Since it’s almost the end of the year I thought I’d take a moment to look at how I’ve done on my goals for 2014. This year was my most ambitious year yet in terms of goal setting. Overall I planned to save $23,000, and with some well timed tax returns and other windfall money, along with $7,500 in freelance income, I was able to reach my goals. Let’s have a look:
Build Up a $10,000 Emergency Fund
I started out in January 2014 with $2,610 in my emergency fund and a goal to get it to $10,000. At the time, this represented about six months of bare bones living expenses. I made this my #1 priority goal in the new year, and I put all of my excess financial resources into making sure it became a reality.
When I got an income tax return of $1,643, I put that directly into my emergency fund. The same goes for the New Brunswick Tuition Rebate ($2,851) that I received a month later. These two bits of windfall cash helped me complete this goal quickly, and strict budgeting and freelance income made up the difference. I’m really happy to say that I’ve barely had to touch this account since I completed this goal in May, which means it’s been able to grow a little bit every month.
Save $6,000 For Retirement
In January I had $750 in my retirement fund, having started to save for retirement the month before. My goal was to get this account up to $6,000 before the end of the year, and I used a “set it and forget it” approach to this goal. My first year of investing has gone pretty well. We had one correction but overall I’m happy with the performance of my portfolio and I’m looking forward to adding another $6,000 to this account in 2015.
Take One “Big” Trip
After spending two years paying off my debt, it was important to me to reward myself for all of my hard work with some travel. I’m in the process of completing this goal with my trip to Paris. I also went to New Orleans this year which was an awesome experience. All in all I saved $7,500 for this goal, and I don’t think I’ll be shelling out that much cash on travel again for a few years. That said, I fully intend on building some travel money into our 2015 budgets, because we love travelling and it’s never going to be easier for us to get away than it is now.
Run In Two Road Races
Unfortunately I couldn’t complete this goal. I ran in the Bluenose 5km race in May, and steadily trained all summer for a 10k in the fall. Unfortunately before I could get there, I injured myself. I was really upset about having to give up the race, but now that I’m in physiotherapy, I know that it was the right choice and I could’ve ended up really hurt if I’d continued.
I also had a number of smaller goals that included things I have just been lazy about and needed to get done once and for all. These included things like checking my credit report, changing my name completely to my new married name, finishing editing my wedding photos and getting health insurance. Fortunately I was able to complete all of these goals, which is good because they really needed to happen in 2014.
Overall I think I made a lot of progress with my finances in 2014. I started out the year with $4,215 in my various savings accounts, and I’ll be ending 2014 with $23,000. Not bad for a year!
Goal Setting for 2015
I haven’t settled on my goals for 2015 yet, but I’ve been mulling around a few here and there. I really want to wait and see what kind of job my husband lands in Halifax before I set any concrete plans, because how much money he brings home will really affect how much we’ll be able to save every month. I’m definitely going to continue setting goals here on this blog. I love the accountability it brings and I love updating my goals page every payday. This is my third year setting goals on this blog, and so far it’s been a recipe for success, so I want to stick with it.
If you’re interested in setting goals for 2015, I highly recommend declaring them publicly as a way to really commit to them. You could do this on Facebook to your friends, or with a goal setting app like the one from Standard Life (who is hosting a $500 giveaway to new sign-ups right now!). Whatever you choose to do, make sure you set SMART goals that are measurable and achievable.
Now, I’m off to enjoy more Paris. 🙂
Did you set any goals for 2014? How did you do with them? I want to know!