Our Financial Goals For The Rest Of 2011

Canada Money

Many of you have emailed me, asking what happened to my monthly budget recaps. They just sort of disappeared, didn’t they? Sorry about that!

Since I know how much some of you enjoy those financial posts, I have decided to update you every month about how we are doing with our financial goals.

Since Richard quit his job 5 months ago, we have been living off of our emergency fund. It has been a bit of a challenge, since we were trying to use as little money as possible – which meant no eating out, no entertainment and definitely no allowances.

Now, I am happy to say that Richard has found a new job that he absolutely loves and has been working there for just over a month.

Although living off of our emergency fund was stressful and kind of scary (we were worried that we would run out of money before he found a new job), I’m glad he took that risk. He is no longer depressed because of his job. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see him come home from work smiling every day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Since Richard has been back to work and this website is doing amazingly well (thanks to you all, of course!), we have come up with some new financial goals for the year. We hope to complete all of these goals by December 31, 2011. Who knows if we will meet that deadline or not, but we are sure going to try!

Replenish The Emergency Fund
We have already paid back most of what we “owed” the emergency fund, but we still have almost $800 to pay back. I’m confident we will be able to accomplish that by the end of this month.

Re-start RESP Contributions
While Richard was unemployed, we cut back on everything – including savings. Now that we have a steady income again, we’re happy to start saving. We already have an RESP set up for Elliott, so I just need to call the bank to make an appointment to go in there and get the monthly withdrawals happening again.

We’re also going to increase the savings in this RESP by 50%.

Review Yearly Expenses Account Balance
This is something that we do every summer. We go through our budget and see how much we have spent on the items in our yearly expenses account thus far and make sure that we are on track, financially.

I know there have been a few expenses this year that were higher than expected, and there were also quite a few expenses that were lower than expected.

Not only that, but we have a few more items to add to this account (and one or two to remove), so we will have to set aside a bit more money for that every month as well.

Increase My Income By 40%
This is a pretty lofty goal, but I am really going to try to increase my personal income by 40% or more by the end of the year.

I have a few things planned for this – but really, I just need to work smarter (not necessarily harder!).

Increasing my income just a bit more will help us tremendously with our house savings.

Increase House Savings To 35%
Since Richard was out of work for much of this year, we have not had the opportunity to do much savings toward a down payment for our first home.

Now that our monthly income is stable, we have begun saving as much money as possible to put toward our goal of a 20% down payment (as well as money for closing costs, etc.).

We are adamant about having at least 20% toward a down payment to avoid having to pay monthly mortgage insurance.

Set Aside About 25% Of RRSP Savings
Since saving for a home of our own is more important than saving for retirement right now (although it is still important, and once we purchase a home, we will be putting much more money towards our RRSP!). However, we do still want to save something, so we have a goal of saving 25% of the maximum contribution allowed.

This is going to be hard (since most of our extra money will be going toward house savings), but with some effort, I know we are capable of saving this amount – especially if I can increase my income!

So, those are our financial goals for the rest of the year. I will post a recap every month and let you all know how we are doing!

What are your financial goals for the rest of 2011?

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  1. Denise Lushman says:

    My goals are to get some sort of stability going on for us. I lost my job last month and we have been trying very hard to climb this huge bill mountain. My husband will be laid off in another 2 months…we can’t ever seem to get ahead. We don’t have an emergency fund set up, so that is a goal in itself.
    I just want to have things paid off and be a bit more comfortable and stress free. Having a job would be a good start.

  2. Amanda says:

    Thanks for sharing! I’ve missed these updates and am glad to hear that Richard has a new job! YA!!!!!

  3. Brock says:

    Don’t forget that you can use your RRSP’s toward that 1st home (Home Buyer’s plan) without having to pay a penalty if you repay it in full in 15 years.

    Here’s what we did…

    Took-out an RRSP loan equal to our RRSP contribution limit, then contributed to the proceeds to our RRSP for 90 days, then withdrew the funds from our RRSP under the Home Buyers Plan and used it to pay off the loan, we then used our income tax refund as our down payment and after 2 years, started repaying our RRSP 1/15th per year until its fully repaid.

