One of the benefits of writing about all things finance is that it keeps me accountable to the goals I have set out to achieve.
Most of my goals for the year have been fairly straight forward and things have gone smoothly so far.
Although I do consider them goals for the year, I still consider them works-in-progress and won’t be disappointed if they aren’t 100% achieved by the end of the year.
Each month I have a specific amount that gets automatically taken out of my bank account and into my RRSP account.
Unfortunately, in 2013 I was slow on increasing the amount to go along with salary increases so it was kept the same for most of the year.
Luckily, in 2014 I was able to increase the amount in line with a salary increase. This essentially means that any extra money I earn goes right into my RRSP. It’s an easy way for me to avoid lifestyle inflation.
Related: 3 Financial Mistakes We Made in 2013
The goal for 2014 was (and still is) to max out both RRSP contributions. It’s getting close, but still a ways to go and I am hoping I can use the first 2 months of 2015 to help me reach my goal.
Each month I also have a small amount deducted to go into my TFSA. Since TFSA contributions aren’t tax deductible I find automatic withdrawals makes it easier and I won’t have the temptation to spend money that would normally be invested.
Related: Hidden Advantages of the TFSA
Similar to my RRSP, I was slow on increasing the monthly amount in 2013 but was able to increase it for 2014.
I purchased a new home in late 2012 and used a portion of the TFSA balance towards the down payment. The strategy worked and we were able to avoid the CMHC insurance costs associated with putting less than 20% down.
The goal for 2014 was to play catch up and contribute $30,000 towards the TFSA accounts (myself and my spouse) to take advantage of the contribution room that has been piling up in the past couple years.
This goal is almost achieved, and I am hoping to use the tax refund generated from the RRSP contributions to put into the TFSA. That should finally do it – later than expected, but still doable.
In the past I have explained how I’ve given up on Air Miles and now use a cash back credit card as my main rewards card.
Related: Why I Gave Up On Air Miles
The goal was to switch to a more lucrative card than the BMO Air Miles Mastercard (which I previously used).
This goal has been achieved.
Earlier in the year I switched to the Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite card and now earn 4% cash back on gas and groceries. If our spending habits change in the future I may switch cards again, but for now this card is the king of cash back cards. We will earn about $550 in cash back this year by using this card and likely even more next year.
Conclusion: my financial goals for 2014 have been fairly straight forward – work towards maximizing both the RRSP and TFSA, and also switch to a more lucrative cash back card. While the investment contributions are still in progress, I have switched to the Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite card and now earn significantly more per year than I did in the past.
Have you reached your financial goals for 2014?