Financial Goals for 2017

Last year I laid out 4 financial goals, but also added another goal of keeping our monthly spending below the average of the year before, and we reviewed them on Tuesday

So, now it is time to discuss what my financial goals will be for 2017.

2017 Financial Goals

When I sat down to write out these goals, I had so many things I was dreaming of and wanted to do (imagine if I could be mortgage free and retire early and travel the world and… and… and…), but I really have to make it realistic if I’m going to accomplish anything, so it took some calculating, instead of just pulling numbers out of a hat like last year.  After all my brainstorming and figuring, my goals for 2017 don’t look all that different from the goals I had for 2016… Just slightly different numbers…

Goal #1: Emergency Fund

Last year I wanted to have $10,000 in our emergency fund, but unfortunately we had to use a bunch of it in December, so we are currently back down at $6200.  I’ve decided that I want to increase the target for our emergency fund, but I think we also need a separate pet emergency fund for the animals.  So, I’m going to make this a three part goal:

  1. Human Emergency Fund up to $10,000
  2. Pet Emergency Fund up to $5000
  3. Human Emergency Fund up to $15,000 (+$5000)

That will mean that I have a grand total of $20,000 in our emergency funds.  With the funds at $6200 right now, we need $13,800 more to reach this goal.  That works out to $1150 per month.  I think that’s a little steep with all that we have planned, so I’m going to call that last one a stretch goal, and my plan will be to get the total to $15,000.  That means I only need $8800 more, which is around $730 per month.

Goal #2: Save for Planned Spending

We haven’t done much long term planning for this year yet… So I can only sort of plan for the first quarter of the year in terms of planned spending, but we can review this goal again in a couple months and adjust if required.

  1. Travel #1: $3000
    We’ve already paid for the airfare, and the accommodation is covered.  Just need the food & fun money, oh and the rental car… 3 people, 10 days… I say $3000 gives us a decent budget.
  2. Income Tax: $400
    This is sort of a holdover thing… My husband typically pays some income tax because one of his side jobs doesn’t take off enough tax each pay cheque, and I typically get some back, but you have to pay long before you get the money from them, so we want to have this ready to go for tax time.
  3. More Home Renos: $35,000
    We have a lot of the money already for the upstairs work, but I’m not sure it will stretch all the way to include the basement work.  So I want to see if we can save it up and finish it all this year.
  4. Other Travel: $5000
    Not sure what this travel will be yet, but I’m sure we’ll want to go camping, or skiing, or go to Vancouver or Seattle for a sports game…
  5. Other Savings: $16,000
    This is leftover from last year… It’s a goal that is long term, but the sooner I save the money, the sooner I can move forward with it… So, that’s why it stays here…

So, the total for all those savings is $59,400.  Almost $60,000.  If I did my math right (very likely I didn’t), last year we save (and spent) around $30,000 for these planned spending categories.  Increasing that to double might be a bit of a stretch, but it’s a goal to push ourselves.

Goal #3: Net Worth & Retirement Savings

Because our net worth is currently inflated with renovation money that will disappear in the next few months, I can’t really say that I want our net worth to increase by the end of 2017… In fact, if it does then either we won the lottery or our home renovations didn’t happen.  I don’t mind the first option, but the second one would be very disappointing.

So, I’ve had to do some calculating for the cash side of things, but here’s where I’d like to see us at the end of the year:

2017-goal

Right now, I think our cash is at 52% of the distributions of our savings, so this looks quite different that the current situation.

january-2017

RRSP:  I’d like us to increase this by 15%.  With our regular contributions it won’t get there, so it will require some assistance from the markets, and/or some extra contributions.  I would like to increase our regular contributions once we get our spending under control, so perhaps that is how this goal will be achieved.

TFSA:  This is the one where I’ve given us a pretty extreme stretch goal – an increase of 155%.  But, don’t forget that small numbers mean that a small increase is a large percentage… and I’m thinking that it will be possible if we move some of our emergency savings in to the TFSA for safe keeping.  Obviously, we don’t want all of our emergency savings tied up in the TFSA because then it makes it difficult to get to when there is an emergency, but keeping some of it there so that it can work for us while it waits to be useful… not a bad idea.

Cash:  My goal for 2017 is to spend our cash!  That totally seems counterintuitive, but as I mentioned before, we have the money to do our renovation, so we are doing our renovation!  The end result “should” be a decrease of about 82% of our cash savings.

Taxable Investments:  I don’t plan to do anything with these… Just let them sit there and grow… Assuming similar growth to the past few years, I’m thinking that they will grow by 10-15%, so I’m dreaming for a 16% increase.

The end result would be a decrease in total net worth / savings of 32%.  Not what most people would put as their goal for the year – it sort of makes me laugh.  What sort of personal finance blogger am I?  (I don’t really consider myself a full personal finance blogger – I touch on too many random topics to really classify myself in that group.)

Goal #4: Monthly Spending

As I mentioned in my review on Tuesday, our average monthly spending for 2016 was $8400.  This is up from 2015’s average of $7700.  For 2017, I’d like us to at least keep it below last year’s average.  Ideally, we would decrease it to below 2015 as well, but to keep things realistic with the added expenses that the puppy brings, I’m going to say that the goal will be in between.  The goal will be to keep our monthly spending below $8000.

Side note here: This “monthly spending” is everything that is not a part of our “planned spending”.  This includes all our regular monthly expenses, like mortgage, utilities, food, medical, life insurance, household & pet expenses… But not the big ticket items like big travel and renovations, which fall under “planned spending.”

So there you have it.  My financial goals for 2017.  Nothing crazy really, just plugging along… Spending money…

Do you have financial goals for 2017?  Do you plan to spend or save?

 

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