As we count down the seconds to a New Year, we often reminisce about the year that was; the good, the bad, and the ugly. And that’s just talking about our finances.
Maybe you hit a particular short-term savings goal. Or, perhaps you reached a milestone that has been years in the making, such as buying a home. Sure, there were likely some missteps along the way (too many nights out, splurges on clothes you don’t need) but we’re only human.
The New Year gives us a chance to take stock of the previous 365 days and set goals for the next. We here at Ratehub.ca are pretty into our own financial goals; some of us hit particular targets this year and some of us missed. That’s OK. That won’t stop us from setting new goals for 2019.
Who knows, maybe you might be inspired to set your own.
First, let’s check in with last year’s goals.
2018 financial resolution update
Ratehub.ca CEO Alyssa achieved a goal that has been a couple years in the making: She purchased an income property.
She was excited, to say the least. And for good reason.
“I hit my goal this year. Wahooooo!” Alyssa said (shouted).
2019 goal: “2018 wasn’t a great year for savings for our family as my husband started a business (CourseCompare.ca). Our goal for 2019 is to start budgeting on a bi-weekly and monthly basis and get back to saving!”
Idriss, Ratehub.ca account executive, planned to set up bi-weekly automatic RRSP deposits. He’s proud to say he achieved that goal via his QuesTrade account.
2019 goal: “With a baby on the way in 2019, growing our family to four, we need to be disciplined financially and not embark into more ambitious renovation projects,” Idriss said. “Our goal is to grow our TFSA savings (and emergency fund).”
Jennifer, Director of Finance and Operations, stuck to her 2018 goal of creating a detailed financial plan for short-, mid-, and long-term goals.
2019 goal: “I’m getting married this year so my financial goal for the year is to not break the budget on the wedding!”
Despite some hurdles, product engineer Greye reached his goal of hitting his RRSP limit in 2018.
Satisfied with his 2018 plan, Greye is focusing his resolutions for 2019 on areas outside his personal finances.
Aashti, communications specialist, planned to stick to a hard budget of $500 for clothes in 2018. An admittedly tough goal that she was not able to achieve. Despite that, Aashti developed some great new financial habits last year – and did achieve her additional goal of learning about self-directed investing.
“I did not manage to stick to my $500 budget for clothes purchases this year, but I did develop a different healthy financial habit: tracking my daily expenses using the Dollarbird app, This habit helped me hit my monthly savings goal, pretty much every month. I did learn about self-directed investing this year.”
2019 goal: “In 2019 I would like to save 20% of my gross income and begin making RRSP contributions,” Aashti said.
New team members’ 2019 goals
Of course, we had a few new additions to the team this year (including yours truly). These are their financial goals for 2019.
Justin, managing editor and the person writing this column: 2018 was a good year for my finances. I started aggressively saving and investing for retirement, hitting my monthly contribution goals. I also signed up for a credit card that would help me travel faster and I paid it off in full each month. Finally, I maximized my chequing and savings accounts to save as much money as possible.
For 2019 I’d like to increase my monthly retirement savings contribution by $200 per month. I’d also like to save for two trips next year.
HR Manager Karina said: “I always set a budget for each month: Groceries, personal, etc., but end up going over the budget almost every time. This year I might have a more reasonable budget for my spending or cut out what I don’t actually need but buy it because I want it.”
Jamie, our newest product manager, plans to educate himself on trading so he can open up some self-directed trading accounts and not rely totally on couch potato for his investments. He’d also like to beef up his RRSP and TFSA contributions.