  4. Niki says:

    Our goal is also to save for our first home as a family. Our daughter’s max RESP contribution is done for the year and we’ve been on top of all our bills including credit card since she was born.
    Winning the lottery would be nice but not necessary

  5. Betty says:

    We’ve been through all what you have been through. As my mother used to say “it’ll all come out in the wash”; in other words, things will turn out ok. There have been times when I have hated my job but couldn’t afford to quit. I was worried that nobody would hire a 47 yr. old woman; boy was I wrong. After I gave my notice to leave cuz I’d had enough, I had another job I loved within 2 weeks!!! Savings go up & down like a toilet seat but it was very handy to have that emergency fund. My youngest took my advice & got a tax-free savings account & saved enough to buy herself a new car. I’m still trying to convince the oldest one to do the same. I guess one child is a “saver” & the other one is a “spender” which happens in marriages too. So sometimes we have to learn to be both spenders & savers (like my husband and I). Stockpiling grocery staples & filling the freezer for times like these also helps out as you know. So keep looking for ways to save; it pays off.

  6. Sarah says:

    My financial goals are to set some financial goals… funny as that sounds, we have been rather loosy goosie and are always broke. I am tired of that! So happy I am not the only person who is a work in progress and I am enjoying all of the advice found on this site. Good luck to everybody else and I hope you all accomplish what you are aiming for!

  7. LInda S says:

    FOr us it’s to have a emergency fund and get rid of at least 1/2 of our credit cards debts. I’m so achamed of how bad it as getting out of hands. Our problem was never saying no to people when asking to go out to restaurants or activities when we could afford it. or going to the Il’s (which cost us at least 130-140$ gas both ways). We have now learn to say NO when we don’t have any $ and that helped. But now we have to pay all those crazy credit cards bill ๐Ÿ™ Oh well, live and learn ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. LInda S says:

    I also have 3 more goals to have more money in our pocket:

    1. I’m an AVON representative. For me it will be to give more time to my business. I’m doing quite good, but could be doing even better. As of now it helps pay 1/2 my babysitter. I would love for it to cover ALL. That’s one of my goaL.

    2. Use my OPTIMUM card more. Thanks to this site, I’m been doing so. But I’m want to get more free grocery or gifts for other.

    3. Optimize Swagbucks so I don’t have to pay for Christmas gifts this years.

  9. Christina says:

    Thanks for sharing!

    I agree- not only is saving your downpayment in your RRSP a great idea it also ‘lowers’ your income which will increase your child tax benefits the following year. Have you considered filling out a ‘Request to reduce tax deductions T1213(10)’. It will give you more money each month to do with as you want. We’re currently saving for our first home too!

  10. Penny says:

    So glad to hear Richard has a new job and is happy with it! Have missed seeing these updates and was so happy to see another one ๐Ÿ™‚ Every day I am trying to live within in our means and not make credit card debt. I am content with what we have and would like to be debt free (including mortgage) and I have found that your saving strategies are helping me achieve this with small steps. Every cent spent does matter and being conscious of your spending is the first step to financial freedom. Keep up the good work!

  11. Daniel says:

    What Brock says! I plan to do the same thing when we purchase our first home.

  12. Thanks for sharing your financial goals, everyone!

    Brock: We completely forgot about that and will definitely be taking advantage! Thanks for reminding us.

  13. Cathy says:

    CONGRATS on the site doing so well!!!!!!!!!! Isn’t THAT AWESOME!!!!!!!

    OMG: Richard loves his new job!!!! (i have thought about him and you guys SO many times since you blogged about him leaving that last job): was that a bit frightening decision worth it or what?!!!!!!! – WOW i’m SO happy for you guys! Reading your post totally made my day ๐Ÿ™‚

    (Did i just visualize this (:)) or haven’t you guys ALREADY bought a house?? (your house with the neat stockpile area in the basement?!) – i tried to search the site, but didn’t find it (maybe i dreamt it ๐Ÿ™‚ )(pssst… i don’t know if it’s difficult to include web site wise, but i’d have a search your site feature… (i tried the google one, but it’s just not the same ๐Ÿ™‚ – just an idea… (but maybe that’s just because i’m a Caissie junky ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for sharing!! Happy w-end ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Cathy: Thanks so much for the kind words! We do not currently own our home, we’ve always rented. We’re just lucky that this house we’re currently in has a fabulous large basement to store our stockpile!

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