I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone for being so kind and supportive in the comments on my first post about sobriety. I have to admit that it wasn’t easy to hit “Schedule”, but your comments, emails, tweets, texts and shares made it all worth it.
Since we’re nearing the end of September (holy cow!), I figured it was time to check in on my goals for the year again and see how much has changed since June. Some of these won’t surprise you, especially if you’ve been reading all summer, but there might be a few little surprises… read through them all and tell me how you think I’m doing.
Back in January, the two financial goals I made for myself were to 1) pay off my debt and 2) save $5,000 in my Emergency Fund. You obviously all know that I’ve been debt-free since May; that could not have been possible without making a few sacrifices and receiving a $1,650 tax return. Unfortunately, there’s no way I’ll finish 2013 with $5K in my Emergency Fund.
I will, however, finish the year with at least $4K in total savings – spread across three separate accounts – and contribute at least $1,200 to my RRSPs (the grand total of which is not included in that $4K). The decision not to focus on my Emergency Fund didn’t come without a second thought, but back in August I decided I wanted to accomplish a few smaller savings goals before going all in. September was a great start, as you’ll see in my budget update next week, and I am confident I’ll be able to reach the $5K and $10K goals next year. (Bring on 2014!)
I started this year thinking that I wanted to freelance a lot, take on more blog projects, etc. and really build up some side income. What I didn’t expect was to burn out so quickly… but that’s what 14-hour days (and no social life) do to you, I guess! I got to the point where I had to decide what was more deserving of my time: my real job or my side jobs. My real job won – and that decision has paid off tenfold.
On top of being able to bring my job back with me to the West Coast, I also got to hire someone I see a huge amount of passion and talent in and I still get to visit Toronto from time-to-time. And being back in B.C. has opened up a number of doors for me. I’m excited to say that this fall I’ll be teaching a four-part personal finance course to high school students, as well as volunteering as a high school mentor with the YWCA. I can finally see my passion moving in the right direction. (I’m also working on a little writing project that’s too early to discuss… but it’s going to be fun!)
My three travel goals for 2013 were to 1) save up and pay for all the weddings I was in and/or attending, 2) go to San Francisco and 3) go to #FinCon13. I’m proud to say that I was able to save and pay for all of those things, as well as a trip to Tofino in May and multiple trips home to Victoria this summer. I was also considering driving down to Portland next month, but I don’t think my back will be able to handle 6-7 hours of driving by myself. (Maybe in the spring!?)
While that’s about the extent of the travelling I’ll be doing in 2013, I have to say that my solo trip to San Francisco sparked up some ideas of places I’d like to visit next year. Next summer, one of my best friends is going to Spain and, if she wants the company, I’m thinking of tagging along with her. I’d love to extend that trip and maybe go to France and Portugal as well… but we’ll have to see what’s in the budget, closer to the time! For now, I’ll keep daydreaming…
Oh, health goals… we’re so off track! My first goal was to get even better at meal planning. By that, I meant filling the cupboards and fridge with prepared meals and snacks, so I would stop grabbing takeout and eat only the healthiest of options (most of the time, anyway). What I didn’t know back in January was how much moving I would do in 2013! Moving and travelling a lot makes it tough to meal plan; not impossible, but tough. I’m doing better now, but this summer wasn’t great.
My other goal was to get back into running. Well, I attempted that and I even signed up for a half marathon. Partway through training, however, I was in a car accident. (Thank you for the get well soon card, ING!) So, I basically haven’t exercised since mid-July. I’m hoping I can start some sort of exercise soon… even just a relaxing yoga class, where I can get some flexibility back and slowly start strengthening my body again. We’ll see.
I had so many crazy ideas about what I would do with the blog this year. First, I wanted to write and stick to an editorial calendar each month, guest post more, start a new series, etc. And then I wanted to stop writing altogether. Since being debt-free, there’s barely been a day where I haven’t been able to come up with at least a handful of blog post ideas, so I’m happy to say that I’m here to stay.
What I want to focus on most now is increasing my own financial literacy; not only do I think this will make me a better saver and investor, I think it will make me a better writer. Next month, I’m going to enroll in the Canadian Securities Course for Investors – and I promise to share the most relevant things I learn with all of you! I’m also consuming as many personal finance books as I can get my hands on, and paying attention to the news more and more. You may see this seep into my writing, sooner or later.
So, I guess that’s it. For the most part, I’m on track to achieving many of my original goals by the end of this year. But a couple speed bumps made others change direction, and a few have been axed altogether. I can’t deny that what I was once calling “the year of possibilities” now feels more like “the year of I-hope-you-feel-better-soon’s”. Before the year is up, I’ll be happy so long as I finish teaching this class, make progress on my writing project and write some great content for work. Adding yoga and losing a few pounds would probably make me feel better too, but I won’t push my luck!
How have your goals changed throughout the year? What do you want to accomplish before 2014?