my lofty financial goals have suffered as a result), and I’ve started bringing my hours back up… but it’s a bit too late for that now. I’m going to have to seriously evaluate what I want for next year.

Q2 Review: 2013 Goals

Well, the year is half over. It’s been an interesting journey so far: adjusting to life back in Canada, starting a new job, breaking up with my long-term boyfriend, and trying to live a more balanced life. I think I’ve done a pretty good job so far, but of course everything can be improved.

I’m excited for the next 6 months, but I’m also a bit nervous that I’m not going to hit many of my goals listed below. I haven’t developed a plan to get myself to that income level I want to be at (and that income level is tied to so many of my financial goals). If I were still freelance writing at the pace I was last year, I’d definitely be there… but life sort of took over, and I really didn’t want to go back to working 75 hours/week. I’m enjoying the time off, but at the same time, I know I have to work harder. So I think the rest of the year is going to be a balancing act for me. How much can I pile onto my plate without feeling overwhelmed?

Financial

  • Earn $85,000 to $90,000NEEDS WORK. Just like after Q1, if I keep earning at the pace that I’m earning, I won’t make it. At the halfway point of the year, I’m still hovering around $75,000 to $80,000. I picked up a small freelance writing contract, as well as a piece for the Toronto Star, which should get me back into the swing of writing.
  • Put an extra $2,500 onto the mortgageON 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 and averaging around $220 extra each month.
  • Save $16,000 in my Retirement PortfolioNEEDS WORK. This has got to start being a priority for me. If my goal is to eventually retire early, then my lifestyle and my savings rate has got to reflect that.
  • Diversify my investmentsON TRACK. I’m just about done with my stock stimulator, and am ready to go with my Questrade account.
  • Start contributing to charityON 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.

Personal

  • Go on one big tripON TRACK. Well, I’m still going to France in October for work, but my “big trip” to Morocco might get axed. It depends on how long I’m in Europe for work now. There has been some talk about extending my trip to include other nearby countries, and if that’s the case, then I doubt I’ll have time to go on vacation. :| But that means I can spend my vacation days doing something else. Maybe I’ll finally get to do the West Coast Trail! Or I can roll them over into next year, and do a longer trip then.
  • Take a French language classNEEDS WORK. Since Nic and I broke up, I’m less interested in learning French. But that being said, I do still think it’s a valuable skill to have – especially in the industry that I’m in.

Professional

  • Invest in a grown-up wardrobeON TRACK. I’ve spent a lot of money so far this year on my wardrobe, but I still think I’m missing some things. Right now I’m attempting a shopping ban until the end of September. This will help me reduce the amount of money I’m spending on clothing, as well as ensure I’m buying the right size. The suit I bought in February? It is way too big for me already. :|
  • Read 6 marketing books. NEEDS WORK. I’ve started reading two books, but should have finished 3 books by now to stay on pace.
  • Scale back my freelancingCHECK! Do you love how the only goal I’ve actually completely achieved so far this year is my goal of doing less? :P I do think I need to step up my freelancing a little bit, and I’ve started bringing my hours back up.

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.

Financial

  • 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.

Personal

  • 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.

Professional

  • 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.
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