2015 – Financial Goals

Okay, let’s get started with some goals for 2015. I had planned to get this posted earlier, but as is to be expected at this time of year, this is the first time I’ve had a minute to myself.

So…My goals… My big ones will be financial for sure, so I want to start with those.  Because I’m not totally comfortable putting anything specific online in terms of money, I’ll be doing everything in percentages.  This may not work out so well, as it is way easier to just say $500 or something than to calculate a percentage, but that’s what I’m going to try.  I remember when Blonde on a Budget moved to percentages instead of straight up numbers, I think it can be easier to relate to as everyone’s location and costs can vary in terms of amount, but percentages work…

1. Budget:  I have never been one to pay attention to my spending, or my saving, and I’ve been extremely fortunate that my “auto-pilot” finances haven’t meant accumulating debt. But as I mentioned before, I feel like with a little effort I could be doing so much better, so I am going to create a monthly budget, share the budget on this blog and then report how we did each month.  In doing so, I should be able to learn where our money is going and where we might be able to cut back in order to boost our savings.  The struggle might be with getting my other half to participate (we are still working on combining finances slowly), wish me luck.  I will post my budget for January later this week.

2. Planned Spending: We have 3 major things that we want to save up for this year: our wedding, my fiance’s education and some major home renos.

Wedding: We are getting married in August.  I am a notoriously over the top party planner, so I want this to be the pinnacle of my party planning.  My parents have generously offered to give us a pretty decent sum to put towards the event, but we have chosen a pretty pricey location out of town to have the wedding, so the costs are not going to be low… Plus, I want it to be totally epic, so I’m doing all sorts of fun stuff that just adds expense.  My fiance is pretty easy going about the whole thing, and would probably be totally okay with a much smaller event, but he’s marrying me, so he’s getting a big event.  We have almost saved up our goal for the wedding already (97%), which is great, so my goal is to have this completed by the end of January.

Fiance’s Education Fund:  My fiance has recently decided to go back to school.  Right now he is sort of between jobs, and only working part time at a sort of temporary gig, and he’s on the wait list for his program.  They say it could be anywhere from 6 months to a year before he gets in, so we have time to save up some money for it, but right now I am the main breadwinner of the household so I’d like to get a jump start on saving.  I put our total goal as the full cost for multiple years, but obviously we won’t need to save all of that up before he starts, but if we can, why not, right?  So my goal is to fill up his education savings account by the end of May.  We are already at 16%, so the goal will be to save 16-17% each month from January to May.  That’s quite a stretch for savings, but I haven’t allocated any of the savings from my December paycheques, so that should help.

Home Renos: This past year we bought a house in an amazing location, but it hasn’t been updated in ages… like maybe never.  It’s in great shape, but very outdated and we have grand plans for how we want it to look at the end of it all.  But, baby steps.  This year we took out the oil furnace and replaced it with a super efficient heat pump.  So far it has been a great investment.  We are no longer paying for oil, and we have opened up so much space in our garage and basement.  I think I’ll save the details of all we want to do for a future post, but I do know that next summer we will at least need to replace the roof, so another thing to save up for.  We had saved up for the heat pump, but with that purchased, we have exhausted the home reno fund.  If we want to get the roof done this summer, we will need to save up enough by the end of July for that.

3. RRSP: I have not been very good at investing in my retirement savings in the past.  I have so much room left in my contribution limits, that it will take me a few years to catch up for sure, but that is what I eventually would like to do.  Max out my RRSP contributions.  I will not be able to do that this year with all my planned spending, so my goal will be to get to 40% of my maximum contribution.  In the past I had always gone the way of just waiting until right before the deadline each year, seeing what extra savings I had in my savings account, and just picking a random amount to invest in my RRSP.  I understand this is totally not the it should be done.  For 2014, I made an improvement, and started monthly contributions to my RRSP with direct deposit, so I don’t even have to think about it.  But, it is a small amount, so I should really increase that.  Obviously I will have to review this goal after taxes are done as the numbers will change, but I’ll cross that bridge then.

4. TFSA: I think I contributed to this one year… a while back… Yes, it is that bad.  So, I have loads of room to add to this one.  My eventual goal will be to max this out (as per Bridget of Money After Graduation‘s plan), but as I mentioned above, my other savings goals this year will probably decrease my ability to do this this year, but I would like to get to 12% of my limit this year.

5. Emergency Fund: Everyone seems to put huge emphasis on the emergency fund.  A lot of blogs I read where people are paying off debt, but are still trying to save an emergency fund of 3-6 months of living expenses… I’m not totally sold on this yet, but I can sort of see how it could be a good idea.  Unfortunately, I don’t know if I will be able to do an emergency fund along with the other items that I want to get done this year, but as a stretch goal I will try and get 3 months worth of mortgage payments in to an emergency fund, so at least we can have that.  This is the lowest priority though for me and will be a bonus if I get to it this year.

So those are my financial goals for 2015.  I’ll try and post these on my goals page too and keep the status bars on the right up to date as much as I can.  I’ll post a couple more times this week with my professional and personal goals.

Do you have any financial goals for 2015?  Are they similar?  And do you have any advice for me to achieve my goals?

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2 thoughts on “2015 – Financial Goals

  1. All admirable goals to have, and it sounds like you’re going to be throwing one heck of a shindig! 🙂

    Re: the Energency Fund even when paying down debt. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I do keep it because I’ve always been a saver, so I need money in an account. Also, with the debt realization/epiphany, I became a bigger worrier about my overall financial picture. Since I don’t have any other liquid money, I couldn’t imagine relying on credit to make it through an emergency now. That said, if you’re saving for your fiancé’s education, or the house repairs, if something super bad came up you could skim some of that and rebuild. It’s really just about accessing money in an account, and not having everything locked up in investments 🙂

    PS, I dream about switching our townhouse to a heatpump. My parents had one growing up (they were pretty rare in Atlantic Canada 20 years ago), but I’m totally sold on them. And the utility providers are really pushing them now.

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    • Thanks Alicia! I really do appreciate the support!

      I guess I’ve always been lucky enough to not have any emergencies that would require that much of an emergency fund, so a small amount on my credit card or line of credit until I can pay it off next pay cheque hasn’t ever been an issue for me. I will keep the emergency fund as a low priority goal this year, and maybe move it up the list once my fiancé’s school is paid for.

      And I totally recommend the heat pump. I’m not sure what sort of climate you live in, but we are lucky out here that we don’t really experience any cold weather so we don’t need to have any backup heat supply, but I know in other areas of the country keeping a furnace as a backup is required for the super cold months.

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